A- A+

Primary Source’s Success Story

Primary Source is promotional products with a purpose. The company provides marketing and advertising promotion and products to any size organization. Mary Anne Kennedy talks about how she came to buy Primary Source after working there in sales. The previous female business owner came to her and asked her about buying the business as she retired. After some due diligence and number crunching, she made the plunge. The original owner transitioned for about four years, which allowed Mary Anne to learn from her.

Buying a Business Tips

When buying a business, remember it’s a personal thing for the person selling and can take much longer. There is a lot of negotiation between both parties. Early on, Mary Anne had to learn that she shouldn’t spend time on things she wasn’t an expert in. She says in the early stages, you should really look at how you’re spending your time.


As the business grew, Mary Anne realized she needed more employees. She says to look at where you’re spending your time and who could do some things for you, then it’s time to make a change.

Challenging Times

During tough times, marketing can be the first to get cut. Mary Anne explains why this should not be the case and why ramping up marketing efforts is essential. She also touches on her diverse client base. If one industry may be down, the other industries help maintain success.

TSB Designation

Primary Source was designated a targeted small business by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The designation puts Primary Source out on a list of targeted small businesses to provide awards, promotional apparel and other services to a multitude of state agencies.

Hear the stories of other small business and startup business owners in the community in The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub or sign up for the NAME TBD newsletter to stay connected for information about upcoming events, other resources and the latest announcements in the small business community in DSM.