Jim Manley has been in business since 1973, but he has changed the face of his company many times over the three decades. He did window installations for Sears when he started, then sold and installed window and siding projects for about eight years. From there, he spent about five years exclusively remodeling kitchens.
In 1989, he expanded to include larger projects, and at one point had 15 employees. He soon found, however, that managing that many people wasn't for him. “It was a nightmare,” he says. “There are fewer headaches with fewer personnel.” Now, with one employee in the field and a part-timer in the office, Manley does more volume — about $1 million — with much less stress.