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Inc. Magazine

Inc. Magazine November 2020

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures LLC, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.

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Mansueto Ventures LLC
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
thanks for taking the gloom away

On a recent podcast, the host and I were discussing the challenges we’re all facing at the tail end of 2020, and I said something about being hopeful for the future. Paul Blanchard, the man interviewing me for Media Masters, wasn’t having it. “Well, I’m British,” he said, “so I’ve no interest in staying around. I’m actually miserable, and quietly looking forward to death’s sweet kiss.” Now, compared with a polished presenter like Paul, I might be a bit of a colonial hayseed, but I’m pretty sure he was working some of that dry-in this case, six-feet-of-dirt dry- British humor, and being a little sarcastic. After all, the Brits have stiff-upper-lipped it through two world wars in little more than a century; they endure. And yet he was definitely reflecting a certain anomie…

2 min.
how to beat the competition

Buy an Old Phone Number When brothers Berek and Josh Awend took over American Drapery Systems from their parents four years ago, they learned a local competitor in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area had changed its phone number after being acquired by a larger company. Josh also learned that for $10 a month, they could have any and all calls placed to the old number forwarded to their company. It’s been such a solid pipeline of leads that the brothers have bought two other competitors’ abandoned numbers as well. Talk to Shelf Stockers When launching his coconut water brand—Harmless Harvest—in 2010, Justin Guilbert showed up at 6 a.m. to help workers at two Manhattan Whole Foods unload trucks and stock shelves. By talking to the people with intimate knowledge of the store, Guilbert learned…

1 min.
my mentor taught me always go deeper

TRISTAN WALKER: “I got to know Roz Brewer four or five years ago. She was the CEO of Sam’s Club at the time-one of the very few large-company CEOs of color- and right away I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. 1 remember when 1 invited her to come speak at Walker & Company. One of my colleagues asked her, ‘Is it possible to have it all?’ Roz’s response was, ‘Yes. Just not at the same time.’ Which makes you think, right? She meant that, as we progress through our lives, our priorities shift. Faith, family, work: We optimize tor them differently at different times. It means that you don’t have to bite off more than you can chew, and you can still be wildly ambitious and know…

1 min.
how i got the idea

After a car accident in 2012 left Ruby Taylor with a brain injury, she was forced to retire as a school social worker and faced eviction from her condo. The parent of a former student was helping Taylor with some financial and legal advice and asked her if she had any investments to fall back on. She didn’t. That moment gave her an idea for a business: “I realized that generational wealth is a major problem within the Black community-and it’s not because of working. We work hard,” says Taylor. The problem, she says, is that “some of us do not have the financial literacy to be able to make the decisions needed for us to close the wealth gap.” Taylor once used card games as a social worker to…

2 min.
ask an expert is this a business?

BUCHANAN My kitchen cabinet is full of spices that are years old. I cook a lot, but not often enough to use up the standard 1.5 ounces of paprika, mace, or turmeric before it goes bad. (Old paprika, in particular, is a real downer.) I’d like to lease spice dispenser units (similar to coffee bean dispensers) to gourmet shops and high-end grocery stores. The units would store whole spices and grind them in tiny increments into small, recyclable bottles. Preprinted peel-and-stick labels next to each spice dispenser would ensure cinnamon is not confused with nutmeg. The price-per-ounce would be slightly more than buying a standard bottle, but smaller quantities means the consumer would actually spend—and waste—less. Units would be restocked using client feedback and data analytics to predict what each store will…

1 min.
by the numbers inside the gift box biz

Since 2014, Baltimore in a Box has been crafting and mailing care packages full of local goodies like Utz crab chips, Berger Cookies, and Natty Boh beer koozies. With everyone stuck at home this year, business has been booming. Insider wondered just what goes into running a gift-box business, and asked the company’s founder, Ross Nochumowitz, to run the numbers for us. –sophie downes 18 Number of local businesses whose products are sold by Baltimore in a Box. Aside from snacks and coffee, customers can send coasters, T-shirts, Maryland-flag facemasks, and even steamed crabs. (The crabs are shipped directly from popular local restaurant Jimmy’s Famous Seafood.) 10 Number of flavors developed with local ice cream maker Cream Cruiser, which include many of the treats available in Baltimore boxes. They include “I’m So…