Feb./Mar. 2009

Cover Story

At your service: Remodeler’s Choice

One size does not fit all when it comes to the building supply industry (or lumberyards,as they were called back in the day). Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor


Just when the economic news was getting too glum to bear, I started in early January calling dozens of local small-business owners, to prepare stories for this print edition and our March edition of Upsize Online. Continue reading →

Back Page

Persistence is the difference for Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson Cos.’ leader.

The legend is well-known in Minnesota: Curt Carlson borrowed $55 and started the Gold Bond Stamp Co. in 1938. The trading stamp concept, designed to stimulate sales and loyalty for food stores, swept the nation. Continue reading →


Banking & finance

Curt Ratajczak had heard about the financial services collapse so he knew getting funding to buy a building for his company, TMS Johnson Inc., was no sure thing. Continue reading →

Business Builders

How to prevent ‘great idea’ from turning into ‘biggest mistake’

Broken friendships, ruined careers and financial catastrophe: that's just a taste of the consequences entrepreneurs face when they don't understand the risks of owning a small business. But business owners can take appropriate steps to prevent a "great idea" from turning into their "greatest mistake." Continue reading →

You can navigate the maze of technology, yet keep benefits

You can tame Wild West of technology, yet keep benefits Continue reading →

For better PR, create a newsroom culture in your company

For better PR, create a newsroom culture in your company Continue reading →

Employee benefits

In today's challenging economy, you may be wondering how you'll be able to afford the benefits your employees value. Continue reading →

Real estate

The dreaded mechanic's lien. It often springs up, sometimes in multiples, after a tenant goes out of business and fails to pay contractors who performed construction work at the request of the tenant. Continue reading →

Steps for developing a dashboard

Getting and keeping all management levels aligned around business objectives can be nearly impossible if the strategy isn't reiterated every 30 days. People simply forget. Plans gather dust. Continue reading →

Each growth stage requires new set of people practices

For the small-business owner, many challenges seem like small potatoes compared to hiring and managing employees. Continue reading →

What to consider when figuring patent valuations

Given the increasingly critical role intellectual property plays in today's global economy, businesses are focusing more resources on identifying and safeguarding these assets. Continue reading →

How to prevent, detect, investigate fraud at your firm

Today's 24/7 media coverage allows for stories of fraud from around the world to be published with astonishing detail, including how fraud schemes are perpetrated by employees or owners of an organization. Continue reading →


New name, shift to vein care help Kass Clinics build

New name, shift to vein care help Kass Clinics build Continue reading →


Small changes boost productivity at Wayzata Marine Continue reading →

Snap Fitness operator fights City Hall for two years, and wins

Ben Cowan now has two Snap Fitness operations open in St. Paul, with plans for one or two more perhaps in six months. He thought he'd be up and running there in 2006. Continue reading →

Onsite testing lab improves fortunes for Swat Solutions

About five years ago, the owner of Swat Solutions decided to invest in an onsite lab, in Plymouth, to perform quality assurance testing of software for customers. Today that decision is paying off, says John Fox, vice president of professional services. Continue reading →

Flush from Lighthouse1 sale, ’07 Upsize Business Builder starts Storyworks Media

"Consumers out there are really confused," says Jeff Fritz, about employees who more and more often these days must choose a so-called consumer-driven health plan. "We in the industry think we have the latest and greatest products and services, but consumers are just dumbfounded. Continue reading →