How’s Biz?

By Ilene Denton October 31, 2011

David Spire, CEO, United Systems Computer GroupDavid Spire

CEO, United Systems Computer Group

“Business is awesome. We have never been in a better position in our seven years. We are adding new clients consistently, but it’s not so much new clients. We really reevaluated how and what we do and how we spend our money. As a result, this year revenues will be relatively flat, but our profits will be significantly higher. We implemented a profit sharing plan and instituted open book management, which is the single biggest positive change. Once a month all nine employees sit down to talk about every dollar that comes in and goes out of the business. Combined with our profit sharing plan, it gives everybody a vested interest.”

Don Bates, Owner, The Floor TraderDon Bates

Owner, The Floor Trader

“We’ll be in business in North Port 30 years next May. Summer is always slow; we’re looking forward to November when people start returning. Our business is mostly remodeling; if people are staying in their homes they’re remodeling. We did a fair amount of new construction a few years back and got burned a bit, but overall we have always had a mix of work. We also do louvered blinds and shutters, and we have a UPS store in our store—whatever we can do to help the customer. Customer service is our focus. It always has been, but now more than ever.”

Lyndsy McDonald, Owner, Pastries by DesignLyndsy McDonald

Owner, Pastries by Design

“We doubled our square footage when we moved to Main Street Lakewood Ranch this summer, and it was a very positive move. Custom cakes are our specialty, and we didn’t have a storefront at the previous location; we were all special order. Our customers had wanted a storefront for some time, but we knew there was a challenge because we would have to have inventory available for sale to walk-ins, so we waited till we were busting at the seams. We’ve doubled our staff to eight. Our business has grown exponentially, and we’ve only been open for six weeks.”

Maurice Opstal, president, Stellar DevelopmentMy Worst Mistake

“I was making my previous employers money when I could have been doing it for myself.”

“I procrastinated going out on my own for years, and when I finally made the decision, it was 2007 in the worst economy possible. This year, Stellar Development made the Inc. list of fastest-growing companies, and I wonder, If I’ve accomplished this in five years in this difficult time, how successful would I have been if I’d done it even earlier?”—Maurice Opstal, president, Stellar Development

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