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Entrepreneur Profile , Jim Plotkin

BY ANDREW SCHWEIZER

Jim Plotkin, president and chief executive officer of Carlsbad-based The Plotkin Group, set his golf clubs aside 17 years ago to take control of his father’s business, which provides employee-assessment tools to help companies make more informed decisions for selection, promotion and development of internal staff. The group focuses on reducing employee turnover and theft.


VITALS

Name: Jim Plotkin.

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Titles: President and CEO.

Company: The Plotkin Group.

Company address: 5650 El Camino Real, Carlsbad.

Company phone: (760) 603-8791.

Year founded: 1968.

Prior business experience: Six years touring as a professional golfer; appraiser and accountant.

Average hours worked weekly: 50.

Source of startup capital: Personal investment.

2007 revenue: $571,000.

2006 revenue: $570,000.

Number of employees: Five.

Web site: plotkingroup.com.


BACKGROUND

Birthplace: Los Angeles.

Education: Cal State Fresno, B.S. in business administration.

Age: 46.

Current residence: Carlsbad.

Family: Wife, Bonnie, 43; children, Eric 5, and Rachel, 4.

Hobbies: Spending time with the family, surfing, golfing and watching baseball.

What’s On Your iPod?: Van Halen, The Police, Harry Connick Jr., Metallica, U2 and Journey.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Reason for getting into business: After six years of being a touring golf professional with the goal of playing the PGA Tour in the United States, I got tired of living like I was still in college. The Plotkin Group needed help, so I accepted a full-time position.

How I plan to grow the business: Add new services, products and salespeople. For example, we just introduced an employee recruitment service in which we use assessment tools to better screen job applicants.

Biggest pluses of business ownership: Flexibility, no politics, no corporate ladder to climb, no one looking over my shoulder.

Biggest drawback: Have taken very few true vacations in 17 years without doing work.

Biggest business strength: Forty years in the employee-assessment business.

Biggest business weakness: Limited East Coast coverage in the early morning hours.

Biggest risk: Adding staff in today’s economy.

Smartest business decision: Adding more assessment tools.

Biggest business mistake: Switching away from a very important vendor, but was able to rectify it later.

Toughest career decision: Giving up my pursuit for the PGA Tour.

Biggest ongoing challenge: Wearing too many hats.

The most important part of my business: Our clients.

My business works best when: There is lots of hiring.

Best way to stay competitive: Keep delivering great customer service with integrity and added value.

How I measure success: Gross profit, client satisfaction and retention.


GOALS

Goals yet to be achieved: Reach $2 million in annual revenue.

My five-year business plan: Exceed $2 million in annual revenue.

I would sell my business only if: My health was poor.

Guiding principle I will continue to follow: Do the right thing for our clients so we both grow and succeed together.

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