Interviewing leaders of privately held midsized companies for my syndicated show, The GROWTH STRATEGIST® is great fun. I admit it. 2012 is my 8th year doing the weekly show so the archives at The Growth Strategist Show now has well over 300 broadcasts. These are people who haven’t let recession, politics, and naysayers slow them down. Many of my guests run companies that are on the published lists of fastest growing businesses. I guess it’s not surprising that many also appear on the lists of the best places to work. It’s a heck of a lot more rewarding to work for a company that embraces new technology, focuses on customer needs and preferences more than the owners’ and at least tries to innovate. The best guests seem to share those traits.
Take Ben Bauman, the CEO of BOLT EXPRESS. He’s a serial entrepreneur and apparently he is addicted to challenges. BOLT EXPRESS is like the “Mission Impossible” team of the transportation industry. You can almost hear the theme music playing in the background as he speaks. The more mission critical the assignment is the better they like it. BOLT upgraded its tracking technology to dramatically expedite border crossings. When a manufacturing plant is at risk or a shut down if a key component or replacement equipment doesn’t arrive SOON, they call on BOLT EXPRESS, and, of course, it’s Ben Bauman’s company that provides daily payroll.
And then there is DIALOGUE MARKETING. I interviewed both Alejandro Vargas and Peter Schmitt from that company. Can you imagine how Peter felt when he left his lucrative investment banking job on Wall Street in August 2001 to buy a call center business? His first days in his new job featured sobbing employees when terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center towers. Alejandro knows what it feels like to be the new CEO of a business that had recently dropped from $5Mil/yr to $3 Mil/yr. They both understand how to reposition a low price traditional vendor into a real strategic partner providing premium services. Both Vargas and Schmitt have concluded that their use of a balanced scorecard system and their continued commitment to innovation have helped drive the growth of their now $40 Mil/yr company.
Or take Julie Halstrop, the Managing Partner of the TELESTO GROUP. She and her partners lifted their company from “sub” status to “prime” in record time. She credits their dedication to consistent follow through and honesty for their rapid growth. US Dept of Defense relies on the TELESTO Group for their multi location SAP installation, training, and upgrades. Not every IT/CRM business gets that chance.
There are always those times when business leaders become reflective and wonder if they/we are doing the right thing. People like Bauman, Vargas, Schmitt and Halstrop seem to focus on attracting bright team members, embracing new technologies, and always looking for new ways to WOW customers.
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search. 2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.