Tuff season


#1

Hi guys . Great site you have here …

This is not related to a roofing system and i apologize for a poor question but i was hoping you could help me based on your experience :

I am fairly new as a roofing contractor and after a good season the roofing market seems to have 80% of my competitors strugglin for work :

I am stuck in this desicion …

Shall i go work for another company while the system gets back in track and catch the next wave.??

Shall i keep trying to get some work rolling in even do some of my 35 year old copetitors have laid off all their guys ??

I am not sure is my first season this slow … but im sure expert contractors here learned how to deal with them …

thanks in advanced .


#2

Hi,

Where are you from?

When I started I did what I had to do to pay the bills.


#3

Compguy,

I’m in Massachusetts and having a horrible season too. Getting undercut, outsold, and plain out losing money.

Are you carrying employees? If you can not keep the work flowing you will not be able to maintain employees, they will either quit or if they stay they probably have some issues you may not want to deal with.

Everyone says how much it sucks having a partner, but for me, downtimes like this is when it is great to have one. When things get really rough, we get back to just the two of us and do whatever it takes, even if it means we find work together just for a days pay to prevent downtime.

If you’re a brand new business and you’re not an owner/operator, I’d say you are going to have a tough time keeping up with your competitors.


#4

Here in Seattle there is always a long rainy season. Some roofers out here collect unemployment. Some show up to work everyday but have nothing to do at all for weeks! It’s frustrating because it’s like being on call but with less work than more work. This is the nature of the beast. The union shops I worked at would rotate the “core” workers while just laying off the rest so they could collect unemployment and sign up on the out of work list at the hall. Yes it’s tough and some years are better than others. Sometimes a flow of work will come in all of a sudden right before people actually call it quits. All I can say is hang in there and round up some work and market your ass off. Here’s one more idea: concentrate on repairs and leaks because you shouldn’t get undercut too much because these types of jobs require a lot of skill and close contact/communication with homeowners and property managers. Hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Sam Bailey
Leak Chasers Roofing


#5

Here in Seattle there is always a long rainy season. Some roofers out here collect unemployment. Some show up to work everyday but have nothing to do at all for weeks! It’s frustrating because it’s like being on call but with less work than more work. This is the nature of the beast. The union shops I worked at would rotate the “core” workers while just laying off the rest so they could collect unemployment and sign up on the out of work list at the hall. Yes it’s tough and some years are better than others. Sometimes a flow of work will come in all of a sudden right before people actually call it quits. All I can say is hang in there and round up some work and market your ass off. Here’s one more idea: concentrate on repairs and leaks because you shouldn’t get undercut too much because these types of jobs require a lot of skill and close contact/communication with homeowners and property managers. Hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Sam Bailey
Leak Chasers Roofing


#6

Thank you for your suggestions … I am near washington and i had a job offer for today as a journeyman … After a long night of thinking i decided to hold on on it and ill go pray … then grab my cup of coffee and a bunch of Shingle brochures and hit the streets knocking on doors with bad roofs…

Job offer sounded an easy way of getting some money coming in … But is not going to push my company ahead… so ill give it one more shot and ill reconsider a journeyman position next week if nothing happens.

Currently i am owner operator no employees.

Have a nice day… Hope it gets better


#7

Hi,

Washington DC


#8

Ok guys i started driving around for like an hour and a half and knocking on doors of homes with damaged roofs and got two ladies interested in an estimate ASAP and one man who is thinking about it .

Got back to the office and phone is dead … :mrgreen:

Is funny how all the tousands of dollars in advertising are not getting me any leads and all i had to do is go knock on a door and ask .

Getting kinda hot right now so ill hit it again in the evening when everyone gets back from work.

I Hope they turn out to be good quality leads


#9

Thats called canvassing. It is more effective than advertising in papers and yellow pages if you have people that know how to work it. I have some things i could send you email me for a full canvasing kit.


#10

Thank you very much i got the canvasing stuff from another member here .

I almost feel like killing my advertising overhead down to zero and doing some walking instead … for some reason customers create a bond with you when you canvass rather then just be :

company #24 from the phonebook estimate number #23


#11

Prob not the same stuff. WHat i have ais how to implement a full canvassing program and how to run it effectivily.


#12

Hi,

Going door to door may be illgeal withour a permit.


#13

probably … Usually they want permit even to go to the bathroom … usually pulling permits equals the following :

while other contractors get a whole job done and make good money without permits .

Your stuck at the city building department putting up with some ladies with worst attitude then a werewolf … wasting 2-3 hours of your time … so that when they feel like it and stop talking about why one lipstick is better then the other one they take your request and rip off 200 dollars for basically anything so that a " inspector " either goes out and just signs without looking at your work … Or he goes out and comes up with the most ridiculous codes that are not even applied to roofing and makes your project get delayed or just plain you make waste money …

Ok but we dont wanna get mixed up with the contractors without permits … ok so lets make it professional … we complaint if there is any illegal activity as such and it just falls on def ears …

You know i believe in being legit but if you have to pay the bills … And the city is just beign a joke ill pass…

All of the contractors i know have told me they sometimes dont even pull permit not because they WANT to be crooked but because if anyone here understands sometimes … some city building departments are a complete joke …

But thanks for the heads up and all of your replies …


#14

It is and in my stuff i send it explains that. But so is roofing without a licence but many do it. Here where i live there is a permit in 1 city and i follow by that with my canvassing crew. Price per lead is very low verus other means of advertising.


#15

If you can stand it, you can work for me for 3 months. This is when the Minnesota season wraps up. There is more work here than I know what to do with. Somebody that is a hustler like you will do great!!! My sales guys are selling 3 per day. That should get you through the winter!!!

Knocking on a door may be illegal in some areas but you will never get called on it. If you do just act stupid. I commend you on trying that hard to gain work.


#16

Canvassing is the BEST advertisement! Yellow pages and newspapers mostly bring price shoppers that already have their guy that their buddy suggested, but theyre just making sure they got a good “deal”. When you’re canvassing, first off, you KNOW they need a roof. That means usually they know too. Very often I get, “Yeah, my wife keeps nagging me to call a roofer but I’m just so damn busy I keep putting it off and I’m sick of listening to it.” Or some people are just more interested in watching Jerry Springer and you’re convenient. Some get mad. Oh well. Keep on knocking, someone will answer! It’s not illegal where I live to the best of my knowledge, but with the results I’ve had I can’t say I’d stop doing it if I knew it were. Just trying to make a living man!