Business lessons - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

by Jennifer Hoff

Business lessons

ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC DT) -- Friday night, another strong sign the economy is on the mend. Consumer confidence is up. And many people hope back-to-back increases in consumer spending could help pull our country out of this recession. Amidst all the grim stuff of the past half year, some area businesses have actually been booming.

Business owners argue, consumers' actions are only one ingredient in a business's recipe for success.

We spoke with one owner, in business for nearly 60 years, and another who just recently set up shop.

Both, very different, but with the same formula for success.

John says, "The store has been picking up this year."

Despite an economy that just keeps falling.

Maybe it's that ones sweet tooth never falters, and hard work means a shot at success.

John Fish, Gingerbread House Bakery owner says, "I try to keep it more like a small town bakery."

The antiques have been around almost as long as some of Rochester's Gingerbread House Bakery employees.

One employee has 30 years of baking flour on his fingers.

The recipe is almost twice as old, and is how long John Fish and his family business have survived.

John says, "A lot of faith, good employees, and good accounts."

It's a simple recipe, echoed by one of Rochester's newest business owners.

Senior photos and weddings are Shem and Joy Horsley's specialities.

The couple will shoot 81 weddings this year, that's more than double when they started Unique Photography three years ago.

Shem says, "Businesses that try hard, work hard, provide a competitve product, at a fair price with high quality - there's always a demand for that."

Add in a cup of passion, a teaspoon of talent, throw in new numbers, which show consumer spending rose two-tenths of percent last month, after an ever bigger one percent jump in January, which was the largest one-month gain three and a half years, says the Commerce Department.

Similar ingredients, good employees and a good product, is the recipe for success.

A big lesson from some of Rochester's smallest businesses.

The Gingerbread House Bakery also recently installed a $20,000 refrigerator, proof they're able to spend during these tough times.

Also, those numbers also show personal incomes fell 0.2-percent in February, the fourth drop in the last five months.

So, this isn't over yet, but perhaps there's now a light at the end of the tunnel.

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