3 Experts Weigh in on How Roofers Can Better Position their Business for Success
Today, there is a tremendous upside to being a home services contractor. Reports show homeowners are spending more and more on home improvement projects. I have here three pieces of advice I’d like to share, taken from respected leaders in the industry, that cover three different aspects to managing and running a roofing business. All three of these experts have years to decades of experience working in the home improvement industry and know the ins and outs very well. So without further ado, here are 3 articles every roofer should put in his or her toolkit and save for a rainy day when they’re questioning how to take their business to new heights.
Tip #1 – Liza Barth’s advice for growth
Liza, a writer for GAF took away 10 key insights from a recent CARE seminar (Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence) that polled over 100 roofing contractors posed the question, “What advice would you give to a new roofer.”
The common principles made prevalent centered on ways a roofing contractor can grow, both their business and their own knowledge to become more successful. The answers to the question can be broken down into three main themes.
First and foremost, in order to grow you need an understanding of yourself, specifically your strengths, weaknesses, and limits so you don’t grow beyond your capabilities too quickly. And, to take classes like an accounting class to further increase your capabilities. Every roofer knows how to install a roof, but many don’t know how to determine a job cost for example, which can turn away customers if the offer is too high and lose you money if the offer is too low.
The second theme revolved around honesty, listening and knowing how to build long lasting relationships. We learn and grow by listening to others (colleagues, managers, homeowners, etc.) and taking in their advice. You can gain incredible insights from talking with your customers. Once you start building these relationships, honesty and transparency will set you apart from competitors.
Using technology and selling value over price is the final theme from that seminar. Technology is an easy way to differentiate yourself, such as using GeoJuice that allows you to showcase your past projects and happy customers on your website and social media that’ll in turn create more buzz around your company and lead to more business. Bottomline, it comes down to what makes your company unique? What value can a homeowner get from your business that they can’t get from anyone else? Answering questions like these and using technology in innovative ways will help position you for success and begin to piece together a foundation for your business.
You can read Liza’s full article here.
Tip #2 – Mark Richardson’s 3 rules of time management for contractors
Mark is a highly regarded consultant in the home improvement industry, helping businesses of all nature implement processes and systems to improve their business. A common pain point he hears revolves around time, in particular that there never seems to be enough time in a day.
Time is often the one thing everyone wants more of, and nobody has enough of. While it’s impossible to create more time in a day, there are ways to use your time more efficiently so you’re getting more done quicker – giving off the impression that there’s more time. Good time management skills directly correlate to your business, and Mark would even argue personal success too. These are his three rules he preaches:
The first rule to better time management is to have a plan. Without one, you have no roadmap to direct your decisions. He stresses you need to be in control of your business every step of the way. Starting with a good plan will help get you going, but Mark also made it a point to mention this is by no means a to-do list; more of an overall strategy.
Next, once that plan is in place, you have to embrace it and get into a routine. Figure out the most important activities you do in a given day and focus your schedule around those. Mark ran off a list of these activities, such as visiting job sites, returning phone calls and emails, creating bids, managing marketing and keeping records. The less mental energy you have to spend on figuring out simply what to do and when, the more energy you can put towards the things you really need it for.
This brings us to rule three. No matter how great a plan you have in place, Mark stresses the most important component to managing your time is to maintain a consistent focus. He gives the analogy – don’t be the person who signs up for a new gym membership in January and quit going by February. Revisiting goals regularly can help keep them top of mind. If you commit to getting all your invoices done first thing in the mornings, don’t skip it even if it’s just one time, thinking you’ll make it up later. Make wise choices about what is a true “emergency” and what can wait.
You can read Mark’s full article here.
Tip #3 – Joaquin Erazo’s advice for creating a customer-driven sales process
Joaquin is a recognized speaker and consultant who thinks out-of-the-box when it comes to growing your business. In this article, he states the case for delighting homeowners and trying to see things from their perspective as being central to winning their business and loyalty. His belief is that a roofer’s focus should always be on the customer; their wants, needs, and problems, and addressing them accordingly.
Every interaction you have with a customer must show them that they matter, that they’re not just another number on your list. Putting your customers under the microscope and delivering a world class customer experience will always be more beneficial than harmful. To help, Joaquin lays out four key steps to creating a customer-driven sales process.
Inspiration comes first, the selling can come later. He talks about how shifting the emphasis away from just the service – roof replacement – to what the homeowners will ultimately be enjoying – the peace of mind knowing their house is protected from leaks and water damage – you can begin to engage in customer-driven marketing.
A key indicator of your success will be how visual your company is online. Creating a strong presence on Houzz and Pinterest will help give your business that exposure. Create ideaboards and boards that focus on the process a homeowner will go through, such as selecting their designs, colors, materials and other important elements.
It’s important to recognize that the sales process does not end once you win a bid. You have every opportunity to let customers know how much they matter to you and your business. But don’t be shy about being open in bids either. Homeowners are smart enough to know you have to make a profit. A good way to make the customer feel comfortable is to present each aspect as a line item for concepting, project management, materials, and labor so they can see the breakdown of every part of the service. The best way to show homeowners how important they’re to you is to simply show up on time to appointments and to be upfront with any delays or changes. Remember Mark’s article? Nobody ever has enough time so it’s quite likely your customers are rearranging their entire schedule to make sure they’re home when you say you’re going to visit. Showing up an hour late could be disastrous.
If you want profits, you need customers. It only stands to reason, then, that you should take good care of your customers. If you make customers the star of the show, like Joaquin, suggests, you’ll be rewarded for it.
So to summarize:
*The views of the author may not reflect the views of Surefire Local or its partners