Don’t be a Scrooge this year. Make a change. Give your roofing business a gift in celebration of the holiday season: a better leader.

Every year that goes by this business seems to get more and more complex. Perhaps it is the emergence of our knowledge base delivered at the speed of light via the Internet. Maybe it is the political or legal climate or rapid advancements in materials science. Perhaps the market for roofing services is maturing, driving a tougher competitive edge. Whatever it is, this is not your granddaddy’s roofing business.

As the leader of your roofing company, one of your primary tasks is to educate yourself on all aspects of operating your business. Unlike doctors, lawyers, accountants and plumbers, most roofing contractors in this country are not required to sit for continuing education every year. But the best ones do anyway.

Consider some issues that may be headed your way in 2014:

  • What should you do to prepare for emerging immigration reform?
  • How will you improve productivity while improving your health and safety record?
  • How will changes to the way polyiso insulation manufacturers figure the long-term thermal resistance value (LTTR) of their products affect the systems you sell and install?
  • How are changes to the formulations of roof coatings and adhesives going to impact your cost structures and productivity?
  • How will changes to the International Green Construction Code impact your business?
  • Where will you go to finance your roofing business?
  • How will coming changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) affect your ability to attract new talent?
  • How will new OSHA mandates on worker exposure to crystalline silica in the workplace impact your roofing business?
  • How will you compete against price-driven competition?

So where do you go to obtain the ongoing education that leaders of the nation’s most successful roof contractors need? I hope you will begin right here.

Roofing Contractor provides a knowledge base that only begins with the monthly print publication. Beyond the magazine you will find breaking news, informative features, webinars, podcasts, a searchable version of the Roofing Resource, and eNewsletters online at  Our annual Best of Success conference is full of information on the roofing industry’s hottest topics. Read more about the conference in this issue beginning on page 34 and online.

Soon you will be able to take advantage of the industry’s largest gathering of roofing contractors at the International Roofing Expo (IRE). There you may attend the largest trade show in the business and educational sessions on all of the topics mentioned here and more. Read more about it on pages 79 and 103. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) holds its annual convention along with the IRE. The NRCA offers its members seminars, publications and other learning opportunities geared for roofing contractors.

Make this the year you peer into Christmas Future: wrap up a great training plan for yourself and spend the year working it. Your team, your clients and your bottom line will thank you.