Richard A. "Rick" Pratt

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How remodelers talk about money

Like a lot of other remodelers, Strong Construction in Fremont, Calif., can't afford to waste time with clients who want to push $50,000 where $100,000 should go, or who get fixated on some magic number for a project's cost. But co-owners Steve and Sandy Strong also can't afford to turn away good business, so they bring up the big, bad B word ó budget ó as part of the typical first phone conversation. Read more

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Quotes client a price based on preliminary specifications/drawings

Like many contractors, Rick Pratt is careful to not count his chickens before they've hatched. They then sign this form and give Pratt a deposit check for 10%, which he is entitled to keep even if they decide to back out -- provided that his estimate stays below the quoted price. Read more

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Company jeopardizes success after market collapse; avoid unhealthy growth and straying away from core business functions

The phone stopped ringing in Tom Davison's Sonoma, Calif., office in early 2001. Not a year after Davison Remodeling celebrated its best earnings ever, the unwanted quiet set off a two-year slide that almost killed the company. Read more

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Name change and marketing makeover retools company image

A name change and marketing makeover turned into a bonanza of market understanding for a Denver remodeler. As a result, Rick Pratt, of the newly renamed Classic Homeworks, expects to continue his 25% annual growth rate. Four University of Denver MBA students each put 80 hours into a thesis to develop demographic research and marketing plans, at no cost to Pratt. Read more

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