Sign up for the Information Packed "Painting Contractors Perspective Newsletter" Today and Get Instant Access to the Powerful (NEW) Special Report: (A $97 Value)

"The 7 Biggest Mistakes Painting Contractors Make...
And How to Fix Them"

Important:  I will never share your contact information with anyone period AND you can unsubscribe anytime!

Painting Business How To Tips

Painting Business Tips, Tricks and strategies for running a successful painting business. Use and Profit from nearly two decades painting skills, business and consulting experience.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Outstanding Painting Business Press Release Example

I'm re-posting this outstanding press release below as an example of what to do and how to do it!

Press releases are an awesome way to keep your painting business on the mind of homeowners within your community and position yourself as THE expert.

If you aren't using press releases to get publicity, use this one as a template and start now! To see the original click here

Success Story: A Positive Approach Keeps Phones Ringing
Company Focuses On Customer Service, Quality

Staying the course has helped Northern Contracting maintain solid footing as the economy and some competitors have faltered.

Multifaceted services for both the commercial and residential markets and focusing on quality and customer service have been the company's approach since its founding in 2003, say its owners. Those factors and positive word of mouth have kept Northern's phones ringing as the recession deepened, they added.

The company's services include remodeling, additions, new construction, interior and exterior painting, interior build-outs, pressure cleaning, paver sealing and surface refinishing, said Jeffrey Freitas of south Fort Myers, who co-owns Northern with fellow south Fort Myers resident Mario Moguel.

"When you hit a downturn like this, all those residential guys that weren't doing remodeling and things like that were dying until they started doing them," Freitas said. However, Northern already had an established base of remodeling customers who turned to the company for new remodeling projects and also recommended the business to other people, he added.

Freitas said painting jobs generate about half Northern's revenue and the company benefits from having its own painting crews because it eliminates the possibility of having to wait for a subcontractor to complete that portion of a project.

Lee and Collier counties are the company's primary service areas, but it's also handled projects as far away as Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Coral Gables.

The economy may have been slowing dramatically, but 2007 was still a good year for Northern, said Freitas, who is 38. The company had gross revenues of roughly $1.97 million that year.

But 2008 saw gross revenues tumble to about $1.35 million. However, the downward trend has reversed course this year with gross revenues, through June 30, of roughly $1.31 million.

Management duties are clearly delineated, with Freitas overseeing the construction matters, while Moguel heads up painting and other services, such as pressure cleaning and stucco work.

Northern has handled multiple projects for him over the past two years, said Brian Owens, co-owner of the Microtel Inn & Suites in Lehigh Acres and its restaurant, Haney's Cafe and Pub. In fact, Freitas was Owens' liaison to the general contractor on the hotel project and served as the general contractor for the restaurant.

"Jeff really pays attention to the details," Owens said. "He's also an electrician as well. He just understands every facet of the contracting experience and that's extremely helpful. I've seen him actually throw the tool belt on and crawl up there to work. Jeff is very hands-on."

Both Freitas and Moguel pointed to having a skilled, dedicated staff and a cohesive partnership as other key contributors to their success. But both also stressed the importance of treating customers like gold.

"Customer service has always been the No. 1 thing," said Moguel, 38. "Our jobs are managed very well, from the time we present the proposal to the customer to the time we finish and get paid. We always do what we say we're going to do and we go the extra mile."

Northern performed extensive renovations over nine months in 2007 at Dr. Kurt Markgraf's circa 1924 home in Fort Myers' Seminole Park neighborhood. The work included new plumbing and electrical systems, replacing the windows with hurricane-resistant duplicates and bringing the house up to current building codes.

"They did an excellent job," Markgraf said. "I have full trust in them. They went out of their way. If they can find a way to save money for the client, they'll do it and they gain nothing, except appreciation."

That appreciation extends to recognizing their good fortune in difficult times.

"I feel very fortunate, very blessed, because of the fact so many guys are struggling out there and losing their jobs," Freitas said. "Something could happen. Things could dry up. But you just keep going, trying to establish new relationships and keep going at it strong."


Why Do You Want To Own Your Own Painting Business?

I'll be perfectly honest with you, painting for a boss eight hours a day is a lot easier than owning your own business. Of course it is also extremely limiting in many ways...

