I’ve lurked here over the past few years since getting into roofing. About 6 months ago, I took a job as a salesman for a large established construction & restoration company that services both residential and commercial. There is literally nothing we don’t do. They have done a substantial amount of roofs, it’s nothing new to them, but that has not been a primary focus.
However, today, myself and the owner had preliminary talks about starting a dedicated roofing division of the company, and me being the one to run it & develop it.
Frankly, I have no idea where to begin on negotiating a comp plan. I’m thinking a commission only plan (a percentage of all sales w/ no cap) might be the best way to go. I’m sure some people would want to negotiate a base, but thinking that may limit my overall earning capabilities.
Any thoughts, insights, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
You would be a salaried employee and have to do "salaried’ type work at times. I think for a Manager, especially a higher level, the compensation should include some salary. There may be times you have to do work that helps the company but doesn’t necessarily add to your commissions. A Manager needs to be a bigger picture sort of guy.
You want compensation to provide motivation. And there are instances of unintended consequences which is why a combination of salary, commission and bonuses work the best for the type of position you’re looking at.
How did this turn out? What did you end up doing? I have a similar situation coming up.
I left that company for a lot of reasons. Started my own company, been extremely successful, and kick myself for not doing it sooner.
Hope you are able to navigate your situation. Sorry I don’t have more to elaborate on.
Good on you @txaggie929
How did your first year go?
What were some struggles you ran into and how did you deal with them?
First year was phenomenal. The major hailstorm here hit less than 5 miles from my house. I made more money in 6 months than I’ve made in the past 3 years combined, and I’ve done pretty well those years.
Biggest struggles: material shortages & poorly trained insurance adjusters. But these are issues everyone dealt with, regardless of their size or time in business.
I’ve had no lack of manpower with crews, but have struggled to find sales / project managers. That has been my main limiting factor in growth. But again, that’s pretty consistent for the industry and for businesses in general. I am not willing to just hire somebody who can breathe and has a pulse like some of these other companies up here. I have a reputation to uphold. I’d rather grow slow with quality people than to just hire whoever and hope for the best and wind up going down the toilet.
If you have plenty of manpower to do jobs get out from behind the desk and sell your own jobs, eliminating the sales force you can’t find. In our area labor is much harder to find than ‘salesmen’. Not sure the size of your company but we run about 18-20 employees and I, the owner, do 100% of the sales. It’s also a great sales pitch when customers deal directly with the owner.
Glad to hear your first year was successful, but the more people between you, and your customer the more likely problems are going to arise. Learn your customers, know your products, and train your people and there isn’t any reason you should need a separate sales staff eating into your margin.im not aware how much actual hands on roofing experience you have, however most insurance adjusters no exactly what there doing and there not giving you anything you haven’t asked for and able to justify adding to the claims estimate thats not there, and it must be covered in the individual policy for that specific claim. Be cautious about what you say or ask when speaking to a claims specialist, because depending on the state your located and local laws regarding roofing contractors it’s possible you can cross that legal threshold criminally by negotiating on behalf of the homeowner without being a public adjuster. Several across the state I’m located have been changed already this year.
Tileman - I do sell all the jobs currently. But I’m spread extremely thin between looking at projects, selling jobs, project managing jobs, and all the paperwork that comes along with the jobs. Couple all that with all the networking events I’m involved with, makes it a fine line between working in your business vs on your business.
Yes, I’ve got good crews, and the foremen know the actual work well, but I don’t necessarily want them to be the face of my company for collecting payments, answering questions, etc.
MidsouthRoofing2021 - A sales staff would be 100% commission based. I’ve been in sales for 20 years, and have found that too many people (especially in this industry) who have a base don’t try as hard because they are getting guaranteed money. And yes, that absolutely kills your bottom line. Yes, it does essentially reduce your margins by paying commission, however it is profitable revenue that is generated at the end of the day by having some sales people.
You must have qualified adjusters where you’re at, because they are lacking here in Texas. Majority of claims I’ve done this past year have been off by at least $2-3K, and some as high as $15-19K that I got approved. All for valid work that was encompassed in the scope. There was no negotiating, as per a PA, but rather showing exactly what they missed, why it was necessary, and asking them to pay for it, and then performing that work.
You should continue to sell the jobs and network. You can hire project managers and others to do the paperwork. Contact me directly if you’d like. I may or may not be able to help you. All markets are different but we do over $3 million annually, all residential, with around 15 full time employees. I’m not selling anything, just a roofer who’s been in the trade 35 years and learned everything the hard way.
Sounds like every State Farm adjuster I’ve dealt with, company policy maybe.
Tileman – I would love to talk to you. Can you send me an email? freenewroof4you at gmail dot com. Thank you in advance.
Will do just don’t share it. I have a stalker here named Clammy Cowboy or something and I don’t want to have to file a restraining order.
Okay, that’s not a problem