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Old 07-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Need More Customers

Its a recurring theme enough around here that I thought it could use a thread. As NEPS pointed out elsewhere, it gets tiresome when people keep coming in and starting threads asking how to get customers or how to price their services.

Regular contributors here understand that we all are faced with challenges of customer acquisition and retention, as well as wanting to make sure that our pricing is appropriate to our costs. Most of us who have been doing this for a while understand that we have to constantly be trying new marketing methods and monitoring our estimating numbers and closing ratios. There are so many good threads here already in existence that it is surprising how many people can ask them same general question.

Some of the best minds in the business have openly shared their innovative marketing techniques and their approaches to figuring out costs and rates. There is no magic number to charge that would transfer from one paint company to another. My rates might give Timhag a closing ratio of 0 and his rates might get me closing 100% and losing enough money on every job to be out of business by the end of the year.

If you dont know how to figure out what your costs are, and you may be surprised at costs that you do have that you are not accounting for, read some of Brians posts. If his approach makes sense to you, there is a site sponsor to the right of your screen in a red square that expands on these concepts in depth, in a way that is understandable and applicable. And that program does not mean that you have to stop painting and sit in your office.

If you dont know how to get customers, read some of Pressure Pros posts about marketing. Kelly Painting has also had some over the top, yet effective marketing strategies that he has openly shared with us. George Z is well on his way to mastering web marketing. NEPS posted an amazing direct mail piece the other day. Once you get customers, its important to keep them. Lots of people here recommend retention central. Look around, the ideas are here. Not only are they here, but there are ideas elsewhere. I am constantly checking out other types of businesses and their marketing methods to look for ways to apply them to the paint business. In times like this, its important to be innovative and open minded.

Dont go for the grand slam home run. Start with some base hits. Get some men on base and manufacture some runs. Get a couple run lead and then take a swing from the heels. Look at your business and the types of services you offer. If customers dont know about you or your services they cant hire you.

I think the biggest obstacle to people who pose these questions over and over is that they want an easy answer that doesnt cost money. Some forms of marketing cost next to nothing. Others are pricy and may bring a bigger return. If you are unwilling to put some budget into your marketing, dont expect much beyond the word of mouth you are able to generate from the customers you already have. For me, I would not be comfortable relying on that approach right now. Sometimes people say: "well those ideas are great, but I dont have any money to put into a marketing plan." Nothing ventured nothing gained. Go make the money. Invest it in your business. You would be surprised what even a $15/week ad in a community newspaper can generate. Good luck.



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Old 07-19-2008, 07:35 PM   #2
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Are you alright? Sev getting under your skin?
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:48 PM   #3
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This is the first totally serious thread I have started in, well...maybe ever. Work with me here...



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Old 07-19-2008, 08:10 PM   #4
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Sooo..... How much do charge a square foot for for repainting an ext.

JK

I hear you Ver, I get tired of how much do you charge post as well. For one the prices I pay for paint can differ from what you pay. Other as well are taxes, labor and overhead cost. All these factor in a price. But yet they think we can just solve all their estimating issues.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewingpainting.net View Post
Sooo..... How much do charge a square foot for for repainting an ext.
why the answer is right here
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewingpainting.net View Post
Sooo..... How much do charge a square foot for for repainting an ext.

JK

I hear you Ver, I get tired of how much do you charge post as well. For one the prices I pay for paint can differ from what you pay. Other as well are taxes, labor and overhead cost. All these factor in a price. But yet they think we can just solve all their estimating issues.
Not to go bitchfest, but the ones who say:

Hey ya'll I just went out on my own and I've never done any work for a contractor but I biddin a 3000 s.f. house with cabinets and crown in Tuscaloosa. Whats the going rate for this? Just curious what you all are charging for these...I see guys advertising locally for $.10/s.f. that seem low but if I have to do it to get my foot in the door I will. I told the contractor that and he seem to really want me. Things are lookin good.

Lets just count the things that are wrong with this.



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Old 07-19-2008, 09:11 PM   #7
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I count 8. How close am I?
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:26 PM   #8
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Man you are scareing me here, but I'll work with you and play devil's advocate.


First, are you talking about floor footage or wall footage? There is a difference. This has been covered a thousand times, if you search previous threads you'll find answers.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontpainter View Post
Its a recurring theme enough around here that I thought it could use a thread. As NEPS pointed out elsewhere, it gets tiresome when people keep coming in and starting threads asking how to get customers or how to price their services.

Regular contributors here understand that we all are faced with challenges of customer acquisition and retention, as well as wanting to make sure that our pricing is appropriate to our costs. Most of us who have been doing this for a while understand that we have to constantly be trying new marketing methods and monitoring our estimating numbers and closing ratios. There are so many good threads here already in existence that it is surprising how many people can ask them same general question.

Some of the best minds in the business have openly shared their innovative marketing techniques and their approaches to figuring out costs and rates. There is no magic number to charge that would transfer from one paint company to another. My rates might give Timhag a closing ratio of 0 and his rates might get me closing 100% and losing enough money on every job to be out of business by the end of the year.

If you dont know how to figure out what your costs are, and you may be surprised at costs that you do have that you are not accounting for, read some of Brians posts. If his approach makes sense to you, there is a site sponsor to the right of your screen in a red square that expands on these concepts in depth, in a way that is understandable and applicable. And that program does not mean that you have to stop painting and sit in your office.

