Think Outside the Roof: How to Add Siding Replacement to Your Business
You show up to quote a new roof for a homeowner. Then you notice that the siding is nearing the end of its life. What do you do?
As the owner of a roofing company, you might think it’s impossible to expand your business to include other services, such as siding replacement, solar contracting, or window and door installation. Roofing alone keeps you busy enough!
But consider what you have at your disposal: your workforce, your list of customers, your knowledge of building materials, and your distributor. By taking advantage of these resources, expanding your services isn’t as difficult as it might sound.
Tom Sweazy, branch manager at B&L Wholesale Supply in Rochester, NY, explains the three steps roofers can take to expand into a market like siding replacement.
1. Start with your distributor.
The first action item: contact your distributor.
According to Sweazy, your distributor can help you find the best avenue for expansion based on your target market. From there, the distributor can connect you and your team with a manufacturer for training on the best products and how to use them.
“It’s just a matter of being trained properly,” Sweazy says. “All of this starts with reaching out to your distributor, and then from there, your manufacturer. The distributor is essentially the conduit to put the roofer and the manufacturer together.”
But that connection lasts beyond the siding replacement training session. For continued success, you must forge a business relationship with your manufacturer.
2. Take advantage of industry resources.
Building a strong relationship with a manufacturer will help you stay up-to-date on new products, programs, and discounts. They may also offer loyalty programs to reward you throughout the year.
Education is also a big perk of contacting the manufacturer. These companies often lead seminars to teach customers how to install their products.
“Typically, the crew would arrange some time with the manufacturer to do product training and courses,” says Sweazy. “It’s really the manufacturers’ programs that are out there to help the installer.”
Expanding your business is easier with the right people. Technology can also help, especially when you begin preparing siding replacement estimates for new customers.
When it comes to growing your business, help is out there—you just need to know where to look.
3. Grow big from a small start.
Installing siding can be just as complex as installing a roof. But once your crew has received training and can do the work, it’s an easy way to expand your business.
A manufacturer will stay close to the contractor for the first couple of jobs. Once a crew is properly trained, the manufacturer leaves the contractor to install the product themselves.
“Start small,” Sweazy says to businesses looking to expand. “Don’t take on too much or too big of a project right away until you get your feet under you and feel comfortable.”
Starting small and taking on an appropriate number of jobs at first will give you and your crew time to apply the product correctly and not make mistakes. When you do the job right with your first few customers, they’re more likely to refer you to others.
Expanding your services: not so impossible after all! Take these first steps with the help of your distributor and preferred manufacturers, and you’ll be able to grow your business for years to come.
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