After 12 years as a police officer, Jim Quigley tried his hand selling sunrooms, windows, and flooring before deciding to specialize in Owens Corning Basement Finishing Systems. That almost single-minded devotion (his company also does some non-basement remodeling) has made Quigley the product's biggest franchiser, with territories stretching from Ohio to Missouri and plans to acquire more.

Quick to install, moisture-resistant, insulated, and guaranteed for life, the system uses 2½-inch wall panels to convert musty basements into bright, dry, livable spaces. “People absolutely love it,” says Quigley, with exit interviews pegging satisfaction at nearly 100%. He recently started using third-party inspectors on each job. Quality and public perception of the company “went up hugely” he notes, “because employees know there's someone right behind them.”

Quigley's installers become certified through weeklong classroom training, followed by field training. Marketing consists of television advertising, door-to-door canvassing, appearances at trade shows and Sam's Clubs, and tables at Detroit Pistons and Lions games. With little direct competition for his product, he expects continued rapid growth: $100 million in five years. “People dig more basements every month than we install in a year.”