We frequently hear from painting contractors who are struggling to earn as much as they’d like despite working long hours. And while hiring more painters might lead to additional earning potential, qualified painters are difficult to find and require management and training time that doesn’t immediately bring any new money in the door.
The good news is that there are ways to increase your profits without adding more work – or more workers. Here are three of them.
Be More Selective about Your Jobs
If you’ve ever experienced a slow period and wondered how you were going to pay the bills, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ to a below-average job. Work is work, and it’s hard to turn away a customer who helps pay the bills. But the most important thing you can do to make more money once your time is fully booked is to slowly reduce the types of jobs you’ll complete, while focusing on the ones that pay the best.
A couple of options include increasing the minimum job cost, or refusing to pursue jobs that are in a bidding war. Over time, you might choose to specialize in external painting or full-house repaintings, for instance, if those pay the most in your area. Don’t worry – if work becomes hard to find, you can always say ‘yes’ to other, lower-paying jobs when they come to you later.
Increase Referrals and Eliminate Pay-Per-Person Marketing
Marketing that costs money for every person you reach effectively reduces your profit margin for every single job you take. Examples of this marketing include postcard mailings, Google AdWords, or online job request services like HomeAdvisor. While they can provide leads when you’re just starting a business, and can help to fill in slow months, it’s best to avoid paying a fee for every person you reach.
One way to avoid this is by recruiting through a website instead – websites should have a flat rate cost. As they search better and better over time, they reach more and more people – but the cost shouldn’t go up. This means that leads cost less and less over time.
Another powerful way to avoid this is to seek referrals from happy customers. People who heard about you from a satisfied customer are more likely to trust you and less likely to start a cut-throat price war. If they’re happy, they’re also more likely to refer someone themselves, since they understand the value that can provide to their friends and family. Referred customers are generally cheaper to acquire and pay more than those gained through marketing efforts.
Take Advantage of Vendor Discounts
Painters who are loyal to specific vendors (such as paint manufacturers or home improvement stores) can earn hefty discounts on materials and paints. Depending on the provider, you can also earn other perks, such as free paint delivery and even free customer leads. The discounts provided by paint companies do not necessarily have to be passed on to your customer – they are designed to reward the painter for loyalty, not to reduce the customer’s price. When selecting a paint, it’s important to pick one that will provide a high-quality product for your customers, but it’s also important to select one that will provide you with the good margins for your business. Make sure to compare both the paints and the professional reward programs before selecting a vendor to provide your paint and supplies.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help you make more money without doing more work, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.