The challenge: Well, how about trading blows with some of the world's biggest companies?
What they did: To keep clients like Procter & Gamble and Estée Lauder satisfied, third-generation CEO Mitchell Kaneff focuses on delivering top-quality products on time -- a trying task in his industry. Extensive testing ensures that materials hold up in the retail setting, and constant contact with customers helps keep projects on schedule. He also invests in education for his pressroom of 35 employees, offering classes in advanced specialties like UV printing, where the ink dries instantly on a box.
Arkay's headquarters are in Manhattan, but Kaneff avoids the high overhead of doing business in the city by basing production in Roanoke. With manufacturing costs in China rising, Arkay is jumping on new business opportunities. Sales rose 7%, to $50 million, in 2010, according to Arkay.
A cereal maker, a ticket seller, and an accounting firm: Don't underestimate the entrepreneurs behind these nimble small businesses.
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