Meet the proprietor:

Zachary Sayles, Omega Roofing

Zachary Sayles is co-owner of Omega Roofing — a household enterprise based on honesty, arduous work, and integrity that gives high-quality roof set up and restore providers all through Idaho’s Magic Valley.



Who higher to reply your questions on beginning and operating a small enterprise than profitable enterprise house owners who’ve achieved it themselves?

This month, we’re partnering with enterprise house owners featured in Grit & Greenlights: Small Business Stories with Matthew McConaughey to reply questions from our social media viewers — masking getting began, constructing a workforce, increasing places, and extra. 

First up is Zachary Sayles.

Zachary and his enterprise associate, Dylan Winmill, took a giant threat in quitting their gross sales jobs to open Omega Roofing within the midst of the Pandemic. However they’ve a imaginative and prescient to construct Idaho’s greatest roofing firm on a basis of honesty, arduous work, and integrity. And enterprise hasn’t stopped or slowed down since they began.

How large is your crew — and the way did you discover and practice them? 

This was a trial-and-error run for a couple of 12 months earlier than we pivoted into an answer that has labored extraordinarily properly for us. At first, our crew fluctuated closely (from 5 crew members at instances to 16 at one level). Like most different corporations through the pandemic, we had problem discovering assist — and discovering nice assist was much more troublesome. Turnover was excessive, and so I’ll say we averaged a 6-7 man crew. We discovered a handful of individuals from Homebase’s hiring tab. The majority of the others got here from hiring a man who then “had a pal who was searching for work.” It was a domino impact. The coaching components was primarily: 1) educate them the core ideas, 2) allow them to change into environment friendly, 3) educate them digestible chunks of latest data, 4) allow them to change into environment friendly, and 5) repeat steps 3 and 4.

We’ve since pivoted from that mannequin. We saved 3 core guys from the unique crew and repositioned them right into a manufacturing supervisor, undertaking supervisor, and restore tech. All through the final 4 months or so of our first 12 months in enterprise, I started consistently networking and constructing relationships, lots of which occurred by way of becoming a member of each roofing/contractor group I may discover on Fb. I met a subcontractor from a close-by metropolis in one of many teams — and our work values aligned practically completely, which is essential to me. We introduced him on board and vetted his crew, and we frequently conduct high quality management all through and post-build. They’ve change into a key partnership.

As a GC presently working on a small scale however seeing the potential to broaden, I’d love any perception into “rising pains” and tricks to get my firm by way of what looks like a giant transition to the following stage.

This can be a bit difficult with out understanding extra particularly the rising pains you’re dealing with, however I can converse to 4 issues, specifically, which have helped me by way of a few of my rising pains: 

  1. Make it a precedence each week to spend time networking and constructing relationships. Even for those who’re a sole proprietor you MUST have a workforce you may depend on. These relationships might be along with your provider(s), manufacturing reps, accountant, bookkeeper, legal professional, in-house workers, subcontractors, constructing division officers, different GCs, and many others. All of them maintain a capability to make your life a lot simpler and permit you to higher deal with your enterprise. 
  2. Construct out tremendous clear programs and processes for any potential in-house workers. This made a big impact on my enterprise. Earlier than I created programs, I might spend a big a part of my day fulfilling duties that I may’ve simply delegated right down to my workforce to permit me to deal with extra necessary issues. However no person knew what they have been doing till I spotted they couldn’t with no well-laid course of to comply with. For my enterprise, that was duties like sending receipts to the bookkeeper, creating/sending materials orders, creating/sending work orders, operating miscellaneous provides to the crews, scheduling jobs with the client and materials drop-offs with the provider, pulling permits and metropolis inspections, and high quality management inspections on subcontractor labor. 
  3. Benefit from software program. For instance, a very good CRM that may not solely monitor related buyer knowledge but additionally monitor workflows/job progress. We leverage software program for roof measurements, estimates, work orders, materials orders, storing undertaking images, and many others. 
  4. Like me, it feels like you might have lofty objectives however don’t dwell on how distant the vacation spot seems. You’ll arrive earlier than you recognize it, simply decelerate and benefit from the journey. With the tip lead to thoughts, work backward out of your vacation spot and create a roadmap on the way you’ll get there. Break down the “large transition to the following stage” into smaller, just-out-of-reach highway bumps. When you move them, rejoice the milestone and preserve transferring ahead!

