“I know a perfect interior decorator who can help you…”
“We work with a printing company that would be great for producing the flyers you need…”
“Let me contact a colleague of mine…that new website design you need is right up his alley.”
One of the best ways to grow any business is to find partners to work with. Working with someone else that offers a different, but complementary, service to your offerings can help lead to better solutions for your customers and increased revenue for you both. While a vendor is a company that sells you a good or service for a flat fee, a partner relationship is much more organic. A partner is someone with common interests that can help you just as you help them in return, so your relationships with your partners will evolve and change as both of your businesses grow.
Sometimes partners trade goods and services while other times a simple goodwill gesture is all that is required. Regardless, finding other service providers or suppliers whose interests are aligned with your own is an efficient way to generate more revenue and find more end customers for your paint business. As a professional painter, the number of potential partners you can have is large, but the competition for those resources is intense. Being a good partner means helping the other party succeed as well. In doing so, you both should receive a mutual benefit that causes you to keep working together.
Here are four potential partnerships that you can pursue to generate more business for your paint company and help your paint business grow:
- Homebuilders. Many homebuilders actually maintain much smaller operations teams then you might expect. As a result, a great deal of the actual homebuilding is subcontracted to local providers (as opposed to in-house personnel). This means that homebuilders often turn to local paint professionals to paint the interior and exterior of the homes they build. Partnering with a homebuilder can be a great source of continual work as they build more and more houses. The best way to partner with a homebuilder is to watch for new neighborhoods announced or under development. Contact the local sales agent (who often also serves as the general manager of the neighborhood) to ask who is providing paint services. Even if a vendor has already been chosen, offer to serve as an overflow vendor in case the chosen paint team can’t keep up with the work. Your goal is to get an opportunity to show the homebuilder the quality of your work. Contacting the paint company in use to offer the same service can also lead to productive partnerships.
- Interior Designers and Decorators. Interior designers and decorators aren’t likely to have large paint jobs for you like a homebuilder would, but they can almost always be counted on to have some sort of paint work available. Being the “go to” painter for a designer can lead to a client base that calls on you for future projects long after they are done using the designer. Let them know that you would be glad to offer your expertise with regard to what types of paint would work best for a particular job. Even though your input might be minimal, having your expertise as a resource from which to draw will help the designer do a better job for their client.
- Safety Consultants and Inspectors. In many business and industrial settings regular safety inspections and consultations are part of keeping a business compliant with various regulations and rules. In some cases, the inspector may find lead paint or corroding pipes that need to be addressed by a paint professional. Having inspectors know that your paint company is expert at removing toxic paint or protecting substrates can lead to new business in the industrial or enterprise sector. In return, introduce the inspector to existing business clients of your own that might need inspection services.
- Landscaping companies. Landscaping companies are often called upon to help beautify the outdoor appearance of homes or office buildings. And while we often think that work is limited to flower beds, tree-trimming, and yard maintenance, the reality is that landscaping workers are exposed to buildings and homes that could use a new coat of paint and fences, patios, and decks that could stand a fresh coat of stain. Partnering with a landscaping company allows them to offer their clients expert paint services while expanding your client base.
The potential for partnerships for professional painters is vast and the suggestions above are but a small sliver of the types of organizations you should be working with. Having friends and allies in these businesses and others can lead to referrals and new opportunities for your paint business. However, keep in mind that partnerships require work, open communication, and constant refinement. Good partners are hard to find and other providers will be looking to work with them as well. Make sure you are doing a great job when working with partners and do your best to make sure your relationship is a two-way street that benefits you both. Click here to learn more about building a paint business through referrals and smart marketing!