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Pontiac, MI 48342

Michael Falk

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
During the early years of Marketing Strategies Group (his previous company) we were constantly short of office/warehouse space, needing to move into larger facilities every three years. In 2000, with the help of Oakland County Planning & Economic Development and a SBA loan, we were able to secure financing for the 28,000-square-foot office and distribution facility we currently occupy.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
In 1985, when Marketing Strategies Group was just open for business, our first client was the Pepsi Bottling Group of Michigan, which now part of Pepsi Beverages Company. Our first auction winner on Biddogz.com was a gentleman from Troy who was high bidder in an auction for a Tablet computer for only $0.57.

Where did you find your first employee?
Our first full-time employee was a referral from a business associate. It was a young woman with children wanting to get back into the workforce.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Yes, we have promoted interns to full-time positions and have hired contract employees from temp agencies as full time employees. We have three full-time employees hired in this manner. One employee we hired from a temp agency worked for us for three years and at the age of 26 decided to pursue a college career. He still works with us in the summer and during school breaks.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Outside of the building acquisition, we have been fortunate to be self-funded, not requiring outside assistance.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
1) Employees with a positive commitment and strong skill sets. We continue to see well qualified candidates for administrative, distribution, IT, creative services, accounting or management positions.
2) Logistics, we are ideally located for product distribution throughout the U.S. Most orders reach the customer within three days of shipping.
3) Business resources. Well-qualified support businesses within the southeast Michigan area.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
Just one?
1) Michigan corporate tax structure
2) MBT - it really hurts. Hopefully this will actually change and be structured in a fair manner.
3) Cooperation between Detroit and the suburbs. We have such a great asset with the Detroit River, Lake St Cair and the surrounding area. Such a great economic opportunity missed.

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