Paul Kraft Of EuroCraft Exteriors: Immigrant To Successful Business Owner

Paul Kraft of EuroCraft Exteriors shares some insight into being a successful business owner. Kraft, who opened his business in January of 1999 in Austin, Texas, provides roofing services throughout the area including metal and shingle roofing, while also providing attic insulation, ventilation and window replacement for residential properties. In an important interview, Kraft talks about his business in detail while providing some unique insight on the challenges faced by business owners.

Key Factors Impacting Business in Austin

Demand varies significantly for EuroCraft Exteriors. Weather-related repairs are some of the most common including hailstorms and wind storms. In addition, aging roofs also affect homeowners which lead to roof repairs and renovation needs.  Austin has experienced both hailstorms and storms that have created damage on the shingles.

Getting Started in the Roofing Business

Kraft provides some information about his start. Specifically, he was interested in sales since he saw the financial benefits the sales people were getting from his ideas or efficiency improvements.

He worked in a variety of industries supporting sales people and was able to help them grow the business. He knew the importance of providing customers with beneficial products and services. Then, he struck out to be independent. He also wanted to be the decision maker and to reap the benefits of his hard work.  He knew he had the skills to do a good job in this area and took the initiative to start his own business as a result.

He acknowledges that the process of starting your own business isn’t easy. There were times when he wasn’t quite sure. However, he states that if you can control the feelings involved and be patient, you’ll find success. He would recommend starting a business to anyone, including young people. He also suggests investing the time in brainstorming ideas because having your own business helps you have more independence and flexibility without relying on others.

The Impact of Being an Immigrant

Paul Kraft came to the U.S. in 1985 from Sweden. He was impressed with Austin and it wasn’t quite the vision he had of John Wayne-style lifestyle. Prior to coming to the country, he was in the military and after the military service he traveled in Asia. He misses the country and the people there.

He went from the very limited background in this field to becoming a successful business owner. He says one of the key reasons for his success is that he felt very welcomed in Austin. The city was friendly and helped him to succeed.

The Importance of Keeping Roofing in Good Shape

When asked about keeping roofing in good shape, Kraft recommends always calling in a professional to handle specific needs. If there’s been bad weather, it’s always a good idea to have a professional inspect the roof for damage. Wind gusts, for example, can often lead to damage. It’s also important to have a roof inspected if it’s getting older. His company offers free inspections.

Preventative maintenance is also important. Kraft recommends being persistent about removing tree branches from roofing structures including the chimneys. Remove leaves from the roof valleys, which can build up and lead to leaking.

How to Find a Roofer You Can Trust

A big problem many people have is finding a roofer they can trust. Interestingly, Kraft says one of the reasons he entered this business is because he saw an opportunity for improvement because historically construction people have some of the worst reputations.  One of the factors he thinks is important is working with a roofer that takes the time to explain the materials and processes to you, rather than a superficial person who isn’t interested in educating you as the buyer. Trust is important. He also says word of mouth, which makes up about 70% of his business, is a good way to learn about qualified, trusted roofers.

Protecting Your Home

Protecting a home from the elements is always important. Use geography to understand what the risks are in the local area and then choose roofing materials that are a higher roofing grade to meet those demands. High-grade, wind resistant materials and high-grade roofs for hail resistance are important investments where risks are present.

Establishing yourself within the industry, such as taking the intense step of getting accredited or approved by Owens Corning, can help to ensure your long-term success within the industry. From the start, Paul Kraft set out to provide a quality level of workmanship to create a successful business and worked to create a business that local consumers in the Austin area could trust.

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