Revenue in 2007: $932,000,000
Year Founded: 1983
City: Provo (Corporate headquarters are in Waltham, Mass.)
Employees: 4,600 worldwide, 1,500 in Provo
Web site: www.novell.com
Founder: Ray Noorda
The Company: A provider of infrastructure software for the Open Enterprise.
The Success: With more than 100 offices around the world, 505 patents, and 4,600 employees, this technology giant is a software pioneer that put Provo on the map.
The Advice: “It can be tempting for companies to branch out into other areas as they grow — and we’ve made this mistake as well — but stay focused on who you are and what you do best. Keep to your core,” says Kent Erickson, senior vice president of manager workspace solutions.
Where to Splurge: “Splurging is not the thing to do. You may spend to reward employees, but that’s not splurging — that’s recognition. And it will drive performance.”
Where to Cut Back: “All areas of the company should be candidates to help control costs and increase efficiency.”
2. A PLUS BENEFITS
Revenue in 2007: $530,000,000
Year Founded: 1990 City: Lindon
Industry: Professional Employer Organization
Web site: www.aplusbenefits.com
Founders: B.J. Wright, 53; Larry Bartholomew, 60
The Company: Provider of human resources solutions for business of all sizes.
The Success: A focused management team coupled with regional experience and competitive packages has led to a client list of more than 600 companies.
The Advice: “Pick good partners and good managers, trustworthy in all aspects, and work with them as a team.”
Where to Splurge: “On your employees.”
Where to Cut Back: “Government regulations.”
The First-Million Feeling: “Stressful, because it was the next level — then what?”
3. EMPLOYER SOLUTIONS GROUP
Revenue in 2007: $225,576,657
Year Founded: 1997 City: Provo
Industry: Professional Employer Organization
Web site: www.esghr.com
Founder: Craig Allred, 43
The Company: Provider of human resource solutions.
The Success: With a client-based focus and a willingness to take educated risks, the company has profited from valuing team members — internally and externally.
The Advice: “The old adage is usually true: ‘It will take twice as long as you anticipate and require twice as much capital as budgeted.’”
Where to Splurge: “On your internal team members.”
Where to Cut Back: “Frills that do not generate new business or retain existing business. This includes fancy office space, fancy furniture, fancy company cars for executives.”
The First-Million Feeling: “Relieved!”
4. BRENT BROWN AUTOMOTIVE GROUP
Revenue in 2007: $216,230,240
Year Founded: 1999 City: Provo
Employees: 380 Industry: Retail
Web site: www.brentbrownauto.com
Founder: Brent L. Brown, 49
The Company: An automotive company consisting of four franchises (Toyota, Chevrolet, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, Ford).
The Success: Memorable marketing coupled with an “open-owner” policy (customers have access to Brown’s cell phone), has led to an outpouring of loyalty and success.
The Advice: “To owners and top-level managers, be accessible and your people will become empowered to solve problems without you having to. Most of the calls I get now are from customers telling me how happy they are.”
Where to Splurge: “We spend a lot on entertaining our employees, especially our management team. We take them on fun trips and events.”
Where to Cut Back: “There’s always unnecessary excess. The trick is to go through periodically and find the expenses that have crept up that are not critical to success. In general, cut advertising and personnel last. I often see businesses cut those two first, and that’s a huge mistake.”
The First-Million Feeling: “Hard to believe! It still seems like ‘funny money’ to me when I look at the numbers. Thank goodness I have a wonderful wife of 27 years who keeps me grounded. The day after our first record-breaking sale, I went in and bought a Harley Davidson to reward myself. After 40,000 miles or so with my wife and me riding together across this beautiful country, I think it has been a good investment.”
Revenue in 2007: $151,617,000
Year Founded: 1995 City: Orem
Web site: www.imergentinc.com
CEO: Donald L. Danks
The Company: An eServices provider.
Revenue in 2007: $143,100,000
Year Founded: 1996 City: Orem
Employees: 1,000 Industry: Technology
Web site: www.omniture.com
Founder: Josh James, 34
The Company: Provider of online business optimization software.
The Success: The relevant, critically acclaimed product has succeeded with an emphasis on customer service and sales — “everyone bows down to sales.”
The Advice: “Whatever time you are spending on selling, double it and do less of everything else. Revenue forgives so many sins.”
Where to Splurge: “Market pay for the best sales people when it seems like you can’t afford it. You have to pay for the best to find out if you have a market and a good product. Remove the variable of, ‘Do I have the right sales person?’”