What can we do to get current shoppers to unfold optimistic word-of-mouth?

Make their expertise along with your firm one-of-a-kind and unforgettable. In my market, a easy factor we do is at all times reply our cellphone (or name again asap) and present up after we say we’ll. Folks find it irresistible as a result of it’s not the norm for different roofing corporations right here. 

It additionally helps to at all times have your shoppers’ greatest pursuits at coronary heart. You may present this in a mess of how: exhibiting professionalism in each interplay, leaving the job web site cleaner than you discovered it, going above and past the scope of labor (even in just a few minor approach), taking pleasure in your craft, proudly owning and addressing reputable errors, and being absolutely current once you’re participating with a consumer. 

One thing else you are able to do is market analysis within the discipline. Ask your shoppers — or a consumer whose enterprise you didn’t earn — why they did or didn’t select your organization. Then, proceed asking follow-up questions primarily based on their responses and why they really feel that approach. You may study rather a lot with this tactic you could capitalize on and start implementing in your day-to-day operations to earn raving followers.

Lastly, you may supply incentives. For instance: “For those who wouldn’t thoughts sharing your expertise about our firm along with your family and friends, we provide $x per referral.” Or, on a extra private stage, you possibly can supply one thing extra tailor-made, comparable to tickets to a baseball sport for the household. 

How do you encourage workers to establish new enterprise alternatives?

I personally imagine this stems from the creation of an inclusive firm tradition. I feel an atmosphere by which an worker feels secure and cozy — and can also be inspired and applauded for efficient essential pondering — will foster the sorts of behaviors that result in them figuring out new enterprise alternatives.

Just a few ideas I’ve just lately begun implementing are: making a familial bond by way of firm occasions (e.g., BBQs, bowling, dinner), a conversational assembly type by which I actively encourage dialogue and participation, asking open-ended questions to interact essential pondering and proper errors (e.g., “the place may we enhance the following time we run right into a state of affairs like this?”), permitting workers to drawback remedy themselves, praising publicly, proudly owning any errors made by an worker to an outsider of the corporate, and giving the workforce all of the credit score for a job properly achieved. 

What, if something, is totally different for you in your second 12 months of enterprise versus your first?

We’ve achieved nearly a complete rehab of the corporate from the bottom up, except our values and different key areas we felt we excelled at. In our first 12 months of enterprise, we had a aim of being the primary roofing firm in Idaho — with lots of starvation and little plans or sources to assist us get there. Going into the second 12 months, we started making drastic modifications. 

  1. We repositioned our core crew members into new roles inside the firm whereas concurrently hiring a subcontractor to satisfy the labor of the roof replacements. We spent hours over a number of months networking and constructing relationships till we discovered a crew that matched our ethos. In terms of roof replacements, they’ve been a game-changer when it comes to amount with out the sacrifice of high quality. 
  2. We discovered a CRM different that might higher serve us and our clients. We might typically get “caught” or “misplaced” on the place we have been with our shoppers, as our outdated CRM had a restricted workflow. We now have a custom-made (and cost-effective) choice that fits us very properly. We researched and made a lot better use of software program primarily based on roles to extend productiveness. 
  3. We moved to Homebase payroll for the pliability of paying subs extra continuously, and likewise paying our workers weekly (with out it costing a fortune prefer it did with our outdated supplier). 
  4. We’re investing in long-term website positioning as an natural lead supply — and likewise higher measurement software program to arrange estimates, materials orders, and work orders inside half-hour from begin to end.
  5. Final however actually not least, we’ve created unbelievable programs for our workers to comply with and achieve duties, saving us dozens of hours every week that we are able to now put into driving the corporate ahead.

Total, it comes right down to having a crystal clear imaginative and prescient of the long run and a plan stuffed with smaller extra attainable objectives that transfer us that a lot nearer to bringing our imaginative and prescient to fruition. Our basis began out on sand, and is now freshly poured concrete. It’s getting stronger day by day by way of intentional effort. We’re excited and looking out ahead to starting to construct upward. The sky is actually the restrict!