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Friday, September 25, 2020
Your customers all may call and ask for you to paint their house. But each of them has a different goal. Click here to see three different types of customers and how to meet their specific needs.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
The economy is in much better shape than it was in April – but it’s still rockier than it was before the pandemic. Many people are earning less than they were in 2019 (especially those in retail) and some employees don’t have a job to return to, because their employer didn’t make it to the other side of the shutdown. Despite this, exterior paint still peels exposing wood to the elements and homeowners still need to prepare their houses for sale. People still need painting done, even though some of them can’t afford it.
Does it make sense to offer financing to your customers? American Painting Contractor magazine says it can help increase the number of calls you get, especially if you advertise it. If people don’t know about it by the time you get to offering them a quote, mentioning it might also help you land the job.
One thing that isn’t recommended is to get involved in the transaction. Financing companies are great at what they do – evaluating risk, offering credit, and collecting on payments. Painting contractors should get their money upon job completion – offering a delayed payment to close a deal can easily leave you with all the work and none of the money. If payment turns into a he-said, she-said situation, customers can easily take that story to online review sites for others to read.
If you do decide to offer financing through a bank, make sure you pick a good one. The application process should be easy and fast – the goal is to increase business, and if financing slows everything down, customers could delay the paint job or go somewhere else to get it done.
The financing bank should also have a good reputation and reasonable rates – if you’re referring customers to a bank that’s taking advantage of people, it will reflect poorly on your business. Make sure that other small businesses offering financing through the bank are pleased with their customer service.
Finally, make sure that they’re making it easy for you to get paid quickly. The goal of offering financing isn’t to fill your calendar – it’s to increase your profitability. If they’re slow to pay or difficult to contact, move on to another bank.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your painting contracting company earn more business, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Friday, September 18, 2020
For many painting contractors (especially those in the northern parts of the United States and in Canada) winter can be a tough time to fill your calendar with painting jobs. Some paints stop drying properly at temperatures as high as 50 degrees, and very few paints work below 36 degrees. This can push painting contractors to indoor jobs during the winter, or to other jobs entirely.
Unfortunately, if COVID-19 is still around in your area during the winter, it’s going to make it even harder to stay busy. The pandemic has pushed many painting contractors to exterior jobs, as many people are reluctant to let service professionals into their homes for an entire day or longer unless it’s an emergency. How do painting contractors who face the double threat of cold weather and weak demand for interior work stay busy?
Here are three things you can do to improve your situation heading into late 2020 and early 2021.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business get more leads, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
The internet has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Back then, businesses tried to get an easy-to-remember web address so their customers would remember it. The Yellow Pages bought Business.com for $345 million in 2007 – and then went bankrupt two years later.
These days, nobody goes to Business.com, or Pets.com or eToys.com or Go.com (they all went bankrupt, too). When someone wants to find something, they go to Google and ask about it.
Finding a local painting contractor isn’t any different. When people want to have their house painted, they go to Google and type in what they’re looking for. It could be “painters near me”, “exterior paint job”, “house painter” or many other phrases.
Your potential customers are doing this now more than ever. More than 46% of all searches on Google are local searches and 76% of all local searches result in a phone call.
The first page of Google search results from one of these queries only lists a handful of painting contractors. The first few businesses who show up pay for ads – those are expensive, and nearly everyone skips the ads anyway. The next few links to painting businesses are in the Local Pack – that grouping of three that you’ll find under the map. The Local Pack gets just about 33% of all clicks on the page. That’s significant, and more on that in a moment.
Finally, there are ten recommended links otherwise known as the organic search results. Importantly – 50% of all clicks happen here. Many of those links aren’t even to painting companies – they’re to places like Yelp, HomeAdvisor and Angieslist (which charge for every lead they provide). On average only six or seven painting contractors show up on that first page of results, but it pays significantly if you can do it.
A Google My Business profile is an absolute must for every painting contractor. If you don’t have one, do yourself a favor and stop reading this right now and go set one up.
But Google wants multiple signals that a business is legitimate and time and time again Google uses the website of the business to prove it’s credibility because if a business has taken the time and money to invest in a website then it’s more than a fleeting enterprise. Your website and your GMB profile will work hand and hand to drive your credibility in Google’s eyes. This results in a higher likelihood of placement in the Local Pack.
Your potential customers also want proof that your business is legitimate and will be a good fit for the job they have available. They may get a referral from a friend, Facebook, Nextdoor, Instagram…but do you know where they will almost always go to verify you’ll be a good fit for them? Your website.
Potential customers want to see how professional your business appears. They want to see photos of jobs similar to theirs. They want to read testimonials from happy customers.
Having a professional website for your painting business helps with all of this. It is the one thing that you fully “own” online. You decide what gets posted on your website. You don’t have to worry about somebody posting a review or something else on your profile. It gives you a place to talk about all of the services you provide. It helps you demonstrate your skill, professionalism and credibility. And of course, your website gives you the opportunity to earn those 50%+ of active clicks from potential customers on the organic search results.
As mentioned above, a website will increase your likelihood of appearing in the local pack. It will also allow you to link your Facebook, GMB profiles, and other online profiles like social media or industry platforms. This ties everything together to demonstrate to Google that your business is active online. That is another factor that Google uses for the local pack and organic search results.
So when it comes to finding something online in 2020, the customers you’re trying to get are going to start at Google. But many of them are going to end up exactly where they ended up in 2000 – on your website. And if you don’t have one, that large number (and increasing) of potential customers who are searching for a painting contractor online probably won’t find your business at all.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help get your painting business found online, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
It’s always been nice to sit out on the porch on a summer day with friends and enjoy food from the grill. But this summer is different – in some communities, grilling out is the only way to invite friends over and actually get them to show up. Coronavirus has made inside a bad place to be for many, unless it’s inside your own home.
It’s not just grilling that’s happening outdoors. People who used to go to a gym or play contact sports to exercise are running around the neighborhood. Neighbors that used to gather for weekly conversations inside each other’s homes will now “pull up a chair” in the cul-de-sac. In many neighborhoods, there’s more activity than ever right outside of people’s homes.
While this might be a great opportunity to meet more neighbors than ever before, it can make people more self-conscious about their homes. If your lawn is knee-high with weeds, everyone is going to notice. Another thing they’ll notice is peeling paint or algae on the deck – and this might represent an opportunity for painting contractors.
It seems unlikely that people are spending more time inside of their homes and more time outside in their neighborhood. But it’s true, because most people are leaving their neighborhood far less than they did before the coronavirus. And even if they do decide to meet friends and chat, the odds are good that they’re doing it outside, not inside a restaurant or bar. All of this leads to lots of time spent in the neighborhood.
So while it probably makes sense to advertise indoor painting services to people who are sick of looking at their own walls, it’s also a good time to advertise outdoor painting, while it’s still warm enough for everyone to exercise outdoors. The same is true if you offer power washing services.
And if you do paint someone’s house, it’s more important than ever to leave a lawn sign advertising your company. You can see these signs from a car, but they’re a lot easier to read when you’re running or walking past the lawn! If the sign stays in place for three days, your business’s name will probably be etched into the memories of every daily runner and walker in the neighborhood.
To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business gain more customers, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.