For example as an employee you are limited to:

  • The amount of hours you can work
  • The amount of money you can make
  • The amount of vacation time
  • The amount of sick days
  • The lifestyle you can gain
  • The amount of freedom you can achieve
  • And much more
However, being an employee requires very little thinking... You get to start at a certain time and once the day ends you are free until the next workday.

Granted not everyone is cut out for painting business ownership. It takes work and consistent action to build a profitable business, but... The REWARDS are worth the effort!

So many painters jump into their own business because they 'know how to paint' but end up struggling because they don't understand much else.

If you are considering going into business for yourself, or have already made the transition and looking for a surefire way to be sure that your business will last 'long term' here is what we recommend.

Step 1. Sit down for a while and write down EVERYTHING that you want your business to be known for... create your own 'highest standards' list that you will work every day to live up to.

There you go, that's it, one step!

Basic, YES!

...but sometimes we need to be reminded to do the basics. In fact less than 90% of new painting business owners take the time to do this most important step.

You see, when YOU define and set your own highest standards and work every day to live up to them, it ensures that everyone you deal with will be satisfied with your effort.

When no one else can hold you to a higher standard than you set for yourself, you will ALWAYS have satisfied customers.

Here is a short list of things to consider when making your list and setting your standards:

  1. I will focus on customer service first and foremost (building long term relationships and life long customers)
  2. I will keep my word and show up on time... Every time
  3. I will always go the extra mile to help
  4. I will hire employees who not only have good skills but also good attitudes
  5. I will treat my employees fair and develop leaders
  6. I will sharpen my image and build my brand through low cost creative marketing
  7. I will give back to my community whenever possible
  8. I will create strong lasting relationships with other professional business owner in my area
  9. I will educate myself on new products and services that will enhance the customer experience
  10. I will read books on business growth and leadership in order to be prepaired to lead my growing organization
  11. I will take action every day to meet new people
  12. etc.
The idea here is to brainstorm the end result and begin living that way right now... See your business 3 years... 5 years... 10 years down the road.

See what you want your business to look like and begin acting 'As If' it were already who you are. Doing this will allow you to reach your goals much faster and with a lot less stress and worry. It's much easier to get somewhere when you know where you're going.

Leave a comment and let us know what you are doing on a daily basis to live up to your own highest standards. If you haven't taken the time to create your own list, DO IT NOW!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A New Twist On An Old Saying About House Painters

If you have been in the house painting trade for any length of time I'm sure you're familiar with the old saying:

"Painters Are A Dime A Dozen
But A Good One Is Hard To Find"

For the most part from my perspective, that saying rings true. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of really good painters/painting businesses working in the field but very few of them know how to "Get Found".

To me this saying has more to do with "Marketing Skills" than it does with "Painting Skills".

I like to say:

"Painters ARE A Dime A Dozen
But Good One's Make Themselves EASY To Find"

Listen, if you have honed your painting skills to the point where you are considering going into business for yourself, then the two most important thing to focus on are marketing your painting services and bidding paint jobs (making sales) because without these two things there is simply no painting to be done.

...In the end, if you don't know how to get the phone ringing or profitably bid paint jobs it 'don't' rally matter much how good your painting skills are.

Very few house painters who make the leap into their own business take the time to bone up on "the business side of the painting business". Those that do have a much, MUCH higher success rate.

One thing I always suggest to new painting business owners is to "become a student of business" and even more important than that... become a student of "Marketing Your Painting Services."

Don't just test the waters, hoping you will succeed through trial and error... Go in with the mindset that you will DOMINATE your market right out of the gate! (and then begin to gain the knowledge you need to make it happen.)

So many painting business owners settle for competing on price simply because of lack of knowledge.

Obviously you are different because you are on this "Painting Blog" and are actually taking the time to research and educate yourself. I celebrate your ambition and entrepreneurial spirit!

The successful painting business owners who thrive (regardless of the economy) are those who have taken the time to learn how to market and bid paint jobs. They research the local competition and have figured out ways to give themselves a unique advantage.

Success isn't guaranteed just because you go into business for yourself... or because you have outstanding painting skills... however it can be a whole lot more predictable and possible when you gain the knowledge and follow the same systems that other successful painting business owners have.

  • Our programs have shown thousands of folks just like you how to start and grow profitable painting businesses and we would like the chance to answer your most burning question about growing a successful painting business.

