call us 1-855-385-1134

ProPainter   Advice   Blog

Archive for November, 2017

How Painting Contractors Can Make More Money without Increasing Hours

November 29th, 2017

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

Hiring a Painting Employee?  Here’s What Makes a Great One.

November 21st, 2017

Did you know that the federal government keeps a detailed list of what it takes to perform nearly every job in the United States?  The US Department of Labor keeps detailed records on job requirements, and provides them to the public via the O*Net Site.  A detailed report on requirements for painters is available here.

What does it take to be a good painter?  Some of these are obvious.  Arm-hand steadiness is listed as the most important ability of a painter, along with trunk strength and the ability to differentiate between colors.  But it takes more than the ability to apply a brush to a wall to make a great painter.  Here are a few stand-out requirements that you should consider if you’re hiring a painting employee.

Getting Information – The most important work activity for a painter is getting information.  Painters that make assumptions about how to complete a job, what is okay to do inside of someone’s house, and whether a person is satisfied with the work or not are going to cause you more problems than you’ll ever be able to solve.  Great painters ask for all of the information they’ll need ahead of time, so they aren’t stuck without an answer or a way to reach the homeowner after the job is started.

Establishing and Maintaining Relationships – While painters do work alone on smaller jobs, the odds are high that they’ll be working as part of a team at some point.  If they have trouble getting along with others, it’s going to make everyone unhappy while they’re working, which is going to reduce their work output and their job satisfaction.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures or Material – If you’re used to working for yourself, it’s possible to take for granted that you won’t do anything that’s unsafe.  But when you’re hiring others, poor safety decisions can really do major damage to your company.  Unsafe decisions lead to unaffordable workers’ compensation costs, painters that are out of work for days (or months), and can potentially expose you to lawsuits.  Make sure you hire people who understand safety and will make safe decisions!

To learn more about how ProPainter Websites can help you find great painters for your team, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at

The Importance of Showing Up on the First Page of Google

November 17th, 2017

Most Google searches will result in hundreds of thousands (or millions) of results. However, only a handful of those results are ever seen by anyone.  To gain business from search engines, it’s important to be one of the few links on the first page of Google. Click here to learn more about how customers use Google. Click here to learn more.

Where Should You Post Your Painting Business Online?

November 12th, 2017

While your own website is the only place where you’re truly in control of your own image, there are several other sites where you can list your painting business online to gain more leads.  These sites are the first stops for many people looking for a painter. So, it’s good to make sure that you list your company on them, and that your own website includes a link to your profiles on these websites.  Also, including a link to your own website on your profiles on these sites will make your own website search a bit better!

Some of them are free to list, while others cost money.  But these businesses want to make money, too, so all of them offer advertisements.  A word of advice – make sure you know what you’re going to get before you commit to advertising costs!

Google My Business

This is the most important place to list your painting business online, because it has the most impact on how well your business searches on Google.  It also ensures that, when people near you search for your business by name, contact information about your business shows up prominently on the right side of the screen.  Make sure to link your Google My Business listing to your business website for maximum impact!


Yelp is one of the most visited places online when people are looking for nearly any type of local business.  Registering your painting business with Yelp is free, although they offer advertisements which put your business near the top of any search for painting contractors in your area.  These advertisement costs can add up quickly.


Angi, formerly Angie’s List, is a free platform for consumers to book home services, but businesses must pay to advertise or receive leads. The cost per lead varies depending on the industry, area, and budget. Businesses must also sign a one-year contract with a pricy early termination fee. People who use Angie’s List to select their painting contractor are often willing to pay more than other customers, but are also more demanding customers in general.


Houzz is a site for people wanting to learn about home improvement projects.  Professionals offering home improvement services can also list their business on Houzz for free.  To increase reach, you can pay for additional services through a “Houzz Pro+” subscription.  This allows you to build a larger, more visual profile and advertise where people are more likely to notice you.


This is a directory specific to home improvement service providers, and is heavily advertised in Lowe’s, their major partner.  You do have to pay for leads from a Porch listing, based on the type of work you do and the zip codes you serve.  There is a subscription or pay-per-lead option, so it can get expensive quickly, especially if the leads provided aren’t strong.

Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor

While these sites are popular, they are mostly used by people who submit a quote request to the site.  Painters then pay to send a quote along – whether or not they win the job.  Additionally, there’s no way to judge how serious the person requesting the quote is – it may be months before they’re willing to get the job done.  Because of this, these are very expensive places to earn leads for painting contractors.

To learn about how ProPainter Websites can help your business succeed, call us at 1-855-385-1134 or email us at

Your Paint Business + Great Referrals = More Jobs and Better Jobs

November 5th, 2017

Did you know that 92% of people trust recommendations from their friends?

While it can seem difficult to get customers to provide referrals, painting companies grow much quicker and have much better customers when they earn referrals.  Here are a few ways you can get great referrals from your painting customers.

 Ask for Referrals.  While it’s easy to assume that people will share their great experiences with friends and family, they are unfortunately more likely to bring up their awful experiences.  Think about it yourself; if you’re having a conversation with a friend, what’s more likely to come up, a really great customer experience or one of the worst you’ve ever had?  Unfortunately, bad news spreads faster than good news.

If happy customers are asked to provide a referral by their painter, however, most are willing to provide a good word to others who need work completed.  They just need to be reminded to think of someone who needs the recommendation and to make sure they get it to them.

Ask for Referrals at the Right Time

The best time to ask for a referral is right after you’ve pleased the customer with great service – a quicker or cheaper paint job than expected, or particularly attentive and knowledgeable service.  People move from task to task very quickly these days, and they may have forgotten the details that make a painting contractor referral compelling if they get the request two days – or even two hours – after the job is complete.  They’re also more likely to have the positive emotional desire to return a favor if you send an email request for a referral within minutes of asking them if they’re totally happy with the work you’ve done.

Make Referring Your Painting Business as Easy, and Visible, as Possible

Most people look online for testimonials and reviews.  Some people check Google to see who has the highest reviews posted.  Younger customers may share their experiences directly with their friends on social media services like Facebook or Twitter.  While a person-to-person referral is valuable, a strong painting contractor review on the internet has the potential to reach thousands of people looking for painters nearby.

In order to get the most impact from your great referrals, make sure they’re being posted on major online review sites.  In order to maximize the number of referrals you receive, make it as easy as possible by sending your happy customers directly to the platform you’d like them to use to review your business – such as Google, Houzz, or Angie’s List.   And remember that well-reviewed businesses are among the first to show up in Google Local maps!

Do you want to learn how your business can easily gain more great referrals and online reviews?  Call ProPainter Websites at 855-385-1134 or email and ask how we can help you gain referrals!