The Roofing Academy team is extremely passionate about helping new roofers fulfill their lifelong dream and launch their own roofing business. We have seen many roofers do so successfully over the years and nothing brings us more joy than getting the chance to see a new roofer turn their first profit or hire their first employee. The roofing industry is an incredible community and we welcome newcomers with open arms.
Unfortunately, for every success story we see, we also see a new roofing business that struggles in the beginning and some that fail entirely. This is disappointing for every new venture, but for someone with the heart and passion of a contractor, this is especially difficult to see.
Through years of conversation and observation, the Roofing Academy team has been able to identify common pain points that new roofing businesses struggle with. In order to help you overcome these obstacles we are sharing the top 5 reasons roofing companies fail with you today. Keep reading below to learn more!
- Lack of business knowledge
When roofing contractors decide to strike out on their own, they often choose to do so because they are an expert in their field. They know roofing better than anyone else on their team and they feel they have what it takes to make it on their own. While this is fantastic and industry knowledge is certainly important, it is not the only thing that matters.
In order to make it in the roofing business, it is crucial that you have business knowledge as well as contracting experience. As a business owner everything from accounting, finance, payroll, human resources, and sales all fall back on you. Without at least a baseline knowledge in these areas, success is more difficult to reach.
In order to mitigate this risk, there are a few options for you to consider. First, consider taking a business class or classes in order to expand your knowledge before striking out on your own. Second, consider going into business with a partner who is an expert in the areas you are lacking. A partnership will help take some of the pressure off of you and having another set of skills will better ensure success.
- Poor hiring decisions
No matter what industry you work in, the people you hire will make or break your business. As the owner of a roofing company, you will likely have a do-it-yourself mindset in the beginning. To save costs you’ll handle projects yourself until suddenly you reach a point that you have grown too much and need to bring on an extra set of hands. Oftentimes, new roofing companies reach this point in the blink of an eye. One day you are handling everything just fine and the next you are completely overwhelmed.
When business owners get to the point of being stretched too thin, they often make rushed and sometimes poor hiring decisions. They know they need the extra hands and they hire the first applicant they receive without checking references or qualifications. This can lead to hiring inexperienced or unprofessional contractors that show up late to jobs or complete projects incorrectly, jeopardizing your reputation in the community.
In order to avoid making hiring mistakes at your roofing company, start hiring before you really need the help. Doing so will allow you to properly vet applicants and ensure you hire the right people to help you grow your new roofing business.
- Failure to invest in marketing
Gone are the days where word-of-mouth marketing or fliers on a telephone pole are enough to help get a new roofing company (or any company) off the ground. Without having a proper marketing strategy in place that includes search engine optimization, social media channels, Google AdWords, and a customer reference program, you are likely to hit a limit to your growth potential
Early on, consider working with a marketing consultant to help ensure you are getting the word out about your new business in a way that makes sense for the industry. Doing so will legitimize you in the community and help you cast a wider net than you otherwise would have.
- Unwillingness to adapt
Contractors are a notoriously stubborn group and while this may help ground our company’s values and ethics, it does not help when it comes to adaptability. The roofing industry is a rapidly evolving and changing industry. New, better technology emerges everyday and to stay competitive it is crucial that we stay on the frontlines. You may like the way you do things now, but a client is likely looking for the latest and greatest.
In order to make sure you stay on the cutting line of roofing technology it is important that you regularly participate in industry events and learning opportunities. Doing so will make you a more appealing contractor and a more appealing employer.
- Poor leadership
We have all heard the saying, “People don’t quit jobs, people quit bad bosses,” and in the roofing industry it is especially true. The roofing industry is competitive, labor intensive, and downright exhausting work. It can also be incredibly fulfilling, rewarding, and fun work when done in the right environment.
In order to truly grow your roofing business into a successful company, you need to become a leader that your employees trust and believe in. You are responsible for their safety, their livelihood, and their career development. It is important that you always put your employees first, listen to their concerns, and foster a positive workplace in order to retain talent.
One of the best investments you can make for your roofing business is in education, mentorship, and support. Having resources to turn to when you encounter challenges along your journey will empower you to overcome them and continue to grow.
The Roofing Academy is committed to giving our members the tools, training, and development that they need in order to launch and grow a thriving roofing business. Contact us today to learn more about our membership and service offerings today.