Marc Costa (back row, center) started his business career as a regional supervisor for McDonald's. He got bored with that and started his own remodeling company. But after working on the home of the owner of a sunroom franchise, the owner hired him to run his production department. After a few years, Costa bought the operation.

Building, Costa knew about. Marketing and selling were another story. "The toughest part is employing a sales force and the marketing it takes to generate the leads for that sales force," he says.

Costa organizes his production department into four teams. Each team handles one particular aspect of the installation, "almost like an assembly line," Costa says. He also has a construction manager who oversees all aspects of the job. "It's never confusing if you have one person dealing with the customer."

Today, with company sales approaching $3 million -- more than double what they were when he bought it in 1999 -- Costa says his next goal is to open a satellite operation and, in the next three years, double sales again.