In 2005 Mark and Deb Witte rolled DreamMaker into their full-service remodeling business and haven’t looked back. Taking on the franchise expanded their business and helped them focus on processes and systems.

The company handles almost all carpentry work itself, and lead carpenters have a three-part incentive system to encourage them to watch their numbers and stay accountable. First, a carpenter is able to get a percentage of job costs based on an average of his quarterly over-under tallies. For example, if he does jobs for 98% to 95% of costs, he gets 1%. At 103% of estimated cost, he doesn’t get any incentive; between 100% and 103% he gets 0.5%. “Now [carpenters] have a vested interest in making sure they’re accurate,” Mark says. The other two parts of the incentive are feedback from GuildQuality’s customer surveys and a plus-minus system on number of estimated vs. actual days on a job.

• During a local fall festival, the Wittes sponsor a “Shred-It” day — community members donate money to have their documents shredded. Proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House.

• The Wittes are in the process of fully implementing a referral card system.

• An annual client appreciation dinner thanks “cheerleader clients” with gifts and personal gratitude.

• The Wittes’ code of values is part of the company culture and is regularly referred to as staff make decisions each day.