Following a massive storm, these tips will help you survive and thrive when handling challenging storm remediation projects - whether it’s your first time or you are a seasoned veteran.
Business in general is full of unknowns, but storm remediation is especially loaded with them.
When and where will that next hailstorm, hurricane, or tornado strike? How many houses will be affected? What are the challenges of going on-site?
This is just a start. When a storm damages houses, everyone in the hard-hit area will be clamoring for a crew. You will want to be ready with one or more well-trained, courteous crews to repair as many of these homes as you can.
When that storm leaves behind destruction, will your business be ready to deliver quality work, create satisfied customers and turn a profit?
What you do before a storm blows through can be just as important as what you do when your crews are up on the roofs. Serving this market has special considerations and a storm ravaged neighborhood or city is the last place to be unprepared and unorganized.
Be Visible – Stressed homeowners are wary of scams. People need to know you. On top of the traditional ads and door hangers, there are many other low-cost, effective ways to create awareness of your business.
Social media, especially Facebook, can give your business personality, and it is a great place to provide homeowner preparedness tips. Familiarity builds a comfort level.
Build a social media presence and lead potential clients to a website where you can answer questions in depth. Check into ABC Supply’s Freedom Programs for help putting your business on the Internet.
This is also the time to build your reference book, fill it with endorsements from satisfied customers and photos of completed jobs. This book will be a valuable door opener when you start meeting with homeowners.
Be Equipped – Your equipment and vehicles need to be well maintained so they won’t let you down. Pay special attention to safety equipment.
As for supplies, have as much on hand as possible.
Don’t forget less thought of items like plywood and tarps to assist homeowners immediately after the storm. Your generosity will help ease homeowners’ stress and build a good rapport with potential customers.
Be Connected – Downtime is the best time to visit your ABC Supply branch to talk about your working relationship so that both of you are ready for the bad weather season.
Wisconsin contractor Jeremy Toubl, with Toubl Contracting, has handled hundreds of remediation projects. “Dropping in to see your supplier enables you to establish a relationship. It also helps you determine whether they are set up to handle your business and be on top of things following a storm.”
“After a storm, there can be a line an hour long outside of these suppliers, and you don’t want to waste valuable time when you should be working on houses.”
Though a major storm can mean work for many contractors, use it to identify and talk with potential contractor partners to determine if you can build a mutually beneficial partnership. When you size them up, make sure their business is sound, reputable and insured.
Be Solid – Your credit rating is a valuable tool in dealing with large-scale weather disasters. You will be buying large amounts of supplies at a time when more money is going out than coming in. Not only do you want to make sure that you can obtain the roofing supplies you need, you also want to be able to pay the crews who will be putting on the new roofs.
Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, and the United States is seeing more and more weather disasters. Massive devastation calls for contractors who are able to help communities get back into shape. It is important your business is in shape as well before the sky turns grey.