Q & A: The Roofing Company Owner Jeff Johnston w/ Sky Hi News

Jeff Johnston, owner/ president/ CEO, The Roofing Company, 28 Ten Mile Dr., PO Box 29, Granby, CO 80446

How long have you been in business?: 38 years since 1976.

How did you get stared in this business? Purchased business in 1976.

How do you give back to the community?

“We participate in community programs, belong to a number of community associations and do what we can for Habitat for Humanity.”

Business mission statement: To provide our customers with the highest quality service and the best products available. To make our first customers lifelong customers. To employ customer service representatives that wish to learn all aspects of the roofing industry. To remain a community- and family-oriented company.

Success in the mission: We have been in business for 38 years and make it a priority to take care of our customers and are here for them each and every year giving them peace of mind. We have an outstanding crew that cares for each other and our customers. We have always been involved in the community business and personally. We are members of several local associations, give to local charities, attend meetings and volunteer our time whenever possible.

Challenges to the mission: Economy in the last few years has been rough with reducing the amount on staff and the rising of cost to do business while keeping the quality everyone deserves.

How do you cope with Grand County’s seasonal surges? Most of our roofing happens in the summer and we are fortunate enough to have several larger projects that keep us busy throughout the year. We also have a winter maintenance program and snow removal that is very popular.

What do you think is the biggest business barrier in Grand County? Weather

What do you think is your biggest business barrier on the state and/or national level? Insurance costs — workman’s compensation and general liability. Government regulations.

What can government her do to help? Upgrade contractor’s licensing.

How does your business give back to the community? We participate in community programs, belong to a number of community associations and do what we can for Habitat for Humanity.

Give examples of how you are environmentally responsible. We recycle our scrap materials, reduce energy use and use green products whenever possible. We are also certified in installing Solar Shingles.

How do you support other local businesses? We have a working partnership with Rocky Mountain Spray Foam to offer clients the best of roofing and insulation to give the best possible energy efficient home with fewer maintenance worries. We also try to purchase items locally when possible.

How do you feel about direct competition? TRC surpasses through our roofing experience and exceptional customer service.

What business products or services do you get outside of Grand County? Insurance, materials and labor to service other counties.

How do you market yourself? Word of mouth, website, construction banners and having our name on our trucks.

What’s the main thing you have learned in your years in business? Exceptional customer service pays off, treating customers fairly brings repeat business.

Where do you go for help when you need it? Long list of consultants.

Who is your biggest business influence/mentor? Front range commercial roofing contractors.

What do you think is the most significant economic driver in GC? Winter Park ski area.

If you could go back in time and start up your business venture all over again what would you do differently? Have a better understanding of accounting.

What’s the best compliment you received from a client/customer/guest? That our professionalism is the best in Grand County.

What do you consider to be your biggest mistake in business? Growing too fast.

What organization is most useful to business owners? Colorado Roofing Association, The national Roofers Association and Winter Park Chamber.

How much of a role does technology play in your business? Most of our crew is in the field and cell phones have been a huge part or our communication, accounting software, databases for our customers and projects, computerized metal breaks and equipment.

What are the technology challenges in your business? Finding an all inclusive system that is affordable.

What’s the general key to making a customer/client/guest happy? Follow through, educating them on product choice and warranties, and good communication.

Is there any certain trend you’ve noticed in consumer habits lately? Consumers are more educated and use the web more than before.

What are some tricks such as signs or window displays hat you’ve noticed work in attracting customers to your front door? Signs on vehicles.

What are some ways to keep up staff morale? Company potlucks, bonus plans when cash flow is flowing and everyone says good morning to one another.

What are some ways you train your staff on an ongoing basis? Weekly meetings, seminars, weekly safety trainings, in-house training from vendors.

If you could give advice to a novice entrepreneur, what would it be? Hard work and follow through are all aspects of business.

Is there a better question we didn’t ask? If so, what is it and how would you answer it? What is your advice to consumers when choosing a contractor? Make sure they are licensed, have insurance and use safety gear.