Greg Olson has one of the more unique roles of any remodeling company owner. How many others do you know who can say they almost never interact with their clients, or even see the company's work?

To do that, of course, you need exceptionally capable and trustworthy employees. Olson has that in spades, including former business partner and current project manager Jeff Jones, who sold Olson his share of the company nearly 20 years ago to fulfill a lifelong dream of traveling around the world. “I'm a blessed individual to have a great group of people,” Olson says. “It's not about me; it's about how great these people are.”

The employees' compensation reflects the work they do and the responsibility they have: The four project managers are paid based on the job's gross profit, and Olson is currently scheming to develop a profit-sharing plan to compensate the other members of the team based on performance. A renewed commitment to open-book management gives his employees a clear understanding of how their job affects the profitability of the company.

Olson also looks out for the best interests of the industry as a whole, not just his employees. Recently, he was successful in getting theOregon Contractor's Reference Manualto include a paragraph that establishes charging for time spent estimating as an acceptable practice.