In 2007, Cedar Mill Group, in Webster, N.H., completed 39 jobs with a volume of $1.4 million. In 2008, the firm had 78 jobs at a volume of $1.1 million. In the first three quarters of 2009, the company billed a dismal $560,000. Owner Geoff Martin says that these were the worst consecutive quarters he has had in 22 years in business.

However, in the last 60 days, the company has signed four design agreements for substantial projects totalling $420,000 and expects to convert these agreements into construction contracts. “We will probably do two-thirds of our volume in the last quarter,” Martin says.

All four are new clients — and none were from client referrals. Martin attributes these leads directly to the company’s marketing efforts, including Internet visibility, networking, and professional referrals. He says that one of the projects is a $265,000 addition. The homeowners called him after seeing Cedar Mill Group’s awards from a local builder’s association in New Hampshire Magazine. The clients also called two other award-winning contractors mentioned in that issue, but Martin was the only one to respond.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.