In 2006, Cleveland-born brothers Aaron and Harley Magden, who grew up in the family window replacement business, set out to start their own company. The timing was wretched: they launched Window Nation a year before the housing market collapse triggered the Great Recession. Nonetheless, the Magdens expanded their operation, growing in the last seven years to become one of the largest home improvement companies in the U.S.

• Their business plan calls for opening a new branch every 18 months — and they stick to that. Today there are four branches, each managed by people who were promoted from within the company.

• Daily and weekly video conferences allow the Magdens to check in with branch managers.

• The company’s marketing has been revamped from inbound to outbound, expanding from one canvassing team to nine.

• Rather than the standard home improvement paper pitch book, Window Nation uses a unique iPad presentation, developed in-house, that is interactive and includes video.

• The company uses GuildQuality’s third-party customer satisfaction rating service. “We fired a manager whose GuildQuality numbers were down,” explains Harley Magden. “We look at one branch relative to another. It doesn’t have to be negative comments.”