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Marketing Your Roofing Business: It's Not Like the MoviesMarketing Your Roofing Business: It's Not Like the Movies

All existing, previous and potential customers by way of marketing or referral by others need to be the recipients of some form of attention continually.

Tom Shay

July 23, 2021

3 Min Read
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Not currently, but we have all had enough experiences in which people were not spending money on new or existing homes. You likely saw businesses within the trade who are no longer there because they were not prepared for a challenging time (think 2008).

Too many businesses buy into the concept that marketing can be diminished in times like we are experiencing. When a business begins to slow additional funds should be spent to attract customers or at a minimum, remind customers that your business is there.

This cycle seems to be a mainstay; not just within the roofing trade but with many businesses. We jokingly remind people that there were two movies that the subject matter was an incident that repeated—"Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray and "50 First Dates" with Adam Sandler. While the latter movie is reported to be based on a true story, both movies are comedies. They are not to be taken as examples for business plans.

Recently we built a new home; and, currently remodeling what has been the family home of the past 60 years. With each, we have experienced many sub-contractors, contractors, and supply houses. Unfortunately, the experience with each has been the same.

With the new home, I can tell you who the contractor was as well as the electrician and heating/cooling sub-contractors were. I have no idea who any of the other vendors were. However, there have been several occasions where we have found the need to contact the contractor to find these individuals to engage them for additional services.

Shortly after we moved into the new home, a friend was following our pattern and moving back to our hometown. “Who did you have to build your house? Anything you want to tell us about them or the sub-contractors?”

The contractor and sub-contractors are working on the premise that this is an industry that is “one and done” with customers, whether the customer is the end-user or the contractor. Au contraire!

With the remodeling, we have known for over two years that we were going to start this project. With that home, we have had a service contract for over a decade. Every six months the company that installed the equipment has maintained a contract for which they come to the home to service the system. 

And for these past several years as the system has needed some form of repair, we have taken the option of the lesser repair as we explained the system would be replaced with the remodeling.

We are surprised that we have never been asked when we are doing the remodeling; never asked about their calling on us to ask to be a part of the remodeling. It looks like the next communication may be when we call to cancel the service contract.

While an advertising/marketing budget is frequently calculated as a percentage of gross revenue, the effort of marketing should show no fluctuation. 

All existing, previous and potential customers by way of our marketing or referral by others need to be the recipients of some form of attention continually. 

This is not expensive like advertising on television. It is a wise, much smaller investment of making our business less subject to the violent waves of ups and down within the trade.

About the Author(s)

Tom Shay

Principal, Profit Plus Solutions, Inc.

Tom Shay is a fourth-generation small business owner and principal of Profit Plus Solutions, Inc. He teaches how to improve the operation and profitability of the business. Shay has authored 13 books on small business management and a college textbook on small business accounting and business planning; written 400 columns in 75 trade publications and nominated three times for the Jesse H. Neal Award for editorial excellence in business media; earned the Certified Speaking Professional distinction attained by 8% of speakers.. 

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