For years, I’ve been fond of saying the roof-contracting business is hand-to-hand combat. That is, a boots on the ground, bugs in your teeth, balls out, wide open, exhilarating, exhausting, thrilling, risky, and fun business. Sounds a little like anarchy, and at times I am sure it seems that way. A well run roofing project is a bit like the successful landing of a jetliner. Even though the landing is successfully executed by a skilled team using well-maintained equipment, technology, and a good plan: it is really just a well-controlled crash.

This analogy is only a little tongue-in-cheek, as your job performing as an excellent roofing contractor really does require a great knowledge of your craft, a lot of capital resources, and a hands-on approach to guiding your team to great results. Key word in all of this is “team.” And, to quote our good friend, Gregg Wallick, “Roofing is a team sport.”

I believe 2016 is going to be a good year for the roofing business and will be most rewarding for the roofing contractors who focus on improving their leadership skills. I believe building a great team, one individual at a time, is the way to personal and business success for roofing contractors, especially in a year when business opportunities have the potential to be robust.

Many roofing contractors focus much of their time and energy on driving their businesses. In a year when there is going to be, for many, a fair amount of low hanging fruit, I feel like this is a great year to turn more of that focus and energy on building people.

So if you buy into this concept, your budget for 2016 should not just be about billings and profits to grow the business. Your plan for 2016 should include targets for growing the skills of each key member of your team beginning with your own personal growth as the leader. If each member of your team grows in 2016 you will finish the year with a more viable and energized enterprise, better equipped to face whatever challenges 2017 will present.

While you are in the business of building the members of your team and working on improving yourself, do not leave your clients behind. Changing your focus from simply winning jobs to solving your clients’ problems and helping them grow as consumers of construction services will produce rewarding results. If you are a roofing contractor, independent business person and owner, you must be a leader in all situations whether it is in the interactions you have with your own team members or your clients. They are all counting on you to lead them to great results.

This is my New Year’s wish for you: No matter what kind of year it happens to be for your business or the economy, I hope it is a year for significant growth for you as a roofing contractor, leader, and individual. And my New Year’s message to you is this: Thank you for reading and being a part of the Roofing Contractor family. Happy New Year!

PS: It is not too late to join me at the International Roofing Expo in Orlando next month! Click here to learn more.