As this issue ofRoofing Contractorhits the street, we find ourselves in the middle of the college football season. What’s that got to do with your roof-contracting business? Not much, but a few parallels do come to mind.
Year in and year out our nations institutions of higher learning field football teams in an attempt to gain status as the leader of their division or conference. They are all after a bowl bid, and some even reach for the national championship. And yes, there is money involved.
Your roofing business is much the same considering the seasonality and the competitive nature of the work. You may think of your enterprise as a singular and ongoing institution, but the reality is that your 2008 team will be different than it was in, say 2004 or 1998. The competition will be different. For some of you it will be better, for some there will actually be less competition. No matter what form it takes, it will be different.
Looking ahead at the construction economy in 2008, it promises to be an interesting year. It is hard to ignore what is happening in the residential construction industry. The downturn is widespread, deep, and may be long-lasting. At the same time scarcely a week goes by when I do not receive a press release from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reminding everyone not to ignore the fact that there is plenty of work in the nation’s commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.
Like college football teams, most of us work in a specific piece of geography. We will not all face a decline in available work in 2008, but some will and it may be significant. For some, as gridiron prognosticators would say, it will be a rebuilding year. If that is where you are, may I suggest you begin by answering the question, “What am I rebuilding?” From there you can take some time to plan your business for whatever your market will be in 2008 and beyond. Explore new opportunities and set some new targets. The result could be the best team you ever fielded.