Tom Mitchell, president of Mitchell Construction Group, in Medfield, Mass., says that he’s had to be more active to make things happen for his company in today’s tough economy. Last year Mitchell began to step up his marketing efforts by better defining the company’s best clients based on their income, number of years in the house, and the value and location of the house. He also started teaching homeowner seminars about remodeling to promote the company’s brand and expertise. “We’re getting work from all that, although it is hard fought for,” he says.

James Yang

The company recently went ahead with an idea that Mitchell had considered for many years: creating a maintenance division. “We want to serve existing clients who prefer us to do the work because they know us,” he says. “It’s a great way to follow through. We also show our values in that we care about the client, and it gets us back in the door. And often small jobs lead to big jobs,” he says. To find out if the company’s idea was on target, he surveyed existing clients, sending out 80 surveys and receiving 38 immediate responses — all of them positive.

Also helping the company survive in a slow economy is its quality assurance program. The staff visit clients one year after a job is completed to check on the work. “That way, we get back in our clients’ thoughts,” Mitchell says.

To serve value-conscious clients, Mitchell Construction Group has expanded from custom-only cabinetry to a mid-cost line as well. “It’s for people who are not doing a dream kitchen but who want something that looks good,” Mitchell says. Though he is concerned about affecting the company’s upscale reputation, this move at least helps the business maintain margins.