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Beach painter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the worse summer Iv'e ever had as far as work and jobs coming in. I'm down to one guy and myself, followed up on old customers, I keep a add in the phone book and online along with a website. It's just dead. A lot and I do mean a lot of my old GC went under with the economy in the last 2 years, my wife tells me to just hang in there..... and I will Iv'e started bidding a good bit of work all over the state, mostly commercial jobs hopefully one will come through. I don't like the idea of traveling out of town I stopped doing that almost 20 years ago, Iv'e never had to do that since starting out for myself, but the bills keep coming in insurance w/c and all that go's with the biz. Anyone have anything that's worked for them recently?? I'm really getting worried, people are willing to work so cheap I don't know how they do it !! any good suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks:(:(
 

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You should check your area for programs that help senior citizens get connected to contractors. There are a few around here and I get a steady stream of work from it.

Go to the houses around the spots you are working and tell them you are working in the area and hand out cards.

And if you really get desperate and have no other choice, bid some jobs as cash, under the table, so you can get the bid.
 

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So is your website current and ranking well? Maybe do some door to door? There is a lot of good info in the marketing section. Hope things improve for you.
 

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Maybe your potential customers were not happy when they looked at your website and were offered to watch Harry Potter seven part 2 for free and then were let down when it took them to a streaming site :jester:
 

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Ouch! And he is also competing in SEO with Tommy, double whammy! Seacleaner, you might want to consider working on your site. Do you have a Googles Places page?
 

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Born 2 Paint
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Sorry to hear things are so tough. Start passing out cards every chance you get. Local Painter Quotes has been very good to me. Hit the paint stores up and let them know your slow and would appreciate any referals. I have only had one call from the phonebook and spent $2000 on the ad. Internet is what brings in most my new leads. ;) Im not sure where you are located so I searched Wilmigton. and I didnt see you. And who the heck is JHC? Lol (Good job on SEO Tommy) I searched and pulled up your site myself. As already mentioned, defineatly clean it up. From the photos it looks like you do top notch work. I am by no means a SEO expert, but I do know a little and managed to bring my site up on my own going from pretty much no calls, to 10-20 calls a week this summer. Call me anytime in the evening, and I would be more than happy to share what I do know. Click my site and my phone number is all over it. Hang in there. ;)
 

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Honestly I haven't gotten a new lead in over two months. Absolutely nothing from the site but guys looking for work.

Everything I have gotten has come from referrals, and things I booked 6+ months ago.

I know what you are going through, and the last three I bid I lost to a pc who did them for over 50% less than my bids. I never did depend on the NC market thou, and have always been a repaint contractor for the most part.
 

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Lambrecht Painting
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Go door to door with a handshake, smile, flier, and business card. Most people are willing to help someone who is out there trying to help themselves. Best of luck I know where your at from first hand experience.
 

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Go door to door with a handshake, smile, flier, and business card. Most people are willing to help someone who is out there trying to help themselves. Best of luck I know where your at from first hand experience.

Be careful where you do this if you go this route. Going door-to-door in an upscale neighborhood with a "no soliciting" sign near the neighborhood entrance is going to hurt more than it helps.
 

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Beach painter
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys

I appreciate all the feed back on this slump i'm in. But the storm wont last forever, and as far as my internet marketing go's Ha Ha... lets just say I'm from the stone age and I finally got around to building a website and I agree it does need work but some think it's decent. One thing that has hurt me is that I did new work for years and the re paints I did were word of mouth most all of the new work was residential and now that it's dried up, Iv'e had to try a change of venue. Which for me is doing commercial jobs and I new it wasn't going to be easy and it's not !! you bid a lot of jobs and get very few. I know I'm not the only one, I have a friend and we started out painting together in the early 80s and he is going through the same thing and he has been in business longer than me. I just hope to get something moving in between these commercial bids. As far as the phone book add its cheap I have 2 small blocks and online $100 a month. I could use some direction with the website and the wife will KILL me if I spend any money right now. But anyway I thank GOD that my bills are paid and I don't owe much and I have a roof over my head and don't have the worries some have. THANKS FELLAS.)
 

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Lack of work is about as big a worry as a business owner can face. I'd say "I hope things pick up for ya", but things don't just change on their own. If it was that simple, everyone would be successful. I've long let go of how painting was on the 80s, 90s etc. Every year, adjustments and tweaks.
 

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Sea, to make money, you have to spend money. You already know that. You fell into the trap that any of us can fall into.. complacency. Service businesses are all about leads. Leads keep you close to home. Leads keep you from worrying about lowballers. Leads today are generated from the internet. Even word-of-mouth has moved into the digital domain with social media sites like Yelp, Facebook, Angie's List, etc.

I haven't seen your website but from what has been described, its not "decent". In your shoes I'd be looking at a few options. Close the business. Start traveling further. Lower prices. (those sound like funeral marhces to me) Or.. spend some money on a decent website design with some SEO work and pound the pavement to network and call every customer I have ever serviced to try for some immediate work. Obviously, I would choose the last one. If I had to get a part time job (a worst nightmare for any business owner) to get the money for the build and some advertising, that is what I would do. It sucks you have to take a few steps back after all these years in business, but this is an era that is phasing out all the old school businesses unwilling to adapt to the times.
 

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Sea, to make money, you have to spend money. You already know that. You fell into the trap that any of us can fall into.. complacency. Service businesses are all about leads. Leads keep you close to home. Leads keep you from worrying about lowballers. Leads today are generated from the internet. Even word-of-mouth has moved into the digital domain with social media sites like Yelp, Facebook, Angie's List, etc.

this is an era that is phasing out all the old school businesses unwilling to adapt to the times.
Always inspiring PP
 

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Let me add some perspective to this. I remember less than a few years ago when our local newspaper classified's was three or four pages of help wanted ads. This morning there were less than 20 jobs listed there.

I know partly due to losses from the internet, but mostly due to the economy.

If I had not already had a large customer base for repaints I don't think I would have remained in business this long. I am so glad I wasn't dependent on NC to survive.
 
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