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.
If you’ve been asked for input on color and design for a commercial painting project in an office space or residence, you may want to recommend something more dramatic to wake up the space. One cool trick to try is shadow lines, which is another name for vertical or horizontal lines that can prove utile as well as decorative. Today we’ll take a look at different shadow line configurations and how these can work for different clients.
One great tool to increase your profit margin on a per-client basis is the technique of upselling. We get upsell offers every day – and many of them are highly effective. Would you like to super-size your Big Mac meal? Would you like the large tub of popcorn for just 50¢ more? Would you like to tack on an all-day meal plan with your theme park ticket? Yes, yes and yes, please. Upselling allows you to add value for your clients while increasing your bottom line. It should be a win-win, so you can check out some tips for upselling here. For many commercial painting clients, anti-graffiti coatings are a great upsell.
A new coat of paint is one of the best and most affordable ways to overhaul an office space. If you’re a commercial painter, getting a contract to paint the offices of a dentist or doctor, an entire medical practice or a hospital can be a profitable opportunity, but there are some health concerns to consider, including your choice of paint, whether or not the facility will be in use during your painting project, considerations of air quality and the health of patients who may be exposed to fumes. Here are some things to consider to protect the health of your clients and your clients’ patients.
As you might imagine, much of the construction, design, and deployment of NASA’s space shuttle is unique and without precedent. Each implementation of technology in the space program is, quite often, the first time such an implementation has occurred. NASA’s cutting edge research and development also gives scientists a chance to try bold new things in bold new ways. One challenge NASA scientists must address for every object sent into space is how to handle the massive temperature fluctuations between outer-space and the earth’s atmosphere. Just as significant is the substantial heat and surface friction that spacecraft encounter as they re-enter the earth’s atmosphere and temperatures reach nearly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Protecting astronauts, cargo, and the spacecraft themselves is a core objective within NASA’s ranks.
Those that work in the construction industry, of which commercial painting is a subset for workers’ compensation statistics, are the fifth most likely to suffer on-the-job injuries. When your employees are hurt on the job, although your workers’ compensation insurance will cover their claims so you’re not out of pocket for their bills, frequent claims or one large claim can drive your insurance premiums through the roof and negatively impact your bottom line.
“This is bad news, Hal.” The contractor looked up from his plans and walked over. Luke was crouching, inspecting the rivets and bolts at the base of the complex valve system that delivered chemicals from transport trains into the factory. Luke continued, “There’s corrosion all over this system. Normally, that might not be a big deal, but it looks like someone else kept painting over the damage instead of fixing it. Look at this!” Luke ran a magnet over the painted surface. At some points, the magnet held tight to the coating, but at other points, the magnet fell to the floor. Even through the top level looked well-painted and clean, the substrate underneath was telling a different story.
Hal protested, “Come on, Luke. It looks fine from here.” Luke continued his objection: “The metal under the paint is in bad shape and it’s likely getting worse. Maybe it holds up ten more years…or maybe it starts falling apart next week. If you insist on doing the work without addressing the underlying problem, then I suggest you find another painter. I’m not doing it.”