1. “If it ain’t written, it didn’t happen.” Richard Feeley, president, Feeley Mediation & Business Law and REMODELING columnist, on getting change orders in writing.
2. “Yes, I’ve lost a few contracts — but no sleep.” Steve Mitchell, owner, M4 Construction, Los Angeles, on losing business for not catering to his clients’ every whim.
3. “ I can run a $2 million company, and a $5 million company. But I don’t know if I can run a $10 million company. When I get there, I’ll find out.” Tracy Dahlin, owner, Iron River Construction, Waconia, Minn., 2012 Big50.
4. “These days, static ‘brochureware’ websites are business tombstones.” Sal Alfano, editor, REMODELING, social media feature.
5. “You can only go so long without giving a man a raise.” Craig Huseby, owner, Huseby Homes, Nashville. 2012 Wage & Benefit feature.
6. “In 2007, customers called us to remodel their whole kitchen because the dishwasher had broken. Today when the dishwasher breaks, they call the repair man.” David Pekel, president, Pekel Construction & Remodeling, Wauwatosa, Wis., 2012 Top 20 Markets report.
7. “Our company culture is really aggressive about winning and losing. It might not be politically correct, but we want our guys to look at their jobs as more than just a paycheck. It’s about achievement.” Don Kennedy, president, ProMaster Handyman & Home Repair, Cincinnati, 2012 Big50.
8. “Baby boomers live in the age of denial. They’re waiting for a catastrophic event before they do something, and then it’s not as well thought out and it’s more expensive because it’s knee-jerk.” Mindy Mitchell, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist design consultant, Sun Design, Burke, Va., Lifelong Design feature.
9. “We get a lot of jobs nobody else wants. Making money is all about pricing them correctly.” Scott Siegal, owner, Maggio Roofing, Takoma Park, Md., on his willingness to take on most clients.
10. “There are very few people who love change, even if it’s for the better. However, in order to grow, you have to change.” Brian Elias, 1-800-HANSONS, Troy, Mich., 2012 Fred Case Entrepreneur of the Year.
11. “Occupy your life with something other than finger-pointing and complaining.” Michael Anschel, owner and principal, Otogawa-Anschel Design Build, Minneapolis and REMODELING columnist, on the apathetic culture of complaint.
12. ”Don’t get out of bed tomorrow or the next day because you won’t be coming to work at CCH anymore. However, I do appreciate your honesty.” Rob Carlisle, Carlisle Classic Homes, Seattle, reacting to a tardy employee’s excuse of not being able to get out of bed.
13. “These numbers are absolutely smoking.” Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, on the Leading Indicator for Remodeling Activity numbers released in October.
14. “Work should never be so important that it prevents you from spending time with your family. After all, time just keeps slipping away.” Paul Winans, facilitator for Remodelers Advantage and REMODELING columnist.
15. “My dad once put it this way: ‘The carpenter who knows how can always find a job. But the carpenter who knows why will likely be the boss and earn more money.” REMODELING columnist Shawn McCadden, on how carpenters can prepare for a recovery.
16. “There’s an epidemic failure within the industry to understand what’s really happening on the street in regard to liability exposure.” Attorney and REMODELING contributor D.S. Berenson on sales and marketing compliance in the remodeling industry.
17. “The questions are the answer. If you do an effective job identifying needs and values, you don’t even have to close. You just have to ask for the business.” Colette Carlson, expert on human behavior, especially as it applies to business and to selling.
18. “Make talking about money a conversation. That’s right — don’t just hit them between the eyes with a high and a low figure.” REMODELING columnist Bruce Case, on how to sell successfully.
19. “Professionals have no choice: If they don’t drop the dime, they drop the ball.” Sal Alfano, editorial director of REMODELING, on industry regulation and professionalism in the remodeling industry.
20. “Nothing will put you out of business more decisively than running out of cash. And nothing gives you more peace of mind than the ability to accurately predict your cash flow for months ahead.” Richard Steven, president, Fulcra Consulting, and REMODELING columnist.
21. “There is a certain level of refinement associated with the art of wine that parallels fine home building and remodeling” Chris Avant, Canyon Construction, Moraga, Calif., on hosting wine tastings at his showroom/office.