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How to Make Your Business Last 100 Years

Posted by Carol Tice | December 7, 2010
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/218975
how-to-make-your-business-last-100-years.jpgI write a lot on this blog about how to keep your doors open -- how to survive the downturn and make it through these tough times. Today, though, let's take a longer view and talk about how to build your company for the long haul. 

Specifically, how can you design your business to last a century? A recent Seattle Times article by Erik Lacitis profiled three local businesses that are 100 years old, and identified the traits these enterprises have in common. These three success stories map out a playbook for how to build your company to withstand -- well, just about anything.

First, a bit about the there companies:

Mutual Materials in Bellevue, Wash., began making bricks to rebuild a downtown Seattle neighborhood after a 1900 fire. Of course, they didn't stand still making red bricks -- take a look at the beautiful array of bricks they create today.

Seattle's Nelson Trucking started in 1900 using horse-drawn carts to move merchandise off trains. Now, they operate monster-sized trucks designed to haul heavy equipment to job sites.

Manson Construction began in 1905 working on waterfront construction in Seattle, building piers. Today, they continue to work on waterfront projects.

These are all pretty old-line industries, and in niches where many companies have been hurting in the downturn. These companies have made some cutbacks, but continue to thrive and each employ hundreds of workers. What's kept this trio alive?
Are you building your company to last? Leave a comment and tell us your strategy for long-term success.