August-September 2013

Cover Story

NEXT UP: With red ink stopped, AutoData Systems plots its next move

MEET THE WINNERS AutoData Systems, one of two winners of this year’s Upsize Growth Challenge, is poised for growth but in need of a strategic direction. CEO Charlie Lehmann is exploring his options with the contest’s experts, supplied by the sponsoring companies. They are Dean Willer, an attorney with Winthrop & Weinstine in Minneapolis, presenting […] Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor

[fringe elements]

I’ve seen a Giant Eyeball, or actually an advertised Giant Eyeball behind a closed door, vaporize a psychologist after he confessed to killing puppies as a hobby. I’ve seen a woman in a cowboy outfit, face down on the floor and tangled in a rope, regain her will to live when an inspiring book falls […] Continue reading →



First a goal, then a plan, and only then a sale, advisers to closely held businesses recommend when the time comes. Or maybe not–sometimes a partial exit is best. Experts run down the options for owners to maximize the value of their life’s work.  Time is right to sell for owners with a detailed plan, […] Continue reading →

Business Builders

It takes a scrum, or ‘disorderly struggle,’ to build a business

In a fast-moving environment with lots of moving parts, disorder is the norm. Leaders struggle to stay in control by developing and implementing plans. Trouble is, long-term plans don’t work when business survival is based on agile responses to rapid change. When faced with this conundrum, it’s helpful to think about a scrum in a […] Continue reading →

Beware: Sales and use audits on the rise, by cash-poor states

Given the budget shortfalls of most states—including Minnesota—and the continued hiring of new state auditors, sales and use tax audits are becoming more prevalent than ever before. What should businesses do now to prepare for the possibility of a future sales and use tax audit? If you are assessing the business obstacles of the immediate […] Continue reading →

How to increase profits? Try great customer service for best results

“Thank you for calling ABC Company. All of our agents are busy assisting other customers. Your call is important to us and it will be answered in the order in which it was received. Your estimated hold time is 25 minutes. We appreciate your call.” For those of you who don’t experience a dramatic increase […] Continue reading →