Meet the owner:
Zachary Sayles, Omega Roof
Zachary Sayles is a co-owner of Omega Roofing – a family business based on honesty, hard work and integrity that provides high quality roof installation and repair services across Idaho’s Magic Valley.
Who will answer your question about starting and running a small business from successful business owners who have done it themselves?
This month, we’re partnering with featured business owners Grit and Greenlights: A Small Business Story with Matthew McConnell Answering questions from our social media audience – getting started, building a team, expanding the position and covering more.
First up Zachary Sayles.
Zachary and his business partner, Dylan Winmill, took a big risk to quit their sales job to open the omega roof in the midst of the epidemic. But based on their honesty, hard work and honesty, they have a dream to build the biggest roofing company in Idaho. And business hasn’t stopped or slowed down since they started.
How big is your crew – and how did you find and train them?
It’s been about a year since we ran a trial-and-error and we’ve been working on a solution that works for us. At first, our crew fluctuated dramatically (from 5 crew members at a time to 16 at a time). Like most other organizations during the epidemic, we had a hard time finding help – and great help. The turnover was high, and so I would say we have an average of 6-7 crew. We have found a handful of people Homebase Recruitment tab. Most of the others hired someone who was then “a friend looking for a job.” It had a domino effect. The training formula was basically: 1) Teach them the basics, 2) Let them be proficient, 3) Teach them the digestible parts of the new information, 4) Let them be proficient and 5) Repeat steps 3 and 4.
We pivoted from that model. We retained 3 key people from the original crew and reinstated one of them in Production Manager, Project Manager and Repair Technology. Over the last 4 months or so of the first year of our business, I have begun to build networking and relationships, many of which have been through joining every roofing / contractor group I can find on Facebook. I met a sub-contractor from a nearby town in a group – and our work standards are almost perfectly aligned, which is very important to me. We brought him on board and tested his crew, and we constantly manage throughout and post-construction quality control. They have become a core partnership.
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As a GC currently working on a small scale but looking at the possibility of expanding, I would love to get some insights into the “growing pains” and tips to get my company to feel like a big change at the next level.
It’s a bit complicated not knowing more specifically about the growing pain you are experiencing, but I can talk about four things in particular, which have helped me in some of my growing pains:
- Prioritize this every week for networking and relationship building. Even if you are the sole owner, you must have a team that you can rely on. These relationships may be with your supplier (s), production representative, accountant, accountant, attorney, in-house employee, subcontractor, building department official, other GC, etc. They have the power to make your life easier and allow you To focus your business better.
- Create super clean systems and processes for any potential in-house staff. This has had a huge impact on my business. Before I set up the system, I would spend a large part of my day completing tasks that I could easily delegate to my team to allow me to focus on more important things. But no one knew what they were doing until I realized that they could not do without an orderly process to follow. For my business, it consisted of sending receipts to the bookkeeper, creating / sending material orders, creating / sending work orders, running various supplies for the crew, scheduling work with the customer, and material drop-off with the supplier, drawing permits and city inspections, and Quality control inspection of sub-contractor labor.
- Take advantage of the software. For example, a good CRM that can not only track relevant customer data but also workflow / job progress. We use software for roof measurements, estimates, work orders, material orders, project image storage, and more.
- Like me, you seem to have high goals but don’t worry about how far the destination will appear. Arrive before you know it, go slow and enjoy the trip. With the end result in mind, work backwards from your destination and create a roadmap for how you get there. Break the “big conversion to the next level” into smaller, out-of-reach road bumps. Once you pass them, celebrate the milestone and move on!
What can we do to help spread the word about existing clients?
Make their experience with your company one of a kind and unforgettable. In my market, a common thing we do is always answer our phone (or call back as soon as possible) and show up when we say. People like it because it is not ideal for other roofing companies here.
It always helps to keep the best interests of your clients in mind. You can show it in a variety of ways: showing professionalism in every interaction, keeping the work site cleaner than you find it, going above and beyond the job opportunity (even in a few ways), boasting of your craft, ownership and dealing with legitimate mistakes, And to be fully present when you are involved with a client.
Something else you can do is market research in the field. Ask your clients – or a client whose business you have not earned – why they chose your company or not. Then, continue to ask follow-up questions based on their responses and why they think so. You can learn a lot with this technique that you can capitalize on and start applying to your daily activities to earn fans.
Finally, you can give incentives. For example: “If you don’t mind sharing your experience about our company with your friends and family, we offer প্রতি x per referral.” Or, on a more personal level, you can offer something more useful, such as a baseball ticket for the family.
How do you encourage employees to identify new business opportunities?
I personally believe that this has evolved from the creation of an inclusive company culture. I think an environment where an employee feels safe and comfortable – and is encouraged and appreciated for effective critical thinking – will encourage the types of behavior that will lead them to identify new business opportunities.
Some of the ideas I’ve recently started implementing are: creating a family bond through company events (e.g., BBQs, bowling, dinner), a conversational meeting style where I actively encourage discussion and participation, asking open-ended questions for critical thinking, and mistakes. Make corrections (for example, “Where can we improve the next time we are in this situation?”), Allow employees to solve problems themselves, publicly commend, take ownership of an employee’s mistake to an outsider, and do a good job. Giving the team all the credit for doing that.
What, if anything, makes the second year of your business different for you than your first?
We have done almost a complete rehabilitation of the company from the ground up, excluding our values and other important areas we feel we have excelled. In the first year of our business, one of our goals was to become the number one roofing company in Idaho – with lots of appetite and little planning or resources to help us get there. Entering the second year, we begin to make sweeping changes.
- We have relocated our core crew members to new roles in the company while simultaneously hiring a subcontractor to cover the roof replacement labor. We spent months networking and building relationships until we found a crew that matched our policy. When it comes to roof replacement, they have been game-changers in terms of quantity without sacrificing quality.
- We’ve found a CRM option that will serve us and our customers better. We often get “stuck” or “lost” where we were with our clients because of the limited workflow of our old CRM. We now have a customized (and affordable) option that suits us very well. We’ve done research and made better use of software based on roles to increase productivity.
- We move Homebase pay For the flexibility of paying more frequent subs, and for paying our employees weekly (without incurring a fortune like our old provider).
- We’re investing in long-term SEO as an organic lead source – and better measurement software for preparing estimates, component orders and work orders within 30 minutes from start to finish.
- Last but not least, we have created incredible systems for our employees to follow and complete tasks, saving us dozens of hours a week that we can now take the company forward.
Overall, this is a crystal clear vision for the future and a plan full of smaller and more achievable goals that brings our vision closer to implementation. Our foundation started on sand, and now it has been poured new concrete. It is getting stronger every day through deliberate effort. We are excited and looking forward to start building upwards. The sky is really the limit!