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Born To Be Mild
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4,956 Posts
Yes!.....If you want to see members get excited, ask them how much to charge!

(kidding)

Actually, use the search function at the top right of the page. There is so much good info on this site.
 

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Registered
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511 Posts
Yes!.....If you want to see members get excited, ask them how much to charge!

(kidding)

Actually, use the search function at the top right of the page. There is so much good info on this site.
:laughing:

Using the search function will keep you glued to your seat quoting the robot from "Short Circuit"..."input! input. yes, more input!"

welcome to the forum.
 

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Old Dog
Joined
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15 Posts
How large is your co. ? How many employess? What's your experience? How many years have you worked for other painters?

How big and how fast do you want to grow?

Some background on your past and some goals of the future will help everyone point you in the right direction.
 

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Registered
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5,097 Posts
I'm not a painter but these apply to all services/trades:

The sooner you grasp the mentality that business is all about marketing and sales, the sooner you will make money.

Go after referrals, don't wait for them.

Network with other contractors.

Become a web geek. Website, blogs, forums all pay back big dividends.

Keep a full or part time job until you are established (that can be as long as 3-4 years)

Don't be an equipment junky. Buy what you need, when you need it.

Learn early in your career that people will not pay for perfection.

Write a business plan. It'll change 20 times during the first few years, but that's okay.

Tied into above.. from day one script your business plan so that you can add employees as soon as is possible. If you are your company you are one car accident or ladder fall away from being destroyed financially.

Learn your true expenses. Materials and labor are your direct expenses but there are many more that drain your bottom line.

Perseverence is king. Everybody f's up. Everybody loses their behinds on certain jobs. Its part of the learning curve. You dust off and start every day like you are starting a new life.

NEVER sell on price. There is always someone behind you willing to do it cheaper.
 

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Registered
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm not a painter but these apply to all services/trades:

The sooner you grasp the mentality that business is all about marketing and sales, the sooner you will make money.

Go after referrals, don't wait for them.

Network with other contractors.

Become a web geek. Website, blogs, forums all pay back big dividends.

Keep a full or part time job until you are established (that can be as long as 3-4 years)

Don't be an equipment junky. Buy what you need, when you need it.

Learn early in your career that people will not pay for perfection.

Write a business plan. It'll change 20 times during the first few years, but that's okay.

Tied into above.. from day one script your business plan so that you can add employees as soon as is possible. If you are your company you are one car accident or ladder fall away from being destroyed financially.

Learn your true expenses. Materials and labor are your direct expenses but there are many more that drain your bottom line.

Perseverence is king. Everybody f's up. Everybody loses their behinds on certain jobs. Its part of the learning curve. You dust off and start every day like you are starting a new life.

NEVER sell on price. There is always someone behind you willing to do it cheaper.


thank you, thats hands down the best advice I've gotten so far.
what do you mean when you say people will not pay for perfection?
and when you say dont sell on price do you mean dont charge to much or dont cut myself short?

right now i am basically my company....i have a few friends willing to work with me on the jobs, one of which is interested in investing some money into it. My girlfriend is going to school for accounting and is helping out to the best of her current abilities until i can afford to hire a professional. I'm also reading up on accounting, marketing, business plans and basically anything else associated with the business aspects.
 

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The Lurker
Joined
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3,514 Posts
I'm not a painter but these apply to all services/trades:

The sooner you grasp the mentality that business is all about marketing and sales, the sooner you will make money.

Go after referrals, don't wait for them.

Network with other contractors.

Become a web geek. Website, blogs, forums all pay back big dividends.

Keep a full or part time job until you are established (that can be as long as 3-4 years)

Don't be an equipment junky. Buy what you need, when you need it.

Learn early in your career that people will not pay for perfection.

Write a business plan. It'll change 20 times during the first few years, but that's okay.

Tied into above.. from day one script your business plan so that you can add employees as soon as is possible. If you are your company you are one car accident or ladder fall away from being destroyed financially.

Learn your true expenses. Materials and labor are your direct expenses but there are many more that drain your bottom line.

Perseverence is king. Everybody f's up. Everybody loses their behinds on certain jobs. Its part of the learning curve. You dust off and start every day like you are starting a new life.

NEVER sell on price. There is always someone behind you willing to do it cheaper.

as always nicely said Ken...
 

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Registered
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5,097 Posts
thank you, thats hands down the best advice I've gotten so far.
what do you mean when you say people will not pay for perfection?
and when you say dont sell on price do you mean dont charge to much or dont cut myself short?


right now i am basically my company....i have a few friends willing to work with me on the jobs, one of which is interested in investing some money into it. My girlfriend is going to school for accounting and is helping out to the best of her current abilities until i can afford to hire a professional. I'm also reading up on accounting, marketing, business plans and basically anything else associated with the business aspects.
Perfection Pitfalls

Anthony, there is a pride of craftsmanship in all serious contractors. That pride represents a double edged sword when it comes to business ownership. There is always something that can be cleaner, sharper, finer, better. Those perfection details represent the last 5% of a job but can consume much more than 5% of the time allotted to a project.

