I've run a successful remodeling company for 22 years, one that has provided my family with a comfortable lifestyle and my employees with a good place to work. We have a wage and benefit package that is one of the best in our area, and we offer steady, full-time work. If it sounds like a dream come true, for a guy who started with nothing, it is. Not long ago, however, several nagging realizations surfaced, forcing me to rethink the whole picture. I'd been embarrassed by two estimates that turned out poorly, doing some damage to our bottom line. I was also frustrated by my inability to provide more than cost-of-living wage increases or opportunities for advancement to several key employees. So much of my time was spent putting out the fires of day-to-day problems, I felt like the business was running me instead of vice versa.

After some introspection, I realized that my business was at a crossroads. We are an established company with an excellent reputation. Over the last three years, our annual sales have averaged around $1 million, and each year, we have turned a modest profit. The problem that occurs in a company of this size is that the owner's responsibilities...

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