Starting A Roofing Consulting Business - Business - Contractor Talk

Starting A Roofing Consulting Business

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-25-2015, 08:05 PM   #1
Registered User
 
roofy's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4

Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Hello all,

I am currently a sales rep for a roofing company and have worked for 3 different roofing companies doing sales for the last 5 years. I have done both residential and commercial. I am unhappy with my current boss and want to go out on my own, here is my plan, tell me what you guys think-

I want to start a roofing consulting business. What I would do is go to a business that needs a new roof and I would sign them the same as a normal sales person. I would then shop the job around to commercial roofers finding the best deal and best roof option for the customer, as well as educating the customer on what they want. This would be helpful to the customer because they would only have to deal with one person and me as the consultant would be able to negotiate a lower price because I know how low the roofers can go. I would make my money by taking a commission from the roof (paid by the roofing company).

Is this a good idea or not? I know roofs, I know how to sell, I know how to close.

What would be a fair commission? I am thinking around 15% percent.

Thoughts?
roofy is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 06-25-2015, 09:13 PM   #2
Pro
 
BamBamm5144's Avatar
 
Trade: Everything Exterior, Mostly Roofing.
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,181
Rewards Points: 2,786

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Terrible idea.

Advertisement

BamBamm5144 is offline  
Old 06-25-2015, 09:54 PM   #3
Thread Reading Aficionado
 
Builders Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Certified Building Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,785
Rewards Points: 1,426

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Not to be harsh, but let me get this straight. You want to take a licensed contractors honest bid and cut cost down to bare minimum so his/her profit margin is slim to none so you can still be competitive against other roofers who aren't paying you 15% commission, while you hold no liability on the project?

You should just start a website that has a set annual cost to be a member and find honest roofing companies for the consumer. That way you can make membership fees. Oh wait, thats Home Advisor, they already exist. Sorry.
Builders Inc. is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-25-2015, 09:57 PM   #4
Thread Reading Aficionado
 
Builders Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Certified Building Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,785
Rewards Points: 1,426

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Whats wrong with you getting licensed and doing it your self, Seems like you could make more money and be competitive still. 5 years experience right? Thats enough as project manager?
Builders Inc. is offline  
Old 06-26-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
Pro
 
ASInsulation's Avatar
 
Trade: Insulation and Weatherization
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 232
Rewards Points: 220

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


I don't do roofing, but your 15% "finders fee" with no risk to you would need to be added to the price of the contract, which will increase the bottom line quite a bit and still leave me holding the bucket if there are any problems. I mean, would your employer pay you a 15% commission on the project if you found it on your own and took it to the table front to back?

If you are set on going out on your own, I recommend you start a business, licensed and insured, and either hire a crew or sub contract the work.

I don't mean to cut you down or stop you from trying to achieve what you are looking for, but I would also caution against that route without more research. There is great reason to believe that you haven't grasped the concept and expenses associated with operating a business outside of strictly sales if you believe the plan in the original post is going to benefit anybody. The customer would receive just what he paid for, a bottom dollar job. The contractors will be working for pennies, which will lead to them either blacklisting your jobs or going out of business. And in the end, this will hurt your reputation on both ends of the spectrum. It is a lose/lose/lose business model for the long haul.
ASInsulation is offline  
Old 06-26-2015, 05:00 PM   #6
Registered User
 
roofy's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


I have thought about starting my own contractor, but my problem was I wouldn't necessarily start with enough work to keep a crew busy. With be a consultant, I would pretty much be a sales rep for all companies I would work with and help select the best contractor for the job.

I also decided that it would probably be a better idea to have a set amount that I get paid for the roof instead of taking a percent. That way I would select the best contractor not the one that makes me the most money.

The company I work for currently nets around 30% before they pay me, so I wouldn't think most companies would complain when someone says bid on this roof and split your profits with us.

I would also be a licensed business, be insured, and warranty all work done by companies we work with. I am not trying to make a ton of money and screw over contractors. I am a people person, I enjoy working with customers and selling roofs, I can manage projects but I think my time would be better spent selling. That is why I had this idea, but since it wouldn't work I will look into other options.