Am I saying to perform only 95% of the work? Yes and no. What I am saying is perform all work to 95% of your perfection standard. When taping and mudding a wall, don't get hyperfocused on working it into perfection. When sanding a surface, don't stick your nose to the wall looking for that last dimple. You will waste a ton of time because there will always be one more thing you can make better. Now instead of that second coat going on the walls at 3 pm, your leaving at 5 pm and the second coat has to wait until tomorrow.

Perfectionism is why so many contractors will remain a one man show. In their minds no employee will ever do as good of a job. They are probably right. No one in my company can make a deck look as good as I will when I'm on a site. I get one deck done per day. Employees get done two or three. Oddly enough, when I QC them from time to time, there is no visual difference between their work and mine at 4 feet viewing.

Price Selling Dead End

Ninety percent of salespeople are weak because they sell with their own wallet. In their mind is the mantra "I would never pay that much" so they have no confidence in asking for that much from a customer. I was a corporate trainer for a high end stereo retailer and we taught top down selling (show the most expensive first). I would secret shop a store and I'll be damned if most of the salespeople didn't take me right to the mid/lower priced gear. They never ascertained my needs.. more importantly my wants. They just figured it would be easier to sell me something cheaper.

That ties right into contractors selling their work. If a guy sells a paint job, he will get paid for a paint job. In the market, it becomes a commodity which most homeowner's believe, if they really tried, they could do themselves. There are a whole bunch of guys and gals out there selling like that. By commodity I mean one paintjob is the same as the next, etc. The only thing that differentiates a seller of commodities is price. That's the Walmart model. Cheapest guy wins.

That is a model for bankruptcy for the new contractor. These guys at PT will attest how hard it is to estimate, paint, pickup materials, do book work, and wear every other hat of a paint business owner. If you sell on price, you get busier but you make no money. So now you are up against a brick wall. You only have so many hours in a week. Your working your tail off morning to night. You cannot afford employees. Work's backing up. Customers are getting PO'd, your girlfriend is nagging you to go back to work for someone and you are dry heaving every morning before breakfast from stress. Is that what you dream of when you think of owning a business, Anthony. It happens often.

So if you don't sell perfection and you don't sell price.. what do you sell?

You sell and deliver the whole experience. You've seen the commercials for Staple's "easy button". Genius. That's what people want. Peace of mind. They want to be confident you will perform. They don't want to be inconvenienced. They want value for the dollars they are trading you. They will not buy on their needs, they will buy on their wants and desires. They want that bathroom to feel like the high end spas they have been in. They don't care how you get there. They don't care that you use Benjamin Moore Muralo paint (at least not for the reasons you think). I will outsell a contractor mentioning Muralo every day of the weak even if I was using Behr. How? I'll sell on the selection of designer colors that they saw on HGTV. I'll show them the Behr brochure that matches ceiling, walls and trim colors. No guesswork or stress on their part. The EASY BUTTON.

I could go on forever. You have a long path in front of you and I don't want to mislead you into believing that I have it all figured out. I learn from and adapt to something new every day.

If you want to buy my book, send check for $29.95 to _________ :jester:
 

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Banned
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14,174 Posts
right now i am basically my company....i have a few friends willing to work with me on the jobs, one of which is interested in investing some money into it. My girlfriend is going to school for accounting and is helping out to the best of her current abilities until i can afford to hire a professional. I'm also reading up on accounting, marketing, business plans and basically anything else associated with the business aspects.
How long have you been painting?
 

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Super Moderator
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6,465 Posts
t what do you mean when you say people will not pay for perfection?
What Ken said is the truth. To put that in a nutshell, most customers (I'd go as far as saying 99%) don't know the difference between a great job and a good job. As contractors, to charge for a great job could put you out of the running price wise and you'd be wasting a lot of time trying to acheive that (unnecessary) perfection. So don't waste your time trying to do a perfect great job, just do a really good job.
 

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Registered
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12,314 Posts
What Ken said is the truth. To put that in a nutshell, most customers (I'd go as far as saying 99%) don't know the difference between a great job and a good job. As contractors, to charge for a great job could put you out of the running price wise and you'd be wasting a lot of time trying to acheive that (unnecessary) perfection. So don't waste your time trying to do a perfect great job, just do a really good job.
So true! Rob and I have this "argument" often, he will go over on a job we priced for a "good" job and he will say "I don't care what they want, this has my name on it!" :rolleyes:
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #18
Perfection Pitfalls

Anthony, there is a pride of craftsmanship in all serious contractors. That pride represents a double edged sword when it comes to business ownership. There is always something that can be cleaner, sharper, finer, better. Those perfection details represent the last 5% of a job but can consume much more than 5% of the time allotted to a project.

