How to put steel in your company's spine
Chapter & Verse
Citing a long list of values he aims to keep at the core of his company, the Founder of WaterFilters.net explains how he's building a growth culture. See page 14 of this edition.
Street Smart
"We're a marketing company that manufactures by necessity," CEO Craig Kruckeberg says, because he believes no one else can make products to Minimizer's specifications. Read about the 2012 Upsize Business Builder of the Year, and much more, in this annual online edition.
Audio For Entrepreneurs
Lessons I Learned
Marilyn Carlson Nelson talks about the culture of the modern meritocracy she worked to create. Listen to the podcast.
How to Upsize
Kim Albee <br>GENOO What happens when you go into a store and a sales person comes up and asks, “May I help you?” Unless you know exactly what you need, and you’re ready to walk out with it, you say, “No , thanks, I’m just looking.” The same thing happens when the only call to action available on your website or piece of content is, “Call us.” You’re asking a person to immediately decide to talk to a stranger. That creates a lot of friction. Calls to action are effective when they’re appropriate to the stage of relationship you’re in with your prospect. Continue Reading →
Peggy Prall <br>MAHONEY, ULBRICH, CHRISTIANSEN AND RUSS During the year, run monthly and quarterly reports from your accounting software. Really look at the numbers. If they don’t make sense, contact your accountant and explain the situation. This way the problem can be found before it gets too large. A little time during the summer months spent fixing the accounting data will frequently save a lot of time and money during tax time. Continue Reading →
FINANCE: Are you ready for private equity? Here’s how to tell

The most successful entrepreneurs supplement their skills with professional managers. We look for professional management in the key functional areas of the company, which typically include sales, finance and operations. By “professional” we mean managers who have been trained and have demonstrated success in growing a business and managing for profit. We like to see outside experience, maybe at a larger company that has a strong training culture. This is in contrast to most entrepreneurs’ business experience, which may be home-grown.

SALES & MARKETING: Inconsistency causes confusion and leads to brand disloyalty

A brand is much more than a logo. It is everything from the words you put on paper to the message on your voice mail. Each message must be consistent or you risk confusing the customer. Don’t forget employees: No matter what job they hold, everything they do says something about who your company is. An inconsistent message is like having multiple personalities, and the customer won’t know what to expect.