PR August 2007

August 16, 2010


Our nation was built on the back of successful small family business. Our national economy still rests on the small to mid-size privately held firm involved in providing products or service to clients. The majority of firms in the professional remodeling field are made up of family members who build a reputation and grow with referrals.

Leadership is often confused with management. They are closely related, yet have distinctions making them quite different. Managing tends to focus on getting things done through others and mostly involves the day-to-day operations, while leading focuses on creating an environment that develops people into leaders who guide others and themselves to accomplish company objectives.

Harvard University doesn't expect a nationwide downturn in remodeling in 2008. But if you own a remodeling company in the industrial Midwest or another part of the country where the local economy and housing industry has taken a turn for the worse, that's small consolation.

Picture your clients in a home improvement store trying to buy light bulbs. Many people — remodelers and homeowners alike — feel guilty reaching for the incandescents — in different shapes, sizes, outputs and color — which sit next to shelves of CFLs. CFLs are more efficient, but which do people likely choose? The wide variety of bulbs now available can be overwhelming.

"The Corner Office" is a look at the top executives at large remodeling firms. In each of the next three months, we'll profile these industry leaders and examine their unique business issues.

Like forecasting the weather, figuring out the remodeling and construction market over the last year has been a difficult task. Every time a recovery has been forecast, a new storm cloud has appeared on the horizon. Whether it's overbuilt new home inventory, tightening lending standards or simple consumer wariness, plenty of factors combined to make this a tough year for the remodeling industry.

For this sunroom addition in Wheaton, Ill., it was imperative the homeowner, who is an opera singer, have a beautiful, inspirational place to sing and write music. The room also had to reflect her and her husband's world travels.

Keeping up with the neighbors took on a whole new meaning while Nan and Mark Remme prepared their wooded enclave outside Minneapolis for sale. The homeowner had the 1993 house inspected, only to discover moisture damage behind the stucco siding. Alarmed, owners of neighboring 1993 stucco houses erected by the same builder hired a testing company to examine their houses.

Information about paperless timesheets; using technology to keep clients up-to-date; and communicating with trade contractors.

Regardless of the size of your remodeling company, everyone benefits from healthy partnerships: owners, suppliers and clients alike.

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