Bob Benedict (far left) understands that you can't run a successful remodeling company without good people. “As an employer, my job is to develop a company that improves the lifestyle of the employees,” he says. “If I can make their lives comfortable and give them as little to worry about as possible, they'll be focused and happy. In turn, I'll be happy, and so will my customers.”

To that end, Benedict provides his team with a generous bonus package that includes full health insurance and a 401(k). The retirement plan has almost 100% participation — only one employee doesn't participate — in large part, Benedict says, because of his background in finance. He pushes the program hard, showing employees examples of how he's saved money over the years.

Benedict also pays out quarterly bonuses to the entire company if certain profit goals are met. The bonus program is a big reason why Northwood Construction is one of a growing list of open-book companies. “How can I ask my employees to meet a goal if they have no way of keeping score?” he reasons.