Drawdy Roofing Finds Success Despite Recession

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Drawdy Roofing realized some of its highest revenues during the recent recession, booking more than $20 million in roofing sales alone over the past five years.  Owner and Leesburg, Ga. resident Ken Drawdy attributes the success to the company's strong reputation.

"It's easy to get into roofing and it's very unregulated.  As a result, people need to be sure they are working with a reputable roofer.  We've developed a good relationship with insurers and built up a lot of trust with our customers," Drawdy said.

While the business has operated for 40 years, Drawdy took over the company 15 years ago.  He operated it for years out of the front seat of his truck with just one other employee.  Now with 15 employees, Drawdy Roofing has expanded into vinyl siding and windows.  

Additionally, Drawdy owns Albany Sheet Metal, which fabricates sheet metal for a variety of commercial and residential construction applications as well as hunting equipment including outdoor deer feeders.

"I believe you should take the money you make and invest it in your business.  The key is knowing when it is time to make money and when it is time to make a living," Drawdy said.

How to Succeed Even When the Economy Falters
Drawdy's main focus is on necessity-type businesses – selling products and services that residential customers have to have.  He prefers residential over commercial, as commercial is extremely competitive with tight margins.  Roofing was his first business.

"We got into vinyl siding and windows because competition in siding and windows got into roofing.  They were cutting prices in roofing to get business.  It took us a year and a half to two years to get a handle on the siding and window markets and then we were able to go from zero to 50 percent share," he said.

Drawdy operates with no debt and never has.  His company operates lean and he expects his employees to have that same mindset.

"I let employees know they are valuable to our business but I also make sure they know my expectations.  This is a very high-volume business and I expect them to figure out ways to get it done," Drawdy said.

When it comes to customer service, Drawdy said, "I do what I tell people I'm going to do.  I also explain our pricing.  I cannot warranty our work if I don't make money on it. People understand that."

Buying a Business, Buying Space
Drawdy purchased Albany Sheet Metal in December 2010.  The company had been well run with a good reputation but had not adapted to market changes, according to Drawdy.

"The business didn't cost much and we needed office space.  The sheet metal business has a 10,000 square foot facility on a three-acre site," Drawdy said.

The deer feeder business is experiencing strong growth.  Drawdy works with a distributor and has a marketing professional on staff.

"We are now selling deer feeders in four states and expect to reach seven states in the next couple of months," Drawdy said.

More information on Drawdy deer feeders and retailers is available at www.drawdyoutdoorbrands.com.  More information on Drawdy Roofing is available at www.drawdyroofing.net.  More information on Albany Sheet Metal is available at albanysheetmetal.net.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.