Whether it’s the first time, or you needed to see it again, watch these sessions from Best of Success 2018 through Sept. 25, 2019 at www.bestofsuccessconference.com/webinars
COACHING CONTRACTORS TO WIN
Roofing Contractor Coach Jim Johnson kicked-off the intensive two-day conference by urging those in the audience to remember that they’re leaders. Leaders within the industry, leaders within their own companies, and in many cases leaders within their communities. That distinction comes with a special skillset, and a set of responsibilities that can set the tone for every single employee from the rooftop to the office.
“When they see you putting effort into their improvement, into practice, it can improve dramatically,” he said when speaking of employee ‘buy-in.’ “They’ve got to know where they’re going. Let them know about the existing possibilities and what’s their next step.”
It’s a process he said he learned the hard way managing people within his own organization.
“The hardest thing to do is to expect,” said Johnson, founder of ContractorCoachPRO. “I set goals and demand accountability.”
He also gave roofing contractors an operational mission to complete over the next year: find and hire 10 quality people in your business.
MEANINGFUL MOMENTS IN DIGITAL MARKETING
For the second consecutive year, business coach and digital marketing consultant R.J. Lowery led attendees on a journey that focused on the importance of establishing and nurturing a digital footprint.
“The world has changed. There’s a digital identity to your business. Word of mouth is now online,” Lowery said. “We have to get roofers to understand the old-school way is not working. What scares them is if you don’t take action, younger folks with better marketing, but lesser roofing skills can and will harm your market share.”
He also said it’s important for roofing contractors to bridge the gap between the baby boomers and the millennials to truly be effective in any roofing market. Part of that is having a strong and engaging presence on social media. That includes not only having public-facing business accounts on leading social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but also on interactive business-review sites.
“Social media validates,” he explained. “What Google knows about you matters so get into today’s phonebooks.”
If roofing contractors fear they’re behind, or not maximizing digital opportunities, he urged them to focus on three guiding principles:
- Find a way to always be found
- Set Yourself up to ALWAYS be chosen
- Be easy to work with online.
HIRING FOR SUCCESS
From the wording on your help-wanted ads and the way you dress to the level of fun you have in the office, hiring for success is less about what applicants say to you and more about what you say to them, according to Adam Buttorff.
The CEO and founder of Renown Roofing and Construction of Lewisville, Texas, said, in short, it’s important that contractors create a kind of company culture that attracts the right employees as opposed to hiring “whatever shows up at the door.”
Buttorff urged contractors to avoid settling, and shared several tips for how to hire in a way that will be more likely to create successful employment for the employee and employer. It starts with having the right attitude because, as he put it, “energy is contagious.”
“You have to love what you do, and it has to show — you’ve got to have some enthusiasm for it,” he said. “Because if you don’t, you’re not going to attract what you want.”
Buttorff challenged audience members to reflect on what is being communicated to potential employees — those that could potentially be your company’s “dream team.”
“Who would you want to work for?” he asked. “If you wouldn’t want to work for you, why would any other superstars want to work for you?”
During his presentation, Buttorff shared several tips and techniques to potentially help others find great employees at a time when many struggle to fill open positions.
His advice included several examples of how to most effectively create help wanted ads, along with ways to reach potential employees.
“I want the most educated, the most polished, people because let’s be honest, we can train the technical stuff,” he said. “You can’t train a good personality.”
LEGAL ISSUES PERTAINING TO MILLENNIALS
It’s not the millennial generation that the roofing industry needs to consider, but the fundamental shift in culture that the younger workforce represents.
That’s what Trent Cotney, construction lawyer, Cotney Construction Law, told the crowd during his presentation on “Legal Issues Pertaining to the Millennial Workforce.”
He held up his own smartphone as an example of the kind of technology millennials have always known — and said business owners and managers need to embrace that idea.
“The generation that’s coming into the workforce now has always had this,” Cotney said in reference to his phone. “They have always had social media. They are used to instantaneous communication. They’re used to getting automatic responses.”
