By Kate Foster.
Running a roofing business can be a difficult undertaking.
There are so many different components to keep track of when running a roofing company that it can be easy to let things that may seem unimportant slip by. However, the most common of these little slip ups can stack up and contribute to a company that ultimately fails to be profitable. We help identify the top 5 reasons contractors fail and how they can be avoided.
- Lack of Established Processes – One of the biggest mistakes roofing contractors make is being disorganized. We don’t mean your desk is messy, papers are scattered, and files are not labeled, although that can pose its own set of problems.
Roofers that do not have an organized set of processes in place often struggle when it comes to on-boarding new hires, managing new leads, and keeping track of expenses throughout the pipeline. Unfortunately, this kind of disorganization almost always leads to flops in the roofing industry.
Often, contractors want to hit the ground running and get started on jobs right away, but do not have any structured process to guide them. Avoid this by establishing a set of steps that everyone in your company follows to take a new lead all the way through completion.
By assigning job ownership to a Project Manager or GM, setting deadlines, and delegating tasks and follow-up communications, everyone who touches that job is on the same page going forward. These processes ensure all the appropriate actions are being taken, and you’re not wasting time wondering what to do next.
- Not Investing in Marketing – Marketing is a huge asset for a roofing company and is essential to getting your name out to your targeted area and bringing in business. Marketing can be tricky – many contractors are not sure where to invest or what the best marketing strategies are, and as a result, find themselves investing their time and efforts poorly with little to no returns.
The first step to ensuring you have effective marketing is to spend your money in the correct place. While it might be cool to sponsor the local shuffleboard team, you’re not likely to get a good return of investment from it. Investing in social media or trade shows and ensuring your website is up to date will help get your company’s name to the right audience in a way that uses your budget wisely. In short, to really make sure your marketing is effective, identify the ideal customer for your products and target that demographic with your marketing in order to really maximize your reach.
- Not Hiring the Right People – Managing employees is another step where contractors often go wrong. The wrong employee can be detrimental to your company, so you need to find people who really fit and contribute to the atmosphere you have created in the office. A bad employee doesn’t have to be someone who makes a few mistakes – it could just be someone who brings negativity and dissent to the team.
Many contractors are looking to get up and going so fast that they hire as soon as they find a qualified individual. However, just because they are qualified does not mean they are right for your company. Take the time you need to find someone who will be a valuable addition to your company not only from a skill standpoint, but a character standpoint, too.
The same goes for current employees. If they are having a negative impact on your roofing company, it is time to let them go and find someone who wants to be there.
- Not Properly Training New Hires – Not investing in the initial and continued training of your teams and crews is a widespread reason why many roofing contractors see huge employee turnover, and ultimately fail. Many companies believe their new employees are ready to jump into the fray as soon as they are hired. However, new employees (and old ones) should be trained in the expectations that you have for their role, as well as the processes you’ve established to uphold your company’s quality standards.
Proceeding without doing so could mean your employees are not working up to their potential, or even worse, making mistakes that could be easily avoided. Training could mean anything from giving them a demo of your product or services to sending them to a coach or mentor within your organization who can help them define their role and succeed.
There are a number of great resources out there to help train your employees, so do not be too proud to reach out and work with others. The little bit of time and money it takes to train your employees is a small price to pay to ensure your roofers know what they are doing and are living up to the company’s standards of excellence.
- Not Embracing Change – The last failure committed by roofing contractors is opposition to change. The urge to keep things the same can be strong and it can be easy to subscribe to a, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” attitude. However, what worked for you as a small startup company might not be what your flourishing company needs now. Keeping things the same can stunt your company’s growth and cause frustrated employees to leave. Be aware of what your roofing company needs to remain healthy and take steps to ensure that you have the tools and people to help you grow.
This means that the technology you use in the office and the field, your employees, job processes, and even building space needs to be flexible as your company’s needs change. While it can be difficult to move out of what is comfortable into what is bigger and unknown, it is a necessary step to keep your company thriving.
These five mistakes take down contractors all of the time. While they may seem small, they can have huge repercussions in the long run. Ensure that your company continues to prosper as it should by keeping an eye out and taking preventative measures.
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Editor’s note: This article first published on the AccuLynx blog and can be viewed here.
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