You are not alone if you’ve tried to figure out what distinguishes successful roofing companies from struggling ones. Running a roofing company is far from easy. You have employees to look out for, clients to satisfy, maintenance overhead costs, and profit margins to meet.
Yet losing track of one aspect could trigger a cascade of events that makes others go downhill.
Here, with Steven Soule of CMR Construction & Roofing, we will look at pitfalls some companies have encountered along this path. And if your company hasn’t moved past its first one or ten million, you’ll find these tips effective to scale you up to the next level ⬆️⚡
Business failure in the roofing niche is a combination of some of the seven roofing pitfalls stated below:
1. Poor Company Ethics and Culture
Many roofing businesses fail because of poor reputations and a lack of integrity. Unfortunately, the industry is already notorious for having scammers with whom clients are wary of doing business.
You don’t want to be the roofer people chase around for warranty claims or for not doing a good job. In addition, experts have attested that being unethical and cutting corners will always cause more harm than good to your business in the long run. And this all boils down to company culture & ethics.
Core questions you should ask to evaluate your company’s culture include:
- What values are your company known for?
- Are equity and fairness a watchword among your employees?
- Does your company have a reputation for always doing the right thing?
- Do you consciously or unconsciously take advantage of clients?
When clients view your company as an ethical player, you are more likely to win! 🏆🎖
Everyone on your team must understand that your company is passionate about doing the right thing, and they should act as such. And even if it costs you extra money, spend it. You’ll save money in the long run, and ultimately everyone will recognize your good work.
2. Poor Financial Management 💰
After a good month’s or year’s labor, how do you manage your company’s profit? Most managers prioritize incorrectly and, as a result, spend incorrectly- especially after hitting a milestone!
A typical example is buying new company trucks to advertise the brand on the go when you’ve not paid your employees or suppliers. Such capital-intensive decisions should only come after settling major expenses.
As a rule of thumb, the proper order of prioritizing your company’s expenses is:
- Pay your employees and suppliers first
- Pay yourself next, and lastly,
- Reinvest in the company by buying new or necessary gadgets and equipment or reinvesting in marketing.
Please don’t waste money buying the right things at the wrong time because it’s one of the fastest ways to get your company moving downhill. Reinvest only after paying everyone first.
3. Not Working on your Company’s Weaknesses
There are three major things necessary for a roofing business to scale successfully. Generally speaking, the order of importance is:
- Excellent service/craftsmanship
- Good sales
- Good marketing strategies
In starting, most roofers cannot balance sales and quality of their service to bring in more deals or vice-versa. If you don’t handle this lag quickly, it can become a major weakness that stops the other wheels until the business is no longer moving.
For instance, if you already have an excellent sales team, you need to focus on the more challenging part; making sure you have a killer crew. Or your marketing team might need more financing and restructuring if you haven’t gotten enough leads.
This order is not set in stone, however. To figure out how to set the order for your company, pay attention to where the lag is, then re-prioritize.
4. Lack of Proper Orientation for Leaders
Team leads and unit heads are very instrumental to the success of your company. If you train them right, they’ll drive the company forward. And if you don’t, the reverse might be the case.
So, in addition to teaching them the latest cutting-edge technology in the industry, you need to rid them of wrong mindsets so that they can inspire others.
There are two prevalent wrong mindsets you must empower your leaders to tackle.
The Do-It-Yourself Mindest.
Most roofers have an aggressively strong DIY mindset that resists new methods, technology, and tools. In the face of competition, your company will always be at a disadvantage if your team leads don’t learn to embrace new methods and teach others to do so.
The Busy Mindest
On the other hand, if your team leaders are knowledgeable but cannot create time to train others, there’ll still be a huge obstacle for the company trying to attain its goal. This lag is because the information will always need to flow downwards, especially as the company grows.
Company growth entails so many things. But it majorly involves doing the same things differently or implementing new ideas. In implementing these new ideas, the top tiers of management need to learn and then teach them to subsequent levels.
5. Improper Timing for Chasing Business Opportunities 🕝
Successful businesses know when to chase and when not to pursue an opportunity, when to diversify their income streams and when to focus. Jumping on every glittering option can be counterproductive and is why many roofing businesses fail.
Learn to have restraint even when opportunities are overwhelming. The best contractors reveal that before taking on new opportunities, they ensure their company can execute them.
Another thing to note when considering additional means of income is improving dormant aspects of the business. Explore ideas that would monetize areas your company hasn’t fully exploited.
For instance, if you have a stable source of commercial revenue, then the right way to diversify is by exploring opportunities on the retail side.
For a growing company, a consistent flow of revenue is just as crucial as huge jolts of income. As a result, most companies fail because they focus only on the more critical deals and lose some or all of their existing sources of revenue.
Usually, after this, the following mitigating response is to cut costs by making structural changes like laying off some staff.
For your roofing company to take off, you’ve got to keep your hold on existing sources of revenue while trying to seek more. While these former sources may not necessarily translate to revenue growth, they help contribute to clearing the bulk of overhead costs.
Additionally, employees would want to work hard for a company committed to ensuring that there’s always work in the queue.
7. Improper Management of Overhead Costs
Another common cause of failure in roofing companies is improper management of overhead
costs. Overhead costs are the expenses your company incurs to do business. You pay for them on an ongoing basis: Rent, insurance, fees and permits, marketing costs, and even employee salaries.
Usually, overhead costs tend to increase as the company grows. But due to poor management, most companies are soon drowning in overhead costs when, ideally, they should be scaling. What, then, is the solution?
- First, as they say, the solution to being broke is to make more money. So make more money!
- Second, always run the numbers to ensure you are never in the red. Your revenue must be sufficient to take care of overhead costs and further operations in the company.
- Finally, be careful of your financial decisions, as they can topple the balance. Sometimes, hiring just one more roofer for an already struggling company can drastically change your margins after you’ve deducted their wages.
If you incur additional overhead costs, you must ensure you keep them at the bare minimum so you won’t have to let people go. And when there’s a need to go out and get more jobs, do that. Ultimately, whatever would make the company incur an overhead must contribute to the company’s margins in the long run.
Companies will do much better if they identify significant pitfalls early. To do this, every manager or business owner must take a conscious moment to analyze the holes in their company’s sales process and close them immediately.
Finally, corrective efforts might involve financial investments and strategies. However, be careful not just to throw money at problems. Ensure you’re getting the corresponding solutions.
Take a moment to analyze your company today, and you’ll be well on your way to the next level! 📈