Where to Cut Back: “When you are small, benefits and facilities.”
The First-Million Feeling: “It was a letdown. We still didn’t know anything — perhaps it was just us.”
7. YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS
Revenue in 2007: $108,246,916
Year Founded: 1994 City: Lehi
Employees: 400 Industry: Health products, Retail
Web site: www.youngliving.com
Founder: Don Gary Young, 58
The Company: A distributor of oil-enhanced nutritional and personal care products.
The Success: What started as a man-with-a-dream project led to a right product, right market scenario that was magnified by “integrity and hard work.”
The Advice: “Be honest, even when it challenges you financially.”
Where to Splurge: “On employees.”
Where to Cut Back: “Expenditures, and ostentatious display of wealth in the business and personal lifestyle.”
The First-Million Feeling: “Verification of that in which I always believed in.”
8. BODY FIRM AEROBICS, dba GOLD’S GYM
Revenue in 2007: $44,191,730
Year Founded: 1990 City: Orem
Employees: 800 Industry: Health/Service
Web site: www.goldsgym.com
Founder: Lynette Felsted, 51
The Company: An owner of Gold’s Gym health clubs.
The Success: You can’t think “health” and “Utah” without thinking of Gold’s Gym. Body Firm Aerobics now owns 15 Gold’s Gyms and employs 800 people.
The Advice: “Do what you love and have fun.”
Where to Splurge: “Shoes and my workout clothes.”
The First-Million Feeling: “Excited.”
9. MAGLEBY COMPANIES
Revenue in 2007: $31,119,608
Year Founded: 1974 City: Lindon
Employees: 95 Industry: Homebuilding
Web site: www.maglebycompanies.com
Founder: Paul Magleby, 58
The Company: High-end custom home construction
The Success: With the National Custom Homebuilder of the Year at its helm, Magleby Companies has risen to the top of its industry with loyal employees (some of the staff has been around from 17 to 32 years), innovation, and an emphasis on the golden rule.
The Advice: “Treat employees as individuals and provide a forum to achieve their personal and business goals. Your employees will be happier if they feel like you care.”
Where to Splurge: “I have no hesitation in acquiring equipment for an employee that makes their job easier to accomplish — a computer, a new saw, etc. However, I wouldn’t consider that splurging. It’s an investment.”
Where to Cut Back: “Your primary goal in every aspect should be a more efficient use of time. Time translates to wages, and wages are the biggest cost in everything we do. The more we produce in less time saves our clients money and allows us to get to the next project more quickly.”
The First-Million Feeling: “Frankly, I don’t even remember it.”
10. BEST VINYL
Revenue in 2007: $22,515,757
Year Founded: 2001 City: American Fork
Industry: Home Improvement/Construction
Web site: www.bestvinyl.com
Founders: Scott Petersen, 48; Vance Barrett, 31; Brandon Brooks, 33
The Company: Fabricator and installer of vinyl fence, decks, pergolas and gazebos.
The Success: With a diverse management team, first-rate employees, access to capital and an emphasis on marketing principles, Best Vinyl has grown to be the largest company of its kind in the country.
The Advice: “Surround yourself with A-players. Put the right people in the right positions, and hire slowly, fire fast.”
Where to Splurge: “On good people, sales and marketing, and treating people well.”
Where to Cut Back: “Eliminate wasteful and redundant practices.”
The First-Million feeling: “We slept better at night!”
11. FOR EVERY BODY
Revenue in 2007: $22,276,901
Year Founded: 1995 City: Lindon
Employees: 200 Industry: Manufacturing, Retail
Web site: www.foreverybody.com
Founder: Becky Lunceford Anderson, 48
The Company: International candle manufacturer/retailer.
The Success: With a willingness to change quickly and “go where the business is,” For Every Body has grown to be the largest privately held woman-owned candle company in the United States. It has retail stores in Utah, and its products (candles, scrapbook and home décor) are produced for 88 retail chains and more than 6,400 independents.
The Advice: “Surround yourself with the best people. Spend 80 percent of your time doing what you do best, and fill the other spots with people who do all the other things best. I’ve always said, ‘It’s the fast that eat the slow, not the big that eat the small.’ And always give back in some way.”
Where to Splurge: “On employees and their benefits. Happy employees make great, passionate employees.”
Where to Cut Back: “Cut layers and costs out of your supply chains.”
The First-Million Feeling: “We didn’t, and couldn’t, slow down long enough to think about it, to tell you the truth! We have been successful because for us, it’s less about the numbers, and more about doing what we love to do.”
