Forum Title: A Blast From The Past ‚Mike Hicks RCSer of the Month Interview
Another thoughtful interview with a seasoned Veteran. We contacted Mike to see if this still rang though for him and he didn't want to change a thing. So from September 2007, our RCS‚??er of the Month ? Mr. Michael Hicks We would like to introduce you to Mr. Michael Hicks. Mike is a frequent contributor to the Roofers Coffee Shop Forum. His wise advice, his encouragement and his ethics warrant us to recognize him as this months ROOFERSCOFFEESHOP patron of the month. We are proud to introduce him to you all. Mike has been roofing since 1982, at the age of 16 and currently owns Hicks Industrial Roofing, Inc. in New Philadelphia, Ohio. He specializes in low slope industrial/commercial/institutional roofing primarily installing thermoplastic and modified bitumen membrane systems. Hicks Roofing maintains a very steady workforce of about 30 technicians and 6 management personnel. RCS- The gang on the CoffeeShop really appreciates your insight in to Life, Business and Roofing. How long have you been contributing? Mike- Goodness, I‚??m too old for that kind of questions. Since the early days. Back when a dozen or so posts was a busy day. RCS- So, How‚??s business? Mike- This has been a challenging year. We have been steady, but while volume is down a good bit, our guys have been doing great work and our margins are actually up quite a bit. So as long as I have enough work to keep our great group of people busy, I won‚??t complain. I am a man of faith, and God has never let me down. Sometimes He just reminds me who‚??s really in charge. RCS- When you were 10 years old what do you think you would be doing? Mike- An animal behaviorist. By the end of the 3rd grade I had read 3 complete animal encyclopedia volumes. I love the outdoors, nature and wildlife. RCS- Who taught you to roof? Mike- My dad. Both in early application, and by learning a lot from seeing what he did that didn‚??t work. I‚??ve had some good associations with great people, all of whom I‚??ve tried to learn from. RCS- What was the most valuable lessons you learned about roofing? Mike- This is two part answer, because 1 led to the other: 1) That'saving money for a rainy day will allow you to survive, where others die. I died in my first attempt at running a roofing company and was blessed to get a second chance. 2) That from the neck down a person is only worth so much. From the neck up, there is no limit. RCS- What were the most valuable lesson you learned from being in the business? Mike- That business requires people of many talents and that being all things to all people is a physical impossibility. Hiring people with the traits you lack, the values you cherish, and giving them the freedom to perform is the only way to keep good people. RCS- What is the best thing you ever did for your business? Mike- I don‚??t know if I can nail that one down. Going ‚??Drug-Free‚?ù was a big one in measurable results, but treating people like I would want to be treated, recognizing that we all have our problems and being flexible with individual needs have probably contributed more to the success of this company that anything else. Hiring the right people for the right jobs. RCS- What are your biggest concerns being in business in 2007? Mike- Consolidation of the industry. The growing force of what I‚??ll call ‚??nationwide‚?ù contractors is changing the face of the industrial side of the business. The importance of relationships on a local level are being stripped away as decisions are being made based on dollars by people with no practical roofing experience that will not have to live with the results of their purchasing decisions. The end product being produced by some of these companies that I have been privileged to observe are lacking in quality, and that makes it difficult for a company like ours that was built on quality service and end products. Slick salesmen are no substitute for a good roof. RCS- Do you belong to any associations related to your business? Mike- We are members of the NRCA, MRCA, OhioRCA, Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business and some local trade/business organizations. RCS- In one word, describe the perfect employee. Mike- I don‚??t think I can. Honest is the word that comes to mind for all that the word can encompass, but how can one word describe perfection? RCS- The best boss you ever had taught you what? Mike- You reap what you sow. RCS- Do you have any health concerns due to roofing? Mike- High blood pressure, a thick middle, stress out the wazzoo, and broken L-5 from trying to be the ‚??He-Man‚?ù in my youth. RCS- Any other hobbies other then roofing? Mike- Absolutely. The reason I roof is because no one pays me for my hobbies. I enjoy hunting, fishing, cooking, anything that involved speed, and just doing things with my family. RCS- What makes you smile when you think about your job? Mike- Solving a difficult problem. Getting a letter of thanks from a customer. Some of the crazy reasons employees give me for needing a loan. RCS- What are your goals for the future? Mike- To have people talk to my children about their dad, the same way people talk to me about my dad. If that happens, I will have been a success. RCS- Any tips for the new guy starting out? Mike- Marry someone that loves you, more than they love themselves, and love them the same way. Don‚??t spend it all in one place. So many guys get that big check and go blow it. Buy what you can afford, not what you want. Save, save, save. Always do good work, don‚??t cut corners, even when you made a mistake and it‚??s going to cost you out of pocket. A reputation is not built over night. Be the kind of man you would want your daughter to marry. You can search for wisdom and good fortune in the world, but the only place I‚??ve ever found it was on my knees. Don‚??t work for a wage. If that‚??s all you‚??re working for, you don‚??t need the hassles of business ownership. When you finally ‚??get there‚?ù, don‚??t forget from where you came and be willing to share you knowledge with someone else. Don‚??t be jealous of others, but find satisfaction in where you are. Cherish the hard times, because they make the good times all the sweeter.
Category: Roofing Post By: DANIEL C (Seattle, WA), 03/16/2018

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