In his keynote speech at the recent Catalog Conference in Chicago, Dick Cabela, 
CEO of Cabela's, told how his catalog expanded from the kitchen table in 1961 to
a $400-million company today. He offered the following advice to entrepreneurs who
wish to start a major catalog company in "today's rather hostile business environment." 1. Find a distinctive niche--don't copy. If you copy someone else's successful idea,
all you'll succeed in doing is, at best, splitting the market. Your product line must
either have broad-based appeal for limitless leads or offer improved versions, frequently
for loyal consumers. Also, nurture the entire process by adapting to customer demands. 2. Dedication is mandatory. You're kidding yourself if you enter the arena with the
mentality that this is a hobby. This will take a big chunk out of your life. If you are
lucky enough to find a unique corner market, you'll have to exhibit endless capacity for
examining tedious reports and consumer trends. 3. Don't overextend your capabilities. If you are lucky enough to get your foot in the door,
hang just gets more difficult. You must carefully govern the development of your
fledgling company. 4. Keep those customers happy. It's too expensive to acquire new ones. 5. Bring money--lots of it. The price of a kitchen table has become very expensive in the '90s. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ This resource is (c) 1996 by, and excerpted from, The Catalog Marketer, a newsletter from Maxwell Sroge Publishing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------