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Chauffeured Transportation
As the CEO of Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, Dawson Rutter painfully rode out the downturns of 1982, 1991, and 2001. Now the Boston-based entrepreneur is putting to work the lessons he learned.

He has beefed up his sales staff from five to 14 in the past year because he remembers that competitors who slashed their marketing efforts got killed in 2001. He is concentrating on executive travel because he watched businesses with low-end customers get hit by price wars and defections. And he plans to invest in new cars - beyond the Rolls-Royce he just purchased - so he is poised to take advantage of the post-recession boom.

"Even if we have to accept more debt to grow, we'll do it," says Rutter, 56, whose firm had $47 million in sales last year. "We don't worry about retrenching."

NEXT: Blake Rentals

LAST UPDATE: Oct 01 2008 | 2:12 PM ET
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