After Scott Barr took over Southwest Remodelers in 1992, he quickly grew the company's volume from $2.8 million to $5.5 million in 1995, the year it was named Big50. The company did all kinds of work, including replacement jobs, kitchens and baths, and room additions. But the business' rapid growth and broad scope of work came at a price.

From file "065_RMs" entitled "B50CloseUp3.qxd" page 01
From file "065_RMs" entitled "B50CloseUp3.qxd" page 01

“It was a realization that the more things we did, the fewer things we did well,” says Barr, whose company, now called Southwest Exteriors, operates out of San Antonio.

So in 1998, Barr sold the company's roofing division, and limited his services to installing HardiPlank siding and Andersen windows. He intentionally scaled back the company's volume to $1 million in 1999.

And the change, he says, has been dramatic. “Back then we were just focused on the transaction,” Barr says. “Now we focus on the client relationship. Our whole program is dependent on referrals.” This has allowed Barr to cut his marketing budget from 10% of total revenue a decade ago to about 8% today.

Since the change, the company's volume has grown to $4 million. But Barr is wary of too much growth too quickly. “We'd like to be at the $5 million mark next year,” he says. “But we want to keep the focus on client satisfaction and profitability.”