Business Profiles

Case Studies of Successful Small Businesses

my pet chicken

How My Pet Chicken Reaches Its Flock

When Derek Sasaki and Traci Torres (pictured) started keeping a flock of chickens in their backyard nearly a decade ago, they never imagined that they’d end up running a popular …

Adam Banks headshot

Coffee Shop Fueled by Budget-Conscious Pricing

When Adam Banks opened a coffee shop in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood in July, he was determined not to gouge customers with $5 to $7 espresso drinks. Coffee, he …

Cameron Teitelman

StartX Founder on the Benefits of Joining a Startup Accelerator

From Dropbox to Airbnb, some of the latest tech startups to hit it big have one thing in common: They all came out of incubators and accelerators. Why? One of …

jordan fliegel

CoachUp Scores With a Small-Business Slam Dunk

Entrepreneur Jordan Fliegel says coaching makes all the difference to many aspiring athletes. “I wasn’t very good at basketball, but I loved it,” Fliegel says. “I found a private coach …

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holly green

Holly Green on Her Unique Business Niche

Seasoned esthetician Holly Green, owner of Norabloom Botanicals & Beauty Lounge in Ithaca, N.Y., wanted people to see facials as more than merely cosmetic. So she pursued a certification in oncology …


How to Make Your E-Commerce Website Social

Back in 2005, former caterers Ron Berrett and his wife, Maggie, started Royal Palm Event Supply to sell hard-to-find event supplies and table linens. Their profits turned out to be …

o2 fitness

How O2 Fitness Started Its Customer Loyalty Program

Can exercise be fun and games? O2 Fitness thinks so. The North Carolina-based health club chain in January introduced a loyalty program that encourages members to visit the gym regularly to score points …


Juice Truck Presses Forward by Opening a Storefront

After tooling around the Milwaukee area for a year in a trailer known as the Juiced! Mobile Juice Bar, pressing juices-to-order at events, Jason Lannoch is expanding his operation with …

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beer class

A Brooklyn Homebrew Shop’s Innovative Recipe for Business

When Douglas Amport and John La Polla conceived the business now known as Bitter & Esters, they simply wanted to provide space where enthusiastic homebrewers like themselves could produce larger …

ed desoto olives

A Retiree’s Second Act as a Small-Business Owner

The word “entrepreneur” typically conjures images of professionals in their 20s and 30s. But that stereotype often misses the mark, because baby boomers engage in more entrepreneurial activity than Millennials …

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Pricing Lessons Learned From J.C. Penney’s

The Ron Johnson era at J.C. Penney’s has ended, leaving behind an important lesson for retailers of all sizes: Customers love a sale. Johnson took over as CEO of Penney’s …

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Jake Director and Riley Goodman

Two Students Find Startup Success Selling Socks

Two college buddies in high-tech Seattle are striking it rich in the very low-tech industry of socks. Yes, socks. Jake Director and Riley Goodman (pictured) make crew socks with stripes …

pay rent

How SparkRent Helps a Property Manager Track Payments

Time is limited for Kevin Hanks, who holds down a full-time sales job at a major software company while also managing a fourplex in Santa Cruz, Calif. And he has …

lori cheek

Online Dating Site Uses Offline Tricks to Stand Out

Lori Cheek, an architect by trade, aims to turn online dating upside down. Her bootstrapped venture Cheek’d sells decks of “calling cards” to its members, designed to be used as …

arlene lynes photo

Bookstore Owner Turns a Page by Asking Customers to Spend More

Arlene Lynes, owner of Read Between the Lynes in Woodstock, Ill., knew her independent bookstore was in trouble and needed to start a new chapter. It was the summer of 2011, …

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