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K40’s Strange Way to Run a Company

Radar detector maker K40 Electronics is run differently than most companies– there are no bosses and not a single employee reports to a superior.

Located just outside of Chicago, K40 has under 50 employees.   “No one calls in sick to anyone else,” and there are no superiors, only “mentors,” confirmed 3 employees.

We thought the  operations were unusual enough to deserve some attention.

K40 donates the first 10 percent of its income before taxes to charity.

The second 10 percent  goes to company employees by way of adding to their IRA savings accounts.

Workers can bring dogs (pictured above) and children to the office and there are areas set up for them in the workplace.

One person goes home each night as the on-call guy to take after-hours calls from customers and is paid for it, as the company tries to avoid voice mail.  “We’re driving customers to the phone; everyone else is going to the Internet,” said Owner and President Peggy Finley.

Sales have climbed since Finley, who began at K40 as a $5/hour employee, took over in September 2009.  Sales are up 20 percent this year, she said.

Finley was a secretary who became the company’s best salesperson, and then launched its custom radar division, working her way up to president and then owner.

The charity the company supports is the local Boys & Girls Club– a place for “at risk” youth to  learn, and do homework after school. Employees are encouraged to take days off to volunteer there in the summer.

Finley received the 2013 Entrepreneurial Excellence Award from The Daily Herald Business Ledger in Chicago last month.

We don’t mean this as a plug for K40 or its radar detectors, or its merchandising strategies,  but at a time when most companies are on austerity budgets, cutting to the bone, and counting pencils, we thought K40’s way of doing business was worth noting.

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