Jan
22
Minneapolis

August 2005

Cover Story

Upside down

Brian and Kathy Anderson were to move their company into a brand-new facility, happy with their year in which Anderson Cargo Services Inc. neared $4 million in revenue. Then came September 11, 2001, and their air-shipping business ? resonated with customers, who needed someone to handle unusual cargo with awkward logistics.

?Who we were is not who we are today. We restructured after 9/11 to survive,? Brian Anderson says. Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor

Faith

Frustration was the leading sentiment expressed by last year?s three Upsize Growth Challenge winners when I reached them by phone in late June. So I was surprised to learn how much they had accomplished.

?I wish I could tell you we were going gangbusters,? all three said in one way or another. Continue reading →

Back Page

David Carnes of ArcStone, on keeping many firms, owners and a band on track

David Carnes runs three companies so far, ArcStone Techologies of Minneapolis, a technology consulting firm, and two new companies, AMO and Wonderfile, that he?s parceled out to multiple minority shareholders. With his wife, Lisa, he also runs the band Mayaflyer. Carnes believes, in music and in business, it?s all about keeping time. Continue reading →

Focus

Employee Benefits: Q&A

Marybeth Voves has worked to keep employees satisfied with their benefits in a wide variety of firms, from 1,700 employees to 12. Now she advises client companies about employee benefits for EideBailly in Bloomington, the accounting and consulting firm. She believes there?s a right mix of benefits for every employee group, and points out ways for small employers to find theirs. Continue reading →

Employee benefits: Health coverage

The key to controlling group health insurance costs is to engage employees in their own health care, which ultimately saves money for both employees and their employers.

That was the key message at a May conference, ?Business Leaders Forum on Consumer-Driven Healthcare,? sponsored by Associated Financial Group of Minnetonka and attended by small-business leaders from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Continue reading →

Employee benefits: Life & disability

No matter what an employer?s size, the main reason for offering benefit programs is the same ? to attract and retain qualified employees. This reason carries special weight for small and mid-size employers. Continue reading →

Employee Benefits: Pensions and 401(k)s

As owner of Mora-based Raven Machine and Tool for 23 years, Linda Laitala saw a lot of changes in retirement options that small-business owners could offer.

When the company first started in the 1980s, employees were still following the norm put in place by their parents: Work for a company for 25 years, get sent off with a nice gold watch, and enjoy a nice retirement with the proceeds of a healthy pension. Continue reading →

Business Builders

Real Estate

That once-in-a-lifetime building project you?ve dreamed about might include doubling the size of your neighborhood gift shop, building a new sushi restaurant or expanding your current warehouse space. Continue reading →

Law

Growing businesses face many challenges, one of which is that their computer data probably is growing quickly but may receive little oversight.

Adopting a largely paperless business model can help fuel growth, but to effectively manage the risks from this data, owners and managers need to be aware of and anticipate electronic discovery (e-discovery).

E-discovery is a pre-trial process in which parties in litigation must locate their relevant computer data and disclose it to one other. This process can be time-consuming and expensive because e-data has become ubiquitous in most businesses. Also, the media continue to report serious data destruction errors by parties that haven?t kept their electronic houses in order. Continue reading →

Informer

Retail

When she learned about a toll-free number that people could call to report knockoff goods, Judith Oliver knew she needed to change her business.

Judes Inc. in St. Paul for 4 1/2 years sold knockoff accessories, handbags and the like with designer labels but not from the designers themselves. But for a year or two policing was increasing, and Oliver began talking with friends and designers about a new tack. Continue reading →

Upsize Growth Challenge: Update 1

The bottom line, not the top line, gets the attention of Lynn Richardson these days. He?s the CEO of GateKeeper Systems Inc., an Eagan company that develops systems for vehicle access control at airports.

GateKeeper was one of three winners of the 2004 Upsize Growth Challenge. A year later, he was asked to update his progress. Continue reading →

Upsize Growth Challenge: Update 2

A new marketing campaign is set for this fall by Floorworx Distribution Services, the St. Paul floor-coating company that was one of three Upsize Growth Challenge winners in 2004. Continue reading →

Technology

They met at a North Hennepin Chamber of Commerce event, and now Robert Newman and Tony Julian have merged their companies so they can offer more computer-related services. Continue reading →

Marketing

After spending years as marketing director, convincing attorneys at Faegre & Benson about the best ways to sell, Brian Freeman wrote a thriller. Then he turned his skills to his own product. Continue reading →

Upsize Growth Challenge: Update 3

Jim Borofka opened a new P.M. Bedroom Gallery store in Woodbury a year ago, on Aug. 13. He and his business partner Maynard Huth own that store, which cost $3.5 million to build out, and one other. Continue reading →

Dear Informer

Hold the line on prices, even if new Continue reading →

2-minute meeting

Move closer, stare: How to ‘be’ is St. Kate’s topic Cheryl Alexander believes that leaders aren’t born, they’re made. With two associates, Dean Lincoln Hyers and Pete Machalek, she trains people to enhance their ability to influence. “It’s not what you do, it’s how you ‘be’ that inspires others to listen, follow and perform,” says Alexander, an […] Continue reading →

Toolkit

More firms can get R&D tax credits, local CPAs say

Many accounting firms this summer are galvanizing their marketing efforts to inform clients about a change: the recent loosening of a federal tax law that rewards credits for companies' research and development activities. Continue reading →