Thank you for the input
roofy is offline  
Old 06-26-2015, 06:49 PM   #7
Pro
 
ASInsulation's Avatar
 
Trade: Insulation and Weatherization
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 232
Rewards Points: 220

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Is that 30% after material and labor alone, or after all overhead and taxes? Because if they are operating at a 30% profit margin, that would be impressive.

A flat fee may work better for your cause, but that is still an expense tied to the project. Essentially, if you are going to sell the job, sign the contract to a company, why not just reverse your payment process? Allow the client to pay you as your entity and then make payment to the contractor after completion. At least this funnels the money properly, the contractor is giving you a price without the knowledge of what your taking off the top, and the only added work to yourself is keeping a tab and 1099'ing appropriately.

As you said, your time would be more appropriately spend selling jobs. However, you also stated you wouldn't have enough work to keep a hired crew busy. I said before, I don't want to shoot you down, because we all start somewhere. Sub-contracting will take a little pressure off your shoulders while you proceed to learn how business operations go, fine tune your forecasting, and begin truly planning.
ASInsulation is offline  
Old 06-26-2015, 08:47 PM   #8
Thread Reading Aficionado
 
Builders Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Certified Building Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,785
Rewards Points: 1,426

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


I would also make sure your not breaking any laws about "contracting" roofing services without being a licensed contractor, subbing out or not. Might want to check up on that. Make your advertising and wording of your contracts legal before you get slapped with a felony for contracting without a license. Even if your roofing sub has the license. He would not be an employee of your company or have ownership percentages in your company so that would be working without a license, at-least in Florida it would be. Do your due diligence, call your state corporate filing, local city business licensing, department of revenue, department of workers compensation, find general liability quotes, look into several marketing strategies and price them out too. Then you will have a basis of what you will need to at-least start. Go to the bank and set up a business account, buy quickbooks, find an accountant. etc... Theres a lot to do but it CAN be done. Just have to be smart about it.
Builders Inc. is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Builders Inc. For This Useful Post:
ASInsulation (06-26-2015)
Old 06-26-2015, 09:54 PM   #9
...
 
FrankSmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,907
Rewards Points: 5,124

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Just what the world needs. Another middle man trying to get a piece of the pie with out getting his hands dirty.
FrankSmith is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to FrankSmith For This Useful Post:
1985gt (06-27-2015), heavy_d (06-27-2015)
Old 06-26-2015, 10:05 PM   #10
Pro
 
ASInsulation's Avatar
 
Trade: Insulation and Weatherization
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 232
Rewards Points: 220

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


There is a place for every position in the business. If he is going to go out and provide a consulting service to clients and bring quality jobs to quality contractors, we are in no position to point a finger.

I've dealt with quite a few "middle-men" over the years that put some excellent projects on the table for me, and met all my financial criteria. Hopefully, they got a slice of the cake too and I can look forward to another phone call from them down the road.
ASInsulation is offline  
Old 06-26-2015, 10:16 PM   #11
...
 
FrankSmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,907
Rewards Points: 5,124

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Quote:
Originally Posted by ASInsulation View Post
There is a place for every position in the business. If he is going to go out and provide a consulting service to clients and bring quality jobs to quality contractors, we are in no position to point a finger.

I've dealt with quite a few "middle-men" over the years that put some excellent projects on the table for me, and met all my financial criteria. Hopefully, they got a slice of the cake too and I can look forward to another phone call from them down the road.
If his goal is to shop the price down to justify his 15% no one benefits.
FrankSmith is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 08:36 AM   #12
Pro
 
fast fred's Avatar
 
Trade: carpentry
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: trailer in colorado where the rich live
Posts: 743
Rewards Points: 828

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankSmith View Post
Just what the world needs. Another middle man trying to get a piece of the pie with out getting his hands dirty.
thats the wave of the future!!!!!! Get some! All these internet companies and people trying to be the middle man make some easy cash off the backs of everyone else and not lift a finger hmmmm sounds pretty darn good to me

This guy also wants to beat the price/cost down as low as he can so the customer feels like they got a great deal, the walmart way, lowest price, lowest wages, lowest quality, yet he makes 15% for doing absolutely nothing

your a salesman............ thats nice, but have you ever ripped off an old roof installed a new roof or is everything you've done just been on paper, pushing paper is bs, shingling a roof in 80 degree weather being paid low wages because some middle man took money for nothing

everything is so easy on computers and paper good luck
fast fred is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 09:07 AM   #13
Pro
 
1985gt's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,300
Rewards Points: 346

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Depending on the area it may be hard to be an independent consultant. What are you going to focus on residential or commercial?

