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
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
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.
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
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.