Exports help Future 50 winners build growth at home

As local companies seek ways to increase market share, revenues and profits, more and more companies are finding customers outside the Milwaukee 7 region and re-investing those revenues at home.

Twenty of the firms on the 2011 Future 50 list reported that they export more than half their products or services outside the seven-county region. Many are also exporting internationally, to countries ranging from Canada and Mexico to Chile, Australia and Kuwait.

To be considered for the Future 50 award, companies submit an application including revenue and employment history as well as growth projections. Companies must meet four basic criteria: local headquarters (within the seven counties of southeast Wisconsin); independent ownership; strong growth in revenue and employment; and in business for at least three years.

“Our Future 50 winners provide a good window into what’s on the economic horizon,” said Tim Sheehy, MMAC president. “Companies with exportable products and services will continue to drive job and income growth for the region.”

Combined, the 2011 Future 50 winners reported combined revenue of $734 million – a 28-percent increase over combined revenues for 2009. The companies had a total combined employment of 2,796, which represents a 25-percent increase over combined employment in 2009.

The Future 50 winners reported a wide variety of strategies for thriving in challenging economic times. The most common approaches included adding to sales staff; investing in training and technology; focused marketing; and expanding markets.

MMAC’s small business arm, the Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE), has conducted the Future 50 program for the past 24 years. According to Mary Steinbrecher, COSBE’s executive director, “It is encouraging to see such a strong showing of diverse businesses make the list this year. Given their projections for growth in 2011 and beyond, we seem to be putting the worst of the economic downturn behind us.”

Combined, the Future 50 winners are projecting 18 percent growth in revenue and 19 percent employment growth in 2011.

This year, there are 19 service companies on the list, 12 manufacturers, 10 in technology, 4 in construction, 3 in wholesale trade and 2 in finance, real estate and insurance.

The 2011 Future 50 companies will be recognized for their achievements at the annual awards luncheon, to be held Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 at the Pfister Hotel. Park Bank has been the long-standing partner and presenting sponsor of the Future 50 program. The Future 50 Luncheon sponsors include Cornerstone Financial Group, Findorff and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce promotes the interests of its 1,800 business member firms with more than 300,000 employees through a variety of programs and services. Members with 1-300 employees are represented through the MMAC’s Council of Small Business Executives.

Click the links below to read the profiles of the 2011 Future 50 winners.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display