Turning the Tides: Revitalizing a 40-Year-Old Flat Roofing Company from Bankruptcy – Part 2

40 year old flat roofing company going bankrupt. This is part 2, if you haven’t watched part one, I posted it a couple days ago. Please watch that. It says 40 year old flag roofing company going bankrupt. Please watch that. Stop the video here. Watch that because this is not gonna make sense. So watch it and come back. So not if you’ve watched that video. Stop the video and come back. Not that you’ve watched that video. So all that transpired in, you know, in an hour of the first day that I was there. And he basically said, the wife basically said, Leo, if you can’t fix this company, not only am I leaving the company, I’m leaving him. I’m just taking the kids and I’m leaving. I’m gone. You know, I’m sick and tired.

And remember that she was only supposed to be there. She had a full time job. I forget what she did for a living, but she had a full time job and she only came in to help me catch up on the paperwork. Then, you know, then they need more work to be done. And 40 years later, she’s trapped in the business, in a business that she hates because it’s destroying her family, right? So she said in no uncertain terms, Leo, if you can’t fix this business while you’re here, if you leave and this business not fixed, if you leave, I’m leaving. So that put a lot of pressure on me and that wasn’t her intention. That’s not what she meant to do. But keep in mind, you know, without the signed authorization for me to be in that company, I technically can’t do anything, right? So I took, when he said Leo it off in less than 40 minutes, you know, technically I’m trespassing, right? He didn’t say leave. He kind of left it up to me. So I took that as an open door. So I said, okay, let’s get to work. Let’s do some brilliant work. I got on the phone with my team who was working remote. Let’s do some great work here. Then when we show him the evidence, he can’t, you cannot do anything but go ahead and fix the company. So we went to work. We did the employee questionnaire, which we always do. We started looking at financials. And when we started looking at financials, we saw a lot of profit leaks. We saw where he was bleeding. I mean, he was bleeding ton of money. And I also tried to figure out what the 12 people in the office did, right? Because you were not using leverage tools, you were not using social media. They didn’t have well trained closers in terms of salespeople. You know, they depended on a lot of referrals. And I believe the referrals were based on is cheapness in price, which is never a great way to start a business. So anyways, we started getting to work. We had these beautiful graphs and charts and documentation, you know, yeah, at least 30 pages of documentations or charts and graphs and how he was losing money. And once you know how you’re losing money, now you can start plugging holes, right? So we were prepared. Right.

We’re waiting for him to come back from lunch or from the golf course or from what? Then we heard he’s not coming back. He went from the golf course straight to a job site. So there goes the first day. I thought, okay, maybe we hang around long enough, you know, we can meet with them afterwards because I need to make a decision, you know, there are other clients waiting for me. If I don’t have a client here, I’m pressured. I’m being pressured by my team to say, Leo, you know, get out of there. You know, we’ve got other appointments, we’ve got other meetings we can move around. Just get on the flight and get out of there. Right. And I’m thinking, you know, I, I don’t know, I think we can help this company.

So lunchtime came and went. The afternoon came and went, the evening time that, you know, I was hoping to, you know, sit down for coffee or dinner with a husband and wife and go over, you know, the beautiful information my team and I put together, came and went, what do I do? Do I catch a flight? Do I cut my losses? And each time I’m saying, do I cut, where do I cut my losses? Where is that line in the sand? So I said, okay, well, I’ve invested this much.

I’m back in the morning. So back in the morning and he finds out that I’m there. I think there’s an employee leaking information to him. There’s gotta be one or two employees are saying, he’s here again, don’t come in. So I show up in the morning, I talk to the wife, and again, the wife, you know, is really committed to doing this. You know, where is he while he said he was coming in and she gets him on the phone. He goes directly to a job site. I go, again. So we keep interviewing the employees, we keep doing our work. And I figured I’m invested, right? So I keep doing my work, keep asking for a meeting.

I said, we’ve got some crucial information here that will help you turn it around. If you don’t want to deal with me, that’s fine. Limit, at least show you for free of charge what this information is. I’ll show you exactly what it is. And I want your bookkeeper and your financial people there so they don’t, they can explain what I’m talking about. And he says, yeah, that’s great, but I don’t have time to do it. And you know, dealing with, you know, then I started thinking, should I just deal with a wife and his financial people and hopefully they can bring him to the table. And I thought they have no power to do anything, right? So anyways, the second day is now gone. The, you know, lunch meetings, dinner meetings, any hopes of those are gone. Now it comes time for me to make a decision. What do I do? I just leave the information behind, cut my losses and move on? That would have been a smart thing to do.

What does Leo do? I fly in my team. I don’t double down. I quadruple down. I fly in my team. The team that’s going to turn this company around, four people. We’ve got rental cars, hotel rooms and flights and so on. I fly in four people.

So now there’s four people plus myself there on the third morning and we’re still waiting for authorization. And I don’t know what to do. So I said, gentlemen, let’s go to work. And 10 minutes after I said that, he walks in. And he’s walking in at a pace. Keep in mind, this is a roofer guy. He’s got muscles. He’s not well dressed. He looks mad. And he’s not walking towards me. He’s, he is at, he’s looking, it looks like he’s going to attack me to a point where I back up a couple of steps to give him some space cuz I don’t know if he’s gonna swing at me, right?

I back up a couple of steps and he extends his hand and says, Leon, thank you. He drops to one knee and he says, thank you. I’m still holding out to his hand. I pull him up and I said, why are you saying thank you? And he said, well, obviously, you are really committed to this and no one else has been. So whatever you need me to do, I will do. I was Florida.

My team, we’re floored as well. That company is still in business today and thriving. That was the only time I did anything like that. It was a huge gamble, but that, those people, including the office people, are grateful, extremely grateful for the work we did. They are very profitable. They’re using branding and differentiation, the unfair advantage, all the things we talk about, and they’re grabbing market share. We are now in the process of selling that company.

Would love to hear your questions, comments below. I’m running out of time, but is this a strategy I should be using with other people because it would drive me crazy. Please post your question comments.