RC: How long have you been in the roofing industry and how did you get your start?
MY: We have been in business for six years. We started as D&M Construction in 2016, but after I earned my roofing license in 2020, we rebranded our company to I-57 Roofing, LLC. Seeing an opportunity in the metal roofing industry, we purchased a standing seam machine and started to sell standing seam metal roofs. In 2021, we expanded into commercial roofs, hired our first full-time salesman, and scaled up our shingle roofing. We currently have three salesman and a total of 10 full-time employees.
RC: Any company milestones that stand out?
DY: In early 2019, a church ministry brought us into contact with an accountant looking for work. It was a tough decision to add yet another person to payroll, but we felt like he had the business and accounting skills that could make a difference in our company. This ended up being a major milestone in the company, and helped us to recognize some needed changes and to organize systems that enabled the business to double in size for each of the next three years, growing from sales of $350,000 in 2018 to over $3 million in 2021.
RC: What are the top reasons for the company’s success?
MY: 1. Self-development, learning leadership skills as well as business knowledge such as markup versus margin, and understanding what goes into profit and loss.
2. Hiring the right person for each position in the company.
3. Recordkeeping and reporting. Having a track record of past jobs, including estimated and actual costs, helps us more accurately estimate future jobs and ensure profitability.
DAVID YODER, 31
MARCUS YODER, 33
CO-OWNERS, I-57 ROOFING, LLC
LOCATION: Arthur, Ill.
COLLEGE: In keeping with our former Amish background, we only attended school through 8th grade.
FAMILY STATUS: Marcus: wife, Gina; and daughter, Ady.
David: wife, Marlene, who is expecting.
RC: What are some of the challenges you face in your market?
DY: Although not specific to roofing, our biggest challenge is organization – establishing processes and putting systems in place to ensure consistent quality, and creating accurate job descriptions so everyone is on the same page about responsibilities. Although there are tools available to assist with these systems, it mostly requires prioritizing organization, and assigning capable employees to put their attention and focus into creating organizational processes.
RC: What area of your roofing business are you the most passionate about? Why?
MY: I’m most passionate about providing a consistent customer experience. Without our customers, we would have nothing, and I believe it’s important to serve our clients to our fullest potential when they chose to spend their money with us. I’m also driven by numbers in the business. Having gone through the rough times, I understand the importance of keeping margins at a level that allow the company to succeed long-term. I-57 Roofing is not just here for my brother and me, but to provide stable jobs to our employees, and to provide quality roofs for everyone in our community for many years to come.
RC: Do you see your age as an advantage or disadvantage in this business?
DY: I believe our age has an advantage. As young entrepreneurs, we have met many successful companies and people in our industry who want to help us succeed. We are grateful for the time they have invested into us, and we hope that when we become the older generation, we can help many others as they get started in business.
RC: Do you see a generational difference within your own company?
MY: Yes, we see the benefits of younger employees being more efficient with technology, but there are also challenges of employees seeming to avoid responsibility. Hiring and retaining quality employees, regardless of their generation, is always a priority.
RC: How has your company changed in recent years?
DY: We have added several types of new technology, both digital and physical. Some have helped and some have not. On the digital side, using QuickBooks Payroll, CompanyCam, and CRM software have worked so well we cannot imagine business without them, although we are still searching for the right CRM to build our business into. On the physical side, we purchased a standing seam machine and rent an Equipter on a regular basis, which have improved efficiency and profits. Other purchases like a seamless gutter machine did not work out without the right employee to operate it. As a company, we are always re-evaluating our needs and the available technology, not afraid to try new things, and switching where necessary when something we have is not the best fit for us.
RC: What’s next? What are your future plans for the business?
MY: Our focus this coming year is in putting process and systems in place for our company and sales team to perform at the highest level. Our future plans are to implement EOS in our company so that we can build a strong leadership team and grow our company with the right people to help us succeed. We would like to become more involved in our small community and build a legacy that will benefit others even after we are gone.
RC: What are you doing when you’re not thinking about roofing?
MY: I spend time with my family, read, and invest in myself to become a better father, husband, and leader in my home and community.