Am I saying to perform only 95% of the work? Yes and no. What I am saying is perform all work to 95% of your perfection standard. When taping and mudding a wall, don't get hyperfocused on working it into perfection. When sanding a surface, don't stick your nose to the wall looking for that last dimple. You will waste a ton of time because there will always be one more thing you can make better. Now instead of that second coat going on the walls at 3 pm, your leaving at 5 pm and the second coat has to wait until tomorrow.

Perfectionism is why so many contractors will remain a one man show. In their minds no employee will ever do as good of a job. They are probably right. No one in my company can make a deck look as good as I will when I'm on a site. I get one deck done per day. Employees get done two or three. Oddly enough, when I QC them from time to time, there is no visual difference between their work and mine at 4 feet viewing.

Price Selling Dead End

Ninety percent of salespeople are weak because they sell with their own wallet. In their mind is the mantra "I would never pay that much" so they have no confidence in asking for that much from a customer. I was a corporate trainer for a high end stereo retailer and we taught top down selling (show the most expensive first). I would secret shop a store and I'll be damned if most of the salespeople didn't take me right to the mid/lower priced gear. They never ascertained my needs.. more importantly my wants. They just figured it would be easier to sell me something cheaper.

That ties right into contractors selling their work. If a guy sells a paint job, he will get paid for a paint job. In the market, it becomes a commodity which most homeowner's believe, if they really tried, they could do themselves. There are a whole bunch of guys and gals out there selling like that. By commodity I mean one paintjob is the same as the next, etc. The only thing that differentiates a seller of commodities is price. That's the Walmart model. Cheapest guy wins.

That is a model for bankruptcy for the new contractor. These guys at PT will attest how hard it is to estimate, paint, pickup materials, do book work, and wear every other hat of a paint business owner. If you sell on price, you get busier but you make no money. So now you are up against a brick wall. You only have so many hours in a week. Your working your tail off morning to night. You cannot afford employees. Work's backing up. Customers are getting PO'd, your girlfriend is nagging you to go back to work for someone and you are dry heaving every morning before breakfast from stress. Is that what you dream of when you think of owning a business, Anthony. It happens often.

So if you don't sell perfection and you don't sell price.. what do you sell?

You sell and deliver the whole experience. You've seen the commercials for Staple's "easy button". Genius. That's what people want. Peace of mind. They want to be confident you will perform. They don't want to be inconvenienced. They want value for the dollars they are trading you. They will not buy on their needs, they will buy on their wants and desires. They want that bathroom to feel like the high end spas they have been in. They don't care how you get there. They don't care that you use Benjamin Moore Muralo paint (at least not for the reasons you think). I will outsell a contractor mentioning Muralo every day of the weak even if I was using Behr. How? I'll sell on the selection of designer colors that they saw on HGTV. I'll show them the Behr brochure that matches ceiling, walls and trim colors. No guesswork or stress on their part. The EASY BUTTON.

I could go on forever. You have a long path in front of you and I don't want to mislead you into believing that I have it all figured out. I learn from and adapt to something new every day.

If you want to buy my book, send check for $29.95 to _________ :jester:


that was really helpful. its definitely got me thinking more.
 

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Banned
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14,174 Posts
i few years off and on, nothing to longterm.
Do you think you have the trade down to be confident in giving the right preparation, and applications of product?
Do you know the products well enough to know what is a bad and good product?
Can you trouble shoot a product and/or application failure? (yours and your competitors)
I'm sorry 1st, but you may know the books and management of the office (not saying you do). There has been some great advice on this thread. But! If you cant preform in the field all that is worthless. a "few years off and on" is not enough experience. You might want to think of working for a local painting contractor. it would do you and your investors some good.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #20
Do you think you have the trade down to be confident in giving the right preparation, and applications of product?
Do you know the products well enough to know what is a bad and good product?
Can you trouble shoot a product and/or application failure? (yours and your competitors)
I'm sorry 1st, but you may know the books and management of the office (not saying you do). There has been some great advice on this thread. But! If you cant preform in the field all that is worthless. a "few years off and on" is not enough experience. You might want to think of working for a local painting contractor. it would do you and your investors some good.

yes, yes, and yes.
this is not something im jumping into blindly.
i do know much more about the business end of it thats why what i want to do it make a sustainable business.
one that can function without me(doesnt mean i wont be around/on the job most of the time)
even tho this is the way i want to do it I'm still making sure i kno absolutely everything i need to know because an employee will not respect you if you dont know just as much or more then they do.
 
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