There have been more roofing and insulation plant openings over the past several years than we have seen in decades. There are more on the way. One of the largest roof-contracting firms in the country (No. 2 on Roofing Contractor’s Top 100 list) was recently acquired by an investment management firm. Consolidation and new branch openings continue on the distribution side of the trade. These are not insignificant investments and are being made by firms that spend considerable resources reading the tea leaves.

You and I may not be institutional investors or owners of multi-billion-dollar roof-manufacturing assets, but we are all business people with investments in our various enterprises. We may not have staffs of actuarial folks helping us find out what the next great investment should be, but we can read about and study the folks who do.

The problem is, when you are in the heat of the battle, it is difficult to take time out to study the big picture. Every day has its ups and downs. You bid three jobs, and some days you walk away with two, and some days you walk away with none. And with business on the rise, it becomes even more difficult.

But the signs are all there. This is one of those times when you simply must up the investment in your roofing business: investments in yourself, your people, business relationships, your product and service offerings, and the key person in your business — you.

How do you invest in yourself? Making the move from one who works for the roofing business to one who drives the roofing business may be a very significant investment for some roofing contractors.

It will cost you, but the payback should be a company equipped to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Some contractors will be paid back very quickly by discovering production and business improvements that are not so obvious when they are right in their face.

Roof contracting is a labor-intensive enterprise, so it will always make sense to invest in your people. I’m not suggesting you go out and hire more just because business is picking up. The investment should be in growing the people with whom you work as you constantly keep an eye on the market for talent that may make a good fit for your team.

One of the things I will do to invest in my own growth will be to attend the Best of Success conference in Phoenix Sept. 30-Oct. 1. See page 48 or visit to learn how you can sign up and join me and several hundred of my closest friends as we hear from industry professionals on a number of topics relevant to the roofing business. Hope to see you there.

Next month I will use this space to look at investments in your customer and vendor relationships, as well as your product choices and time.

 To be continued…