If you dont know how to get customers, read some of Pressure Pros posts about marketing. Kelly Painting has also had some over the top, yet effective marketing strategies that he has openly shared with us. George Z is well on his way to mastering web marketing. NEPS posted an amazing direct mail piece the other day. Once you get customers, its important to keep them. Lots of people here recommend retention central. Look around, the ideas are here. Not only are they here, but there are ideas elsewhere. I am constantly checking out other types of businesses and their marketing methods to look for ways to apply them to the paint business. In times like this, its important to be innovative and open minded.

Dont go for the grand slam home run. Start with some base hits. Get some men on base and manufacture some runs. Get a couple run lead and then take a swing from the heels. Look at your business and the types of services you offer. If customers dont know about you or your services they cant hire you.

I think the biggest obstacle to people who pose these questions over and over is that they want an easy answer that doesnt cost money. Some forms of marketing cost next to nothing. Others are pricy and may bring a bigger return. If you are unwilling to put some budget into your marketing, dont expect much beyond the word of mouth you are able to generate from the customers you already have. For me, I would not be comfortable relying on that approach right now. Sometimes people say: "well those ideas are great, but I dont have any money to put into a marketing plan." Nothing ventured nothing gained. Go make the money. Invest it in your business. You would be surprised what even a $15/week ad in a community newspaper can generate. Good luck.

Hey Scott thats just what I needed to read, Things are tight around here, and I need some passion back for the painting buisness that I used to have. I know you have have passion for the buisness and I always enjoy your post, thanks man.

dave mac
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dave Mac View Post
Hey Scott thats just what I needed to read, Things are tight around here, and I need some passion back for the painting buisness that I used to have. I know you have have passion for the buisness and I always enjoy your post, thanks man.

dave mac
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Whats cool is that once you learn how to start the fire, you never forget. Its just time to start the fire again. It seems like this year we all have to get out there and dig in more than ever. Let us know whats working!



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Old 07-20-2008, 12:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontpainter View Post
Not to go bitchfest, but the ones who say:

Hey ya'll I just went out on my own and I've never done any work for a contractor but I biddin a 3000 s.f. house with cabinets and crown in Tuscaloosa. Whats the going rate for this? Just curious what you all are charging for these...I see guys advertising locally for $.10/s.f. that seem low but if I have to do it to get my foot in the door I will. I told the contractor that and he seem to really want me. Things are lookin good.

Lets just count the things that are wrong with this.

Wish I was I was gettin $.10 a sq. ft. in my neck of the woods


Seriously, nice post though. Enjoyed reading it, and agree with all of it!
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:11 AM   #12
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Verm,,, your scarin me too. you aint gone and got domesticated have you? (did I spell that rite?) I been readin the word book! but Im still on the A's. we need do that. what ever it was, I aint rereadin all that again. cool post.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:47 PM   #13
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Crow

Havent heard from you in a while. You must be getting close to the end of that word book, its been 6 months! Where ya at man?



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Old 01-04-2009, 03:10 PM   #14
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Monte Man--

Glad you bumped this thread up a notch----------->

Ever wonder why folks refuse to take action for their own benefit?

I am only supposing here, so don't anyone start believing this response is specifically targeted to any individual. What follows is rhetorical:

Have you defined your life's goals?
Have you further defined your financial goals relative to your life's goals?
Have you written your goals down?

Do you have an action plan to meet your goals?
Do you have interim aims that are incrementally achievable?

Do you believe you can steadily grow your business? How?
Do you want to increase your income and business size? Why?

Isn't buying a few lottery tickets, beer, and smokes more important than running your business? Why?

JTP
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:17 PM   #15
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Hey JT

I dug this one out of the archives because in the past month or two the regular contributors have been sometimes criticized for not doing enough to help the new posters looking for pricing or startup information.

This thread is from many months ago and was just one of a bunch that several of us have posted to try to point people in a more thoughtful direction than the typical silver bullet seeking first time post. There are so many stickys here that lay it right out in black and white. People seem to want quick and easy solutions to problems that most of us have spent years working on.

Its hard work building a business and I dont think anyone ever gets to a point where they look at it and say "ok its done." Thats why people avoid it.



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Old 01-04-2009, 03:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Its hard work building a business and I dont think anyone ever gets to a point where they look at it and say "ok its done."
As in "Stick a fork in it. Its done"
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:52 PM   #17
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Vermont Painter said:

Hey JT

People seem to want quick and easy solutions to problems that most of us have spent years working on.

JTP Replies:

Scott--I believe you have cut to the chase and defined a critical issue relative to the point of why people refuse to take positive action on their own behalf.

Quick and easy solutions are non-existent. Those folks coming here to find the Holy Grail of Riches need awakening. My tag line below pretty well sums up what I know to be true for myself.

If you want to get ahead of the curve and remain vibrant and growing, you work diligently toward your goals. If you don't have a plan to reach your goals, buy a lottery ticket and don't waste our time with lazy, haphazard, magical thinking. As in--maybe if I think about working hard toward my best interests, that's all I must do to achieve them.

First define where you want to go, now develop a plan that gets you there. Easy? Quick? Magical? No! Achievable? Yes! How hard do you want to work?

JTP
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:02 PM   #18
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Good post John! Also too many want to find excuses for failure.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by NEPS.US View Post
Good post John! Also too many want to find excuses for failure.
And there could not be more cards stacked against paint companies than there are right now. We all have to decide to either knock them down one by one, or sit home and complain.



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Old 01-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTP View Post
Vermont Painter sai

JTP Replies:

why people refuse to take positive action on their own behalf.



JTP
JTP So your a fan of Robbins, so you should know they see more more pain in taking action, then they see pleasure in the results of taking action.
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