When Rick Caccavello took over Central Kitchen & Bath in 2000, the company was grossing $2.4 million. Since then, sales have nearly doubled — mostly during the last two years —while profit margins have remained consistent. Caccavello credits most of this growth to the creative incentive plan he instituted a year ago, which resulted in Caccavello sending his entire staff (plus a guest for each) on a weeklong Caribbean cruise this past April.

“I decided that if we did a 25% increase in volume and kept the same margins, I could set aside a certain amount for the trip,” he says. And his team stepped up to the challenge. The benefits though, have reached far beyond the bottom line.

“What it did for my business intangibly — the camaraderie, the excitement, the team-building —was immeasurable,” he says. The trip also turned unexpectedly into a great marketing tactic. “We let everyone in town know about this trip,” he says. “There was a lot of buzz surrounding it.” Caccavello plans to repeat the incentive program in 2007 — only this year, his staff is choosing the destination.