Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A note of thanks on winning Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award

This has been one of the most memorable years of my career. Last week I had the honor of being named Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year. The judges recognized me with their Retail and Consumer Products Award for the Philadelphia region.

I wrote an email dedicating the award to my team and friends, who have truly been the catalyst for this honor. I wanted to share my email on our blog, because it captures the gratitude I want to express about winning Entrepreneur of the Year. Thank you to my team and our friends, and thank you to the program's judges.

Dear Team and Friends,

This has been a great year so far! In May, the Philadelphia Inquirer flattered us with a feature article. And now this.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How Stroll has kept its marketing machine well-oiled

Sometimes others tell your story better than you, and the media can be one of those narrators. We find that our customers and business friends like to read coverage of our company and people in the press just as much as they like to read our own blog posts. So we thought it would be worth highlighting some of Stroll's press coverage on our blog.

I wanted to share two recent articles with you today, both of which detail more about our approach to Internet marketing and web analytics, and how it's fueled Stroll's hypergrowth. The first comes from The Philadelphia Inquirer's Diane Mastrull. She took the time to pay us a visit at our offices, and I showed her our operations and talked with her about our processes that allow us to continually optimize our business and drive tremendous growth for the Pimsleur Approach. After our meeting, Diane wrote about Stroll's marketing machine in an article for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

MIND YOUR MARKETING: Diane Mastrull documents Stroll's steadfast approach
to marketing and analytics

Monday, June 4, 2012

Binding the tribe: The ties that bind in 5 easy core values

As you will learn over the course of this blog, the key factor in achieving triple-digit growth all melts down into one definable difference -- the quality, passion, knowledge, and shared values of the team. It's cliché to reduce it all to people. But at Stroll, we are obsessive about the people we attract, and their ability to think strategically and tough it out when things get difficult.

To bind our tribe, we started by reducing our company to five key core values, guiding principles of our company that every employee knows and can repeat. These five core values serve as our organizational compass, a way to chart our future and share our vision among ourselves. They drive who we hire. How they attack their work. Who is rewarded, and ultimately, how our business has managed to grow at a compound annual rate of 73 percent since 2002. What they are:

1. Strategy-mindedness. Simply stated, strategy-mindedness is being an expert on what's going on throughout the company so employees can do their jobs better. At Stroll, we are big believers in employee transparency, and we share every material fact about the business with employees. They know our numbers every day. They understand the challenges. They revel in our successes and work to overcome the challenges. But they can only do this when they understand the broad vision of the company, its go-forward strategy, and their role in it. We unlock their ability to think strategically to overcome a challenge and to constantly optimize our standard operating principles. Great ideas percolate to the top when employees understand how small incremental improvements can be compounded over time to unleash huge growth gains for the company.