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Old 03-24-2019, 06:22 PM   #41
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You have to consider the range of contractor status on Paint Talk before accusing individuals of being cheap.

Regional supply and demand for painting services will influence the opportunity for large company growth, or simply self employment sustainability.
I agree, and I considered it. Actually I have considered it for maybe 5-8 years on PT.

One thing I have noticed is that no matter where people are working, they ALL know the "big-time-outfit" that dominates their local area. The BTO didn't get where they are on accident.

Don't get me wrong, I like Pete and have enjoyed his posts since the first day he threw out his shingle. But be honest with me CA, doesn't he remind you of your old boss from back in the day doing resi?

Growth starts with profits, period. If you can't harvest a good profit, you'll never grow.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:04 PM   #42
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I agree, and I considered it. Actually I have considered it for maybe 5-8 years on PT.

One thing I have noticed is that no matter where people are working, they ALL know the "big-time-outfit" that dominates their local area. The BTO didn't get where they are on accident.

Don't get me wrong, I like Pete and have enjoyed his posts since the first day he threw out his shingle. But be honest with me CA, doesn't he remind you of your old boss from back in the day doing resi?

Growth starts with profits, period. If you can't harvest a good profit, you'll never grow.
No offense to Pete, but I was able to sustain a pretty steady income with the small painting company I worked for back in the 80's. I spent eleven years with him and quit only because of my long commute and opportunities to work with a larger industrial coating company closer to where I lived.

It seems that small painting companies survived back then simply because they delivered a product that homeowners were willing to pay for, despite the larger well known blow and goes. This may have been attributed to the owner's business and trade knowledge. For example, my boss was a highly skilled ex union painter and estimator whose father also owned a painting business in the 40's. Also, there seemed to be fewer start ups undercutting the legitimate guys and destroying a reasonable cost base for painting services, where a small company could provide a career for young non union painters.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:34 PM   #43
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:50 AM   #44
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I agree, and I considered it. Actually I have considered it for maybe 5-8 years on PT.

One thing I have noticed is that no matter where people are working, they ALL know the "big-time-outfit" that dominates their local area. The BTO didn't get where they are on accident.

Don't get me wrong, I like Pete and have enjoyed his posts since the first day he threw out his shingle. But be honest with me CA, doesn't he remind you of your old boss from back in the day doing resi?

Growth starts with profits, period. If you can't harvest a good profit, you'll never grow.
What your saying is true, The mega PC's I've worked for, for the most part, have been around a long time and have the financial ability to hire as much help as they need at any given time. They also have a large line of credit with one or more banks to help meet their payrolls!
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:22 AM   #45
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@Stretch67

From your post at the “hidden cost” thread I couldn’t help noticing your WC rate of 6.54%, your fixed annual GL expense of $4,000, and the fact you’re operating in MN which is a mandatory e-verify state, all of which might explain your ability to pay your employees a generous wage plus fringe benefits.
Your model might not work so well in other regions.

Our state mandated WC rate for residential painting of single family dwellings is ~ 16%. It’s been as high as 25% for commercial classifications in prior years. GL runs 7.5% of gross payroll with -zero- losses or claims. Your $4,000 annual GL expense would barely cover 1.5 employees in my location.

Many of the BTO’s in my location have driven pricing and wages down by misclassifying their employees as independent contractors, reducing overhead and creating unfair competition. The state recognized this as being a serious problem, with an estimated 25% of employees as per NYS DOL being misclassified as independent contractors in the construction trades. To counter this, the state implemented the Construction Industry Fair Play Act in 2010 which has not been enforced to any great degree, if at all.

Most of the skilled legitimate workforce in my region has been displaced by an undocumented workforce, further driving wages and pricing down. The county recognized this as a serious issue and proposed legislation in 2011 mandating e-verify for all licensed contractors. The legislation was unfortunately quashed. We voluntarily implemented e-verify in 2013 with one of our business entities after receiving “no-match” letters from SSA for “75%” of our staff. That was after exercising I-9 due diligence.

After nearly 30 years in business we decided to shutter our painting operation 3 years ago, not being able to meet our staffing needs, and not being able to compete with unfair competition.

I’ve since repositioned into more of a specialty niche market...so far it’s been a different dog, same fleas.

The bottom line is pickings are slim in different regions, and having painting roots in the greater Boston region and its surrounding suburbs, I would tend to side with Pete, although Kudos to you for maintaining the integrity of the trade from a wage and benefit perspective. I’ve always strived to do the same.
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