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A&R stresses the importance of diversification

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Bud Weisbart, IFM, vice president of A&R Tarpaulins Inc., believes diversification brings health to a company. In the late 1980s, A&R designed EMI (electromagnetic interference) cable covers for a company providing testing equipment for the computer industry. Demand for the covers skyrocketed, with sales reaching $1.5 million a year for five consecutive years. However, when the industry floundered, so did sales—revenue dropped to $300,000 initially, and then to $10,000 in a two-year span. “We built on our technical capabilities and diversified into new markets,” Weisbart says. “We took a risk and moved forward, leading to the growth we have subsequently experienced.” In 2007, the company experienced a growth of $800,000, and in 2008, more than $500,000.

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn.

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