One Person Painting Businesses: Process is Profit
November 6, 2018
If you started your own paint company, it’s probably because you like painting and don’t mind working alone. One of the things that you get away from is all of the rules and red tape associated with a corporate job – you get to set your own hours, take your own clients, and meet your own quality standards.
That doesn’t mean that you get to ignore process, however. In fact, process is far more important for a one-person company than it is for bigger ones. There’s nobody but you to make sure that everything gets done – even the parts of the job you hate. You’ve got to perform well on the things you do best in a business, and the things you struggle with or don’t enjoy. And no matter how you divide your time, there’s still only 168 hours in a week – hopefully with around a third of that spent sleeping.
Any part of your job that you can make more efficient and consistent by building a process is going to give you more time. If you need more money, that’s more time to paint. And if you don’t – hey, you’re your own boss – that’s more time to hunt and fish.
Here are three processes that every painting contractor needs to build.
Your Dashboard – Every business has six to twelve metrics that can help determine how the next few weeks or months are going to go. Remember that backward-looking data (like last month’s profit or how many jobs you completed last week) can’t tell you where you’ll be in the future. Your dashboard should help you figure out what the future looks like, so that when you need to make that picture look better, you’ll know what you need to do to make that happen.
Here are a few examples. How many jobs do you have booked for the next month? How many referrals each month are you getting from previous clients? What will your expenses be in the next quarter? How many jobs do you get in the next season, historically?
Try to store this information somewhere where you can gather it easily each week. Once a week, take a look at where you stand, and determine how much time or money you need to allocate to sales and marketing efforts, and how you should price your work.
Your Finances – After a full week of painting, going through a bunch of checks and bills doesn’t sound like much fun. But it’s essential to run a good business – and it will save you more in terms of stress than it will ever take away in terms of time.
Make sure you know your cash flow, expenses, and profit over the last few months. And always put the appropriate amount of money away for quarterly taxes – a bad surprise from the IRS can take months or years to recover from!
The most successful businesses are those with consistent revenue and profits, and the only way to get there is by knowing what you need each month and making a plan to get there. Unfortunately, this is impossible without (at least) monthly business accounting.
Your Sales and Marketing Funnel – The odds are high that you became a painter because you like painting, not sales. Unfortunately, you have to sell jobs before you can paint houses. Actually, you might not have to sell all of them – but somebody does!
Anything that brings a customer closer to a sale without you having to be involved is going to save you time, and that’s time you can spend making money by painting. That’s why its important to have sales and marketing techniques that work in the background.
Of course, a website is a great example of that, because people can learn all about your business without you having to explain anything to them. It’s not the only technique however. Make sure your existing customers know how much you value referrals. Make sure real estate agents in the area know you do great work and you’re affordable. Make sure your name is known in the community, whether that’s by yard signs, sponsoring a Little League team, or even just a logo on your truck.
Finally, when people do call, make sure you have a process to present yourself and make sure they get everything they need to determine whether you’re the right painting contractor for the job. You don’t need a script, but you do need a checklist. Do they trust that you do high quality work? Do they feel safe with you in their house? If they are bidding the job out, will they give you an opportunity to counter any bid? Make sure they aren’t left with questions you could have answered after that first introduction call.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your painting business earn more business, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.