I belong to three trade associations. The National Roofing Contractors Association, the Midwest and the Ohio Roofing Contractors Associations. I also belong to several other things like the National Federation of Independent Business and things that are business related.
The NRCA, I believe, offers a lot to contractors that really want to grow their business simply because of the educational resources that are available and it's the only voice that we have in Washington for roofing contractors. For years, roofers were completely ignored by Washington, D.C. and I give Reid Ribble and the leadership a lot of credit for their new initiative to form a group that has a voice and we're starting to accomplish some things. So if you are a roofing contractor and you don't like to pay taxes or you don't like the government in your face and the regulations that bog you down, the only way that you're going to affect anything is to join an organizat\ion like the NRCA and I think the NRCA's the right one to go to.
Besides the political reach of the NRCA, the resources available are wide reaching. Everything from the multiple roofing installation detail publications, covering every facet of commercial and residential roofing, to help with labor force recruitment and exceptional training materials, plus a wide range of offsite and electronic classes, many of which include continuing education credits.
Then organizations like the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) are fighting every single day on our behalf in Washington DC, often killing over reaching and burdensome legislation before it ever makes it to a vote, and often being the difference when bad bills do make it to the floor.
Personally, I feel that to be in business, and NOT be a supporting member of trade organization is more than just a poor business decision. I think it's lazy and I think it's downright foolish.
Michael Hicks is owner of Hicks Industrial Roofing. See his full bio here.