What makes a small business successful? Each of the 10 Minnesota companies profiled on the following pages can answer that question in its own way. But as these stories also reveal, there are common patterns, and these companies offer lessons that businesses of all sizes can learn from. These small businesses have succeeded by seeing—seeing opportunities others missed or ignored, seeing when a tried-and-true business model has grown tired. They know their customers well, and they know their needs. They’re nimble and creative, and they’re rarely discouraged. And each has earned the distinction that Twin Cities Business is honored to recognize.
Finalists for 2016.
A residential hardwood-flooring maker bounces back from the recession by going lean.
For this financial services firm’s business model, philanthropy is good business.
For four decades, this stringed instrument shop has been in tune with its customers’ distinctive needs.
This fast-growing firm lets physicians and other medical staff focus on their patients instead of on data entry.
Its innovative, cost-effective fire suppressant has strong sales. Now it’s being positioned to better take advantage of global demand.
It’s more than a century old—and it’s Minnesota’s newest supermarket chain.
What sets this small company apart from big guys like UPS and FedEx? Delivering big items.
After nearly doubling its revenue last year, the property management company is expecting to have its most expansive year ever in 2017.
This technology recycler not only beats its competitors—it helps people with criminal records rebuild their lives.
A banker transforms a sleepy steel fabricator into a dynamic global enterprise.