Through hard work and strategic networking, Jason Rossi managed to defy industry odds and increase his company’s volume in 2009. “We saw a lot of our competitors go out of business” in Tampa’s once-booming construction market, he says. Rather than risking a similar fate, “we tried to change our mentality with the idea that small jobs might lead to big jobs.”

To that end, Rossi stepped up marketing: home shows, search engine optimization, direct mail, “e-letters to anybody we’ve ever been in contact with,” he says. He developed a “premier service program”: a 16-task maintenance list covering everything from changing smoke detector batteries to checking the roof. Besides providing fill-in jobs between larger projects, the maintenance program will produce a regular revenue stream that Rossi hopes to be able to forecast with regularity.

He is leveraging his network to do more commercial remodeling, too. Clients include the Tampa Bay Lightning, The Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, and the Veterans Administration. “We make the homes of veterans with disabilities ADA-compliant,” he says.

Best Practices

  • Plans to “annuitize” the business via 16-point maintenance program for residential and commercial clients. 
  • $150 flat fee, plus cost of materials. On list of approved contractors with Veterans Administration for making homes of disabled veterans accessible. 
  • Aggressive marketing through home shows, direct mail, e-letters. 
  • Website search engine optimization, Google ad words. 
  • Received LEED AP certification; takes classes in green remodeling. 
  • Retirement match, quarterly bonus program.

- Leah Thayer