Question 11: What sacrifices have you made on a personal level to keep your company afloat?

Tim Burch, Burch Builders Group

Tim Burch,   Burch Builders Group  
I am spending more time on strategic planning and monitoring of key indicators. Sometimes this moves into my personal time, and it is tough on my family. This is a constant issue with small remodelers. When do you put away your toolbelt or close your computer? There has to be a healthy balance. I am still not there! I also monitor cash flow on a constant basis, always keeping our reserve at a comfortable level. I have in the past skipped a pay cycle for myself in order to keep a healthy reserve.

Craig Durosko,   Sun Design Remodeling Specialists
Time and focus at work. This new environment has required me to rethink everything I have done over the past years at work. I have moved closer to work to allow for more time at work and not impact the time away from home.

Peter Feinmann,   Feinmann Inc.
I have lowered my salary to maintain our core group and maintain profitability.

Dennis D. Gehman,   Gehman Custom Remodeling
No pay check, working longer hours, gave up net profit, borrowed money to keep afloat.

Alex Iosa, Iosa Construction

Alex Iosa,   Iosa Construction Corp.
When it comes to having your own company, sacrifices are made every day. Luckily, my wife knew what she was getting into when she married me. Unfortunately, the same is not true for my new daughter, and I will have to start sacrificing work time to spend with her. I am a workaholic. I enjoy taking a company that my father started 20 years ago and growing it. It has been a great challenge. The sacrifices that I have made to keep the company afloat are minimal compared with the chances of being unemployed when you work for someone else. Having complete control over my self-worth has been the greatest reward of my professional career.  

Paul Irwin,
   Pattern Builders

A client called on a Friday afternoon wanting to make a small dye room for her custom clothing business. I needed the work; but more importantly, I needed more referrals. She asked if we could get it done before she hosted a group of 15 colleagues the following Thursday -- three business days away. The job involved cabinets, a subway tile backsplash, countertop, a cooktop, lighting, and three commercial sinks. It was impossible.

So, I did the design and picked up materials over the weekend. I put everything on the job Monday morning, worked 14-hour days, and pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday. I finished hooking up the three sinks just as the group started to arrive on Thursday morning. You can bet all 15 people heard how we did that job in just three days. And we got great, qualified referrals from the effort.

Paul Irwin, Pattern Builders

I love a good challenge – and if I’m not willing to make personal sacrifices, how can I expect anybody else to? To "lead by example" was a lesson I learned 15 years ago and will never forget.

Chris Landis,
   Landis Construction Corp .
Kept retained earnings in the company as a buffer.

John Murphy,   Murphy Bros. Designers & Remodelers  
We have incurred additional debt, in part due to our remodeling a home that we moved to. But we are saving instead of spending to finish up the little projects around our home, have taken few days off and are working longer days.

Jane Regan,   HB Building and Design
Neither my husband nor I take a salary, and we just take enough to pay the expenses to keep the house running. Since we run the business from home, it is necessary to keep the home fires burning!

Jane Regan, HB Building and Design

In the last two years, we have been so busy we have not had the luxury to take vacations ? we’ve had them scheduled but have had to cancel four times. That hurts! We used to travel two to three times a year before the business got so big.

Alex Shekhtman,
   Elite Remodeling
I only buy whatever is essential and absolutely needed -- no splurges.