A high-speed small business

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Today, you’ll find Sarah Fisher racing the No. 67 Dollar General IndyCar. But Fisher is also a team owner. Navigating that course is at least as challenging as the courses that are on the Izod IndyCar Series circuit.

In 2008, Fisher’s primary sponsor cut its ties with her team. It was a major hit to her business—Sarah Fisher Racing. Her first order of business after that? Find a way to increase revenues, of course. (She and her husband already had cashed in all of their liquid assets, which included their retirement funds.) In her case, that meant attracting new sponsors and new customers (fans).

How is she pulling this off? In a word, she’s driven. And in her view, as the owner of the team, it can’t be any other way. This gets her through what are considerably more down days than up days in her venture.

Fisher has needed to push the limits of her creativity to keep her business going. An example: developing an image for herself. The marketplace in which her business operates is built on characters. She had to craft a persona for herself. She settled on two that felt genuine: the girl next door and the young entrepreneur.

Another facet of running the team: efforts to generate news about Sarah Fisher Racing. A recent example: She got out from behind the wheel of her car to let up-and-comer Graham Rahal drive some events.

What advice does Fisher offer on running a small but high-powered business? The more specialists that you have attacking a problem, the quicker that you have a resolution.

Fisher recently authored a book that is titled “Things Women Wish They Knew Before Getting Behind the Wheel of Their Dream Job.”

S. Berg