SBA 100

Full Compass Systems

Full Compass Systems

Full Compass Systems, in Madison, Wisconsin, is a nationwide retailer specializing in professional audio, professional video, A/V, lighting and musical instrument sales.

Company Name: 
Full Compass Systems
Location: 
Madison, Wisconsin

Full Compass Systems is a nationwide retailer specializing in professional audio, professional video, A/V, lighting and musical instrument sales. This family-owned business grew out of a professional sound studio that began operation in 1971 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Founder and CEO, Jonathan Lipp, provided commercial recording services to both local and regional clients. In 1977, he founded and incorporated Full Compass Systems, Ltd. to provide sound equipment for a wider professional market.  In 1979, Jonathan’s wife Susan joined the company as President and now serves as the Chairman of the Board.

During the early eighties, Full Compass Systems took advantage of SBA’s 7a loan program.  The SBA financing allowed the company to grow rapidly over the years—increasing revenue, adding more employees and expanding the facility.

Today, Full Compass has over 180 employees and reported in 2010 annual sales exceeding $100 million. They have also been recognized as the third largest woman-owned business in Wisconsin offering over 700 top equipment brands and services such as computer systems integration and lighting design.

Full Compass has come a long way from their first retail store in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2008, they embarked on their largest expansion effort to date - designing and building their own 140,000-sq. ft. facility. The new building was completed in 2009 and includes an 80,000-sq. ft. warehouse, doubling capacity and allowing Full Compass to stock a wider variety of products. The facility also features two fully equipped production studios, a technology museum that is open to the public, and a cafeteria called the "Backstage Bistro" employing a full time chef plus kitchen staff to serve subsidized lunches for employees and visitors.

The Lipp family continues to give back to their community.  Through the Charitable Contributions Committee, the employees of Full Compass raise well over $30,000 per year in cash and in-kind donations for various local and national charities. Full Compass Systems remains committed to growing their family-owned company and providing high quality products and service to their clients.

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