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Archive for April, 2021

Having a Performance Conversation with a House Painting Employee

April 23rd, 2021

Nobody wants drama between team members.  It’s bad for morale. It’s bad for productivity. And it will ultimately lead to lower customer satisfaction, especially when the customer’s home is your workplace.  Because conversations about an employee’s sub-par performance can absolutely create drama if they go south, even managers who consider themselves straight shooters will put off talking to an employee that suddenly has attendance or performance issues.

But once it’s clear that it’s not a one-time issue, it’s better to address the behavior earlier than later. Otherwise, an underperforming employee will cause problems that fall on other employees – or worse, on customers.

You can’t rush into conversations about employee performance, though. The fifteen to thirty minutes it takes to have that conversation can lead to improvement and continued growth, but can just as easily lead to resentment and termination.

Here are three tips to get a good outcome from a tough conversation.

Don’t Wait Too Long

Everybody has bad days.  If a high-performer gets to work a few minutes late one day and has a good explanation, there’s probably no need to make it a performance issue.

But when a pattern starts surfacing, it’s better to bring the issue up with the employee than to keep waiting for it to just go away.  This gives the employee an opportunity to recognize the issue and address it.  If you wait until their poor performance is creating more work for you or other co-workers, there’s a performance issue and there will likely be a relationship issue, and that can make the problem even harder to overcome.

Be Specific About What You Need

Don’t soften your criticism so much that it’s unclear what you want to change.  For example, avoid saying “It seems like you’re having trouble getting to work on time.” or “Your productivity rate is down a good bit from what it was.”

It might seem nicer to be vague than to include specific numbers when talking about performance.  But the employee will leave the conversation frustrated and stressed, knowing that they need to do better to keep their job but not knowing what ‘good enough’ looks like.

If you really want to be kind to an underperforming employee, make sure they know what success looks like and that they have a plan to get there.  That means ensuring they leave the conversation with success metrics that you can both measure easily and regularly.

Provide them with specific metrics where they’re underperforming.  Then tell them what level metrics need to reach before their performance is acceptable again.  And if it’s someone you really want to be successful, you can let them know that by asking them if there’s anything you can do to help them be successful and helping in the ways you can.

Revisit the Topic Frequently

If you’ve planned ahead for a conversation about performance, you probably know what you’re going to say and have thought about how the employee might respond to it.  You know how big of a problem their performance is, and how quickly it needs to get fixed.

Your employee hasn’t had time to think about any of this, and probably doesn’t know they’ll be discussing their performance at all.  So while you’re laying out your case and telling an employee where they need to improve, that employee is probably doing a terrible job of listening to you. Instead, they’re thinking: “Are these fair criticisms?  Why didn’t I notice myself falling short?  What do I need to say to keep my job?”

This makes repetition more important in performance discussions than it is in most other conversations.  Before ending the conversation, make sure that both of you agree on where they’re falling short, how far the metrics need to rise and how frequently they’ll be measured.

After that first conversation, discuss these metrics with the employee weekly if you can – each discussion is another opportunity to emphasize the importance (and the timeline) of improvement.

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

Why A Website is Critical for Painting Contractors in 2021

April 20th, 2021

The world’s first website celebrates its 30th birthday this summer.  Since then, websites have become very important to the success of small businesses.  And despite there being many ways to reach potential customers on the web, it’s still critical for any small business, including painting contractors, to have a website.

Here’s why.

Most People Use Google To Search for Local Services

When people are looking for a painting contractor near them, the first place they go is Google.  And a company’s website content is still the main factor Google uses to determine which companies to display first.  If you don’t have a website, you’re probably not going to be one of the handful that customers see near the top of the results.

That’s true even if somebody only looks at the Local Pack or on Google Maps. That’s because Google uses websites as a key indicator of quality and credibility. So even if you have maximized your Google My Business profile, your rankings in the Local Pack and Google Maps will suffer if you don’t have a website. Not having a website is like not having any reviews. It doesn’t prevent people from finding and choosing you, but it certainly makes it much less likely.

If you want your company to be listed near the top of the search results, you’re going to need a great website.  That website needs plenty of content about the services you provide, it needs to have accurate information about your business hours and service area, and it needs to work well when people look at it on their smartphones.  These are still some of the most important factors Google uses to decide which painting contractors land on the first page of search results and toward the top of the listings on the Local Pack and Maps.

Consumers Look at Websites to Confirm Credibility

Unfortunately, it’s pretty easy for people to call themselves a painting contractor – there’s not much equipment to buy, and most states don’t require a license to paint.  That means there are plenty of painting businesses out there with owners who don’t know how to paint and don’t know how to run a business.

Customers know this.  And while most customers don’t want to pay the “franchise premium” for a big business to come paint their house, they also don’t want to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a bad paint job.  So before they hire someone, they look for signals that a painting contractor isn’t a fly-by-night operation, but someone who can actually get the job done right.

A professional website is one of the main things people use to determine whether a business is “for real.”  People deciding to paint houses between jobs or as a seasonal side hustle might throw together a Facebook page, but they aren’t going to bother with a website to help build their business.  A modern, professional website can instantly provide credibility for anyone deciding whether to trust you with their job.

Websites Are Still the Only Place Online Where You Control Your Image

There are dozens of businesses that make money by sitting between you and your customers.  Facebook and Google have become two of the largest companies in the world by selling ads to businesses like yours.  Companies like Yelp, HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List built their entire business model around sitting between you and your customers.

All of these companies are happy to provide a place online for you to present your business.  But they’re also in control of how you look, and they use that fact to get more money from you.  They decide what customer reviews get placed next to your name.  They decide what you can say, how many words you have to say it, and what contact information you’re allowed to provide.  And they’re going to make decisions that are in their best interest.

Your website is the one place where you’re in control of your image.  You get to choose what to emphasize on your website.  Nobody can pay extra to have their company listed above yours.  If someone posts a fake negative review on Google, it’s up to Google whether it gets deleted from their site – but nobody’s making you put it on your website.

When you list your online presence on business cards or flyers, It’s important for that to be a place that you control.  Otherwise, the first thing that people see when they visit that place might be something negative about your business!

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business earn new customers, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at

LA Sebastian Painting, Inc. is McKeesport’s Go-to for Commercial Painting and Wallcoverings

April 15th, 2021

L A Sebastian Painting Inc is a full-service Pittsburgh, PA painting contractor serving the Pittsburgh, PA, McKeesport, PA, Morgantown, WV, Parkersburg, WV, Youngstown, OH, Canton and OH areas of Pennsylvania. Their skilled painters provide residential and commercial interior painting services and exterior painting services to homeowners, apartment complexes, property management companies and other businesses. In addition to painting, they also do deck refinishing, power washing, gutter cleaning and many other things that will make your home or commercial property look great. Their professional painters will help you cross off many projects on your checklist. Regardless of the type of work you need them to do, you can rest assured that you will receive great customer service, and that you’ll be happy with the results. Give them a call today at 412-672-3886 to talk about your painting project.