painting business, painting contractor, marketing, paint, business, painting, painter, online marketing

In part 1, we looked at stages of growth in your painting business and I asked you to identify which one you were in and which one would you like to aspire to.

In part 2, I want to talk about the next steps in hiring rockstar overhead team members.

My name is Scott Lollar and I am a DYB Coach and want to give you some tools to decide where you want to take your business and the roles that you will need to create and fill to get there.

To review Part 1, I described the stages of growth.

The first stage I called Owner Operator.

This is the inception of a business with revenue less than $300,000.

The owner wears all of the hats and will eventually will have to stop wearing some of them but he or she is not there yet.

Download Your FREE Checklist...

11 Interview Questions For Hiring All-Stars, E-mailed to you NOW!

business coach painting contractors

The second stage is the Development stage with revenue between $300,000 and $800,000.

This is where the business enters its first metamorphosis and starts acting like more of a business and less like a mom and pop business.

The third stage is the 1st growth stage with revenue between $800,000 and $1.5 million.

This is the second metamorphosis where you are going to add processes and overhead to facilitate growth.

And the 4th stage was the second growth stage where a deeper organizational chart and detailed processes will be required for success.

If you would like to review this video, you can check it out here

Before we look to grow, it is critical you look at your vision for your life and your company along with an analysis of what it is going to take to get there.

I suggest you first answer these 3 questions:

First, what are your personal goals?

This includes relational, health, and financial.

These are critical because owning a business is not your life.

It should be the means to the life you want.

So what is the life you want and what is required to attain this life?

Bigger is not better. Better is better so make sure you are asking the right questions.

What are your strengths? What do you like to do the most in your business?

What are you best at? And what are your weaknesses?

Things that never get done or never get done well.

Strengthsfinder research has proven that it is better use of our time to improve your strengths than focus on your weaknesses.

The lesson here is you will add people to your team that have strengths where you are weak.

Secondly, Is this the right season?

Make sure there is no collateral damage to important things in your life due to your focus on this journey.

Do you have a young family? Do you have other commitments that demand your time and attention?

Might your other goals of health and hobbies be affected?

Answering this question should be in line with the answer to question number 1.

And lastly, do you have the willingness to do what it takes to achieve the goals you are about to set?

How hard do you want to work? Are you willing to put in the effort this will take?

After you have answered those questions, I would look at the barriers to growing your business.

This will be useful in developing a strategy and moving forward with all of the market information that you will need.

One, what are the market conditions where you operate your company?

How many customers are in your service area that match your demographic?

Will this support your growth even when you project several economic options?

While I am an optimist, it is always good to have contingency plans should market conditions change.

A recession should not kill your company and many have done just fine in spite of adverse economic conditions.

Two, what is your service area? Can it be expanded beyond what it is today?

Will it be a burden to your team to expand it to achieve your growth goals?

This can be solved in other ways as well such as developing team members in new areas to keep drive times down for team members.

But remember you will still need to manage these projects no matter how far from the mother ship they are.

Three, do you have the aptitude to grow your company?

Do you have the leadership capacity to achieve these goals?

This will require a higher level of thinking and you will need to study other business owners and participate in organizations that give you access to leadership development.

Fourth, do you have the capital? This will require investment of money. Do you have a line of credit?

Do you have cash reserves? Or are you prepared to possibly reduce owners compensation for a period of time to fund your growth?

Do I think answering “No” to any of these questions should prevent you from setting out on this growth journey? Absolutely Not!

The questions are to help you in mapping your course and to make sure you have considered as many of the obstacles that you will face as possible.

The consideration and planning for these events will help you overcome obstacles when they present themselves and will be less likely to derail your journey.

So lets transition to adding these Rock Stars.

I would first develop a list for the position and type of person needed to fill these positions.

I would look at the most critical need all the way to the luxury person. I can not tell you that the first key hire should be a salesperson.

This might be your strength but what you really need is a project manager to take the handoff from you after you close a sale.

Or maybe you need admin or accounting support.

So start with the most critical all the way down to the it would be nice to have.

The second step is what will these people cost?

This is where many people I consult with miss the mark.

Do you want a rock star or a roadie? I see people hire a project manager that does not come close to making what their top painter makes!

Determine what level of person you are looking for and be willing to pay the amount required to get the best person.

Not an ok person. Now this may be less important when hiring support people like an admin.

Even here, if you are willing to compensate at the top end of what is customary, you will attract a higher caliber of candidate and in turn get more for your money.

For sales positions, I always recommend a commission structure with a draw.

A solid sales person wants an upside and will typically do what it takes to perform to the level of their desired compensation.

If you put limits on there earning potential, then you are most certainly putting limits to yours as well.

Managers should be paid a reasonable salary with potential for bonuses for excellent results.

Their salary should give them a reasonable living but not well enough to ignore the bonus structure.

We want this to be an incentive to a better income and a better quality of life. Make it attainable.

If this person is not motivated and competent to hit the benchmarks, then they are not what you are looking for.

Admin should be paid hourly or a salary if you have sufficient work for them and can be bonused depending on the value they bring to your organization.

In addition, do you have the ability to pay their wages for one year even if your organization did not grow at all?

One of the big mistakes I see is this exaggerated pressure owners put on new positions to deliver revenue.

It will very likely take 3-6 months to start seeing much return and a full year before they really have their legs under them.

Do not be dependent on these folks moving the needle in a big way right off the bat. Coach them and set small incremental goals and watch them flourish.

Make sure you have clear concise job descriptions for each position. I am amazed to see owners hire these key individuals and never tell them what their job is.

How to act. How to dress. What their work hours are.

What they are supposed to produce and when.

This document should have been part of your hiring process but is really critical when start.

Do not leave anything to interpretation or chance.

They need to know exactly what you want otherwise they will let you down eventually.

Coach them on interacting with customers. Employees. Vendors.

You presume everyone should know your style and wishes. They don’t and it is up to you to tell them in writing.

And lastly, manage your rock stars. Set expectations and goals and regularly meet with these folks to have them report back to you.

Get their successes and failures. Coach them around their weaknesses and correct them as needed.

The worst thing you can do is to abandon these team members.

They need regular interaction with you. Make this a priority. These people will not flourish without the proper feeding, watering, and pruning and it is your job to do it.

If they are not important to you, they will very likely fail.

For more information, watch my video about When, Why, What and Who of Meetings.  

And of course, when there is a hire that is not working out, after sufficient time and coaching, know when to move the person through with grace and dignity.

Your goal is to have people in the right role and if they are not, you are serving them by helping them get to a position that better fits them.

I hope these steps are helpful to you to hire Rocks stars for your company.

And as always, if I can serve you in anyway, please contact me at

About the Author

Scott is a 30+ year veteran of the Painting Industry - having run his own company for 20 of those years. For 10 years, he has been working with others to scale their companies achieving rapid growth and operational efficiency. His knowledge in all aspects of running a business, including running a multi-million dollar company, allows Scott to identify and guide business owners to overcome in areas of current weakness or deficiency. Scott specializes in companies trying to break the $1,000,000 barrier and beyond.