Please leave a comment or question on this post and I'll do my best to thoughtfully answer it.

If you haven't already - be sure to sign up (at the top of this blog) for our free special report "Cracking The Painting Business Success Code" and weekly newsletter.

Owning a Successful Painting Business Offers Priceless Freedoms

Lifestyle is one of the main reasons I started my own painting business, and it became very clear to me yesterday how blessed we have been.

When I say lifestyle I'm not talking about owning the biggest house on the block or driving the fanciest car, but rather the ability to own your own time... call your own shots... be there for the important things!

Yesterday was my daughter Myla's first birthday and we spent the entire day with friends and family, and I didn't have to call anyone to ask for the day off... It was FANTASTIC!

It was the first day I took off in a LONG time because we have been so busy digging in and developing new systems and programs (which I'll tell you more about very soon) to help people grow their painting business.

I always get jazzed up when someone sends me a testimonial or story about how our programs and information helped them reach their goals and make more money but yesterday it became crystal clear exactly what we are doing for people and why we are working so hard right now to make a great thing even better.

I feel lucky and blessed to play be a part of helping people gain the freedom, income and time to enjoy the best things in life.

There is unprecedented opportunity to position your painting business in this recovering market... If you are reading this blog or considering investing in one of our products or home study courses, just know that YOUR success is our top priority and we are here to help.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

7 Proven Low Cost Ways To Promote and Market Your Painting Business On A Budget

Marketing and promoting your painting business does not have to be expensive or even that sophisticated, in fact here are a few low cost, results driven ways to get the phone ringing!

These simple yet powerful techniques will help you spice things up and keep your marketing efforts fun and exciting... and most importantly get the phone ringing more often.

  • Use co-op advertising - getting the word out about your quality painting services using traditional advertising can be a costly expense. Contact the local paint store(s) or product manufactures and tell them you will promote their product and/or business if they help pay a small % of the cost. Co-op advertising is a win - win situation.

  • Send out press releases to get free publicity if something your painting business does is news worthy - Did you donate your extra surplus paint to your local Habitat for Humanity chapter?... Send out a press release. Did your painting company help cover up graffiti at the local school?... Send out a press release. ALWAYS be brainstorming ways to create news worthy press release and keep sending them out!

  • Incorporate your painting business brand and image into your vinyl or magnetic vehicle signs, yard signs, intersection signs and pole signs - Job site signage is a VERY POWERFUL, low cost marketing strategy. You want to make sure that all of your signs have a synergistic look and feel... doing so will help create a brand and image people will easily recognize.

  • Use email marketing as a way to keep in touch with past customers - You do collect an email address from EVERY home owner that you do an estimate for... Don't you? If not make a promise to yourself that you will stat now! Email marketing is a fast, easy and FREE way to keep your painting business on their mind. You can even make special offers to home owners that didn't accept your bid, and let them know you want the chance to earn their business.

  • Write simple articles about paint jobs you have just completed and post them on your web site - Posting "keyword rich" articles about your local area and linking them from your web site is a great way to search engine optimize your web site. This proven strategy will also help build credibility for your painting business.

  • Write a personal letter to past satisfied customer and ask them to tell their friends and family about your painting services - developing a referral program is as easy as sending a thank you letter after a job is completed. Tell the customer that you appreciate their business and tell them every time they refer a friend or family member about your painting services and you land a job, you will send them a thank you gift. (The gift could be anything from a referral check, restaurant gift certificate or movie pass, etc.) This simple strategy can bring you tons of potential new customers!

  • Hire a "Marketing Minion" two days a month to put out fliers or door hangers around targeted neighborhoods - It's easy to find a college student or retired person to spend a few hours walking around nice neighborhoods passing out marketing materials. Hiring someone to do this for you a couple times a month allows you to focus your time, energy and effort on money making tasks like building relationships and selling paint jobs.
There are lots of ways to drum up business on a budget. Get creative!

Please post a comment and let us know some creative ways you've been using to keep the phone ringing.

If you are looking for a detailed, proven step-by-step system for generating a steady stream of new customers and landing more of the painting estimates you submit... be sure to check out Painting for Profits. Be sure to sign up for our FREE weekly newsletter and download the free special report "Cracking the Painting Business Success Code"

Not All Painting Business Web Sites Are The Same: Three Important Things To Consider

If you are a painting business owner who is serious about building a successful long term business, you probably already understand the importance of having an online presence.