We have a similar relationship with a what you could call a consultant. Basically he finds the jobs, writes the specs, ect. The thing is you have to use his manufactures material. So we all have a set price list, so it's who ever is cheaper on labor then other other materials should be close to the same (we all figure up our own materials). Then there is a bid meeting all of our bids are opened in front of the customer, lowest price wins for the most part. Now the manufactures rep/consultant get paid by his manufacturer a percentage on the materials. From what I understand the percentage he gets paid is very nice, he works 6-8 months a year. If your a hell of a salesman this is the route I would go.

FYI The manufacture is Garland, Tremco is another that I believe works in a very similar fashion. This is commercial only.

I honestly thing it would be a hard sale to try and be a consultant in the residential aspect.


Also I should add. If your going to do this, don't beat the contractor down on price. Let them give you a price and mark it up your percentage.

IMO Your percentage is directly related to how much you are involved. 15% IMO you wouldn't be very involved. We generally do 25% for the shingle work we kick to our shingler. for the 10-15% I'd rather just give the guy the job then have to have our name on it, inspect it and all the other rigmarole.

Last edited by 1985gt; 06-27-2015 at 09:11 AM.
1985gt is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 09:38 AM   #14
Pro
 
Anti-wingnut's Avatar
 
Trade: Commercial Superintendent
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,931
Rewards Points: 3,414

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Quote:
Originally Posted by Builders Inc. View Post
while you hold no liability on the project?
He actually would hold all the liability, and his name would appear first on any lawsuit
Anti-wingnut is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Anti-wingnut For This Useful Post:
Metro M & L (06-28-2015)
Old 06-27-2015, 10:10 AM   #15
Pro
 
BradingCon's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Contractor
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Toledo, IL
Posts: 491
Rewards Points: 740

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


As others have said here, if you can find the jobs and have competent people lined up to do the work, then start a legit roofing company and sub all the work out to subcontractors. That is essentially what you are trying to do but you will be managing and assuming at least some of the risk which will justify your mark up.
BradingCon is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to BradingCon For This Useful Post:
FrankSmith (06-27-2015)
Old 06-28-2015, 09:45 AM   #16
Particulate Filter
 
Metro M & L's Avatar
 
Trade: Flooring
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,403
Rewards Points: 1,426

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


I think the op should go a step farther, partner up with home Depot and sell roofing franchises for 20k and 30 percent of gross.
__________________
"A smart man learns from his mistakes; a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."

www.portlandhardwoodrefinishing.com
Metro M & L is offline  
Old 06-28-2015, 09:58 AM   #17
I'm The BOSS
 
jaydee's Avatar
 
Trade: builder / remodeler
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Spencer, Ma
Posts: 1,904
Rewards Points: 4,733

Re: Starting A Roofing Consulting Business


Why on earth would I split my profit with you.

Because you think I'm the best roofer for the job.

Your a salesman, acting like a salesman, trying to convince yourself your idea is better than really working.

As a contractor I would never cut my profit for a job..

As a homeowner or customer, I would rather deal directly with the contractor or business I hired.

So, your idea isn't for me...

Advertisement

__________________
We'll give your home a NEW IMAGE
New Image Construction & Design
New image Construction.com
Facebook
jaydee is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Estimating with Excel for the Small Contractor YouTube cargin2 Business 123 01-13-2018 03:45 PM
Roofing Salesmen DALLAS - Good Fast Pay theADAM Help Wanted or Looking For Work 1 01-24-2015 10:46 AM
Flat roof - What roofing system should I use? acro Roofing 10 04-15-2013 04:47 PM
Starting a Contracting Business. harkkam Business 19 12-18-2011 02:14 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?