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Archive for February, 2018

Make Social Media Work for Your Painting Business

February 26th, 2018

Social media can be a major part of a painting contractor’s online presence.  While a website conveys professionalism and reliability, a well-managed social media account conveys personality and a desire to help solve problems.  Here are three tips to make sure you’re getting the best results from social media.

Pick one platform and use it well

While it’s tempting to “maximize your presence” by picking several types of social media, it’s not going to be very effective.  That’s because social media rewards consistent, high-quality activity – if you spread your time across too many platforms you won’t be able to really deliver on any of them.

Instead, pick one – Facebook is the most popular, but Instagram and even Pinterest present some unique opportunities for painters as well.  Make sure that you’re posting content on the platform at least a couple of times a week, and make sure the content is valuable for people you’d like to become customers of your business.

Engage with customers

If you send out postcards, you judge the success by the number of people who call in and are genuine prospects for your business.  After all, if you don’t talk to anyone as a result of the postcard, what value did you really get from the mailing?

The same can be said of social media.  If you constantly post content but it never leads to customer conversations, you won’t get much value from it.  The easiest way to have a conversation sparked by social media is to do it right inside of the social media platform.  If people comment on your content, make sure you respond to their comments.  Conversations lead to sales!

Provide value

Have you ever run into a person at a networking event that just walks right up to you and starts selling their product?  You know they’re there to gain more business, but it seems callous if they don’t even try to learn about you before they’re trying to cut a deal for a product they don’t even know if you have any use for.

There are plenty of these companies on social media – and they are almost all ignored.  It’s even worse to do this on social media than it is in a networking event, because most people aren’t on social media to complete transactions.  They’re there to have fun and learn interesting information.

That’s why at least 80% of everything you post on social should not ask for business.  Show customer how paint can make a room pop.  Give them decorating ideas.  Show them a great-looking house you just finished painting, or advertise a non-profit community event you’re sponsoring.  If you can help them with creative renovation ideas or provide interesting information about what’s happening in the community, and show them some genuine personality along the way, they’ll remember your name when they do need painting done.

To learn more about how ProPainter Websites can help you gain more business, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at

How to Deal with “I Need It Painted Tomorrow”

February 18th, 2018

We’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that it can be beneficial to take painting jobs on short notice from time to time.  There are also plenty of reasons to not do it constantly.  If it means working overtime, it can burn you or your employees out, or interfere with family life in a way that reduces job quality.  It prevents long-term planning, which makes it difficult to keep the business running smoothly.  The most important and most common reason, however, is that you just don’t have time to do it.

If you can’t or choose not to squeeze a painting job in at the last minute, how can you do it in a way that makes a customer or potential customer more likely to call you again?  And might it even still be possible to win the job? Here are three tips.

Answer the Question, and Explain

Don’t beat around the bush – get straight to the answer.  For instance, you might say “We are booked solid until [date] and I’m not going to be able to start that job until then.  I wish I could help you, but I can’t fit in the job and know I’ll have the time to really do a great job until then. Trying to squeeze it in wouldn’t be fair to the customers I’ve already got line up, or to you.”  They’ll appreciate the straightforwardness – and if it absolutely must be done by that date, they’ll probably let you know quickly.

Ask for the Job

If they really don’t need it done right away, they might not let you know that.  It’s a good idea to ask!  Ask them if they’re able to wait until that time, and offer to stop by and provide a quote as quickly as you are able to make a quick visit.  Tell them that you’d love the opportunity to do the work for them and that the reason you are booked up is because you do high-quality work.  Otherwise, they might assume that, if you’re that busy already, you might not value the work as much as someone else and may not put as much care into it.

Offer a Referral

If they can’t wait for you to complete the job, it’s a great idea to refer them to a painting contractor that you trust to do a good job for them.  You’ll impress the prospect by your willingness to refer to your “competition” in order to help them.

You’ll get another benefit from this – the person getting the referral should also be referring business to you when they can’t meet a scheduling request.  Since you weren’t going to earn this customer’s business anyway, you’re not losing anything by this referral, but you might be gaining business later, when you really do need it.

In order to do this well, you should develop relationships with two or three other painting contractors and/or painters in your area. Make sure the quality of their work and their customer service matches up to yours. You want to be sure you are giving a referral that’s going to make you look good too.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business earn more business, call us at 855-485-1134 or email us at

How Independent Painting Contractor Businesses Win

February 12th, 2018

Big painting company chains have some advantages over small ones.  They may be sitting on a mountain of cash.  They can negotiate the best prices for their paint and supplies because they buy so much of it.  They have internal lawyers, accountants, and experienced executives to help them manage risk and maximize profits with every single decision.

Despite all of the advantages big business has (not just in painting but in nearly every industry), half of all employees work for small businesses, and those businesses are hiring more employees every year.  Small business owners have increased their profits every year for the last seven years, according to the Small Business Association.  How are small businesses thriving despite all the advantages big businesses have?  Small businesses, including painting contractors, have advantages too; here are three of them.

Much Less Process Waste

The bigger a company gets, the harder it is for the people at the top to feel in control.  To “create” control, big companies build processes.  Everyone uses the same quoting software in the same ways, follows the same specific management practices, and even talks to customers using the same scripted sentences.  All this process takes time and money to develop and train to every employee.  More process is added every year, but rarely is any removed.  In a large painting business, the amount of time employees spend actually painting houses, as opposed to implementing processes, goes down every day.

Customer Service

To most painters, customer service is the currency of survival.  Exceptional customer service is how to get free marketing through word of mouth.  It’s how you build brand value – the ability to charge more for a paint job because people know you’ll do it right the first time, and you’ll get it done when you say you’ll get it done.  Without a multi-million dollar marketing budget, it’s the most effective way to stand out from all of the other painters in town.

To many large businesses, customer service is a “cost center.”  A minute on the phone answering current customers’ questions is a minute not selling painting services to new customers, so companies work to reduce interaction with customers unless there’s a potential sale at the end of the conversation.  Automated phone systems, hold times, and helpless customer service representatives all reduce the amount of “wasted time” on the phone with customers.  These things also chase customers away faster than a business can even attract new ones to replace them.

Community Knowledge

For a single-location painting contractor, their reputation within the community often determines whether the company will survive.  A business owner lives in their community, and so do their employees and customers. It’s in the owner’s best interest to make their community better, because everyone will benefit from the improvement.  They’re attuned to the needs of their communities, and their customers respect that.

To a giant business, a town is nothing more than what appears next to the store number in a spreadsheet.  Money contributed to the community is money not passed back to headquarters as profit.  And while headquarters might approve a community contribution if they feel it’s the minimum amount needed to not earn a bad reputation, they’re not going to go out of their way to help save a community.  If Store 340 must close, they’ll open 15 more locations nationwide in Fiscal Year 2018 to replace it.

To learn how our small business can help your small business, give ProPainter Websites a call at 855-385-1134 or email us at


Earn More Money From Each Paint Job

February 3rd, 2018

Would you like to work more hours than you currently have scheduled? Are you trying to reduce the amount of unpaid travel, sales and estimating work that you’re doing? Offering services complementary to painting is one great way to accomplish both of these. Click here for three services that will help complement the great look of a new paint job.