The astounding plethora of business books on the market today makes it hard to choose one that's right for remodelers. But Mark Scott of Mark IV Builders in Bethesda, Md., has found one he loves. CEO Tools by Kraig Kramers has been an invaluable resource, Scott says, mostly due to the tools on the CD that accompanies the book. “It shows you all kinds of ways to measure how you're doing,” he says. “One of the things I use a lot is the 12-month rolling average tool. You enter a 12-month section, say January to January, and it tracks things like profit and revenue, and it shows you trends and gives you a graphic representation of how you're doing — better or worse. It shows you things that you would never intuitively see. It's a poor man's MBA.” He showed this tool to a colleague, who tried it out and found that he'd been selling at a loss for several months without realizing it.

Scott is also impressed with the management tips the book offers. “It's taught me how to focus on people's successes, as opposed to picking apart their faults.” The book describes ways of giving encouragement and positive reinforcement and how to give feedback on mistakes without being negative. Scott says it's been very beneficial to his relations with his employees. “I'd recommend it to [people in] all levels of business — from the $500,000 remodeler on up to the $10 million dollar guys.”

Remodeler: Mark Scott
Company: Mark IV Builders, Bethesda, Md.
Product: CEO Tools by Kraig Kramers,