How Many Years Has Your Company Been In Business?

by Paul Schlossberg
Posted On: 11/13/2019

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Maybe your company is a relatively new business. Or perhaps the company has been operating for 20 or 30 years. We know of companies in our business with histories dating back 50 years or more.

The question in the headline above was prompted by a recent article posted at It pointed me to another one of those restaurant lists which fill my travel planning files - " The Oldest Restaurant In Every State ." A few thoughts came to mind quickly:

(1) How many of these places have we visited to date? The answer is two. First for me is Antoine's in New Orleans, the oldest family-run restaurant in the country. The other is Tadich Grill in San Francisco. It is one my favorites places. Try the Petrale Sole Filet -- pan-fried.

(2) Where are they located and when can we get on the road to enjoy a meal and some new dining experiences? We've added 49 restaurants to our travel planning list -- in the other 48 states plus Washington, DC.

(3) Consider how many years have these restaurants have been in business. Are there are lessons here for folks in our industry?

No matter the time span your company has been operating, here is one critical focus you should have. It relates to this quote from the article: "These eateries have managed to survive and stay open through wars, Prohibition, and more than a few food trends over the years, proving they have staying power."

Those last two words - staying power - are very important. You and your team must be energized and focused on the challenges in the future. Think beyond next week or next year. How will you keep the business relevant for the future? It is more than just surviving the up and the down cycles of the national (and local) economy.

A business leader must keep the organization in business -- that continuity is what is matters. In our industry, and in other unrelated lines of business, we're well-aware of companies, big and small, where the owners had to shut down or maybe sell the business -- to be acquired by another company.

Go find the oldest restaurants near where you live. After eating there, did you come away with a recognition of their staying power? What can you do to make certain that your company will have the staying power to survive, and hopefully prosper, for a long time into the future?

It's challenging to create a "to do list" of how to build staying power for a business. The objective is very clear. The path will be different in from industry to industry. Given the relative strengths and weaknesses of any single company, the "how to" will be unique for you and your organization.

Do you want to sell more stuff? Would you like to do it for many years to come? Spend some time working on how you will achieve the staying power to be relevant for the clients you serve and the shoppers who purchase what you're selling each day.


Paul Schlossberg is president of D/FW Consulting, working with clients to merchandise and market products in impulse-intense selling environments, such as vending, onsite foodservice and convenience stores. Based in the Austin, TX, area, he can be reached by emailing to, calling him at (972) 877-2972. The company is online at