Guy Grussing (Grussing Roofing)

Guy Grussing is the owner of Grussing Roofing, an Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based roofing company that has been in business for 51 years.

Born at the revered Abbot Hospital in downtown Minneapolis, Grussing spent the majority of his childhood in the suburb of Minnetonka, but he also enjoyed exiting the Twin Cities and spending time in nature.

“As a kid, I liked fishing and hunting,” Grussing says.

“I also played hockey once, but I was too tall for that sport,” the 6-8 Grussing adds with a laugh.

After high school, Grussing attended a few colleges before ultimately graduating from the University of Mankato with a degree in sociology.

Yet, Grussing’s first job in Corporate America had nothing to do with studying societal trends.

“I worked a desk job for an electrical company, and then later on I sold forklifts for CAT,” Grussing says.

“I liked doing that [selling forklifts]. I did it for a couple years, but then a hailstorm came through and it seemed like a good time to go help my dad.”

For context, Grussing’s father owned a roofing company (the aforementioned Grussing Roofing), and when major hail and windstorms swept across the Twin Cities, many homeowners would suddenly find themselves in need of a roof replacement.

That being said, when Grussing joined his father’s company, he already had accumulated years of roofing experience due to helping his dad when he was in high school.

“When I went back to my dad’s company, it was a seamless transition because I had originally started working for him when I was fifteen years old,” explains Grussing, who, in addition to being well-versed in roof replacements, also understood how to install siding, gutters, and windows.

For years Grussing helped with the labor aspect of the business before eventually moving into sales and project management.

This baseline knowledge served him well when in 2009 his father decided to retire and pass the business down to his son.

Despite having years of experience in nearly every aspect of the roofing business, Grussing still encountered challenges after becoming owner.

“It was all the stuff I never had to deal with before when I was on the labor and sales side, and then there was also the matter of dealing with insurance companies,” Grussing says, in reference to the sometimes-challenging task of working with insurance companies on claims for hail and wind damage.

“It took some time, but soon I began to understand how to supplement insurance claims so that homeowners were being taken care of and I was making enough profit to keep my business in a sustainable financial position.”

Of course, installing roofs properly and working with insurance companies is important for a roofing business owner, but for as much as Grussing has learned about the technical side of his business, he has also evolved when it comes to building consumer trust and fortifying relationships with customers.

In fact, Grussing says that his approach to helping clients is what separates him from other roofing companies who may not focus as much of their efforts on ensuring customer satisfaction.

“That’s one of the first things my dad taught me, was really taking care of the customer,” Grussing emphasizes.  

“In this business, sometimes things don’t work out and we don’t make much money on a job, but regardless of what happens on a job we’re always taking care of the customer and not just walking away and leaving them with a bad taste in their mouth.”

Unfortunately, not every roofing company abides by the same philosophies as Grussing does.  

“I know some roofing contractors who just walk away from a job when things go wrong and they don’t think they’re going to make any money, but my approach is much more long-term,” Grussing says.

“I’m not obsessed with how much money I make. Of course, I need to make money to pay my bills and live a comfortable life, but to me this business is all about relationships, and the more I’ve focused my energy on that, the more I’ve realized that making money will take care of itself if I prioritize my clients.”

One way that Grussing strives to be different from his competitors is by doing roof repairs.

While roof repairs are not as lucrative as full roof replacements, Grussing has noticed that repairs are an excellent way to establish relationships within the community that often lead to future work that is more profitable.

“The way I run my business is not complicated. I just take care of people and then consequently the sales pipeline builds up,” Grussing says.

“That’s why I’m selective about the people I hire, both on the labor and sales side. I want people who are committed to helping others because I know that not only does that approach lead to more business, but it is also just a good way to live a wholesome life.”

With Grussing Roofing having been in business for now over 51 years, one might think that Grussing is content with the trajectory of his company, but the Eden Prairie resident insists that his devotion to his craft is as strong as when he stopped selling forklifts in order to help his father.

That’s why he hopes to expand Grussing Roofing into a larger office space, plus hire more talented sales and administration staff.

“I want to grow, but I don’t want to get so big that our core values become compromised. If we can do more volume and maintain our solid reputation within the community, then we’re growing in a way that isn’t detrimental to the long-term viability of the company,” Grussing explains.

Another benefit to having served the Eden Prairie community for 51 years is that Grussing Roofing often finds themselves replacing a homeowner’s roof for a third or, in some cases, even a fourth time, but for new homeowners who may be unsure what characteristics to look for when vetting a roofing contractor, making that crucial decision can feel daunting.

That’s why Grussing advises that above all else, homeowners should go with a roofing contractor they trust to effectively carry out a scope of work.

“If you don’t trust someone, or if the situation doesn’t feel right, then that’s not a good way to enter into business with a contractor,” Grussing notes.

“I would also advise the homeowner to ask for referrals and to check out past work, but ultimately you want to find somebody who cares about you and your home. A lot of companies can put on a decent roof, but not every company is going to go to the extent that we do to prioritize customer service and make people feel like they’re working with a close friend or a trusted family member.”

In essence, choosing a roofing contractor is as much a matter of who NOT to hire as it is who to go into business with.

More specifically, Grussing recommends avoiding signing contracts with roofing companies from out of state who come into town after a major storm.

“Those types of outfits are just looking to make a quick buck,” Grussing says, adding that his company receives several calls each season from homeowners needing repairs only a few years after their roof was initially installed by someone from out of state.

“Some companies don’t stand behind their work, so if you hire someone from out of town and then a few years later your roof has a problem, it’s very likely they won’t answer their phone, much less come out to help you.”

Like Grussing mentioned, so much of choosing a contractor can be boiled down to choosing a company that cares as much about the customer experience as their bottom line.

“The mentality of a business owner is key,” Grussing says.

“Is a contractor just there to make money, or are they committed to doing things the right way, and that if there are problems, will they be there to address them and make things right?” QS

**

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