We spoke with Dustin Biegler of Apple Roofing about three major roofing company bottlenecks.
In this interview, Dustin discusses significant issues that roofing company leaders face and provides valuable solutions.
If you are a leader of a roofing company, read below to get relevant advice and support.
First Bottleneck: Sales and Profit
One of the first roofing company bottlenecks is the need to figure out revenue.
Although roofing company sales have been increasing, Biegler knows that “some roofers are broke in the winter and some roofers are broke in the summer.” Smaller companies usually have more financial issues in the winter, while more prominent companies experience strain in the summer.
Regardless of whether you are a small or large company, your first concern will likely revolve around sales and profit.
Fixed vs. Flexible Costs
Biegler indicates that company leaders should determine what their fixed expenses are and what their flexible costs are.
These costs are essential to distinguish, so you know how many charges are crucial to the company’s success and how many costs are easier to manipulate or decrease if sales slow down.
The overall goal is to make sure there are as many flexible costs as possible and keep the fixed costs as low as possible.
Use Management Incentives to Increase Profit
One type of expense is management incentives. These incentives, which can be built-in through payment tier structures, are an excellent way to build your employees’ leadership, trust, and loyalty.
W2 employees, which is what Biegler has, come with a lot of fixed costs such as trucks, phones, laptops, fuel, 401k, health insurance, etc. These expenses are going to cost an employer, regardless of whether the employee sells anything or not.
This is why it is essential to encourage higher selling through management incentives. Biegler speaks to how it is better to have one guy who sells an increased amount than two guys who sell half of that same amount. This is because the fixed costs will be lower.
Overall, management incentives are an expense, but they can lead to greater profitability and lower management.
Pay Yourself a Salary
Biegler suggests paying yourself an actual salary instead of spending money on personal items from your company bank account.
As an entrepreneur, you might see all the profits as your personal money because it technically is. But when the company makes money, that money should be saved or reinvested into the company.
This is why you should separate personal income from company profit. Biegler also suggests focusing on delayed gratification instead of immediate gratification to implement this mindset.
Second Bottleneck: Operations
Operation is the second bottleneck for roofing companies.
Biegler states that a lot of operational issues can “get solved by developing processes in your company.”
A good process, ethical leadership, and trustworthy employees are keys to successful operations.
Be an Ethical Leader
“You need a team to grow… [and] no salesperson can effectively go sell something they don’t believe in. Someone with not-so-great ethics can build a company…how long will it last, though?”
Both of these statements speak to the fact that leaders need to work with ethics in mind in order to have a well-operating company.
Look for Signs of Consistency and Trust in the Hiring Process
Hiring good, consistent, and trustworthy people is also a crucial aspect of effective operations.
Biegler mentions that there is always some level of trust that you can assess the first time you meet someone. It is essential to identify as much trustworthiness as possible in an interview with a potential employee.
This might entail asking specific questions or pulling references to gauge how that person works.
Let People Go if Need Be
After hiring someone, trust in that hire can increase or decrease. If they end up not fitting the company’s values, Biegler advises simply to let them go.
He explains that if someone doesn’t have the right work ethic for his team, he’s doing a disservice to the company. He is also harming that person.
The sooner a leader frees up an unfit employee’s future, the sooner that person can find a better fit for them. A better fit might be a company that doesn’t require as hard work as your company or a completely different niche.
Third bottleneck: Leadership Development
Biegler stresses the importance of being a good leader but also developing other leaders within the company. This is especially crucial if the company is expanding or looking to expand.
“Current leadership can’t be in both markets when you expand.”
There is a need to develop additional leaders at that point that lead separate parts of the company.
Focus on Relationships Over Numbers
Biegler advises leaders to help each member of their team reach their potential.
Leaders can help people progress in their professional lives. And when a person experiences progress, they then feel greater satisfaction.
On the other end, when a leader is pushing numbers and sales all the time instead of focusing on the individuals, people become unhappy. Salespeople may like hustling, but only to a certain extent.
Leaders should try to avoid burning out their people. And people will indeed get burned out if you’re only focused on numbers.
Find Balance in Your Team
Biegler speaks to the power of teamwork. And delegation is critical for successful collaboration. Leaders need to promote high performers and allow them to have ownership over their own work.
This, in turn, will create additional leaders that will help the team out, thus helping the company as a whole and creating more ease in your own life.
However, balance is necessary. It is possible to go too much the other way by delegating so many tasks and getting so high up in the company that you don’t see what’s going on beneath you.
Biegler suggests spending some time every now and then doing some of those roles you’ve delegated, even if just for a day. That way, you can uncover some inefficiencies and problems that you and other leaders might be overlooking.
“If something is wrong with your company, it’s you.”
He says that it is vital for a true leader to take responsibility for what happens in the company.
In order to have a team that operates how you want, you have to set a good example. It is crucial for employees to see you, as the primary leaders, taking responsibility and learning from mistakes so that they do the same.
Our conversation brought up a lot of amazing talking points when it comes to running a roofing business, but that can also apply to just about any small business. It’s critical to take a bird’s eye view of your company and find those bottlenecks, then take steps to prevent them.
If you are a roofing company who wants to get more leads and show up higher on Google, take a look at what Hook Agency can do for you.