Build a big, diverse customer base
Build a big, diverse customer base
Name: Steven Berry, 43
Home town: New Meadows, Idaho
Occupation: President of Battery Universe, which provides batteries for cellphones, laptops, and other tech equipment
Net worth: $500,000

In the early days of his wholesale cellphone battery business, Steven Berry sold mainly to three big customers in Latin America. Then the market tanked in their area, and all three canceled their orders -- on the same day.

Lesson learned. Since then Berry has worked to diversify his revenue base -- a key to enhancing company value.

He's franchised the business, requiring operators to get supplies from him; expanded into tablet, alarm, and other types of batteries; and in 2007 added a retail outlet and a well-designed website for online orders. Says Berry: "We've increased sales and profitability every year since."

With the business now generating nearly $2 million in sales, Berry has been able to draw a $220,000-a-year salary. At this rate, he expects to hit $1 million in net worth in 10 years or less.

By Carolyn Bigda, Lisa Gibbs, Elaine Pofeldt and Donna Rosato @Money - Last updated July 20 2012: 9:02 AM ET
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