While it's never too late to learn how to run a franchise in the roofing industry--and we have lots of advice for franchise owners!--it is especially important that new owners, or those thinking about ownership, understand what this role entails before they take the leap and make a heavy investment.
Growing a successful roofing business requires the owner to pay attention to operations and revenue. Often, small business leaders find this to be a big challenge when they first open their doors to customers. When work is slow (say during the off-season), there’s plenty of time to focus on the day-to-day operations and business development. But when all crews are out on jobs, you’ll be swamped with scheduling and customer support, giving you barely enough time to keep an eye on what’s happening in the office. And once that busy spike is over, the phone can stop ringing if you don’t focus on filling the pipeline with new business.
Balancing sales, operations, and customer relations equally is critical to make your roofing business a success and improve your ROI in the early days.
Roofing Business 101: Role of a Successful Business Owner
As the owner of a successful roofing business, you’ll have to wear many, many hats. Even when you set customer service as your number-one priority, it doesn’t take long to learn that delivering excellence requires a holistic approach to operating and managing your business.
Running a successful roofing business doesn’t just include installing quality, guaranteed roofs. You’ll also have to manage and oversee:
Prospecting, bidding, and appointment setting
Pitching and selling to customers
Accounting/paying appropriate taxes (including sales taxes)
Securing lines of credit for materials
Operations and management
Let’s start with what could be argued is the most vital aspect of running a successful roofing business: Prospecting and sales.
Managing Your Sales Pipeline for Your Roofing Business
The roofing business is competitive, and finding opportunities for new business is crucial. This is especially true when the product itself is built to last a lifetime. Since every roof should last at least 20 years, it’s unlikely a customer will buy more than one roof from your business.
Many roofers acquire new business by reputation. It’s why word-of-mouth is the lifeblood of most roofing businesses. Do a great job for one customer, and they could recommend you to friends and family. As important as referrals are, you’ll need more than just referrals to bid new work. You’ll also need a reliable marketing plan.
Roofing Business Marketing 101
Today, digital marketing is the only way to stay competitive. That means making the following marketing essentials your priority:
An Easy-to-Navigate Website: They say the website is the storefront of the modern age. Your digital storefront can make or break a business. If you can’t design a site yourself, budget the cost for a professional design firm. And make sure their focus is on SEO – optimizing your site for search engines so customers can find you.
An Attractive Logo: Your logo matters! It’s going to go on all of your yard signs, business cards, your website, business listings, and more. It’s worth it to hire a professional designer to create a logo that represents who you are as a business.
Google Ads and Google Business Listings: Update your Google local business listings correctly so when a potential customer searches for “roofing businesses near me,” they can find your website and location information the moment they start looking.
Online Listings on Referral Sites: Think Angie’s List, Yelp, and other listing sites that help homeowners find home improvement services.
In addition to your digital marketing (also referred to as “inbound marketing”), the office needs the processes and infrastructure to manage your outbound marketing. That includes email lists (to help you generate leads), customer support management (CRM) software (to keep track of your sales pipeline), and bidding and estimating software.
How is Your Sales Etiquette Doing?
People rarely buy something as costly and important as a new roof from a business owner who doesn’t come across as confident and trustworthy. If you’ve never made a sales presentation before (and no shame if you haven’t!), consider sales training to familiarize you with best practices for presenting a bid and following up with a client.
Let’s say you are experienced in sales but haven’t worked in the home construction trades. Trust is paramount when working on someone’s home, and homeowners need to feel that trust the moment you start the meeting. Ongoing training, support, and mentorship is crucial to your long-term success and viability as a business.
Forms, Contracts, Bids, and More
When a client says “yes,” do you have the right paperwork to send them? A bid alone isn’t legally binding. A contract indemnifies both you and the client, especially if they avoid paying you when the job is completed. Custom bidding and contracting software can include templates for presentations and contracts to increase efficiency and cost consistency in all of your pitches to clients, saving you valuable operation time.
Managing Your Team
Even if you’ve led teams in other organizations, it’s different when you’re the boss. Along with carrying the appropriate worker's compensation insurance, you’ll also have to set up payroll systems, training, background checks, and more. Remember that if this all looks feasible on paper, managing people is a full-time job. You need to be in the field meeting with new customers as much as possible.
Instead, a support system that helps recruit, train, manage, and pay your staff enables you to do just that.
Ready to Start a Roofing Business? Consider a Roofing Franchise
Starting any new business from the ground up can be intimidating and, worse yet, costly. Avoiding mistakes is key to your early success as a roofing business.
The Honest Abe Roofing franchise model provides a reliable team of home improvement experts for all of our franchisees. We offer a wide variety of premium quality roofing products with a lifetime reliability guarantee. We also provide our franchises with nearly endless resources, including:
Premium roofing materials
The latest information on newest roofing trends
Opportunities to network with owners just like you around the country
Fully-insured and trained installers (no subs!)
All the training to give you the confidence and knowledge you need frmo day one
Concerned about upfront costs for a franchise? We offer unparalleled in-house financing—including same-as-cash—and this includes options for franchise clients with a spotty credit history.
All of our franchise owners attend a two-week training course that includes subjects as diverse as lead creation, marketing, sales, and customer support. We additionally provide access to a network of experienced, certified roofing professionals with background checks, and manage them for you so you can focus on what matters: Getting new business in the door!
Our team provides our franchisees with the resources to grow your bottom line quickly while not necessarily requiring you to put on a tool belt to get into the roofing business. If you’re ready to learn more about our growth potential and how we can help you start your roofing franchise, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.