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Old 03-08-2010, 02:56 AM   #1
JPP
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Lightbulb from SouthWest Ontario

Hi everyone!

I got my start in painting in 1999 as a Student Works franchisee-- it appealed to my sense of entrepreneurship and I found I enjoyed painting and the problem-solving that goes with it. I worked for a Glidden one summer, where I learned a lot about manual tinting, then quit to work for a small, high-end painter in the area.

I left the painting business from 2003-2007 to work as a day trader on the NYSE but a big losing year in 2007 got me re-thinking my priorities and brought me back to painting-- nothing like working outside on a sunny summer's day.

My personal specialties are the restoration of heritage properties (wooden storm windows are a lost art in this area) and safe, creative use of ladders to complete exterior jobs where others might need mechanical lifts or scaffolding.

My business is being built on two fundamentals: 1) Do the difficult work others are afraid to try, and 2) Find ways to say "Yes". At this time, I'm changing the name of our company to New Approach Painting to reflect some of the things we do differently from other pros in our area (Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area, Ontario). We're trying to lead the area in environmentally responsible practices and raise local industry standards which I believe are unusually low for a fast-developing region. We have two full-time and three flex-time painters and I'm now at the stage where many days, there's no brush in my hand.

Since I've come back to the painting industry I've done a number of things that have caused my business to grow very quickly:

- A strategic partnership with a new window cleaning company (I spun off my window cleaning company to this business partner, and he generates residential leads for me)

- A proprietary quoting method that goes against industry standards and ensures an extremely high booking rate

- A focus on creative ways to provide additional positive environmental impact with my business

- Deliberate ignorance of my competition (abundance mentality)

My current stumbling block is the difficulty I've had in hiring good people. My current best solution to this is to hire and train an apprentice who will be interested in learning quickly and eventually running the business on his/her own. Beginning this year, I'll be gradually stepping back from the 90-hour-week time commitments to focus on other entrepreneurial projects.

Despite my experience there are still many things I need to learn-- I bought a Graco FinishPro 395 in December and still don't know how to use it, and I'm sneaking onto a friend's jobsite this week to get a crash course in floor epoxy-- and I'm hoping this community can help me out! In return I'll be happy to talk about the things I've been doing differently that have worked out well.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPP View Post

- A proprietary quoting method that goes against industry standards and ensures an extremely high booking rate
I don't like how you say that, it screams....."we bid really low so we get more work than you"...

Other than that, welcome to PT, and I hope i'm wrong....if i'm not...good luck with that then....because it doesn't last long
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
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Actually, simple undercutting as you describe seems to be directly in line with industry standards, especially in my area. What I do goes against industry standards and has virtually nothing to do with pricing.

Thanks for the warm welcome! (shiver)
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:12 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:56 PM   #5
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Welcome to the nut house.
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