Breakthrough Strategy #2: Always focus on the customer
During the Great Recession, Jamail Larkins' aircraft brokerage firm, Ascension Aircraft, came close to being grounded for good. One of the firm's major clients went bankrupt and Larkins had to repossess 10 airplanes, worth more than $2 million. But the fact that he was able to restructure operations and keep his business soaring, Larkins says, investors grew more confident of the company's future - especially since it actually made money during one of the nation's worst economic downturns.
Larkins, who took his first flying lesson at age 12, says his firm's credibility was a byproduct of exceptional customer service that distinguished it from the competition. In 2013, Ascension grossed $9 million in revenues.