Q: How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: It is extremely important. They are the “face” of the company. When I make a sale, I am the initial contact. They can love me, but not like my employees, and that it what they will remember. But if they like me, and they like my employees, it’s a lasting experience that they will tell their friends about and recommend us to everyone that needs a roofer. This is why we have such a great referral base of customers, and no turnover in employees.
Q: How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: In the spirit of Thomas Edison, just keep trying to find ways it doesn’t work until it does. If I know something will work in my head, it’s just a matter of finding out how to make it work physically. If I can’t get it to work, I typically seek counsel.
Q: What motivates you?
Ans: My family. We’ve had great times, and we’ve had bad times, and the bad times were usually money related. I never want to be in that position again, so I know that I must succeed.
Q: What are your ideals?
Ans: My ideals for my company is customer satisfaction.
Q: How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: I would imagine like anyone else that want to succeed. I read, social media, you tube, colleagues, friends, employees, quiet time in my truck while driving around…
Q: How do you define success?
Ans: I would have to say joy. All roads lead to joy. I’ve made money in the past, but that lead to pride. I’ve been happy in my marriage, but only when my wife was happy. I could buy things that would make me happy in the moment, but that would pass. Once I realized where true happiness came from, the only place I could find true joy, everything else seemed to fall into place.
Q: How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Be customer service oriented. I strongly believe customer service is way overlooked these days. This “me” generation. People are to busy wanting to be made happy by others, they aren’t realizing that they are unhappy because no one is fulfilling what they want. Be kind, courteous, thoughtful, outgoing, polite – treat people how you would want to be treated. We come across customers that don’t seem to be happy, and all we can do is be as genuinely nice as possible, that way they can’t say we were a bad experience. We have been very successful with repeat customers.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is the sense of freedom and responsibility. What I do, or don’t do directly affects the bottom line.
Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: The day the old owner sent me a message stating that he knew he had made the right decision by selling the business to my wife and I.
Q: What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: The major difference is drive. Entrepreneurs have the drive to do better every day with every decision. It has been my experience that most employees just want to show up, deal with the tasks at hand, and then go home and not worry about anything until the next day.
Q: What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: I try to institute the culture of family, teamwork, a machine. Each part is intricate to the others, and not one is more important, because Teamwork makes the Dream work!
Q: In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: Become more verse in business as well as the trade.
Q: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: I would like to think we are happier. A lot of people ask how I can work with my wife all day long…It’s an interesting dynamic, but it gives us something else in common.
Q: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans: I’m not a slave to fear. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. I do get nervous, which typically means I’m doing something out of my comfort zone. I just have to make sure that I seek counsel whenever these situations arise.
Q: How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: Our offices were established in Orange County. When we moved, we wanted to stay close to our old offices due to the fact that we are centrally located to our suppliers.
Q: Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Definitely. There’s an old saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Work on the business, not just in the business.
Q: If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans: Teddy Roosevelt. He was a fearless leader.
Q: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: Not really one person, but Entrepreneurs in general. Every job I’ve had, with the exception of one, I’ve worked for Entrepreneurs and just fell in love with the idea of owning my own business.
Q: What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Ans: There have been different books at different times in my life. Currently, I’m reading “Whisper” by Mark Batterson, and it’s inspiring me to listen for God’s calling for my life. It’s hard to pin just one. However, my favorite book is “Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. Seuss.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Ans: Listening to my pride. Pride is always before the fall.
Q: How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: Mistakes are mistakes, they happen. That’s why they’re called mistakes. However, we can learn from the mistakes we’ve made in the past so that we don’t repeat them. Damage control always is initiated by taking ownership and not “passing the buck.”
Q: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: Hobbies – Grandkids, golf, reading, exercising, my Harley
Q: What makes you happy?
Ans: My family, taking time throughout the day to appreciate my blessings.
Q: What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: All time related. Sacrificed parties, family functions, outings with friends.
Q: If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Ans: What advice would you give someone that is looking to be an Entrepreneur?
Q: Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: Weatherline Reroofing and Repairs, Inc. is a family owned and operated company that started because we saw a need that was not being met by our competitors. Our trade has gotten a bad rap from unlicensed labor and companies mis-representing themselves and their services. We pride ourselves in being honest and competitive in the market place, while we try to provide an unprecedented level of customer service. We are located in the city of Orange, where we also reside, and service all of Orange County and some surrounding areas.
Q: Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: I am a high school graduate with some college background. I used to use that as a crutch until I had a mentor that told me “’A’ Students wind up teaching, and ‘B’ students wind up working for ‘C’ students.” So I just decided to work hard and learn as much as possible about what I decided to do. I was given the opportunity to work as an inside sales rep for a local distributor and worked hand in hand with the owner’s son. We increased our sales to $16 million dollars in four years – the most that store had ever sold. I moved on to a national distributor and we went from $5 million per year to $8 million in two years. From there I went back to the distributor I had previously worked for. At the time they were doing roughly $3 million annually. I put a team together and we brought sales up to $21 million in the span of 6 years. After that, I was approached to purchase Weatherline, and here we are…
Q: What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: As stated above, the original owner of Weatherline, who had been a friend of mine for 20+ years, approached me to purchase the company. He had longevity and a good name in the industry. My wife and I have made some minor tweaks and taken it from there.
Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Don’t ever listen to some that says, “that won’t work, I’ve already tried that,” or “you can’t do that” any negative talk really. Believe in yourself, and don’t take any advice from anyone that doesn’t have what you want.
Q: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Determination, Stick-to-itiveness, and drive.
Q: How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: Depending upon the season, 10-12 hours per day. During the last rainy season, Lori and I worked 7 days a week for three months.
Q: To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Caring about our customers needs. One of my mentors taught me, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Q: How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: Originally, we used the Yellow Pages. As Lori saw that becoming a dinosaur and not keeping up with current trends, we started relying more on Angie’s List. As that started becoming more mainline, Lori saw the need to look for outside help and utilizing the internet more.
Q: Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: All funding and capital came from our pockets! There has no outside capital or investors.
Q: What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Stay true to what you believe, try to keep ahead of the curve, take care of your employees and care about your customers.
Q: Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: I would like to grow, do more property management work. Nothing large, just keep flying under the radar.
Q: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: There is a contractor based on the East coast. He has locations throughout the U.S., but he seems to be extremely humble and approachable. I would like to learn what he knows.