Jane Boston learned her business skills at a nonprofit organization where thrift and creativity were words to live by. These days, as owner and president of continuing education provider Motivations Inc., she uses the same skills to boost her bottom line.
To create loyal customers and recurring revenue, Boston started a "purchasing network" within her company. Clients include mostly hospitals and medical rehabilitation providers, and there are now 600 members in the network. "They get more input on the courses we plan--we are personally in touch with them," says Boston, 47. "And the more they purchase in advance, the bigger the discount they earn." Mixing membership fees with pre-purchases and discounts has allowed Boston to avoid borrowing to fund growth. Motivations Inc. expects $1.4 million in revenue this year.