Used to be, Gary Haldeman loved his job—but hated getting paid. “Anytime we had to deal with money was stressful for him,” says wife and business manager, Cathy. “He’d drag his feet and wouldn’t charge what he needed to because he felt bad.”

So Cathy decided to change the equation. Using Co-construct project management software, HC Remodeling and Design now keeps clients updated online regarding project costs, basic scheduling, and change orders throughout the job, rather than surprising them at the end. “We get to the end of the job and people pay us, and that’s that,” Cathy says. “He used to feel like he was the one who determined the price. But now, the client is in charge of the cost.”

The benefits don’t end there. A companion mobile app allows the team to stay connected in the field with access to all project documents and details. Another app-based software solution, TSheets, allows the Haldemans to keep track of the crew throughout the day. Using this technology combo, crews can snap project pictures and upload for viewing.

Cathy and company use all of this data to improve estimating—and the customer experience. “The more data we have, the more we learn how to get better,” she says.

-- The Haldemans offer a 401K matching program of up to 6% of annual income. But Cathy says the program is set up to help employees “succeed rather than fail.” That means employees are automatically opted into the retirement program, which grows by 1% a year up to 10% of their income. “No one has said, ‘I don’t want it,’” Cathy says.

-- An employee’s tool allowance allows them to own their tools after a year. “We were trying to come up with a combination of being sure they had tools they need, but still giving them ownership,” Cathy says. “Before we did that, they didn’t treat our tools very nice. People think differently about things when it’s theirs.”

-- Rather than spend money on Houzz or Angie’s List, HC Remodeling has found a new way to spend its marketing dollars that Cathy says is really paying off. “We’re putting money into great photography and developing relationships with architects and designers,” she says. Photos are provided free to architects and designers as a thank you for job referrals.