Jim Bernthal, president of Top Floor Technologies, LLC

Jim Bernthal

President

Top Floor Technologies, LLC

2425 S. 162nd St., New Berlin

www.topfloortech.com

Industry: Internet marketing

Number of employees: 24

Family: Wife, Vicki, and a teenage daughter and son

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“We have increased our investments in high quality talent that is aligned with our company mission, vision and culture.”

What’s new at your company?

“We have added a number of new people on staff. We have invested in higher end web design and development personnel, a stronger project management team and have expanded our search marketing and client services team.

“One of the new brilliant things I started this year is our weekly ‘Developers Lunch.’ Each Wednesday, I host a lunch for our development team. This includes programmers, front end developers and web design staff. Each week at this lunch, we discuss a variety of items relating to web development. We may have discussions about a new technology or product we want to test out. We discuss how to improve processes for higher quality control and efficiencies.

“This has been great because it allows the team to engage with each other and get input and feedback that wouldn’t come from just doing the day-to-day work. As you might imagine, developers and designers in the web industry are always excited about learning more and trying out new technology. This forum has provided a means to keep the lines of communication open and allows us to consider what areas we should be focusing on to best serve our clients.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“Yes, we are planning both. We will probably add staff continually throughout the year. We have potential additions in almost all areas of the company.

“In addition, we will be moving to a new office. That will involve capital investments in new office furniture and equipment.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“Aligning our sales and marketing efforts with our investment in production resources. With every step in the growing process, you have to make certain that you are also investing in personnel who can produce what you are selling as well as the sales and marketing programs that will insure a steady flow of business that can maximize those resources for the long run.

“In a project business you are constantly placing bets on the level of projects that will be coming in and then investing in resources to meet them. One of the things we have going for us is the recurring business that we provide for the majority of our clients. We are seeing a lot of growth in that area, which makes a big difference for a company that also does a lot of project work.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“I’d have to say mobile development. It is becoming clear that being online no longer means logging in from your PC. Developing websites for different browsers is challenging enough but developing a website that meets the users’ needs regardless of what type of device or screen size they are using creates a whole new challenge.

“That challenge is being addressed by a process called ‘responsive design,’ which requires an entirely new level of planning and coding of a website.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“‘Delighted but never satisfied.’ To be successful in business, you have to have a culture that both celebrates its wins but at the same time is always pushing for more. If you are complacent in an industry like ours, your competition will clean your clock.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“It may be cliché, but the first company that comes to mind is Apple. They are a testament to the power of a brand that permeates their culture and positively impacts the customer experience, and eventually their bottom line.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“From a business perspective, the importance of focusing on team alignment. That is one of the most important things a business owner needs to work on, especially in the type of business we are in.

“Unfortunately for someone like myself who is goal-oriented, it is not something that you can easily track, like sales or profitability. It’s not black and white and it doesn’t show up on your management dashboard. At the same time, when things are aligned, it is one of the most powerful drivers a business can have. Then again if you allow any misalignment to grow, it can destroy the organization from within.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Golf, waterskiing, exercising, yoga, riding my bike and hanging out with my wife and kids.”

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