The roofing industry is a challenging space to own a business. In fact, over 50% of new roofing businesses will fail before they even make it to the $3 million mark. Often, the factors that prevent a roofing company from achieving success are completely avoidable.
As the most-trusted—and first ever—business management software built exclusively for roofing contractors, AccuLynx understands how important it is for new businesses to set themselves up for long term growth and success.
We’ve identified the 5 Tips That Could Save a Struggling Roofing Business, to help you understand some of the warning signs, and how to avoid them, so you can ensure your business is always headed in the right direction.
Tip #1 – Invest In Your Roofing Business
The old saying, “you have to spend money to make money,” is true. Roofers who take their growth seriously know that investing in their roofing business more often than not yields high ROI when dollars are spent in the right place.
Get Financing – If a struggling roofing business doesn’t have the upfront capital to make investments, there are many financing options available. Accessing working capital for everyday business expenses and growth is easier to acquire than you might think. Companies like BlueVine help thousands of small- and medium- sized businesses achieve their goals by equipping them with funds to purchase materials, hire talent, meet payroll and free up funds to invest in other areas.
Hire the Right People – In the industry today, finding qualified talent can be its own challenge. However, it’s still important that you focus on finding the right person, not just any qualified Joe Schmoe off the street. Take the time you need to find someone who will be an asset to your company not only from a skills standpoint, but a cultural standpoint, as well.
Employ Growth Tools – Investing in products like business management software may seem like more of a luxury than a necessity. However, the research shows that small businesses that invest in CRM software like AccuLynx, on average, see sales increase by 29%, sales productivity increase by 34%, and sales forecast accuracy increase by 42%.
Don’t Forget About Marketing – Marketing can be tricky – many roofers are not sure where to start. The first step is to ensure you are putting your dollars where they will have the most impact. Start by making sure your website is up to date with all of the services and warranties you offer, as well as your social media profiles. Something as small as making sure your contact phone number and email are front and center can help you generate more leads without consistent spending.
Tip #2 – Put a Process in Place
Lack of structure has a negative impact on a company. When people don’t know what steps to take or who is responsible, mistakes are common and delays are inevitable. This can limit a company’s ability to take on more than a few jobs at a time. As a leader, it’s up to you to create the accountability. Make sure you have a well-defined process documented for everyone to follow or let a CRM/project management system do it for you. This way, you can keep detailed records and communicate in real time so problems are eliminated before they begin.
Tip #3 – Understand Your Business Intelligence
Roofing businesses that lack data or a way to analyze their performance are limited in their ability to identify areas of weakness. Understanding all of this information can help roofers make better business decisions. With access to historical data to identify trends, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help spot changes in sales or revenue, business data can improve nearly every aspect of the way your company operates.
Understanding how your roofing business is performing in key areas at all times is critical for financial stability and growth. Business owners should make sure to review overall profits and losses, accounts receivable, accounts payable, job costs, job profits, and sales closing rates at least once a month.
To help you get started – One of the reports you should be taking advantage of right away is an A/R Age by Salesperson report, which can be used to see your total accounts receivable according to the length of time invoices have been outstanding, grouped by salesperson. This report can help you collect outstanding payments faster and identify potential cash flow issues—especially crucial for struggling roofers.
Tip #4 – Use Automation to Your Advantage
If your sales and admin teams struggle to keep up with the amount of manual data entry they need to process on a day to day basis, that should be a big red flag. Think of all the time they are wasting filling out the same information over and over (sometimes in different systems) when they could be doing more productive, business-growth related job functions. In fact, according to a survey by SmartSheet, “Over 40% of workers spend at least a quarter of their work week on manual, repetitive tasks, with email, data collection, and data entry occupying the most time.”
Businesses oftentimes spend a lot of money paying multiple administrative staff to carry out manual, back-office functions that could be done in faster and cheaper ways. When staff have to manually enter information into multiple systems, mistakes are more common and record keeping and processing is harder than it needs to be.
Use Templates in the Field – Most companies already have a standard set of documents that are used consistently by different teams. Templates that are integrated with a CRM and that are accessible from mobile devices can be used to automatically populate information like the customer’s name and address across all of their associated paperwork. This can save hours that your sales team can put towards new business.
Order Your Supplies Directly – According to Information Age, “When your sales team are in the middle of a crucial touchpoint throughout a customer’s journey, having on-the-go access to all customer inventory and orders alongside product and pricing information will assist in closing deals more efficiently – they must have up-to-date data during the interaction, not afterwards.” When your templates are integrated with material suppliers’ product catalogs, and store your frequently ordered items, your teams can order materials faster, and make fewer mistakes when it comes to calculations.
Automate Your Sales Data – Take advantage of CRM integrations with accounting systems like QuickBooks so staff never have to enter information in two places. It’s more efficient and less expensive to have software streamline functions like this, allowing you to reallocate resources to areas that will improve your bottom line.
Tip #5 – Don’t Underestimate Your Competition
New roofing companies are entering the market faster than ever, and customers have many options to choose from. In the time it takes to canvass one neighborhood by knocking on doors, the competition has covered three, thanks to more sophisticated selling tools. Everyone is competing for the same business, so oftentimes, the first roofer onsite is the one who gets the job. If you suddenly find your roofing business struggling where it was successful before, this may be the culprit.
Speed can make all the difference – Reach potential customers quickly and address their issues faster. Using electronic signatures to get contracts signed on-site and getting crews scheduled to start work right away can give you a serious leg up, especially when homeowners are anxious to get their leaky roof fixed.
Offer the Services Your Customers Want – If you are constantly being asked if your company does gutters, for example, there might be a need within your market that isn’t being addressed. Identifying areas where you can expand your service offerings make you more attractive to new customers, and gives you a reason to stay in touch with clients for ongoing repairs.
There are many reasons why struggling roofing businesses ultimately end up failing. But when you streamline and automate your processes, invest in your business, and cater to your customers, you can put your business on the track to greater, more sustainable growth.