Businesses across the country have been closing due to the pandemic, but there is a small percentage that have grown instead!
So we started a series to take you behind the scenes in those businesses to empower you to apply the same strategies to your business, whether you’re in growth mode, or recovering!
We’re asking three questions to bring out a few different kinds of answers from our interviewees:
What do you do?
What Contributed to Your Growth?
What are you Doing to Ensure you Continue Growing?
This Week’s Interview Guest:
Feller Roofing has grown throughout this pandemic, and Stephanie caught up with their CEO briefly to discover what contributed to their growth.
Question 1: What do you do and how did you get started?
"Feller Roofing is a roofing contracting company that handles both residential and commercial roofing. We’ve traditionally been working more residentially, however we’re working on expanding the commercial side.
"How we got started is a bit of a story...
"Personally, I've roofed off and on throughout the years. I started on a crew in college and worked my way up to becoming the foreman. When I graduated my brother and I got “real” jobs and didn’t like that, so we moved to Texas to start a roofing company in 2000. It was a disaster: the labor market was different, we didn’t get paid well, and our tools kept getting stolen.
"After two years I left and went back to my career field, but he kept at it and kept trying to convince me to come back. I ended up even more miserable in my career field. I ended up working 12 hour days, 5 days a week for Coca Cola and never got to see my kid. At the most, I got to see her for 30-60 minutes a day. And I was about to have to start going out and making deliveries and filling machines which meant even longer hours because the company was having issues.
"When that happened I called my brother in tears and ended up returning to start over with him again. So in 2012 we started again and covered Austin and San Antonio with our company.
"In 2016, we split the business and I took over everything south of Austin so 2016 became the official start date of Feller Roofing as my company."
Question 2: What Contributed to Your Growth through the pandemic?
"Although we haven’t doubled or anything crazy, we have grown and done well through the pandemic.
"Roofing is a high-end purchase because it’s always so expensive, so most of the time summer months are pretty slow. And we did slow down during March and April, although we didn’t close down. However there were a ton of storms in the area after that that resulted in a need for roofing: people could finally afford to get their roofs done because of insurance kicking in. Ordinarily, July and August are our slowest months because people feel bad for hiring roofers to go up in the Texas heat all day. But July was our biggest month ever because of the storms.
"So there was a need for roofing, but there were a few other factors that contributed to our growth.
"A major contributor to our growth was having the right people.
"People are amazing! And I make sure that every person on the team is competent and wonderful. If they aren’t, I get rid of them pretty quickly.
"One of the people who really did a lot was my right-hand gal: Megan. She is phenomenal!
"Megan is from Lake Charles, and has a huge family in Louisiana who all needed roofs. She asked me if we could go to Louisiana to do roofs, but I couldn’t spare my focus and energy from the business in the New Braunfels area (some roofers are storm chasers, but that’s not our company culture). So I told her that if she wanted, she could work in the Louisiana area and she did! She went and got licensed with the state of Louisiana as a roofing contractor and went to work. She sourced all her materials through us because the supply houses were shut down in Louisiana, but she managed to find the crews she needed to get things going in Louisiana.
"It was amazing, and that’s the kind of person I hire. People who move forward, take charge of their area of the business, and don’t have to be micromanaged.
"Another aspect of our growth is the Roofer Chick Brand.
"Female roofers are uncommon, so we ran with that aspect of our company as a major part of our branding. Because branding is important.
"So one thing I’ve created that I think has helped us stick out is having an all-female crew.
"It’s not completely rare, because I’ve heard of a few other all-female roofer crews in Canada and North Carolina. But it’s rare enough that people stop and say “what?” and give us some extra thought."
Question 3: What are you Doing to Ensure you Keep Growing?
"Currently I am investing in a lot of training for women, to create something that is more than just a roofing company and to take our Roofer Chick brand to the next level.
"Empowering women to feel like they can provide for their families is something that is very near and dear to my heart, because I was that woman who felt trapped as a single mom. I think so many women feel trapped because they don’t have the education or skills to “be successful.” But the fact of the matter is, I want to empower women to see that they can!
"Especially with roofing. Roofing is not rocket science. You don’t need to go to school for two years like HVAC, and there’s good money to be made.
"Investing in training for women also helps me and my company, because it makes it easier to keep my all-female crew and resolves a labor issue that we’ve been running into.
"And I just want to say, we were a mess a few years ago and not in a good place to grow. So we’ve come a very long way and it is possible to do that."