“I’ve been an entrepreneur in various industries for most of my adult life. I was a business consultant and I worked in high risk, high reward areas, and with new technologies. So it was definitely a path before I found a home with contracting.
A few years ago I helped a customer with growing his roofing company. I had roofed when I was younger, so it was not foreign to me, but there’s a difference between roofing when you’re younger and then coming in now as a business consultant. So, I started to learn more about the roofing business as I helped this company. And I really saw it as an opportunity to build a restoration business to not only take care of me and my family, but also as a huge opportunity to serve the community because of something I end up joking with customers about: “I can’t think of too many other trades or activities where whether you do a great job or a terrible job, most of your work will be hidden for decades.” At the end of the day, there’s just such a high degree of trust in roofing, in particular. So we really saw that as an opportunity to make a positive impact and do something cool.
At Sol Restoration, we are focusing mainly in the Houston [TX] area and the surrounding counties. We have our teams and we’ve grown to the point that we are comfortable saying we are general contractors; just about everything is within our scope. We’ve been full time into this business for about three years.
Focusing on business systems
When I’m not the guy on the roof, how do we make sure there’s still that same level of quality? And how do we know that the same level of information is provided to the homeowner? Not a lot of companies have really figured out how to do that at scale. So, we focused a lot on building different systems internally and how we can make that work from the first interaction all the way through to having no exposed nail heads on the finished product.
There are a lot of tools available to us now — software that gives everyone centralized access to information, having your own forms even, or having dedicated folders for photos of the roof at various stages, for example.
This kind of structure helps us enforce our systems. And then, it’s so nice at the end of the job to be able to send a package to the homeowner that includes a real photo report of all of the work performed on the property.
Transparency is key
What we’re trying to do is provide complete transparency. You don’t always have good news, but we really focus on transparency. If we can give the homeowner the real information, we’re probably not going to be your cheapest option, but it’s absolutely going to be done right. And you’re going to have proof that it was done right.
I think transparency for the homeowner, transparency for your consultants, and transparency for your subcontractors is so important. When everybody knows what’s going on, you can avoid a lot of issues.
Putting yourself in the homeowner’s shoes
In our company we value being able to see the homeowner’s perspective. Ask yourself, if it were your property, what would you do? There are so many little things that we can do, whether it’s cleaning up something that was already there, or painting the house numbers on your way out, whatever it might be. There are so many little things we can do that really don’t cost us anything, but the homeowner notices and it makes a big difference.
A growth mindset
I think that having a growth mindset is key. It’s also important to provide opportunities for your people to grow within your organization, because as people grow, the business grows by default, its capabilities grow by default.
MADSKY has been a great partner. Particularly moving into new areas and new markets is where I think we’re going to continue to work more and more with MADSKY, because it gives a contractor so much credibility with a homeowner from the first meeting.
My entrepreneurship journey – quite an adventure
My journey as an entrepreneur has been kind of outrageous; it’s been quite an adventure. There have been many twists and turns, some really good times, some really strange times. It’s been quite the education. And I think, ultimately, it’s put me in a pretty good position — to have a business and make an impact with it.”