Carlo Pinto was tending bar when a customer told him he’d be a great window salesman. He was. He progressed to management and left to form Pinnacle Energy  out of a 100-square-foot office in Newark, Del. In the early days the president/CEO knocked on doors for leads.

Canvassing kept Pinnacle Energy in growth mode throughout the recession. Meanwhile, Pinto instituted a system of multiple touch points designed to keep customers in the loop from lead procurement to post-close. “We want to make sure that [our clients] feel important and appreciated as individuals,” he says.

The owner’s success has been about learning to create “structures, systems, and protocols” that solve problems, then manage those into the day-to-day business process. “I failed a lot but I learned from my mistakes,” Pinto says. His new challenge, with two locations, is finding people who are also willing to become good at managing.

Learning by Doing  Carlo Pinto honed his management skills by solving his company’s problems. He’s now transforming Pinnacle Energy from a “sales and marketing” firm into a “customer service” company.