Malcolm DeMille Jeweler and sculptor Malcolm DeMille started selling to the golf industry on a whim more than 20 years ago. Today, the California business is a premier trophy, award, money clip and accessory manufacturer and provider for the Professional Golfer's Association of America, as well as the National Football League and such large corporations as John Deere ( DEE) and Jaguar. After being introduced to local country clubs seeking business, DeMille started to attend PGA Tour association meetings once a year. By attending, "we made contacts and over time we slowly began to build a business," DeMille says. DeMille makes trophies for some of the top pro tournaments, but the glamorous pro-tournament winner trophies don't pay the bills. "We get paid decently, but we would not be able to make a living based off of that," he says. Instead, the bulk of revenue is in golf's amateurs, in the pro-am tournaments taking place in the days leading up to a major tournament that allow amateurs to play with professionals for a price. "For each one of those days they need favors," sometimes as many as 100 and typically with the sponsor's logo, he says. "The real money is for us is in the pro-am prizes, awards and gifts." He acknowledges that while the industry is lucrative, he hasn't chased after business as much as he should, partially because of staff constraints. DeMille has roughly 16 employees. "The biggest thing is really responding and telling them the truth and being very frank and candid about what you can do and what you can't do. "People are willing to pay us a good amount of money as long as it's on time. If it's late, it's almost worthless." And never overpromise. It will go a long way for customers to build trust in your company. "I sometimes get myself in a pickle. We get it done, but sometimes it's not very fun," he says. Lesson learned: Build slowly and carefully, protecting your reputation by delivering on time and never overpromising to customers.