Cotney urged business owners and managers to accept and not fight the culture shift reflected most by the large group of younger employees or potential employees.
“We as business owners need to figure how do we integrate that, how do we work with that, how do we understand that the dynamics have changed, the story has changed,” Cotney said.
He said the “story” no longer revolves around the highest possible paycheck, and that instead of dollars, recruiters need to focus on putting their best foot forward when communicating the story to potential employees.
“The story is empowerment, the story is you get to collaborate, the story is the path to destiny,” he said. “You have to be able to show potential workers that you will start off here, but you could potentially be here in just a few years.”
“You have to show them your vision,” he added, noting the importance of showing “that you’re more than just a roofing company, that you’re out there to be a progressive roofing company that’s integrating technology.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE
As a licensed roofing contractor, entrepreneur, executive, and the first woman president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, Lindy Ryan has worked with many people over the years.
So it makes sense that Ryan — now a senior vice president at Tecta America — nailed home a point on the minds of many both on-stage and off during this year’s Best of Success.
Simply put, a company needs to have the right people in place.
“It’s probably one of the things that I’ve learned the most in my career,” Ryan said. “To build anything good, you’ve got to have good people.”
Ryan said she has had plenty of experience hiring both the right and wrong types of people.
“Boy, your life is so much easier if you start off with the right individual,” she said.
The right individual contributes to the overall goal of being effective, productive and ultimately, profitable.
During her presentation, Ryan set out and elaborated on six main points that can help owners and supervisors work toward achieving the overall goal:
- Set expectations
- Let people do their jobs
- Connect with team members
- Hold them accountable and give feedback
- Offer plenty of praise
Ryan also stressed the point of hiring the right people from the start.
“We should hire for attitude and work ethic,” she said. “We can teach anyone almost anything, but we can’t train attitude and we can’t train work ethic.”
Ryan noted that some of the people she’s hired throughout her career have had levels of success that “have nothing to do with their skillset.”
“It has to do with what my gut is telling me and whether or not they have what I perceive to be the right attitude and the right level of work ethic,” she said.
WHAT WORKFORCE SHORTAGE?
As the cover story in the Sept. 2018 issue of Roofing Contractor notes: Sean Shapiro and Cameron Shouppe know only one way to face a challenge — head-on.
The young business partners launched Reliant Roofing in 2015 in Jacksonville, Fla., with one crew and now have 60 employees that collectively generated more than $8.5 million in 2017. In addition to their success in the field, what makes Reliant’s team stand out is that they’re all trained in-house as part of a unique approach developed to fight the industry’s workforce shortage.
Shapiro and Schouppe took command of the BOS stage by detailing how they developed their business model by focusing on training and building a workforce that did things their way — the right way, every time. Their session left the audience wanting more, some even offering to travel to Florida for a closer look at how they operate.
Roofing contractors left Frisco with an extra sense of purpose and a strong feeling of professional pride following the closing remarks from National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) CEO Reid Ribble.
The former congressman and roofing company owner returned to the Best of Success stage to give an update on ongoing and new NRCA initiatives, and to encourage roofing contractors from everywhere to find their voice and join a coordinated effort to improve the perception of roofers before the American public — starting with Capitol Hill.
No initiative speaks louder to the cause than the second annual Roofing Day on April 3-4, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The inaugural fly-in event last March drew more than 400 roofing industry stakeholders from around the country to the nation’s capital for an unprecedented lobbying event. Ribble urged for greater participation this year, noting that working with a new congress in 2019 could be an opportunity for roofing professionals to let their elected officials know where they stand on important initiatives like tariffs, government regulations and immigration.
Ribble also discussed the NRCA’s ProCertification initiative in great detail. The training and national certification effort is the first of its kind undertaken by the industry, and initial phases should be rolled out by the New Year, Ribble said.
“This is the single biggest quality assurance initiative the roofing industry’s ever tried to undertake,” he said. “We’re starting to drive the industry toward workers that see a way of improving their own life and opportunity inside their company.