Kyle T. Webster

When Bill Gozzo created a growth plan in spring 2008 he drew a map spanning from 1990, when he founded Gozzo Design & Remodel, in West Hartford, Conn., through 2020. “The idea was to put something visual together so I could communicate my ideas of growth to my wife/partner and my employees [and] get more people on the same page as me,” Gozzo explains. He wanted employees to see that they could have a career at the company.

Using Visio, a Microsoft Office program that helps users create business diagrams and tables, Gozzo was able to “draw road maps and add arrows and icons,” he says. “I included things that worked and things that didn’t to see how they influenced our volume and direction and, more importantly, why they influenced our current thinking on type of work and planning for future types of work.”

Gozzo marked several important historical points such as when he moved from his house into an outside office and when he hired an office assistant. Moving through 2020, he included an average of 10% revenue growth per year and specific budgets through 2011. He also marked points in the timeline when he thought he would add a project manager, a fourth carpenter, would purchase a building, and would start pursuing medical-practice remodeling. Gozzo is a member of Remodelers Advantage, and before he finalized the map, he bounced ideas off his peer group.

However, when creating the growth plan, he did not factor in outside influences. Due to the recession, Gozzo Design & Remodel’s volume decreased 30% in the past year. The remodeler recently laid off staff. He now has one carpenter and may, as needed, split his own time between the field and office. Though he does plan to revise the big-picture map, for now, his most useful tool is his cash flow statement, which helps him look ahead to the next few months.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.