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Archive for February, 2021

Hiring (and Keeping) Great Painters

February 26th, 2021

A recent poll by American Painting Contractor magazine asked painting contractors about their biggest business challenges.  This is the second of three blogs addressing the most reported challenges.

It’s not easy to hire painters and it’s also not easy to keep them.  Reliable and professional painters are often poached by competitors.  Others start a few jobs on the side and end up running a business themselves before they realize it.  And many painters can easily transition to other contracting jobs. While this can be a good thing for all involved during the winter lull, it means that many painting contractors face a fresh hiring challenge each spring.

But there’s a best place to work in every town and in every industry.  The best employees know where that place is, and if they get the chance to work there, they’re likely to take it and not look back.

How do you earn that reputation?  Here are three things to keep in mind about your employees when you’re building your business processes.

Your financial equation is important

We explained earlier in the month that winning is losing when it comes to price wars.

One of the biggest reasons not to pursue rock-bottom pricing is your ability to take care of your employees.  If all of your revenue goes to covering salaries and job expenses, there’s nothing left for you to spend on marketing or sales to fill your calendar.  There’s nothing left for promotions or pay increases.  And there’s nothing left to help out an employee facing big life challenges.

Instead of being the price “leader,” offer a better, more reliable service and guarantee better work.  Then charge what you need to charge to make that happen.  When your business is ready to grow, don’t hire anyone who can’t meet your company’s high standards.  If your pricing is right, it will be much easier to afford – and to keep – those employees.

Reliable employees want reliable jobs

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is certain.  When employees feel like their jobs (and their hours) are reliable, they’re less likely to leave a job or start another one on the side.  On the other hand, companies with boom and bust cycles are much more likely to burden employees with both burdensome work demands and short paychecks.

Painting businesses that work hard at balancing their workload throughout the year are going to be perceived as better employers.  Working to fill the calendar is one of the biggest roles of management for a painting contractor.

If there’s a light season, start trying to book discounted work months ahead of time.   And while there’s always an element of taking the business when you can get it, remember there’s a real cost to booking work into a packed calendar, even if it looks profitable on paper.  The more time your employees spend thinking about how many (or how few) hours they’re working, the more likely they are to find somewhere else to work.

Honor and respect hard work

Trades workers, including painters, do hard work.  Sometimes that work includes odd hours, harsh weather and tiring physical labor.  Unfortunately, they don’t earn as much respect as they deserve for that effort.  Some employers and customers are rude to them, and many are guilty of looking down on them.

Because of this, it stands out even more in the trades when an owner or manager truly cares about their employees.

Unlike higher salaries or better benefits, it doesn’t cost anything to show your employees that you appreciate their hard work and really care about them.  And it will impact employee retention.

Recognize employees when they work overtime to meet a tight deadline.  Take an interest in employees and their families and celebrate their successes. When they have important events happening in their lives, try to adjust schedules to help them meet their personal obligations.

At some point, your best workers are going to be offered more money.  They might be promised better hours, or opportunities for promotion, or less physical labor.  The one thing another employer can’t promise is that they’ll start their new job with the trusting and respectful relationship they have with their manager.  If your company feels like family – if you’ve shown them that you really care about them – that might be enough to keep them where they are.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help bring you more business, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at

Increase Your Price and Your Win Rate

February 24th, 2021

A recent poll by American Painting Contractor magazine asked painting contractors about their biggest business challenges.  This is the first of three blogs addressing the most reported challenges.

Every business has competitors, and when they get lazy, they compete with low prices.  It’s lazy because it rarely works.  Your lowest priced competitor is probably going broke one job at a time.  They might be covering this month’s bills, but they aren’t putting anything away for the big expenses down the road.  When their truck breaks down, so will their business.

No painting contractor wants to compete in a price war, but many do because they worry that the cheapest contractor will win all the business.  The good news is that customers don’t care as much about price as you might think.

The cheapest option for most people is to just handle the painting themselves. But instead, they call a painting contractor to do the job for them. This is especially true for interior painting, where homeowners would only be a few feet off the ground to reach the top of the walls in most cases.

When it comes to home services like painting, most people don’t go with the cheapest option.  They would rather pay someone else so they don’t have to even think about it – they just want the problem to disappear.  And most people will need more than a time and a price to really cross the problem off their list.

Problem solvers can charge premium prices

Unfortunately, most customers don’t ever tell you about their actual problem.  Here’s are some things customers don’t always mention when they ask for a quote:

  • “We have new furniture on the way next Tuesday, and we need the painting finished (correctly) before it arrives.”
  • “I bought a house not realizing I’d have to immediately repaint the exterior to keep it protected, and I really don’t want to ever deal with this again.”
  • “My job is really inflexible, and I can’t reschedule this easily once we set a time and date.”
  • “I’m going to be in a different room while you’re painting, but I need to be mostly uninterrupted.”
  • “I worry about whether the people coming into my house are scoping it out to rob it three weeks from now.”

These are just a few examples of customer problems on top of the paint job.  Even customers who don’t mention them would happily pay a bit more to forget about those problems too.

A 30 minute exercise to increase your prices and your win rate

Here’s a thirty minute exercise to increase your price and your win rate.

  1. Think about your customers and split them into 3 to 6 groups based on their specific problems (like the examples above). Think of a way to casually ask a potential customer if they fall into these groups.
  2. List what each group would need to hear before they’re confident you will fix their problem.
  3. Now write down what you need to tell each group – what they need to hear and believe before they can mentally check painting off of their to-do list.

The next time a customer calls, put the plan into action.  Before you offer a quote, ask them if they have any other specific concerns – and address those, too.

Finally, offer a price that’s at least 10% higher than you would have before the exercise.  You’ll probably be surprised how many people take you up on it!

To learn how ProPainter Websites can bring more customers to your painting contracting business, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at

How To Get Painting Jobs With Online Reviews

February 24th, 2021

Word-of-mouth referrals have always been a cost-effective strategy for painting businesses. Smaller companies may not match larger competitors in advertising, but they excel in providing personalized service, leading to positive word-of-mouth. In recent years, communication trends have shifted significantly. People now spend nearly four and a half hours daily on their computers and smartphones, leading to reduced one-on-one interactions. Consequently, online reviews and recommendations have emerged as the new word-of-mouth. This trend has accelerated, with studies showing a staggering 98% of individuals read online reviews for local businesses. Moreover, a significant 93% of consumers reveal that online reviews play a crucial role in influencing their purchase decisions. 

How To Get Painting Jobs With Online Reviews


Here are three key steps to ensure positive online reviews

#1 – Request Reviews from Satisfied Customers: When a customer expresses satisfaction with your service, don’t hesitate to ask for an online review on platforms like Google or Yelp. Including the request on invoices or post-job communication can also boost responses.

#2 – Optimize Your Google My Business Page: Having a Google My Business page with updated contact information and website details makes it easier for customers to find and leave reviews. Claim your business on Google My Business to maximize its potential.

#3 – Approach Third-Party Review Services Cautiously: While third-party review services can increase review numbers, be wary of those promising a certain quota per month. Persistent requests can irritate customers, leading to unfavorable feedback.

By embracing the new word-of-mouth—online reviews and recommendations—you can elevate your painting business and build a stellar reputation in the digital era.

Our Integrated Reviews platform helps our customers get more online reviews. Our system sends review requests to customers, urging positive reviews to be shared online. Negative reviews are handled privately, reducing their impact on public perception.

To learn how we can help do that for your painting business, call us at 919-424-6121 or schedule a meeting with us at a time that’s convenient for you!