Revenue in 2007: $21,226,957
Year Founded: 2001 City: Provo
Employees: 85 Industry: Consulting/Training
Web site: www.vitalsmarts.com
Founders: Joseph Grenny, 47; Al Switzler, 58; Ron McMillan, 55; Mike Carter, 48; Kerry Patterson, 61
The Company: A provider of corporate training and consulting in organizational performance.
The Success: With award-winning products based on 30 years of ongoing research (including the New York Times’ bestseller “Crucial Conversations”), VitalSmarts has helped more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies realize measurable results.
The Advice: “Be tenacious about interviewing and finding the right people to work in and manage your organization. Put people on a probationary period and don’t be afraid to release those who don’t work out or fulfill your needs.”
Where to Splurge: “Nowhere. We are a profit-sharing company, and people consider corporate splurges as very poor uses of their hard-earned profits.”
Where to Cut Back: “Personal trinkets, toys — basically anything that doesn’t find a way to quickly serve the customer. We also discourage corporate perks like boats, boxes in stadiums or arenas, etc… These types of expenditures send the wrong message to employees, lower morale, and yield nothing in terms of profits or results for the company.”
The First-Million Feeling: “Of course it’s a good feeling, but more than the money, we have always been more concerned with how our work impacts our mission. We tend to get the most excited when we see how our efforts and products positively impact our clients.”
Revenue in 2007: $17,000,814
Year Founded: 2002 City: Provo
Industry: Consumer Products, Retail
Web site: www.seastone.com
Founder: Warren Osborn, 43
The Company: A gift card packaging company.
The Success: With a $95 billion industry to work from, Seastone has capitalized on the market with strategic partnerships (the license to Peanuts by Charles Schultz), immense speed, and retail success (the company sold 100 million gift card packages in 2007).
The Advice: “I’d offer caution to entrepreneurs who jump into industries exploding with success because they seem to be the hottest thing. Take inventory of your connections, education, skill sets and passions, and align the business opportunity with your personal tool chest.”
Where to Splurge: “I’m not a believer in splurging on much that doesn’t manifest itself as having high profitability to make the business grow. But if it will make the business stronger — such as the best quality equipment for designers — I’m all for it.”
Where to Cut Back: “On anything and everything that one does not believe is likely to add to the success and growth of the company.”
The First-Million Feeling: “We had a higher confidence level in the model. We knew it was working, but that’s when we really knew it was working.”
14. SILVERCREEK DEVELOPMENT
Revenue in 2007: $12,295,590
Year Founded: 2001 City: Provo
Employees: 10 Industry: Construction
Web site: www.silvercreekllc.com
Founder: Geoff Granum, 37
The Company: A high-end custom home construction company that builds homes in Utah County, Park City and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Success: Innovative design partnered with a customer-centric culture has led to a rock-solid foundation in the high-end homebuilding market.
Where to Splurge: “We tend not to splurge on a lot. We’re happy to splurge in rewarding people for their efforts, but we definitely like to have a tight reign on expenses. It’s important to be responsible with where the money is going.”
Where to Cut Back: “There are expenses that don’t contribute to the growth of the company — company automobiles, for example — and they’re not justifiable.”
That First-Million Feeling: “That was nice. We looked back at the hard work and effort, and it was nice to see it pay off.”
15. HERITAGE WEB SOLUTIONS
Revenue in 2007: $11,542,938
Year Founded: 2001 City: Provo
Employees: 170 (plus 235 outsource contractors)
Industry: Internet Technology
Web site: www.heritagewebdesign.com
Founder: David Aitken, 33
The Company: A provider of Web site design, management programming and hosting.
The Success: Armed with a stalwart, innovative marketing campaign, the company has rapidly increased its sales and subsequently ranked No. 22 on the 2007 Inc. 5000.
The Advice: “Conquer the fear of change. It will cripple your organization and halt growth and progression.”
Where to Splurge: “We splurge with our employees. Every day we give away cash to employees for various motivational purposes. In 2007 we paid out $1.6 million in commissions to our employees, and an additional $100,000 in daily cash spiffs and prizes.”
The First-Million Feeling: “We celebrated but realized this was only the beginning. Growing a company is a matter of math. Once you find the formula that works, you just start adding multipliers to each part of the formula.”
The Top Revenue Companies list was selected from a pool of UV50 applicants. The 2007 gross revenue figures have been verified by Utah Valley BusinessQ and are accurate as of February 2008. BusinessQ disclaims any responsibility for companies that did not apply.