Most of us in the roofing industry have learned through the Great Recession and the continuing recovery that we are in a very resilient business. It has proved a blessing that, for most of us, the majority of our roofing business is retrofit.
When residential construction came to a sudden halt, it did not have such a dramatic effect on residential roofing as it did on others trades, such as framing or masonry. It certainly did not hit us the way it hit banks and other financial institutions. Many contractors have grown their businesses, and over the past few years we have seen considerable growth on the manufacturer’s side of the business. Their new roofing and insulation plant openings represent bold new investments in the future of the roofing industry.
Thankfully, making huge investments in technology, people, and physical plant and machinery that comes with a 20-plus year business plan is not in my wheelhouse. Most of us in the roofing industry do not have to face such monumental decisions, but I am thankful for the ones who do. We would be in dire straits if we could not depend on a pipeline full of products ready for us to sell and install.
I believe that recent investments in new materials production will pay off in a future that is full of possibilities. I am not taking the optimistic view here, but the realistic one. In my 40-plus years in the roofing industry, it has always trended up. There have been ups and downs, good years and bad, but overall the business has consistently grown and improved. The industry continues to deliver a better finished product year after year.
So, how will you take advantage of this trend over the coming year and in years ahead? A good start may be found between the pages of the Roofing Resource in this issue of Roofing Contractor. If you were to compare it to the same issue from 1994 or even 2004, you will find tools, materials and technologies here that did not even exist then. That spells opportunity. If you are going to take advantage of being part of a resilient and progressive industry, you simply must keep your eyes open for new opportunities and be open to course changes as new opportunities emerge.
Also, take a look at our report on the 2014 Best of Success conference. This year’s event set a record for attendance, and I believe it offered some of the best content we have ever produced. If you missed it, don’t worry — you can still catch much of the content online in the form of archived webinars available at www.bestofsuccessconference.com.
Now, I must take these last few words of 2014 to say “Thank you!” to all of you who read Roofing Contractor, as well as our many advertisers and sponsors. We would not be here without you. On behalf of the entire Roofing Contractor team, I wish you all the best for a merry Christmas, and a safe and happy holiday season.