As a teenager, John Rogers went to work for the roofing company that his father, a Chicago fireman, and his uncle had started on their days off. Rogers ran crews right out of college and discovered his forte: selling. Today the company delivers the quality installations and customer service that enableit to generate 70% of its business from referrals.

• Since installers often look on roofing as something they’ll do till they get a ‘real job,’ Rogers Roofing makes it a real job with health insurance and other benefits. Rogers believes that “if you want to have and keep the best people, give them the best benefits.”

• Total Quality Management meetings, using the Certified Contractors Network method, ensure thoroughness. Admin, sales, and production review every job the company does.

• A recent job sign contest planted 300 company signs in past customers’ yards, creating a juggernaut marketing effect.

• The company’s sales system involves a thorough property inspection that has the salesperson on the roof and in the attic with a camera to record problem areas, and a proposal that includes photos.

• Company foremen walk customers through the job process before it begins. They also call the day after job completion to ask if Rogers Roofing could have done anything better.