Empathy, Tim and Janeen Welsh say, is at the root of their company's success. It's essential "to visualize yourself as the client in the home with that chaos around you," Janeen says. "By doing that, we try to pre-emptively address client concerns."

At Welsh Construction, that concern for the client perspective isn't just found in the owners' office. The Welshes know that creating the ideal customer experience requires that everyone at the company buy in. "Employees have to want to please the clients," Tim says.

To encourage long-term commitment, Tim and Janeen provide health insurance and incentive-based bonuses; at monthly meetings with the production crew, the owners name an employee of the month and give him $20. It's not the money, the owners say, but the positive reinforcement that makes the practice worthwhile.

The Welshes also take their entire crew to industry events like JLC Live, as well as on company trips. One year, the whole crew went deep-sea fishing. "We try to let them know we're invested in them," Janeen says.