I run a full-service home-improvement and remodeling company that was founded by my dad in 1976. Today, we have two basic divisions: one that handles kitchens, baths, additions, and basement finishing; and another that does handyman services and exterior work, including siding, roofing, and door and window replacements. Last year, our company did around $4 million in sales, and fully 30 percent of that was generated by what we call AWAs, or additional work authorizations — otherwise known as change orders.

Clearly, change orders are a vital piece of our business model, and they don’t just happen by accident. We lay the groundwork for changes by keeping clients happy and informed throughout the job process. Dissatisfied customers, we know, are unlikely to authorize additional work.

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