Attention Entrepreneurs: Learn From The Top 5 Companies To Work For in 2008
Each year Fortune Magazine releases the 100 Best Companies to Work For; a list that every company on the up and up strives to land on. The businesses on the list set the standard for their industries, so it is a great resource for entrepreneurs to learn what has made their competitors a resounding success.
The top 5 businesses on the 2008 Fortune list are some of the biggest names in business. With these trend-setters I have included small businesses to look out for from 2009 on, which may slowly follow in the footsteps of their competition.
It's a great business to work for because it shares its success with its employees. Google's stock hit over $700 this year and gives stock options to 99% of their employees.
Following in Google's wake is Mahalo.com which was one of the first human-powered search engines to launch in 2007. The information on the site is endless, and almost overwhelming; but you can rest-assured, that whatever you're looking for, they've got it. Topics range from celebrity gossip, to user-posted videos to hard-hitting political news and offer a Twitter-style blog roll with quick up-to-date headlines.
2. Quicken Loans
What makes them one of the best? Apparently it's driven by ethics with straight-forward, no-nonsense loans.
Prosper.com is a growing business that's at the other extreme of the personal loan market. It's an online people-to-people lending marketplace, where people can bid on loans. Lenders set minimum interest rates they are willing to earn, while borrowers set the maximum rate they are willing to pay the lender. Since launching in 2006, it's facilitated over $178,000,000 in loans. Maybe this one won't give Quicken a run for its money, especially with the state of the economy, but who can say for sure?
As the number 1 supermarket, as rated by the Food Network in 2007, Wegman's beats the competition with its family run ideologies.
Eureka National Foods has been around for decades, even before the uprising of the green/organic/health food trend in the past few years. However, it is also family run and offers a full line of natural foods, which can be picked up in person or ordered online. To help you with your nutritional decisions, the website also offers a number of nutritional assessments, recipes and other health food related resources. If our society continues to concern itself with eating organic and natural, this one could be a strong competitor for Wegman's down the road. Only time will tell.
4. Edward Jones
It makes the list, because this year after the company vastly expanded its branch locations across the US, it gave 70% of its employees a pretty substantial raise of 6.5%.
Good news for women in Bahrain who have a high net worth; the Masrafy Bank and Abu Dhabi Investment Services will be establishing a service to assist these Middle-Eastern ladies in making professional investments with their overflowing wallets. I don't suspect that these will miraculously creep up on Edward Jones on the 2009 list, but it's a unique version of a brokerage and investment firm.
It's a DNA biotech firm that spoils its staff with scuba diving lessons, doggie daycare and a 401K match bumped up to 5% of the annual salary.
ArborGen places the emphasis upon environmental biotechnology, verus Genetech's human; with a goal to create genetically modified, fast-growing tree plantations which will reduce clear-cutting of endangered tree species. How could this not be a strong competitor with today's increased awareness on environmental issues?
Learn more about ArboGen's mission to decrease rainforest destruction by reading Lisa Zyga's article, "Rainforest Tree Factories Could Eliminate Rainforest Destruction".
While I, like Fortune, have chosen to focus upon the most interesting highlights that have resulted in these companies topping this year's Best Companies to Work For list, it's important to know that many other factors enter into the decision. Data outlined and reviewed also includes number of new jobs, turnover, job growth, benefits (training, sabbaticals etc), health, worklife and diversity.
So, even though the stand out points may be the doggie day cares and generous raises, entrepreneurs hoping to follow in the footsteps of these companies should look at the big picture if the aspiration is to get the title of Best Company to Work For.