4 of 4
BACKNEXT
Outsource (nearly) everything
Name: Sinol USA
Industry: Alternative medicine
Employees: 2
2007 revenues $2 million

Paul Carpenter runs Sinol USA, a small alternative-medicine company based in Newtown, Conn. Sinol sells a sinus spray to cure headaches and sinus infections.

Carpenter launched Sinol in 2005. He sold nearly $2 million worth of the spray in 2007 and has already surpassed that figure this year with the help of heavyweight distributors such as Rite Aid and Whole Foods. But Sinol has only two full-time employees: a bookkeeper and a receptionist.

How does Carpenter get the job done? By outsourcing most business functions to a network of partner firms scattered all over North America.

Manufacturing and warehousing happen in Hazleton, Pa. The spray is packaged in Oxford, Conn. The bottles come from a Canadian manufacturer. Carpenter contracts with sales representatives in New Jersey and California, and works with national trucking brokers to find the best rates for drivers. A San Diego business handles his order fulfillment, and a New Haven company manages shipping to individuals. Recently Sinol signed a deal with a marketing and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Outsourcing certainly keeps Carpenter's overhead low but he admits that he's faced problems. For example, a recent shipment of 2,000 smudged labels gave him a headache that couldn't be cured with the sinus spray. But by choosing nearby partners that uphold high quality-control standards, he can usually correct errors as they arise (the labels were redone at the printer's expense). The rare pitfalls, he says, are far outweighed by the benefits of outsourcing.

More galleries

LAST UPDATE: Oct 16 2008 | 9:05 AM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
6 designers shaking up fashion These designers are changing the way we dress, accessorize and shop, from custom made-to-fit dresses to smart jewelry that's actually stylish. More
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.