Until 2002, Steve Buckner was feeling the effects of the roller coaster ride that is part of running a small remodeling company. He knew he had to make significant changes or go to work for someone else. When he received a direct mail piece from DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, he decided to try the franchise business. He followed their aggressive marketing plan to reach middle- to upper-middle-class clients. Now, his average job is $17,000, and he completes one job per week.

Buckner serves as a manager and recruiter of skilled employees. He says his competition is his best source of employees. Three members of his production crew are former remodelers who were frustrated with their businesses.

He is working with a consultant to set professional and personal goals. “In the past two years we have exceeded our gross volume goals,” he says.