Be on the lookout for our December issue where we will announce the Roofing Contractor Residential and Commercial Contractors of the Year. In the meantime, I want you to consider some things that these and past Contractors of the Year have in common:

They are engaged. 

They are engaged beyond the bounds of their roofing businesses. They are engaged with the people on their teams and the processes to help them grow along with the enterprise. They are actively engaged with their communities, their state and local zoning and code officials, trade associations, and some are even engaged with their local trade and technical schools. 

And they are engaged in these pursuits primarily for the benefit of others, not profit.

However, these other engagements often result in growth as business leaders and individuals. As St. Francis of Assisi famously said, “For it is in giving that we receive.” Proof of concept was the fact that, among his other accomplishments, he gave up a life of luxury to live in poverty and we are still talking about it 800 years after his death. 

The things most businesspeople define as success include metrics, such as closing percentages, mod ratings, credit scores, or billings and margins. Growing the business requires hitting the numbers, but businesses that really thrive are built on a mission driven by the business leader with buy-in from the entire team. 

So as we (thankfully) head into the final stages of 2020, maybe you should consider a new purpose for your roofing business for 2021. Something beyond your daily goal of “watertight at night” or “on time and on budget.” Consider a theme for next year that may include engagement in a project, or project for your team, for which the only “pay” is the good feeling that comes from a job well done. 

Many roofing contractors give back to their community by establishing roofs for veterans programs or working with local nonprofits such as Rebuilding Together or Habitat for Humanity. We enjoy hearing from our readers and reporting on these philanthropic projects. These opportunities to give back to the community not only provide a backdrop of great publicity, but are also good for team building. 

Contributing free roofs is but one way a roofing company leader can be engaged. A continuing threat to the future of the roofing industry is not replacing the experienced roofers who are retiring out of the business in record numbers. Taking the time to seek out the educators who teach construction courses at your local trade and technical schools to share your expertise in roofing may have great value to the school, and you just might meet your next new hire.  

Maintaining active membership in roofing trade associations is a hallmark of the successful roofing contractors I know. They are not just members; they are constantly engaged with the work of their association. Networking with like-minded professionals and staying on the leading edge of the industry is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your enterprise. 

Get engaged. Profits are great, but operating with a purpose beyond the dollars is priceless.