It would be business as usual for me to add a P.S. to this editor’s note reminding you that it is not too late to sign up to attend the International Roofing Expo (IRE), which runs concurrently with three days of the NRCA convention next month. Most of you would agree, however, that business is anything but “as usual” right now. That is why I am going forego the P.S. and dedicate this column to imploring you, in spite of every excuse, to stop what you are doing right now and head straight to our Web site, www.roofingcontractor.com, click on the IRE icon and make arrangements to be there. If you need any more incentive, our IRE pocket guide, inserted between pages 10 and 11 of this issue, has a special offer that includes FREE Expo Only admission for attendees who register on or before Jan. 23.
Why is it so important to attend the IRE in 2009? Well, let’s examine some of the excuses why you would not go and see if they hold up:
Excuse No. 1: “I went last year; there is nothing really new to go for this year.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I have been attending this show since 1976 and in spite of the fact that some years do not offer much in the way of new equipment, products, and systems; the experiences and the educational offerings are always unique and relate to the current times. The experience of meeting with other contractors from other parts of the country is impossible to duplicate in nearly any other venue, and it is truly unique year after year.
Excuse No. 2: “Business is (insert your situation - up or down); I cannot afford the time off.” Either way, the status of your business is going to change this year. Do you want it to be better? Go to the IRE to seek out new business opportunities or solutions for managing the ones you already have. You simply must invest in your own education to keep your enterprise moving forward. If your business is going to fall apart because you are away from it for three days, then you really need to attend the IRE.
Excuse No. 3: “Times are tough; I cannot afford it.” Your business is not going to get better until you invest some time and money into making it better. Staying home wringing your hands is not going to improve on a tough situation. Make the trip to the IRE and I will guarantee you will return home not only equipped with new ideas but invigorated from the experience of interfacing with the rest of the folks who make up the best and brightest in the roofing industry.
Excuse No. 4: “Times are tough; it would not look right for me to go to Las Vegas.” If you are concerned about how some of your key folks will view this, bring them with you. Giving them some additional educational opportunities and the chance to see new roofing products and systems will benefit your enterprise in many ways. Better-educated people produce better results.
Excuse No. 5: “I have done just fine in the roofing business for X-many years and I have never been to one of these International Roofing Expos.” The typical roofing contractor in this country is a true entrepreneur and fiercely independent. Until contractors experience a top-rated educational experience such as the IRE, they cannot know what they are missing. People who consistently attend the IRE will tell you that they are better contractors from the experience.
Make the investment in yourself and your business. There is so much to be learned at the IRE this column cannot possibly contain it all. Come and see, and if I am wrong you can tell me to my face. I will be there working to advance my roofing industry knowledge and figure out ways to take my business to the next level.