For ARC Design-Build, 2006 was a make or break year.

“We were overworked, overstressed, and playing catchup,” owner Anders Adelfang recalls. To lighten the workload, the company hired more staff in the office and in the field and tightened its markup and estimating systems to accommodate the company's growing needs. Adelfang also rented a temporary office space before moving ARC Design-Build to its current location, a neglected historic home renovated by the company.

“It's right downtown in a commercial-residential neighborhood,” Adelfang says. “And it acts as a showcase where clients can see the quality of the work we do.”

The company refocused its branding efforts “to attract the type of work we do best and enjoy most, which is design/build,” Adelfang says. Part of this effort was a beefed-up client appreciation program, which includes gifts to clients who send the company referrals, and a holiday party. It also introduced a seasonal newsletter, a revamped Web site, and a unique logo to increase brand awareness.

The changes that Adelfang instituted worked: The company was as profitable as ever in 2007, and there is already more than $1 million in work slated for 2008 — more than ARC Design-Build built during all of last year.

- Chris Keimig