Wayne Magee of Magee Construction in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has seen a slow and steady ise in business over the past eight years since being named Big50. The key to his success, Magee says, has been that he is “not afraid of change and [is] able to go with the flow.”

By keeping his eyes and ears open, Magee has been able to make positive changes to his company. For example, when he recognized that some Magee Construction staffers had multiple talents, he made the most of this and cut out two staff positions, which improved efficiency. The company, which previously had done some restoration work, found that these changes — and the resulting good relationships with customers — paid off. When several insurance companies went to a preferred contractor system, Magee Construction was on the top of their lists, leading to a larger volume of restoration work.

In 1997, Magee Construction was doing design/build but hadn't called it that; now “design/build” is included in the company's advertising, and this has increased business. Today, with a volume between $6 million and $7 million, Magee, which also does new-home construction, focuses on higher-end remodeling projects — at least two a year are in the million-dollar range.