Gill Construction does a little bit of everything. Everything from siding -- about 20% of its business -- to storm and entry door installations to additions and interior alterations. "Our biggest job last year was a $160,000 addition," says owner/president Robert Pearson (right), a former president of the West Texas home builders association and a 30-year veteran of the construction industry.

The company uses television rather than telemarketing to promote itself in the west Texas city of Lubbock. It's cheap -- 125,000 viewers can be reached for a few hundred dollars -- and it "reminds people that we did a job for them 15 years ago," Pearson says. "If there weren't any problems and it went real smooth, they may not remember who the contractor was. If there were problems, they remember."