Three things have helped the Merrifields build Lakeside Exteriors into a growing, profitable company: benchmarks and feedback from the peer-driven Certified Contractors Network group; help from consultants such as Dave Yoho, which turned Lakeside Exteriors “into a sales/marketing company that runs things by the numbers”; and an emphasis on installing one product — fiber-cement siding — better than anyone else in the area. Experience and a willingness to learn enabled Matt and his brother, Dan, to make the changes they needed to when the recession hit.

“Marketing is the lifeblood of our company,” says Matt, “and it’s something one of the owners needs to be heavily involved in.” Current marketing invites prospects to the Lakeside Exteriors showroom with events such as barbecues.