From the Brink of Bankruptcy to Fastest Growing Startup

By Amanda Lewan on September 2nd, 2015 / Comments

Entrepreneurship is certainly full of its challenges, as Vladimir Gendelmen of design and printing company Company Folders certainly knows. Vladimir’s company faced the brink of bankruptcy just two years ago, but has bounced back to be named on of Metro Detroit’s fastest growing companies by INC Magazine.

How did he overcome this down period? It took risk and a revamp of their entire brand. It certainly wasn’t easy.

Company Folders was receiving a majority of their business from online traffic. In March of 2012 the company received noticed from Google that their links and SEO rank would decline. They had to make a swift change.

“Seventy percent of our traffic was lost and that was our only source of marketing,” he said. Vladimir briefly debated closing the company, but had a willing and supportive team of people to see the challenge through. So, they borrowed money and came up with a plan. At the time Vladimir described it as a huge risk. They had never done other forms of marketing before and now they were borrowing money to do so.

“We came up with a plan that we thought would work. We just went after it. Somehow I had the belief that it had to work,” he said.

The company “cleaned up” their image in the eyes of Google and saw an immediate increase in traffic and revenue again. Then, they rebranded the company. Company Folders provides custom designs and high quality printing of branded folders for companies. Who was their real customer? Vladimir saw the designer as the real customer. They focused instead to create content and support for graphic designs.

“We started a blog a couple years ago to help graphic designers do their job better,” he said. “A tremendous amount of traffic is now on our blog. It worked out well for us.”

The company located in Keego Harbor now has 14 employees working for them and a revenue of $2.1 million, and no talks of quitting soon.

“It’s been an arduous struggle,” said Gendelman, “but our hard work has paid off tenfold.” 

Learn more about Company Folders here. Check out the other over 100 Michigan companies who made the list. 

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.