How To Find Great Customers For Your Painting Business
How many times have you looked back at some of your jobs and said, “wow, that was a good job,” or, “we killed it on that job,” or, “oh, I lost my shirt on that job.”
Or maybe during the job you said, “I hope I break even on this job.” or, “why do we keep doing this kind of work? We are losing our shirts on this.”
I’m Ron Ramsden and I’m a DYB Coach, also a painting contractor for the last seventeen years here in Northern Massachusetts.
You could be doing work where you are making money almost every single job and jobs that you and your crew prefer over others.
I’m going to do a quick little exercise here and maybe this will help you out.
We found that if you concentrate on the “3P’s”, we call it People, Process, and Profit.
The 3P’s are what you want to look at.
We’ll start with Process:
In the painting industry for us, interior wise, we strip wallpaper, fix holes in walls, we paint beautiful empty houses.
We do new construction. Some of us love removing wallpaper and re-wallpapering.
On the outside, some of us work with lead paint.
Some of us hate houses that are really tall or really big.
Maybe you have a two or three man crew, those houses are just too big for you.
So what we want to do is, we want to look at all your different jobs and you want to find out which process; meaning what kind of jobs do you really enjoy doing and you make money on?
A job that you want to be on, the process seems to flow well, maybe it’s stripping wallpaper, maybe you guys have that down to a size and that you bid it and you can crush it.
Maybe you just can’t do it. Maybe you like new construction.
Maybe you like getting in there and getting in and getting out, little prep, slap some paint on the walls and take off.
Maybe you like that really high-end sanding woodwork over and over, refinishing kitchen cabinets.
If that process works for you, that would be a goal for you to aim at.
But have to actually follow the different jobs that you have.
Also, people, some of us work for property management companies.
Some of us work for builders, general contractors.
Some of us work directly for homeowners.
Some of us work for HOA, privately managed maybe the homeowners manage us.
So you are not actually dealing with a property management company.
You are dealing with six or seven people on the board.
One of the guys I know works for churches.
They paint a lot of churches.
So they like working because they are usually working for one or two people.
And the church also has a lot of money and they want some very nice work done.
Also profit, it’s great to work on those fun things you love to work on.
But if you are not making any money, you might as well be working for somebody else.
So you also want to look at your jobs, you want to look back at them.
Hopefully, you are doing some job costing, we’ll touch base about job costing in another video.
Are you making a profit on those jobs?
This is a little exercise I want to do with you.
So what I did is I made a little grid here.
We have the customer name there.
We have the process, people, and profit.
We’re going to write Mrs. Jones for example.
So Jones is the name, so we are going to say the process; I’ll go back to stripping wallpaper.
We don’t like to strip wallpaper. We always seem to run into problems.
So the people; they were nice people, so we are going to check the “people” section.
The profit was okay but wasn’t great because we really didn’t like the whole thing.
So we have one check mark there. Then we are going to have The Smiths.
It was nice, it was a two bedroom repaint. It flowed well; they removed their furniture ahead of time for us.
So we really like to work on those kinds of jobs. So the process was great.
The people were super, they even had coffee for us in the morning.
So also the profit, because everything flowed so well, we had the price was right so we made some really great profit.
So we are going to keep the Smith’s that was a great job.
And then we are going to have one of our GC’s, we are going to call them GC’s.
The process is always; the other contractors are a small addition, although there were couple other contractors. The process was okay.
The people, I love the GC, even has a big company party every year and invite us to that. We actually go fishing with him.
Profit, profits okay. We never killed it on that. we got to wait about 30 days for our check. So we are not going to check off the profit.
So then we go to GC number B. `His projects are horror shows.
People are constantly coming in, the plumbers, the electricians. They never come in and out at the right time.
So as for the process, we didn’t like that. He’s a nice guy, he’s a super guy.
But he always allows the homeowner to have too much say when he is supposed to be running the job.
But he does pay. The check was sitting on my seat when we started the first day.
So I have to say his profits are pretty good.
So then we are going to go back to one of our neighbors we worked for, and we are going to call her ABC.
I don’t want to reveal her name. She has a pretty unique name.
So anyways the process, once again it was a repaint of the interior of a house.
The process was great.
People, she was very nice to work for. We will explain what we were going to do.
She was very prompt, she had everything waiting. She had her colors ahead of time.
She was a nice person to work for so we are going to check that off.
And then the profit did very, very well.
The deposit was ahead of time and the check was there when we finished. And we made the money we make to stay in business and turn a profit.
RELATED: Get your FREE 3P worksheet PDF here
So we are going to check that.
So generally what I do is I go down a 10, 15, 20 of my last customers. And then once you have this grid all filled out you want to look at these jobs that have the three check marks.
So with these three check marks and we realize these jobs are the one we should be doing more of.
What we want to concentrate on is we want to concentrate on, for me, it would be the residential repaints.
The one or two, three, four rooms.
I don’t want to do new construction. The bidding is very tight there and our quality can’t come through.
If you do a grid of all your past customers that you can kind of look back.
Maybe it’s 15, 20 of them. If you can go further down, you can really, really tweak this to find out the jobs you really like.
So that’s how we explain the 3P’s and that’s how you can find your niche and find out what really works for you and you company.
I’m Ron Ramsden, I’m a DYB coach and I’m a painting contractor with seventeen years experience.
I help painters stay out of the bucket so they don’t have to be in the bucket. If you want to reach me I’m at email@example.com.