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Inventing Business

People want to start businesses. They just need an idea: yours.

By Don Debelak

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Back in 1992, Michael Miller decided the time had come to strikeout on his own. Miller was 30 and had nine years of corporateexperience under his belt. What he didn't have was an idea fora business.

Miller got that final piece of the puzzle from an inventor hewas associated with. The inventor (who wishes to remain anonymous)had come up with a mechanical device that takes weeds and roots outof lawns and gardens. Miller liked the invention, called the WeedHound, and felt the inventor was really onto something. Millertest-marketed the product at several lawn and garden shops. Theresponse was favorable, and Miller knew what he wanted to do:"When I demonstrated the product to people, they said,'Wow, that is really great.' I knew then the product was awinner, and I decided to license it." In 1994, Miller launchedhis company, Hound Dog Products Inc., in Edina, Minnesota, to dojust that. Since that time, he's added a variety of differentitems to the Hound Dog line and expects sales to grow from $5million in 1999 to up to $6 million this year.

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