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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Ask Vendors To Be Your Bank

Country Supply customers brag on the company's catalog and its personal service.  More...

Key Question:


The biggest benefit of "bloom where you are planted" is when you need help, there are people around who know you. Scott's grandfather and father each had a good reputation in Ottumwa. They were hard working, honest men who could be trusted. When Scott had the dream to publish a catalog, he didn't have an extra $1,000 to pay for the printing. Because the printer knew Scott's family, the printer became Scott's banker.

Q:  Why do business owners need a wide network of funding sources?

  Because our dreams are always bigger than our pocketbook, especially if you're only 14 years old. As far as we know, Scott ran his business from the age of 14 until he was 22 without any outside funding sources. He did what most of us do; run the business from retained earnings. This means that after 8 years he had not been able to gather together enough cash to launch the catalog.

Later Scott says that money is not the solution to most problems and we agree. However, we can learn from Scott's story that all of us probably have relationships that we can depend upon when the next idea hits. And, if you don't have vendors, suppliers and/or customers who would either loan you cash or delay your payments or provide some type of assistance to help you grow, it is time to start working on establishing those relationships.

The traditional banker is a fine place to start, but we know the banker will be too conservative unless you have a pile of cash in her bank to secure a loan for a new project.

Think about it

Make a list of all people who depend upon your success for their success. When you see this list in black and white, you will be surprised. These are the people who will want to help you plan, fund and deploy your next growth idea.

Clip from: Country Supply

Ottumwa, Iowa: Meet Scott Mooney, the founder of Country Supply.  Scott has over 450,000 customers throughout the USA and in several countries generating over $17 million in annual sales.  Since the taping of this episode of the show, Scott sold his company to a global business.  He got that unexpected knock on the door and an offer he simply could not refuse. 

Country Supply

Scott Mooney, founder

PO Box 369
Louisiana, Missouri 63353

Visit our web site:

Toll Free: 800-637-6721

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1984

Ask Vendors To Be Your Bank

HATTIE: So describe your first catalog, what did it look like?

SCOTT: The first catalog was just black and white, and it's printed at the local printer in Ottumwa. And we printed maybe just a thousand copies of the first catalog that we did.

HATTIE: Was he a friend of the family?

SCOTT: Kenny was a friend of my grandfather. He was the one that took the job to print the Country Supply catalog when I had nothing. I couldn't pay him for it, see. But he extended us the credit, and he said, `Well, you can pay me when you can pay me.' A lot of the addresses that I started out with were people that I already knew. I tried to stay pretty much in the Midwest where we're located. Our service couldn't be beaten by anybody.

HATTIE: OK, what you're saying is you had a regional success --

SCOTT: Right. Right.

HATTIE: -- at the beginning. And that really helped you build cash flow.

SCOTT: Yes. They weren't used to that from anybody they'd been buying from previously. So they continued to buy. People will almost never place another order from another mail order till they get the previous order. But as soon as they do, you open up the floodgates so you've got to keep the order out. You've got to keep those orders going out to these customers.

RICK: Hey pal --- (talking to his horse)

ROXANNE: You have to buy a lot of stuff and Country Supply has been wonderful as far as ordering the grooming supplies that we need and the chaps the kids wear to ride in. So that's been fantastic. Their turnaround time-- I pick up the phone and order it and it's here within easily three or four days.

SANDY: Thank you for calling Country Supply. This is Sandy. How can I help you today?

Operator #2: Ok, it's a real dark chestnut brown.

ROXANNE: The service is excellent. It's nice to be able to pick up the phone and talk to somebody at the other end of the phone and not get a voice mail system. I want to know sizes, I want to know dimensions, and I sometimes don't always look to see if that's in the catalog. I look at the picture and go, `OK, that's what I want.' But I want somebody to describe it fully to me on the telephone and that's where the operator at Country Supply has been wonderful.

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