Bright yellow vans bearing distinctive logos and outfitted for handyman work. Project walk-throughs in 3D via widescreen projector. A rewards-based referral program. Award-winning projects. Logoed apparel for all staff — even for trade partners. Pay-per-click display ads on home-improvement websites. An attractive, informative, easy-to-navigate company website. Guaranteed completion dates. Prequalifying questions for lead calls. Computerized estimating.

For a small company, Trademark Remodeling runs a marketing program whose sophistication rivals those of much larger peers. Owner Eric Swanson, a former high school athlete, initially saw carpentry as an outdoorsy career that would help him stay fit. Only in the past few years did he zero-in on growing the company. He took off the toolbelt, developed and implemented systems, and focused on education for himself and his staff, who include son TJ and brother Todd, and all of whom have the carpentry skills to “fill in” between trades when necessary.

Swanson recently received his NAHB aging-in-place certification. The new division it spawned, along with the addition of a handyman division and the company’s first-ever sales manager, are part of his long-term plan to power the company through the “never-never land” that, he knows, prevents some companies from ever really growing.

- Leah Thayer