Family Business: why and how it works for us.
Why we chose to have a family business, how we protect our relationships, and why it works for us.
We wanted to provide insight as to why we chose to have a family business and discuss the steps we have taken to protect our marriages and friendships. This is not just about roofing for us; it is about creating a company that can support our families, lifestyle, and ultimately help other families protect their family and home. We often get asked about how we work with our spouse, or how we can protect our friendships while running the business. The truth, as you can imagine, is that some days are really hard. However, we feel that we took the right steps upfront to ensure that we preserve our marriages and friendships first. We established some boundaries in order to make sure we continue down a healthy path, in our relationships and as a company.
We first want to provide some context with our background and personal experience that led to how we came to these boundaries and why we are doing this together. Chris and Kendall are no strangers to the industry. Chris has been in roofing for about 18 years and Kendall for about 17. Kendall is a graduate of the NRCA’s Future Executives Institute and Chris is currently enrolled and will graduate in 2024. They were previously a part of Kendall’s family's business. In fact, that is where Chris and Kendall met. There were some highs and lows but, in the end, it just didn’t end up working out to transition the business to them as the next generation. However, they knew that they ultimately wanted to own their own company and grow a business for their family.
Brandon has been a business owner since 2009. The grind of business ownership is something Brandon and Nalani have balanced throughout their entire relationship. Nalani even worked for him at one point when they were dating. They both grew up in homes of entrepreneurs as well. Brandon has worked in the construction industry for the last 10+ years with most of his experience being in roofing. Nalani worked to put herself through college and worked with her Dad a few times on side jobs but spent most of her time working at her father-in-law’s advertising agency. He has a strict ‘no hire family / close friends’ policy, but somehow, she ended up there not once, but twice and she considers that a compliment to how she conducts business.
We all learned a lot in the early part of our career. Each of us wearing multiple hats, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone and we don’t have any regrets about the experiences we gained. We each took our unique perspective from our experiences and established guidelines of how we wanted to properly interact at home and at the office.
When we first started the conversation about starting a company together, we had some very open and honest conversations. We discussed how it would impact us as spouses and friends. Do we feel that we had strong enough relationships to work together? We determined that yes, we do. We have a strong bond that goes deeper, and we know that we want to help each other to succeed. We also know that we need to trust each other first. If something comes up or is said about another, we talk about it. We don’t jump to conclusions. We trust our team and make decisions together. And finally, at the end of the day we leave it at the office. We don’t take things personally and we walk away when we need to. We communicate and stay on top of potential issues. When you have open conversations and establish boundaries you will have strong relationships and ultimately a strong company.
We thought sharing our process may help others learn more about us and our business, but it also may help someone in their own business. Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions. We love to chat!