There's an old joke: How do you make a million dollars in the remodeling business? Answer: Start with two million.

But there is serious money to be made in remodeling -- if your focus is on profitability.

Recently I was hired to consult with a company generating in excess of $10 million in revenue. At our first meeting, the owner said, "On $10 million in sales, we didn't have enough left over to buy a Tootsie Roll."

My definition of growth is this: When you have more money (profits) this year than you had last year, you're growing.

Want to build equity in a business to sell later? Buy an apartment building. Want to have a place for your family members and friends to work? Buy a grocery store. But if you want to make some serious money, you can do it in the remodeling business. The next time you talk to a remodeler and you want to be sure he's in an actual growth mode -- making money -- ask him how many Tootsie Rolls he bought last year. --Phil Rea, Phil Rea & Associates, offering professional speaking, money-making newsletter, Sales Pitch, and a powerful monthly sales meeting by phone to over 1,500 remodeling salespeople nationwide.