June – July 2011

Cover Story

Uncommon sense

Most troubled companies think the problem is sales, says Rick Lowenberg, meaning that they need more of them. But usually the problem is too many sales at a too-low margin. He developed these and other basic tenets of business success as a turnaround expert at more than a hundred companies, most notably Minnesota Elevator Inc. where he still serves as president. Now he is focusing his acumen on Highland Electric, an electrical service contractor in which he bought a 50 percent stake and became an owner for the first time in 2008. Any owner can apply his ideas-including a dictum to write just a handful of simple goals for only one year at a time-to shoring up their own enterprises. Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor


Two business owners with impressive track records and ambitious goals approach their work in opposite ways.
What's beautiful is the truth revealed. Continue reading →


Intellectual property

As companies emerge out of the great recession, if you look at their balance sheets and how much of their overall value is in IP-intellectual property is on the march. Even companies that have been more focused on bricks and mortar are now realizing that value. Continue reading →

Opposing views

The two winning CEOs of the Upsize 2011 Growth Challenge take different paths toward growth goals. Continue reading →

Business Builders

You’ve been flagged! How to prepare for an IRS audit

Like most people, you probably aren't in the habit of trying to cheat the government. You are a hard-working small-business owner who looks for opportunities to save taxes and earn a good living. Continue reading →

Survey says: Customer response critical to retention, sales

As part of branding research, we talk to the clients of our clients to find out why they buy and what keeps them coming back. We also find out what will make them leave. Continue reading →

How to make the Internet your top salesperson

If you're like most small to mid-sized businesses, you're sitting on a gold mine of prospects that you don't have the time to engage. These are the prospects who need five or more contacts before they're ready to buy – and they're a perfect group to be wooed by your website and automated lead-nurturing efforts. Continue reading →

How to regroup when real estate loans come due

Do you need to refinance your commercial real estate loan? Does your commercial real estate loan have a "balloon" feature? Nationally, a record number of commercial real estate loans are coming due and need to be refinanced. Continue reading →

How to tell if offshore IT will work for you

As a small-business owner you face big information technology challenges. You need IT systems and customized applications to run your business and maybe even to create your products. Continue reading →