June – July 2010

Cover Story

The Fundamentalist

Kam Talebi, 41, CEO of Crave Restaurants, sits in one of his stylish new locations, in the West End development in St. Louis Park, where he was the first tenant to open in October 2009. Jackhammers blast away outside as workers rush to complete new storefronts for retailers finally moving in, many having backed off when the economy collapsed shortly after Crave's lease was signed. With the lunch rush getting underway on a gorgeous June morning, Talebi (rhymes with PAL-a-bee) details why he believes that economic meltdown became the perfect opportunity for his $17 million company to start a nationwide expansion. The former technology company entrepreneur vows that fundamentals will guide his decisions, not the wow factor that restaurants, retail and real estate ventures too often chase. Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor

Nothing fancy

Kam Talebi's Crave restaurants are sleek and stylish, with beautiful people lining the sushi bar or basking in the sun on plush couches outdoors. When he opens a new Crave, he throws a big party and makes a splash in whichever new development he has targeted for growth, which always features big-name luxury retailers flanking Crave on either side. Continue reading →

Business Builders

How to offer comments that boost performance

Many managers, despite their tenure in the management ranks, are uncomfortable providing feedback to employees. This is true not only when delivering constructive feedback meant to improve performance, but also when providing positive feedback. Continue reading →


In 2010, many tax laws affecting small businesses will expire or change, making this an important year for business owners to take a proactive approach to tax planning. Continue reading →

Get personal with customers by using ‘big three’ tools

Small businesses have a wonderful force-multiplier resource in social media tools that will allow them to market on levels and to audiences never before considered. Continue reading →

E-mail campaigns

With all the new technologies rising in popularity-Twitter, social media, instant messaging-is e-mail still a viable way to reach prospects and convert them to clients? Continue reading →

Construction management

Maximizing the value your business receives from its construction dollars is a continuing challenge, no matter what the economic climate may be. But in today's tough economy, discretionary construction dollars are particularly precious. There is tremendous competition among contractors to win your business, sometimes with unrealistically low bids that may come back to haunt you later. Continue reading →

How to get loans when credit is tight

Many economists believe that the economy is finally showing some signs of recovery-the rate of job losses has been slowing, the housing market appears to have found a bottom and the financial markets have stabilized. However, in the commercial credit markets, many potential borrowers are still finding it hard to access credit from commercial lenders. Continue reading →

Hiring incentives

President Obama signed into law the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act on March 18, 2010, and employers should take note. Continue reading →