Building a business of any type is difficult. Market conditions and competition make it a challenge to succeed in even the best environments. Add in that once you’ve booked the business you also have to perform the service itself and it can seem like handling administrative tasks, driving sales, and actually performing the work are each full-time jobs in and of themselves. If you have any hope of actually having the time to handle more than one full-time job on your own, you have to make time management a priority.
As a commercial painter, government contracts can be highly profitable, but they come with hurdles to acquire them and extra hoops to jump through for compliance. In particular, painting projects at schools and other educational institutions have more onerous regulations to deal with – most notably those issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Today we’ll take a look at four of the major guidelines you’ll need to contend with.
When planning an industrial painting project, you’ll be focused on appropriate cost estimation, ensuring you have the equipment you need and the manpower to prep and get the paint on the walls, but how much time do you spend thinking about illumination? Stepping into a space and simply flipping on the light switches will rarely provide adequate lighting to do your work well. Today we’ll take a look at illumination standards and why they’re so important for your work.
It seems so obvious in hindsight: reducing the drag on an airplane, boat, or car would increase fuel efficiency and provide cost savings for the operator of the vehicle. Until now, that solution was best managed by trying to implement a smooth top coat as any imperfections, dents, or layering in the paint would increase drag. Even a microscopic imperfection would, over time, result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in wasted fuel cost and increments of wasted time as a transport vehicle inefficiently arrived at its point of destination.
Professional painters who can refinish old furniture back to its original state are few and far between. Old and antique furniture holds a special place in the heart of the owner and proper restoration requires patience, expertise, and a steady hand. Those that work with old furniture pieces, however, know that refinishing and repairing them is a lot less about paint or stain than it is about surface preparation. Here are the five places where you must pay the utmost attention to successfully refinish an old or antique piece of furniture.
Fire protection is a concern for both your residential and commercial clients, but in certain types of commercial facilities, fire is a much greater risk and one that you can help address with specialized coatings as part of a paint project. Of course every business should have smoke detectors, sprinklers, fire alarms and extinguishers, but beyond this, many of your clients may be surprised to know they can get additional protection from fire risk in their choice of paint products.
More than 4,300 workers die each year from on-the-job accidents. Nearly 40% of these fatalities are caused by falls, making it the most common source of worker death, followed by being struck by objects, electrocutions and being caught in between objects. What’s more, among the top 10 OSHA workplace violations that are cited, three relate to falls from heights – fall protection, scaffolding and ladder violations – most common in the construction industry, under which the commercial painting sector falls.
Earl’s paint team includes two other people. Earl paints all trims and moldings, both inside and out. His nephew John cleans and primes all surfaces. Keith tapes off edges while John is priming, and then follows behind with the sprayer or roller to paint the walls.
Adrian’s paint team also includes three people, but they work in a different manner. Each member goes to a different room in the client’s house and begins taping off edges. Then they prime the paint surface. Once the primer is ready, each team member begins painting the walls. Then, when the walls have been completely painted, each individual begins working on the trim in the room.
The online review was far from glowing: “Three stars out of a possible five stars. The paint work was excellent, but the workers left behind three half-full cans of paint and threw their drop-clothes and rollers in my trash can. I don’t know how to dispose of the paint safely, so now it is being stored in my garage. And the rollers and drop-clothes filled the can so we had nowhere to put our household trash until later in the week when the garbage man came by. The paint work was excellent, but these guys really dropped the ball on finishing the job the right way.”
A great paint job can be overlooked by clients when the final impression you give is one of messiness and disorder. It’s important to understand that the job is not complete until the paint is dry, the job site is clean, and the client is happy. Cutting corners at the end of your work in an effort to save time carries too high a price.
“Hi Graham, it’s Al with A+ Paintworks calling again. I’ve left a couple messages and stopped by the other day, but you weren’t home. Please call me when as soon as you can…your invoice is over a month past due and we still haven’t received payment.”
Sound familiar? You’ve done the work and the client is happy. Final inspection has come and gone and everyone involved is delighted with the results of your paint work. However, one problem remains: you have yet to be paid for the work. Making things even more challenging is the fact that the client is ignoring your phone calls, emails, and invoices. Instead of focusing on growing your business through new sales or paint jobs, now you’re spending time you can’t afford to waste chasing payment over an invoice that was due long ago. You never thought you’d end up handling bill collection as part of your day-to-day activity, did you? Even worse, there seems to be no easy way to deal with delinquent clients who owe you money except to spend more time calling, emailing, and trying to make contact in an attempt to collect the payment you rightfully deserve.