However not all painting business web sites are the same and unless you know what you're looking for things can get a bit confusing...

Here are three important thing to consider:

  • Do the people developing your web site have a background in marketing and/or the house painting trade in general?
If not you may be paying way to much for a general web site that will not have the right look, feel and layout. After all you want a web site that not only looks good but is also a powerful MARKETING TOOL that will turn visitors into customers!

  • Do the people developing your web site offer any kind of marketing advice about how to get ranked on the first page of major search engines for local keyword searches?
What good is a web site if no one can find it? Be sure that the company you have build your web site understands how to build it so the search engines can find it. Also make sure they offer on going support (via email, phone or membership site) in case you have any questions.

  • Does your web site allow you to collect email addresses or accept credit cards?
Collecting an email address from every visitor and every home owner you do an estimate for allows you to build an asset. A qualified list of people that you can market to over and over again for free!

Imagine having a data base of 100... 500... 1200... or more people that you can stay in touch with, send promotions to or ask for referrals from, and it costs you next to nothing.

...And when you can give your customers the choice of using a credit card to pay for the paint job (or offering 3 easy payments) THAT IS A HUGE ADVANTAGE over the competition!

Right now you may be thinking that a web development service like this would cost a ton of money but that's not the case.

In fact if you would like more information on how to get your painting business set up with customizable, E-Commerce web site that is EASY for search engines to find just leave a comment to this post and we'll send it right out to you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Your Customers DON'T Care About You & Your Painting Business!

One of the hardest thing about selling painting services, and heck, one of the hardest things about life in general, is we often forget others don't particularly share our passion about our skills and trade.

For instance, if you are really great at cutting a razor sharp edge or using the newest airless sprayer, for example... if you live and breath this stuff to the point where you know all about every new product, what's new in 'green' eco-friendly paints... and even what colors work best in which rooms... it's hard for you to understand that there are home owners out there who could care less about painting.

Who don't even know what an airless sprayer is, for that matter. Yet you may be spending two or three hours a day reading about these things and discussing them on forums online. And when you are immersed in things like this it's hard to fathom that there are others out there who are so unaware, right?

Well, this is the same handicap many painting contractors suffer from when it comes to selling their services to the home owner.

See, no one, including your customers, cares nearly as much about your business or skill-set the way you do.

...And so when you're out there in their homes trying to sell prospects your painting services, you need to sell them the end result and the solution they are looking for, NOT "how good you are" at cutting, rolling or spraying.

This is sometimes a hard pill to swallow because you have immersed yourself in becoming the best at what you do -- it's hard to imagine anyone, especially your customers, not sharing or appreciating the pride of ownership you have, about how skilled you are and how competent your work is.

But trust me, they don't appreciate it, because it's not their focus or passion.

They hire you and buy your painting services because of the results you deliver... and nothing more!

No one cares you have spent years (Sometimes decades) becoming the best painters and/or business owner... refining and practicing your skills and marketing strategies. And quite frankly, why should they care. Those were your decision, the same way it was your decision to go into business for yourself rather than work for someone.

These were your decisions, or your problems, even. And in sales, you should never make... your problems... the customer's problems.

Sell results, solutions & the end benefits and your customers will hear your message loud and clear.

A Tool More Important Than A Paint Brush & Roller

When painters think about the tools of the trade things like brushes, rollers, drop cloths, airless sprayers, 5-in-1, etc. come to mind...

However there is one tool more important than all the others put together and that tool is the ability to write direct response sales copy that gets people to pick up the phone and call you for an estimate!

If I had a dollar for every paint contractor I have talked to that tells me "I'm a painter NOT at writer" I'd have a LOT of dollars stashed away.

I always tell them if you can talk, you can write!

...And just like learning painting skills, the more you write the better you get at it and the easier it becomes. After all we're not talking about writing a novel but rather simple ads and marketing pieces... and anyone can learn to do that.

Developing simple direct response writing skills will help you attract more leads, land more jobs and make more money.

In up-coming post I'll share some writing tips that will help you write more powerful ads, fliers and web site copy.