Though Skydell Contracting owner Richard Skydell spent 27 years building an organized, strong business, his biggest focus right now is making sure he can leave it. “My goal is to make this business sellable,” he says. “I want it to be able to survive my retirement, my demise, whatever. I want to make myself obsolete.” 

To build the kind of business that can stand the test of time, Skydell says that it’s not just about amassing profit and piling up jobs. It’s also about the quality of those jobs. In fact, he says his company has become locally known as a remodeler who deals in high-end, expensive projects. “I don’t mind that people think that we’re a little bit on the higher side,” he says. “We’re not everybody’s contractor and not everybody is our client.” And so far, he says it’s paid off:.“I’m happier now, I sleep better, we’re more profitable,” says Skydell.


  • Making work fun. That way, it’s not work. “My wife calls me a workaholic,” he says. “but I don’t feel like I work that hard. It’s kind of fun. I enjoy meeting clients, I enjoy making sales, I enjoy helping people make their homes better. I found that job that allows me to work every day without feeling like I’m at work.”
  • Being honest. Skydell fondly recalls a time when a client sat down with him to discuss a large basement remodel with a high price tag. And the client wanted to haggle. “He said the price, on the paper, was a lot of money,” says Skydell. “But I told him that the price is the price.” Skydell couldn’t go any lower. Why? Because he was selling at a fair, honest price to begin with. And that’s exactly why the client asked: “He said, had you lowered your price, you wouldn’t have gotten this job,” explains Skydell. “He said  ‘I don’t mind paying you the price on this paper as long as you give me what I’m paying for.’”