Kitchens, kitchens, kitchens. That’s all Max Isley and wife, Lynn Snow, do, with guaranteed turnarounds. “Having to wash dishes in the bathtub—if we keep that to one weekend, we’re happy,” Isley says. The company can promise the impossible because suppliers hold inventory until it’s needed. Schedule delayed? Hampton Kitchens pays for meals out. The company works its magic with just the two principals. Ten reliable subcontractors handle all on-site work. The key to maintaining the roster is paying well, on time. Isley’s carpenter acts as project manager when Isley is absent.

Hampton Kitchens effectively has no accounts receivable because jobs are finished so quickly. Snow brought her business acumen to the company in 1991. She keeps jobs to within $100 of budget and manages cash flow so well that she’s able to pay half the annual rent with interest on savings. At job end, she sends chocolates with the final bill. “It’s our sincere way of saying thanks, “ she says. “But it also serves to speed collection.” And it leaves a sweet taste in a client’s mouth.