Greg Antoniolli has used several methods to improve his company's bottom line. His first step was to hire a great office manager who also acts as controller. “You have to have the right person in place so you're tracking things properly,” he explains. The office manager inputs information provided by the crew and staff. “[And in order] to give her good information, you must have everyone [in the company] onboard,” Antoniolli says.

So, a few years ago the owner of Out of the Woods Construction in Arlington, Mass., began open-book management with the whole company. Now, every third Thursday, the entire company goes through financial statements from the previous month, including the profit-and-loss statement and bar charts that show actual revenue to-date versus budgeted revenue.

“They see every line item, including money for the new coffee machine. They see that there's not a lot of fluff in the budget,” he says.

“We talk about projected revenue and what jobs we have lined up,” Antoniolli says. “I tell them that to hit our targets for the second quarter, we have to finish the Smith job and Jones job and frame the Walker job by the end of the month.”

In addition, the remodeler instituted a bonus program. Knowing how to read financial statements helps his crew understand where the bonus comes from and how they can contribute. “Everyone is watching the numbers,” Antoniolli says.