August 2006

Cover Story

Upsize Growth Challenge: Finish line

?I know a lot of people that want that quick million, but that?s not how it works,? says Craig Kruckeberg, CEO of Spray Control Systems Inc. in Blooming Prairie.

?Growth has to come. I?ve learned you?ve got to be patient.?

Those are words of wisdom from the overall champion of this year?s Upsize Growth Challenge. His company, one of three winning companies audience vote during the Upsize Growth Challenge Seminar & Celebration on June 13. Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor


[corn] “It’s just like watching the corn grow,” says Craig Kruckeberg, talking about generating 20 percent revenue growth each year for the last six at his family-owned company, Spray Control Systems Inc. “It’s kind of boring here. There’s nothing happening. Well, it is happening, but I’ve been watching it for 22 years.” And so this […] Continue reading →

Business Builders

Estate plans

At some point you will leave your business. Despite this certainty, many business owners never stop to consider what will happen after they are gone, much less how to put together a recipe for a successful estate plan.

You know your business better than anyone. Although business partners, family members, and the government will throw something together in an emergency, only you can carefully create the perfect recipe for your business. Continue reading →

Recharge! How to plan time away from your business

No accountability. No time schedules. No decision overloads. No multitasking.

Everything was turned off when I took a four-month sabbatical from my job as president and one of four owners of a financial services firm, Askar Corp.

The stress of running a company of 20 employees had left me feeling tired, burned out and in need of time off. Continue reading →


Two of the most important new civic buildings in Minneapolis opened to the public this spring ? the new Minneapolis Central Library and the new Guthrie Theater overlooking the Mississippi River.

How did our local architectural company partner with two internationally renowned designers, Cesar Pelli on the library and Jean Nouvel on the Guthrie, to create a pair of spectacularly diverse buildings without losing our own identity? Continue reading →

Caught in a lawsuit? What to know about mediation

Imagine you, a business owner, are at your desk reading your mail. You note a letter on a key customer?s letterhead. As you read it, you see that it?s a response to a demand for payment your accounts receivable supervisor sent two weeks ago.

Instead of proposing a payment schedule ? the reaction you anticipated ? the customer is saying your company failed to provide the services it?s charging for. Continue reading →


New products

Former local TV anchor Colleen Needles started her first company, Tremendous Entertainment Inc., 11 years ago to produce and distribute programming. Continue reading →

Update 2

Owners of The Retrofit Cos. Inc., one of three winners of last year?s Upsize Growth Challenge, were poised to begin selling franchises last year. But it took until this spring to finally get legal approval. Continue reading →


Customers like the predictability that comes with two young programs offered by Leonard, Street and Deinard, the Minneapolis law firm, says attorney Scott Erickson. He?s with the privately held and closely held companies group. Continue reading →


After four years in the corporate lunch delivery business, Michael Clements is expanding To Go Services into residential and hotel dinner delivery.
Continue reading →

Update 3

A price increase for selected services is the big news at Innovatech Labs this year, a materials analysis lab. Continue reading →

Dear Informer

What does a CEOdo,anyway? one CEO asks Continue reading →

2-minute meeting

When three electrical engineers left 3M to start Minnetronix Inc., they never thought they?d still be here 10 years later, not to mention receiving an award for small-business excellence from the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce.

So said John Pierce, Minnetronix CFO, when accepting his company?s award in the manufacturing category. Minnetronix, a contract design and manufacturing company for medical devices, has more than 90 employees and in the past two years has expanded its work force by 50 percent. Continue reading →


Consultants offer fixes for seven deadly management sins

Small-business owners are a special breed: self-confident, energetic and driven.

But on the flip side, they can also be stubborn, arrogant and compulsive ? qualities that can damage their businesses. Continue reading →