In 2001, Erik Anderson (left) and Tracy Moore terminated most of their staff, slashed their volume by $1 million, and then “looked at better companies,” Anderson says. “We wanted to see how they sold, what their markups were, how they organized their production.” Taking “the best parts” of the different companies, the former college friends reassembled a stronger Anderson-Moore Builders.

Among other improvements, Anderson and Moore joined a remodeling peer group and created a set of strategic objectives that they revisit each December. Their current objectives delineate 22 financial goals by the end of 2008, such as bringing estimated job variances to within 2% of actual job costs, contacting past clients at least four times a year, and maintaining an “operating cash reserve account” equal to 15% of their annual revenues.

AMB's employees enjoy good benefits (including continuing education, uniforms, and a company-sponsored retirement fund) and the satisfaction of completing projects such as an underground movie theater. Featuring $80,000 worth of stain-grade trim alone, it's “the most beautiful thing we've done,” Anderson says.