Brian Hogan started remodeling by buying foreclosed houses and rehabbing them. But after several years of working with subcontractors, Hogan saw an opportunity. “The whole subcontractor deal was so awful,” he says. “I’d make 10 calls and no one would call back. I thought, ‘This is probably something easy to improve on.’”

What started as an all around handyman service evolved into basement remodels and finally into a whole home remodeling company. But through all the iterations, customer service has been central to the business plan—and the success. “We’re really selling the experience,” Hogan says. “It’s super important that at every level of our company, the experience is stellar.”

That tactic seems to be working. Today, 87% of Hogan’s business is from repeat or referral work. Hogan credits much of his success to “running a company instead of trying to make it work.” He says programs such as Remodelers Advantage helped him make the transition. “I went from a guy who works on everything to a guy who works on our systems,” he says.

Takeaways: -- Hogan incentivizes workers to provide excellent customer service with bonuses if they meet expectations. “In some cases, they can almost double what they’re making,” he says. “And all that is just for doing their job really well.”

-- The company prides itself on never making a customer wait more than 30 minutes for a response. Hogan can guarantee this because he assigns project managers to each job. The company also uses BuilderTrends project management software to stay on top of projects and customer requests.

-- Hogan eschews traditional marketing for what he calls “high visibility marketing.” He makes a point to visit four different customers a week, past or present, and he keeps the company involved in local charities. The company also buys a skybox for the local minor league baseball team and uses it for customer appreciation days.

-- The company encourages customer referrals with $5 Starbucks gift cards for anyone who makes a referral. If the job gets closed the referrer then gets 1% of the job, up to $300, on a Visa gift card.