One of the toughest parts of the roofing business is breaking into it. Although start-up costs for a roofer can be relatively low compared to other entrepreneurial ventures, building a company from a 3-man crew into a successful enterprise is not for the faint of heart. Many of our customers have already been through those growing pains. For those out there taking their first steps into the field, this week’s blog has some tips for initial growth.
You’re not the first guy (or gal) to grab a hammer and some yard signs and set out to spruce up the roofs of your city. Thousands have come before and made mistakes and breakthroughs that you can benefit from their experience. Crowdsource your problems, ask questions and be ready for feedback. You may not always like the answers you get from the forums at Roofing.com or on Reddit’s r/Roofing but the folks on there can give you advice on every aspect of the business, and you’d be a fool not to listen. Seeking out connections in your local market is smart too. There’s more than enough business to go around, so don’t let fears of competition keep you from networking with other roofing entrepreneurs.
Find a Supplier
Your materials are going to be a large part of your costs in this industry, and for those starting out, there’s not much flexibility when it comes to payment. Find a supplier that will be able to handle your future growth and stick with them. You’ll be paying upfront at the beginning, but loyalty on your part will eventually pay off with some credit and flexible payment terms. Flexibility will be necessary when you have multiple jobs with overlapping timelines.
Organization in your business means more than file folders and a label maker. Keeping track of customers and possible customers (leads) will become increasingly important as you grow. Being able to set up and manage a workflow that helps you turn leads into customers and follows them as their project progresses is a skill that many have outsourced to technology. Applications like Salesforce and JobNimbus have become standard in an industry where you can easily have more clients than you know what to do with. The costs of some of these CRM services can be steep, but knowing they exist and planning for their eventual use will help you transition into the next phase of your business.
All the organization and apps in the world won’t help you if your customers aren’t behind you. Yard signs help get your name on the street, but your clients word of mouth is what brings in organic business. A reputation for quality and character will carry more weight than a BBB accreditation, so make sure you take time to connect with your customers and turn them into advocates for you. Giving happy customers an outlet to voice their support is especially important in the digital marketplace. Having a space for testimonials on your website, or taking the time to build a Google Business page that accepts reviews is must for ALL small business now.
If you’re acting as CEO, foreman, and salesman for your small company, your time will quickly become as rare as an alligator in Alaska. Finding ways to save time in your many roles will allow you to concentrate on the areas of your business that require more focus. RoofSnap was built to maximize your salesman’s time with the customer and minimize time spent measuring and estimating. Streamlining these parts of your workflow will allow you to spend more time managing your crews, liaising with your customers and spending time outside of your business as well (something that is even harder to find for most start-up founders).
If you have made it through the first couple years of starting your own company and have some advice to pass on to our readers, leave a comment! If you’re starting out and want to talk about how RoofSnap can help, give us a call! We love to get to know our customers and solve problems that help their businesses grow. Contact us at 877-766-3762 or [email protected]. We’ll see you next week!