Today Lake Effect debuts a new monthly series: How Did You Do That?
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and executive director of the Milwaukee Institute Kathleen Gallagher and Tim Keane, director of Golden Angels Investors and an entrepreneur who led his own startup to a profitable acquisition, talk with successful entrepreneurs about how – and why – they succeeded.
When Retail Target Marketing Systems Inc. failed to mail catalogs to some of Boston Store's key customers a week before a big sale, Tim Keane mortgaged his house and chartered a vintage DC3 airplane to get them there. The year was 1990, but the attitude was timeless.
As a startup founder, Keane was willing to go the extra mile to keep his customer happy – and to keep his company afloat. He discusses how he got his company to the point where it sold for more than $20 million in 2000:
Keane's vision all along: Bring more customers to retailers by using better data analysis and direct-to-consumer strategies.
Here's some advice he has for fellow entrepreneurs:
- Work hard and focus on making your customers successful
- Every person in your venture is a resource and a responsibility - making them successful is key to the success of your customers
- Sales means fulfilling customer needs - and asking for the opportunity
How Did You Do That? is produced by WUWM, in association with the Milwaukee Institute and Golden Angels Investors.