Kory Anderson, 27, has done that with Anderson Industries. The company makes agricultural equipment, parts for farm implements and machined items for other firms.
Five years ago, Anderson started with one employee helping him in his garage in Andover. Today, Anderson Industries has 30 employees working in the former K.O. Lee building at 200 S. Harrison St. in Aberdeen.
Initially, Anderson started repairing heavy equipment. After two years, he began manufacturing foundry patterns and tooling for iron castings.
His business grew rapidly. In 2009, he moved to the K. O. Lee building. Since then, his company has continued to expand its metal fabrication and machining capabilities.
The 20,000-square-foot leased space is filled with computerized machines that cut metal and mill parts. Human welders and a robotic welder work side by side.
"We have been very fortunate," Anderson said. "Our business has been able to grow, and we anticipate it continuing to grow."
The success of Anderson Industries is linked with the success of his father, Kevin Anderson.
Kevin Anderson developed farm implements including the patented Anderson Opener. Anderson Machines, his father's business, began manufacturing agricultural equipment starting in the early 1980s. Kory Anderson bought those product lines in 2010.
The most popular product is still the opener, Kory Anderson said. It opens and loosens the soil, places fertilizer in the ground, then places the seed on the firm seedbed at the desired planting depth.
"The way it places seed and fertilizer allows farmers to get better yields," he said.
Another of his father's business ventures has been a pipeline of orders to Anderson Industries.
In 2000, Kevin Anderson formed a partnership with Horschcq, a German company, to make implements in Andover. Horsch is one of the largest manufactures of agricultural equipment in Europe. Horsch Anderson Equipment in Andover makes high-speed tillage systems, hillside planting systems, commodity air carts and other farm equipment.
The business used to buy all the components for its implements from outside sources. Now Anderson Industries makes most of them.
Making parts for Horsch Anderson makes up about 50 percent of Anderson Industries' business, Kory Anderson said.
About 30 percent of production involves manufacturing Anderson products such as the opener, torpedo hitch and disc-leveling system. About 20 percent of the company's business is manufacturing items for other companies in the area, such as Hub City Inc. and BAE Systems, he said.
One reason Anderson Industries and Horsch Anderson have succeeded is because the products have been designed by farmers, Anderson said. The Anderson family farms about 5,000 acres south of Andover.
"We are out there in the dirt and know what farmers need," Kory said. "It gives us a market edge. Our company fills a niche. We are not looking to make a corn planter to compete with John Deere."
Kory said he grew up working in his father's shop and has always liked designing and building equipment.
After graduating from Groton High School, he studied engineering at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. He is a skilled welder and a machinist.
"I can do anything out in the shop," he said. "I think it is important to know all the things going on."
In addition to leading Anderson Industries, Kory Anderson is president of Horsch Anderson. In December 2009, he bought the family shares of that company.
He oversees more than 50 employees at the two companies.
"Our goal is to keep growing," he said. "We love to innovate. That is what we like doing."