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A&E’s reality show, Duck Dynasty, has become a surprise hit. 11.8 million people tuned in to watch the bearded redneck family’s adventures as they balance the need to keep the family business running with the desire to go duck hunting.

Now, the show itself might not be the type of entertainment you prefer, but the family at the heart of Duck Dynasty – the Robertsons – are remarkably smart small business owners. Their family business, Duck Commander, started in 1972 and is today a multi-million dollar operation.

Here are some lessons the Westchester business owners and entrepreneurs can learn from the Duck Dynasty clan:

Success Can Start With One Good Idea

The Duck Commander empire started with a single invention: a duck call invented by founder Phil Robertson. Perfecting an idea and bringing it to market is a complicated process. SCORE Westchester and our team of experienced small business mentors can help you make it happen!

Be Willing To Look At Your Business Objectively

In this NY Times article, son Willie Robertson discusses how his time working in another business gave him the distance and perspective necessary to look at the family business objectively.

The ability to take on a new perspective makes it easier to identify better ways to run and grow your small business. This can be hard to do on your own. SCORE Westchester’s small business mentors are here to help you consider your business from every angle.

Be Willing to Explore Many Avenues to Grow Your Business

Even though Duck Commander started with a duck call, over the years they diversified their product mix to include other products such as hunting apparel and instructional DVDs that would be of interest to their customers.

They took this diversification to the next level, and increased their business’ profitability, by figuring out a way to make their brand appealing to people who were outside their core customer group – in other words, people who don’t hunt. Today, Duck Commander sells more duck calls to people who don’t hunt than people who do; the call is seen as a symbol of freedom, entrepreneurship, and individuality that’s becoming a very popular collectible.

Identifying the ways to increase your product or service offerings to better serve your existing customers is a good way to boost your business’ profitability. Your SCORE Westchester small business mentor will work closely with you to identify those growth opportunities.

Be willing to keep an open mind. In 1972, we’re pretty sure Phil Robertson had no idea that 40 years later, people would be buying t-shirts with his image and catchphrase ‘Happy Happy Happy’ on it. The road to success isn’t always immediately obvious – but your SCORE Westchester small business mentor will help you find it.

What Westchester Business Owners Can Learn From the Duck Dynasty Clan