A business model pivot
A business model pivot
Company: Conductor
Location: New York, N.Y.
Revenues: $10 million run rate

Founded in 2007, search engine optimization (SEO) technology firm Conductor started out as a consultancy, growing rapidly to about $20 million in sales. Along the way, the venture-capital backed company built Searchlight, software that helps clients -- which include FedEx, Siemens and Staples -- manage their SEO. After Searchlight launched in 2010, it took off like gangbusters. "I felt that was the future of the company," said CEO and founder Seth Besmertnik. "I made a very hard choice to sell the services business."

That focus on the big picture, supported by the company's investors, reduced its revenues dramatically to about $1 million annually, almost overnight. But sales didn't stay at rock bottom for long. The company -- which charges enterprise clients from $35,000 a year to hundreds of thousands -- expects sales north of $10 million this year.



By Elaine Pofeldt @FortuneMagazine - Last updated June 20 2012: 9:31 AM ET
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