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Old 10-05-2007, 09:22 PM   #1
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Did any of you read the article in American Painting Contractor painting contractor by Victor DeMasi (i think that was the name). It was basically about finding your business niche. He did not provide specific numbers, but mentioned that painting business of 8-10 painters are the least profitable/ look the worst on paper. The really large companies are good, since they can handle huge jobs and the small companies with a good niche do really well also.

I always thought I would like to grow to a company of around 8-10 painters, since I figured it would take around that number to be "out of the bucket." Maybe around 3-4 painters and spend half the time painting, half the time on business would be better.

I would rather build a crew on repaints, but it seems like new construction would be essential to running a crew.

Right now, I run a summer crew (4 or 5 guys) and have one year round employee and am trying to figure out where to go next.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:20 PM   #2
 
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Sounds like DeMasi is a smart guy.
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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Dean, I run a similar size crew out of Traverse City. Never had a larger company, but I have talked to other painters who have said similar things like demasi
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:57 PM   #4
 
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What issue is it in? Volume and issue number.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:31 PM   #5
 
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it makes alot of sense...im trying to find my niche right now..getting rid of a partner turned pillhead
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:10 AM   #6
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Humble Abode, it is in the Aug./Sept. 2007, Vol. 84 No.7
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
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I know this post is old and the economy was most likely up when it was written but I think growing a business or finding a niche in the contractor business is something that takes time....years infact....well for me anyway.....I have been at it almost 30 years and still have a small crew.....the guys that have mega crews and bid mega jobs....well I personally couldn't handle all the stress that comes with that territory.....I've been able to carve out a small niche over the past 30 years in repaints and wallpapering........I feel fortunate to be in this situation as the guys who mostly relied on new work are no longer in business in my area....

and since I am sharing my two cents here I will add this tidbit... it's not enough to just do excellent work as some people think.......just as important is customer service.....the term " the customer is always right" is something I try to strive for in business.....my goal is not strictly to be in business but to STAY in business....and customer service is extremely important for the long haul......
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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Hmmm. Now I need to decide if I feel like a failure for where I am at 5 years later or doing OK given my aspirations in the OP.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:42 AM   #9
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Victor isn't too far off with that article. I could write a book of do's and dont's.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanV
Humble Abode, it is in the Aug./Sept. 2007, Vol. 84 No.7
Do you have a link?
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Residential and commercial painters in Montreal
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEPS.US View Post
Victor isn't too far off with that article. I could write a book of do's and dont's.
If you give me a free copy, I'll write a review of it.



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Old 04-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #12
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http://www.monarchpainting.net/index.html

He is a decorative painter in CT. Not sure his facts all cross over to general painting. I do know he makes some of his money by writing lots of articles. Books, mags etc.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanV View Post
Did any of you read the article in American Painting Contractor painting contractor by Victor DeMasi (i think that was the name). It was basically about finding your business niche. He did not provide specific numbers, but mentioned that painting business of 8-10 painters are the least profitable/ look the worst on paper. The really large companies are good, since they can handle huge jobs and the small companies with a good niche do really well also.

I always thought I would like to grow to a company of around 8-10 painters, since I figured it would take around that number to be "out of the bucket." Maybe around 3-4 painters and spend half the time painting, half the time on business would be better.

I would rather build a crew on repaints, but it seems like new construction would be essential to running a crew.

Right now, I run a summer crew (4 or 5 guys) and have one year round employee and am trying to figure out where to go next.

Any thoughts?

I know you and i run similar crew set ups for all year and summer exteriors and have always wondered if moving to the next level would due profitable or a major head ache.

I think moving to a larger crew would mean going beyond 10 guys and picking up commercial work etc. All though I had a smaller contractor friend here in the Chicago area that went big and got some awl-mart contract but in Chicago was hassled by the unions non stop and finally turn dint a union shop paying out accordingly and I know he has a **** ton of overhead now...
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:35 PM   #14
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I am going to have a total of 15 on payroll this summer, but only 2 of those are year round people.

I still think I need to get to 5-6 year round and then the 12+ seasonal workers. I just need some steady, mid-high end NC to make it happen. While I like the smaller residential interiors, it is too hard to string a bunch of them together to keep a crew rolling in the winter. Those jobs are better done with the owner and a helper, IMHO.

Trying to decide on whether I need a couple more exterior workers or not this year. Too close to call. It all depends on if this is going to be a busy summer with a lot of calls (it seems like it at this point). Or if it will slow down early.
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