For Paint Contractors: Are You a Painter, or are You an Entrepreneur? Part1

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If you are a painting contractor, or if you are any kind of skilled trades business owner, and have never answered this question, let me suggest that you are missing out on the benefits of owning a small business, and not only that, you could be potentially drilling holes in the floor of your canoe while you are floating in it.

At this time, I have been a painter in the neighborhood of 25 years.  I understand how to paint.  I know the steps, I know the processes, which products are compatible, and now I can paint without much contemplation before I approach a wall, or some cabinets as I begin to work. For most people, including myself, this was the only prerequisite to starting my company; I’m an experienced painter. When I started my business based only on this criteria, I found out too painfully soon, that painting experience alone would not make my company successful, in fact, it just made me broke and hungry.  I can remember times when I would grab my wife’s phone and call my number just to see if the damn thing still worked!  I’d open my wallet, and tumbleweeds would fly out of it!  Bad times…

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During this dark time, I had a conversation with my wife, I don’t remember the syntax or anything, but her response rings in my head to this day: “You are not a painter anymore, you are a business owner; an entrepreneur!”  She speaks softly and carries a big stick at the same time, one of her may gifts.  One thing being a Calvinist has taught me, is that truth has a certain characteristic that goes along with it, it cuts, very deep, and it cannot be denied once it enters the mind.   That statement from my beautiful wife, has echoed in my head ever since.

So, Mr. Painting Contractor, one friendly piece of advice that I can offer to you today is this, “You are not a painter anymore, you are a business owner; an entrepreneur!”  People won’t just call you because you’re a painter, trust me.  Customers have no idea that you even exist.  You need to hunt them down in every nook and cranny of  your service area. You might need to put down the brush for a time and think about what it is that you want for your company and for your family, then, come up with the plan to achieve that goal.  This is how successful people operate; they start at the end, looking the goal that they have in place, then they form a strategic plan to achieve that goal, then, they implement.  Your life will not change if you wake up each day doing the same things that you did yesterday, simple math.

In the coming days, I will go over some systems and practices that every paint contractor should consider using. I hope this helps!

 

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