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Some closely held businesses became industry giants

Arizona entrepreneurs who are looking to start a new business often hope that their small ventures will become successful. However, in today's economy, it may not seem as though that is possible. However, some closely held businesses beat the odds in the past and became industry giants. Those looking to start new businesses may find inspiration from some of them.

These companies saw a need in the retail world and filled it. For instance, two people with $500 each had an idea in 1964 to sell athletic shoes. In 1971, the formerly named Blue Ribbon Sports manufactured its own sneaker with a waffle iron pattern on the soles. They paid a designer $50 and 500 shares of stock to design their now iconic "swoosh" pattern for which Nike Inc. is now known worldwide.

In another case, a woman standing at a copy machine was uncomfortable in her pantyhose, so she created some body shaping pantyhose without feet. She started Spanx with approximately $5,000 in 1998 and grew her company slowly over the first two years while she continued to work, even though the company made $4 million by the year 2000. It was then that Oprah Winfrey popularized Spanx during her yearly show about her favorite products. After that, the company grew dramatically.

These are just two of 10 companies profiled recently by the media that began as small closely held businesses. Arizona entrepreneurs can do their own research as they start their own businesses. Before opening for business, however, it is still necessary to consider all of the legal and business issues that need to be addressed. It would be beneficial to have an attorney to help with these matters in order to have the time to make a dream reality.

Source: USA Today, "10 Mom & Pop shops that went big", Paul Ausick and Thomas C. Frohlich, Dec. 25, 2015

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