The popular cable reality program Duck Dynasty, starring the Robertson clan of West Monroe, Louisiana, is based around the Robertson’s highly successful family business of making and selling duck calls and other assorted hunting paraphernalia.  The business, started by family patriarch Phil Robertson, provides a good model for how to run a small business and avoid the financial pitfalls so many other small family businesses face.
First, as father Phil did, if you have a unique product, get a patent on it. You may not think the product is unique, or you may think others have already thought of it, but you won’t know until you try.  There may be some expense in hiring a patent attorney and filing the appropriate paperwork, but the protection you gain for your unique product and to keep others from competing with you could prove extremely beneficial and save your business and allow it to profit.
Secondly, having family work with you can be helpful in the beginning to save on labor costs.  It seems that most of the Robertson family members are involved in the business.  Although they now may receive salaries or compensation, in the early days of the business, that may not have been the case.  When getting a small business off the ground, small savings can add up.
Third, market your business and product.  I am certain the Robertson family saw and used the opportunity available on the cable Outdoor Channel to market their products.  That, of course, has led to the popular reality show Duck Dynasty on the A&E cable channel that has propelled their company to fame and fortune. Marketing never stops or ends. It is day-to-day process, especially in the age of social and internet marketing.
The Robertson’s have been successful with this venture.  Often that is not the case.  Nine out of ten, yes, 9 out of 10, small businesses fail.  That is astoundingly high.  Thankfully, our financial system in the United States gives folks a second chance through bankruptcy, to try again.  Many small business persons have used this opportunity. One of the most famous is Walt Disney.  He had a disastrous start and was forced to file bankruptcy, but went on, as we all know, to business fame and fortune.
If you find yourself burdened with business debt, reach out to a financial counselor and bankruptcy attorney who can share with you the options available. Don’t try to go it alone.