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Suited for Hands-On Work

Josh Small started WeatherTech General Contractors to be his own boss and work with his hands.

Josh Small thought he was taking the right track when he followed the normal post-grad route. Growing up, his mom worked in a white-collar setting and his dad worked in the building industry. Josh went to college, because “that’s just what you do.” After he got his degree in business, he continued trying to find his way. 

“I didn’t want to be in an office or wear a suit and tie,” says Josh. “I thought that was what I needed to do in order to make a decent income, but I wasn’t happy. I wanted to find a way to work outside and work for myself.” 

He had taken a job in corporate America, and was a headhunter in the accounting and financing industry. But he was burnt out, and not even the stereotypically good salary was enough. Josh decided enough was enough. He put in his two weeks, resisted his boss when asked to stay and went home and got rid of every single one of his suits and ties. “I just thought to myself, ‘If you’re gonna do this, you’re gonna do this,’” says Josh. “There’s no turning back.” 

So he turned back to his roots. Josh’s dad was a bricklayer and Josh would work with him in the summers growing up. Josh was thankful to have learned a trade and get experience working with his hands. This was the inspiration for his next career steps. 

He took a job with a roofing company, which was a severe drop in income and definitely a shock to the system. But he was happier and saw a future in the industry.

“Things didn’t become golden for me overnight,” says Josh of his new beginnings. “I really had to work hard.” In this new career path, he began to learn all the ins and outs of learning how to truly run a business, and specifically one in the home improvement space. 

After 4 years of working in roofing, he took the plunge and started his own business in 2015. Josh’s ambitions were larger than just new roofs. He wanted to do it  all - and have WeatherTech General Contractors be a one-stop shop. Coming from the business world with a sales background, Josh doesn’t mind being told no. He started off “old-school” and was knocking on doors to drum up business. Everything started off with referrals and his growth came from word-of-mouth jobs, and his client-base expanded organically.

“I wanted to be able to do everything,” says Josh of his company’s services. “Slowly I began to find the right people who could do the work. That was a process in itself because it takes a year to find the best bricklayer or painter or roofing crew. I’m proud to say that I’ve had the same roofer on my team for 5 years, my painter for 8 years, and my sheetrock guy for 8 years. They’re good people and they do good work.”

His project managers in particular do great work. Josh took the time to hire each of them one at a time and train them individually. It took two years to train each manager, but this means that no one has to be micromanaged and can take over responsibilities as the company grows. 

“With my project managers, I  spent 2 years with those guys making sure they understand the ins and outs,” says Josh. “Now I force them to make their own decisions to gain experience. I spend so much time cultivating their skills and doing everything in my power to retain them so that they can be successful. They learn, they love what they do, and they are confident when they go into a job - no matter the situation.” 

With a handful of years under his belt as a homeowner, Josh has noticed that other companies are starting to follow his lead. More and more are doing things the way he did from the beginning and working to add more services than just roofing. But even as those companies begin to add services, WeatherTech General Contractors stands out because of Josh’s knowledge. 

“What separates me from other people in the business is having the knowledge and understanding of how insurance companies work,” says Josh. “As well as having certain people on my staff who know what the legal rights of the homeowners are.” 

His unique background, as well as the effort to really understand each and every project and client’s goals, ensures successful projects. Josh and his employees are there for his homeowners - even if that means going to check out a broken pipe at 9 o’clock at night that is flooding his client’s home. During the recent winter storms, Josh took the extra effort to travel to Baton Rouge and take a four day certification class for water mitigation. 

“I researched water mitigation, and took this class so that I would have the knowledge to go in and do the work safely and the proper way,” says Josh. “If you’re not learning, you’re dying. I still learn stuff today.” 

Josh may not be suited for a job in the corporate world, but he certainly works hard and does the right thing every day for his clients. All as his own boss, working with his hands, outside. His story just goes to show that when there’s no turning back, putting in the time and authentic effort gets you where you want to be.