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How Two Brothers Revived a Long-Defunct Family Business

Posted in BUSINESS PROFILES

When Andy and Charlie Nelson opened a business together in Tennessee, they decided not to start from scratch. Instead, the brothers resurrected a family distillery that had been closed since the state enacted prohibition laws in 1909. Their great-great-great grandfather, Charles Nelson, ran one of the nation’s first major distilleries from the 1860s until his [...]
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Food Trucks Help Mortgage Banker Reinvent Himself as Restaurateur

Posted in BUSINESS PROFILES

“I love the food truck, the concept of street food,” says Akash Kapoor, CEO and co-founder, with his wife, Rana, of Curry Up Now food trucks and restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I grew up in India, and I grew up eating street food.” The former mortgage banker — who knew little about the food [...]
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How Financial Crisis Led a Winery to Success

Posted in BUSINESS PROFILES

Running a winery isn’t easy. There are grapes to cultivate or buy, fermentation processes to oversee, product to bottle and sell, customers to please, and bills to pay. And when the great recession hit a few years ago, winery owners had one more task to complete: They needed to figure out how to stay open as consumers [...]
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How a Ballet School Thrives in Unusual Digs

Posted in BUSINESS PROFILES

When Galmont Ballet outgrew its commercial space in a Florida strip mall, owners Frank Galvez and Lucia Montero chose an unorthodox new space for their Centre for Dance Education: an industrial warehouse unit. The married couple — originally from Cuba and Venezuela, respectively — had spent decades as dancers, teachers, and artistic directors with various [...]
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Professionalism Pays Off for a Violin Instructor

Posted in BUSINESS PROFILES

After years of running her Suzuki violin studio in a forgiving manner, such as not insisting on payment for missed lessons, Emily Greene (pictured) decided to get tough. Greene drafted a contract for students and their parents to sign at the beginning of the school year and required full payment for each semester up front. [...]
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Footwear Company Founder Runs With a Good Idea

Posted in BUSINESS PROFILES

It turns out good business ideas can grow on trees — or at least stem from them. Feelgoodz founder Kyle Berner says he got his idea for a successful small business from a pair of flip-flops he picked off a tree-shaped display in a Bangkok market. The all-natural rubber sandals were the most comfortable Berner [...]
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Want to Be Like Zappos? Get Insights Directly From the Company

Posted in BUSINESS PROFILES

Zappos is renowned for its open corporate culture and stellar customer service. But following the online retailer’s lead — and building similar best practices into your small business — may be easier said than done. So, why not seek assistance from Zappos itself? The company’s Zappos Insights department offers constructive advice to entrepreneurs. You can [...]
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New Year’s Resolutions That Really Worked for Small Businesses

What are your plans for growing your business in the new year? When we posed this question in the past, you told us that you wanted to do things like expand your market reach, focus on getting more repeat customers, or introduce new products and services. Those are all excellent goals. So, while you’re thinking [...]