With experience at nearly every level of construction, Mike Crossman has dealt with bumps in the road handily. Emerging from the downturn minus a business partner (an amicable split), Crossman is forging ahead with New View Construction. “We’re in the chaos that happens right before a company grows,” he says. “We’re steady now and cautiously optimistic. We know 2011 will be another growth year.”

Trimming expenses and keeping an eye on qualified leads keeps business in check. Prospective clients’ budgets are outlined up-front.

“You have to consider your Cost of Opportunity Lost,” Crossman says. “If you spend time chasing jobs without knowing if it’s a valuable lead, you risk losing better work. It’s about how much you lost in time, money, and relationships.”


—Crossman’s “Cost of Opportunity Lost” concept, which he developed with a business-minded friend, can’t actually be enumerated. “It’s more a frame of mind,” he says. “It’s not something you can budget for, but you need to stay cognizant of.”

—Home shows are a good source of leads for New View Construction, but Crossman has learned to be selective when taking on a job. “At our first home show, we took in 62 leads, then 42 the next year, and just 21 this year,” he says. “It’s strictly because we’ve been qualifying leads better.” Crossman says that budget is important to discuss right off the bat, and a red flag should raise when a homeowner wants to know if your company offers free estimates.

—A home show also brought about Crossman’s reciprocal working relationship with another Cleveland remodeler in an adjacent service area. “At the show, I could literally walk people down to his booth and say, ‘This company will take care of you,’ and he does the same,” Crossman says. “There’s no room for pigheadedness or ego in business — let’s work together to make both our companies stronger.”