Running a paint business and marketing your services can be quite a challenge. There are so many details to attend to, not just in finishing jobs, but also in landing new clients and making sure your entire enterprise is headed in the right direction. But for all the complications in owning and operating a paint business, is there anything you would rather be doing?
Even if your paint business is your dream job, you still must face challenges inherent in all business operations. One of the most difficult issues at hand is distinguishing yourself from the competition in a meaningful way. Sure, you’d like to think that the quality of your work will set you apart from other painters. But that kind of reputation can take time to build up and pay dividends. Here are four ways to enhance your paint business and marketing efforts that have minimal cost but can provide huge dividends.
- Signage. Whether you are an interior home painter or providing automobile repainting, every single job you perform should be accompanied by signage that touts your brand. From a yard sign in a client’s yard to an awning in front of your shop, you should seize the opportunity to answer the question when a passerby asks, “I wonder what’s going on in there…?” Our suggestion is that any sign in front of a retail location feature the name of the company, website address, phone number, and operating hours if at all possible. Temporary signage (like that placed in a client’s yard while working) should feature the company name, a short tag-line like “Professional Home Painting,” and your website. Why a website address? Simple: individuals driving by are unlikely to write down or commit to memory a phone number to contact you, but might well remember a website address to seek you out when they need your services.
- Implicit Recommendations. We’ve discussed the value of referrals at length. Not only as a professional painter, but most every service business can thrive based on word of mouth and recommendations from happy clients. But have you ever taken the time to speak to other individuals in the area while working? For example, let’s say your company is painting the exterior of a home in a neighborhood. You’ve put your signage in the yard, but don’t let your efforts to distinguish your business stop there. Take a few moments to approach the half-dozen closest houses, knock on the door, and introduce yourself! “Hello, my name is Dylan. I don’t know if you noticed while driving by, but my team and I from Pro Finish Painters is repainting the exterior of Mr. and Mrs. Jones house. I just wanted to introduce myself and give you my card personally. If you ever need any paintwork done, I’d love the opportunity to speak with you. Have a great day.” This kind of personal touch and networking is a great way to distinguish your business. And since you are currently working in the area, the prospect has a chance to see your work up close and associate your name with it.
- Pick a block, then own it. A wise businessman once said, “The best way to become the leading expert in any field is to wake up one morning and declare, ‘I am the expert in this field.'” Paint work is no exception. If you have noticed an increased need for repainting of siding or refinishing of antique automobiles in your area and you have the skills to meet that need, don’t be shy in declaring that you are the locally available expert in that area. Let your competitors fight over common, general paint work like interior house paint or exterior commercial buildings. Finding a niche and establishing yourself as the go-to provider in that niche is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine.
- Engage your Audience. While being personable isn’t always part of the job description for a professional paint crew, it is staggering how many painters simply refuse to engage with not only their clients but the broader audience as well. Many professional painters will avoid eye-contact or keep to themselves when literally dozens of potential clients are passing by. While painting in commercial locations especially, there is no reason that you and your crew shouldn’t smile at employees walking by and occasionally take the opportunity to greet them. “Hello, what do you think so far?” “Good morning, we hope you like how our work turns out.” “Have a great day. We’re almost done and I think it’s going to look great!” Every chance you have to make an impression that associates you with your work and with your company brand is an amazing opportunity to differentiate yourself from other paint service providers.
Differentiating your paint company and the work you do from competitors doesn’t have to feel like an insurmountable challenge. The reality is that most small paint companies are so focused on “the next job” that they aren’t building a long-term pipeline like you are. The tips above are easy to do and can lead to excellent results for you and your organization. Being friendly and proud of the work you are doing is key to standing out from the crowd. Click here to learn more tips about paint business and marketing your services!