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Old 09-19-2009, 08:37 AM   #1
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Hey guys,

Just wanted to introduce myself. I've been in and out of the paint business for quite a while now, working for a friend when he had big jobs, I worked in a BM store after I was married, and the wife and I have done some volunteer work on a paint crew. Currently, we're living in beautiful Yucatan, Mexico.

I know that by next summer, I'll be back in the states, to the midwest. This was only a temporary move for us. I'm hoping to start a painting business at that point. I'm trying to get my ducks in a row now so I'll be ready to run.

I have lot's of questions, so please go easy on me. I know newbies sometimes get a hazing on these boards, but I'll assure you, I'm not an unemployed hack looking to make a quick buck. My goal is to be an expensive painter catering to high end clientele. (We'll see )

Anyway, that's me in a nutshell.

Phillip
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:33 PM   #2
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My goal is to be an expensive painter catering to high end clientele. (We'll see )
Experience.

The best way to accomplish this is to go work full time for a very efficient paint company(s) with a reputation for doing immaculate work. 4 years is ideal, 3 would be minimum.

In order to cater to high end clientele, you need to be familiar with the environment, what the clients wants and expectations are, and you need to have learned from an efficient company who catered to the same market.

I know painters who can never break into the high end market because they have not seen how everything is done from A to Z, be it scheduling, job sequencing, client relations, labor management etc.

They don't have the slightest idea how to interact in that capacity because they learned in an environment that did not cater to the high end market, and where things had always been done the same way, thus, they keep doing things the same way, and don't understand how to progress. They just keep doing things the same way they learned, and they keep getting the same type of jobs as a result. (not high end)

Do yourself a favor if you want to be a high end painter, and seek out an excellent company and go work for them for a few years.

You probably want to start charging more right away than you can make working for someone else. But the catch 22 to that is, you won't be ready/able to charge more, and you wont be able to land the work, and gain the respect and more importantly references of the high end clientele, if you are not able to work at top quality, peak efficiency, and top notch service standards.

Learn your trade on the job. I promise that is the best advice you can get.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:41 PM   #3
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Excellent advice LC!
You have been on fire lately, I have enjoyed your insights!
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:28 PM   #4
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Experience.

The best way to accomplish this is to go work full time for a very efficient paint company(s) with a reputation for doing immaculate work. 4 years is ideal, 3 would be minimum.

In order to cater to high end clientele, you need to be familiar with the environment, what the clients wants and expectations are, and you need to have learned from an efficient company who catered to the same market.

I know painters who can never break into the high end market because they have not seen how everything is done from A to Z, be it scheduling, job sequencing, client relations, labor management etc.

They don't have the slightest idea how to interact in that capacity because they learned in an environment that did not cater to the high end market, and where things had always been done the same way, thus, they keep doing things the same way, and don't understand how to progress. They just keep doing things the same way they learned, and they keep getting the same type of jobs as a result. (not high end)

Do yourself a favor if you want to be a high end painter, and seek out an excellent company and go work for them for a few years.

You probably want to start charging more right away than you can make working for someone else. But the catch 22 to that is, you won't be ready/able to charge more, and you wont be able to land the work, and gain the respect and more importantly references of the high end clientele, if you are not able to work at top quality, peak efficiency, and top notch service standards.

Learn your trade on the job. I promise that is the best advice you can get.
my experience with "high-end clientele" is that they are more cheap than middle-class customers. just my opinion
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:50 PM   #5
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my experience with "high-end clientele" is that they are more cheap than middle-class customers. just my opinion

There are two things that I think might explain this.

The first is that just because someone has a lot of money, it does not guarantee that they are not cheap people. For example, they build a house that costs a lot of money, but they use cheap materials, a cheap design, and all kind of other cheap decisions in order to gain more square footage for the same amount of money that it would take to build a home half the size at a good quality.

The kind of high end clientele that are good to work for are the kind of people who have money, but who are not cheap.

The second possibility that might explain this is that what you are observing is a regional issue. It could be possible that in different parts of the country people who have a lot of money aren't the same as people in other parts who have a lot of money.

But regardless, I think a strategy for success for any painter is for a painter to aim at whatever market/type of work that seems to work for them, be it high end, custom residential, commercial, new construction, industrial etc.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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But regardless, I think a strategy for success for any painter is for a painter to aim at whatever market/type of work that seems to work for them, be it high end, custom residential, commercial, new construction, industrial etc.
yeah. I actually had a situation years ago where my girlfriends relatives were building a new house. Her uncles job was sort of the "project coordinator" for the family business. So he was basically the same way for his own house.
Well, they asked me to look at painting for them. Looked it over, and wanted to negotiate a price. They had this half-baked relative that did alot of small painting for them before but he flaked out on them and they needed somebody. They wanted to pay me by the hour first of all, which I rarely do, and it was an amount close to what they paid the other guy which was so low, I walked off and didn't even think about it.

These guys are wealthy. And I think their attitude was: hey we got the money, and we are going to pay you what we want and you should be happy. I walked off that site and never looked back.

I've had some good experiences, however. PPl that buy new homes and "don't care how much its going to be, we just need it done so we can move in"
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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