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The Three Jobs of a Painting Contractor


February 14, 2019

Every business owner has parts of their job that they love, and parts that they don’t like at all.  That’s especially true for small business owners, who find themselves doing a little bit of everything.  Maybe you love painting, but hate sales.  Or maybe you enjoy both, but hate dealing with taxes and bills.


It’s probably not so much that you dislike parts of your job – it’s that you have three jobs, and you really wish you only had one.

Back in 1986, Michael Gerber published a book called the E-Myth.  A lot has changed since then, but one thing hasn’t – every business needs an entrepreneur, a manager, and a technician.  And if you’re the only person at your company, then you have all three jobs.

The technician is the job you probably want – the person who focuses on doing the task at hand.  Technicians pride themselves on doing good work, and doing a lot of it.  But as you know, it takes more than just the physical act of painting to make a painting business successful.

The manager is the planner.  They enjoy running processes – scheduling, bills, ordering and receiving paint, and generally trying to reduce business costs and increase profits.  The manager’s job is to make sure that all of the painters are doing whatever they can do at that minute to make the most money for the business.

The entrepreneur is the visionary.  Their job is to look five years down the road.  They build a long-term plan for the manager to execute.  They focus on growing the value of the business, so they can sell it and move to the next project or phase of their lives.

Unfortunately, all three are required.  If you aren’t doing enough painting, then there’s no work time or money for the manager to manage.  If you don’t pay your bills or taxes, you’ll find your paperwork burden taking up too much time to achieve any success no matter how hard you work.  And if you don’t have a plan for where you’re taking your business, five years from now it’s likely to look a lot like it does today – or worse.

So if you find yourself painting day and night but not getting where you’d like to be, stop and ask yourself if it’s time to spend some time doing your other two jobs.  It might be difficult to be your own manager, but you’ll be surprised at how much it can help!

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