I once asked a person close to me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Her one-word answer was simple and elegant: “Better.”

The majority of Roofing Contractor readers are highly motivated individuals seeking to be the very best in their trade. The path to becoming the best is paved with better. In order to reach the pinnacle, you must continuously improve.

So, how are you doing, and how do you know?

Roofing Contractor’s annual Top 100 Roofing Contractors report is consistently one of our most popular features; our coverage in this issue begins on page 28. It only measures the top reporting contractors based on billing revenue, but this one metric is how many roofing contractors measure themselves. I believe it is helpful, even for the contractors who do not report, to know where they stand year-over-year relative to their peers in the roof-contracting industry.

While billing revenue is arguably one of the most important measurements of your success as a contractor, it is far from the only one. In the roofing business there are a lot of other things that require constant focus to maintain a state of “acceptable” — not to mention moving down the path toward becoming the best.

For independent businesspeople, finding ways to improve can be difficult. As the leader of your roofing business, you often operate alone with little feedback save that which you may receive from some customers, vendors and associates. I believe the best feedback, however, comes from your peers.

This is one of the reasons why the Top 100 Roofing Contractors report is so highly valued. It is also one of the reasons the Best of Success conference is valued by those who have attended over the years. Beyond just a day and a half of seminars based on key roofing-industry topics, Best of Success affords roofing contractors the opportunity to meet with roofing contractors from all over the country willing to share their experiences and best practices.

This year’s conference is the 10th in the series, and over those years we have seen numerous peer-to-peer relationships begin and grow. Roofing contractors, even those from different parts of the country, find that their experiences are very similar and that there is much to learn from others in the trade. I hope you will join us Sept. 22-23 at Marco Island, Fla., for this year’s event; see page 50 for details.

The Best of Success conference is a great way to establish some benchmarks for yourself, but there certainly are others. For instance, Roofing Contractor contributor Monroe Porter operates Proof Management Consultants, a firm dedicated to the unique needs of roofing contractors. The International Roofing Expo is another place where roofing contractors have the opportunity to pick up a lot of knowledge coupled with many opportunities for peer interface.

Check out the links below to these and other sources of peer interaction. Who knows, one may lead you down a better path … all the way to “best.” 

Related Links: 

Manufacturers' Contractor Affinity Programs: