Five years ago, Clarke Schiller II (right), the founder of Schiller Construction, was ready to quit. The company had grown from just him to an outfit with 40-plus employees. “My brother was tired,” says Brett Schiller (left), who joined Clarke early on in the business' life. “He wasn't happy, and he was ready to get rid of everybody and go back to working by himself.”

Brett convinced Clarke of a compromise, and the company began cutting back. It used more subcontractors, freeing project managers from the stress of managing several employees each. Other headaches, such as scheduling, disappeared or were greatly reduced.

The results were more than the brothers hoped for. “We thought we'd do less work, and that was OK with us,” Brett says. Instead, the company's volume has grown. “Our jobs get done faster, so we're able to produce more,” Brett says. He adds, “And our clients have fewer complaints because our project managers have more time to serve them.”

- Hayden Alfano