HOLLIDAYSBURG - Members of the Blair County business community received advice from two of its best Thursday at the Blairmont Club.
Donald Devorris, chairman, founder and chief architect of the Blair Companies, and John Wolf, chairman of the board of Wolf Furniture Enterprises, were the featured guests at the Blair County Chamber of Commerce "Role Models" program.
"The program was created to encourage our business leaders to share their business expertise and insight as we strive to build a better business community in Blair County," said Joe Hurd, chamber president and CEO. "The feeling was that we can do something with these incredible human resources we have who can share their insight and experience so that others on their way up the corporate ladder can avoid pitfalls that may impede their progress."
Hurd called Devorris and Wolf, both winners of the Chamber's Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence, legends in the business community.
"Don Devorris and John Wolf have played integral roles in the growth of the Blair County business community for a number of years," Hurd said.
During a question and answer session, Devorris and Wolf offered advice to budding entrepreneurs.
"When you go into business, you need to know something about the business; you need to know everything or make sure the people you are involved with are experts in the field and have an interest in the business," Devorris said "The number one thing is to have strong leadership and people you have confidence in to make the business successful. You have to have people you know and feel very comfortable with."
"They should study hard on what they are really interested in so they can put the amount of time and energy into it that it will take to be successful," Wolf said. "If you don't love it and it is a chore, it will be a long day."
There are pitfalls to business, Devorris said.
"The most important thing besides knowing about the business is to have it properly financed. A lot of businesses that fail don't understand how much time it will take to build up the business and are under financed," Devorris said. "You will have disappointments. That is part of business. My rule is if I lose a contract, I give myself 24 hours to be miserable and then I am done with it."
Franchises are a good way to get into business, both men said.
"They are an easier way to get to succes. They have a formula and a plan that has been tried out and works. A lot of people have been successful in these businesses. It is a good way to go," Devorris said.
"They have a plan in place that has a history," Wolf said.