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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Grow With Retained Earnings

Country Supply was forced to grow on retained earnings which kept it efficient.    More...

Key Question:


Is Scott crazy? Who doesn't need money to build a business?

Why did Scott say it was good that he couldn't borrow from a bank at the beginning.

From 1996-1999, during the dot-com boom, millions of dollars were thrown at ideas that did not turn into viable businesses. This is Scott's point: an idea is not a business. On our program, Bill Tobin said the idea for a business is just 2%. As Scott looks back, he sees all his mistakes and realizes they were made with his own small amount of money and big time commitment. He is confessing that if he had had more money at the start, he would have wasted it.

Think about it

Can you tighten your belt to free up some cash for growth?  Is there waste in your processes?

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

Grow With Retained Earnings

SCOTT: The best thing that ever happened to Country Supply was not being able to borrow money. That's the best thing that happened. If we'd been able to borrow money up front, we wouldn't have had the kind of foundation that you need to build, I don't believe--some companies can--to build long term. Money can buy your way past some fundamental issues. We couldn't buy our way past any. If we had a fundamental problem with the way the company was built or the way it was running or the policies that we had, we knew it next week when we couldn't pay for groceries.

HATTIE: To continue being the price leader, Scott's plan includes more technology, more community building and even more disintermediation at his ever-evolving Web site,

SCOTT: We're going to let all of our customers use it.

HATTIE: OK, for free.

SCOTT: For free. All we'll do is we'll put together the buyer and the seller.

HATTIE: Scott, is this another loss leader?

SCOTT: Well, yes. Well, no.

HATTIE: Customers love the Web and the convenience of finding a Country Supply catalog in their mailbox.

ROB: One of the toughest choices I think I ever made was having to decide between a woman and my horses. And as you can see, the horses won out on the decision. It was probably no contest to tell you the truth.

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