In the first part of this installment we shared ten tips for owning and operating a successful paint business. As mentioned then, these aren’t the only good ideas, tips and rules out there for building your operation in to a thriving enterprise. That said, the rules below are an excellent foundation and provide useful insight in to what it takes so succeed. Here are rules 11 through 20 for having your own successful paint business.
Rule #11: Exceed expectations. At the halfway point of our list its important to be reminded once again of the importance of the paint work itself. Most customers and clients will have an idea of how they want the finished job to look but that doesn’t mean you can’t impress them anyway. Make sure each detail is handled appropriately not just while painting but also while planning for the job and cleaning up when finished.
Rule #12: Counsel clients before starting the job. Most every problem that arises during a paint job could have been prevented with open communication before the job began. Make sure and discuss everything from paint choice to dry time with the client before you open the first can or apply the first coat. Clients should feel like they have been informed of each key detail in advance of the job so that if a problem does arise, you are already on the same page.
Rule #13: Don’t work solely on credit. It is standard practice in professional painting to collect a deposit of up to half the total value of the job prior to starting work. Asking for customers and clients to pay even a small portion of the final bill ahead of time is appropriate.
Rule #14: Pay your bills on time. To build a thriving paint business you will need vendors of your own and a paint team to help along the way. Whether you are buying paint, drop clothes, and brushes or paying employees for the work they’ve done for your company, make sure and pay your bills on time, every time. Having a reputation as being a reliable customer or boss is substantially better than being thought of as someone that doesn’t pay their bills.
Rule #15: Turn down the wrong jobs. Not every job is a good fit for your skills and not every client is going to be agreeable. While you certainly need jobs and contracts to generate revenue, know how to say “no” to the wrong opportunities or wrong clients.
Rule #16: Work to retain your clients. The clients that you do work with will need paint work again in the future. Make sure and stay in touch with them after you’ve completed each job. Holiday cards and email newsletters are great ways to stay in front of clients without badgering them.
Rule #17: Have a plan for tomorrow. Planning for the future of your business is a key part of success. You can’t exist simply going from one job to the next without an aim of what you are trying to accomplish over time. Whether you want to grow your business or remain a one-person-operation, make sure and plan for the future.
Rule #18: Always be learning. The world of commercial painting is always changing and you have to change with it. From new innovations to new paints, there is always something new to learn. Make sure you stay on top of industry development so you can leverage new tools to grow your business.
Rule #19: Invest in the appearance of your business. It can be tempting to use old drop clothes and handwritten signs in an effort to save a dollar. But your tools, materials, and overall appearance communicate a great deal about your business to clients and perspective customers. Take pride in your brand by projecting a professional image while working. You want your clients to know they are dealing with someone who is organized and detail-oriented, not someone who is sloppy and disheveled.
Rule #20: Always say “thank you.” The final rule in our list of twenty is perhaps the most basic of all; giving thanks. Let your clients know that you appreciate their business and you’ve enjoying working with them. Good manners go a long way in service professions and painting is no different.
If you love to paint then owning your own paint business can be an excellent decision. However, make sure that you spend ample time working ON the business compared to simply working IN the business. True, you started the business so you could paint often. But there are a number of things you must do on the business end of things including client relations that are vital to the success of your enterprise. Hopefully these twenty rules can help you in that regard as your business heads in to the future. Click here to learn more about some of the helpful tools available to you!