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Experience has a way of teaching us lessons that college or trade school never could. Fifteen years of running a small remodeling business have given me more humbling experiences than I care to admit. But through all the ups and downs, I have discovered a number of commonsense principles that work. Businesses that follow them have a better chance for success; those that neglect them usually fail. 1. Make a Good First Impression Be on time for the site visit, and if you are delayed, call ahead. Give customers a specific period of time within which you will get back to them with a price — one week, if possible. If you don't