Video of Interview
- How to prepare your painting company to win big in a downturn economy
- What questions you should be asking yourself to make sure your personal and professional goals are aligned
- How to adjust your sales process for shifts in labor and material costs.
Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million in annual revenue. I’m your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of painter marketing pros and creator of the popular pc, a educational series, learn do grow marketing for painters in each episode. I’ll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in north America and learning from their experiences.
All right, welcome everyone to the 2023 game plan. This is the first live round table that we are having in the painter Marketing Mastermind podcast forum have four absolutely fantastic guests joining us. Today we have Matt Kiper, co owner of carpet painting out of Nashville Tennessee. We have brad Allison, owner of Ellison painting out of Detroit. We have Lauren Fink, owner of Apex painting out of Hillsdale and then Jason phillips of phillips, home improvements raining out of here from Dallas guys, thank you for joining you guys are all stars and I appreciate your time.
Yeah, I want to go through. I just, I just did a very brief introduction but I would love if you guys could go through one by one and just say who you are, what kind of company you run and just a little bit about yourself. Let’s start with matt Yeah, I think you already said we’re out of Nashville. Uh we are about a 50 split 5050 split between commercial and residential run the business with my wife Maggie who many of you probably already know she’s a much better interviewee than I am.
Um Yeah, we, we kind of do a little bit of everything. Commercial, residential, new construction, very diverse company which kind of keeps it fun, awesome. Let’s hit brad. Yeah, brad Ellison, Ellison painting based on a metro Detroit michigan. We are primarily a residential repaint company. Um and we actually just launched this year. I sold my first job april 22nd scaled up pretty quickly. We’re gonna wrap up the year at about 1.25 million and really excited for what 2023 has in store for us. Thanks brad Lauren, you are up next.
Hi, I’m Lauren Fink I own apex painting in Hillsdale michigan. Uh we do mostly residential repaint and we have some commercial kick out some words Stuart commercial, small commercial on the side I have right now, six full time painters. I have a couple trusted sub crews and really rocking leadership team. That’s us, awesome. Thank you Lauren and and Jason Jason sorry, last but not least. Hey Jason phillips here from Dallas texas. Yeah phillips, home improvements. Um we are residential home improvement company, we specialize in painting roofing and gutters painting is the lion’s share of our work and uh looking forward to an amazing 2023 awesome guys, appreciate you guys introducing yourselves.
Um I appreciate you sharing your time and your expertise with us. So we do have a few things, I want to kind of outline the topics that we’re gonna cover today, you know, the focus is on 20233 preparing your painting company for success. Obviously there’s a lot of uncertainty right now, there’s some concerns about economic drawback, potentially recession. So we will get into that and we’ll also be discussing just evergreen annual planning. So what a company should be doing, what, what are the standard things that a painting company needs to do in december as you roll into a new year and then we’ll get into some more specifics in terms of of your general painting company lessons advice, you, You have things that again will be evergreen, but I want to start with how to plan for a new year.
So general general topics, general things that companies should be doing. Um what are, what are the highlights, what are some of the main things that painting companies need to be doing now as they prepare for 2023 that I would love to get your take on this and then whoever else wants to add. I think the biggest thing and it really happens about this time of the year a little bit earlier is really setting your initiatives and your goals for the next year because if you’re already into the first quarter next year and you’re thinking about what you’re gonna do, you’re already behind.
So whatever that looks like for your company, it may be, may be small goals. If you’re a small one or two man operator, it’s gonna look different than if you’re a $10 million 2022, planning your 10093 goals now, would you be, would you be focused primarily on revenue? Would you be mapping that out on a monthly basis all the way through the year? How do you, you started top down, bottom up, how do you approach it? So we typically look at the next year with four different initiatives or if you’re following the E. O. S system, we call them rocks and one of those initiatives is always a revenue goal or it should be a profit goal, not a revenue goal.
So you can you back into that then monthly? Quarterly. However you want to look at it to your revenue goals. Yeah, I love that brad. I know we’re conducting a series right now for 10083 year series will be launched by the end of january here. Four part series exciting. But you are still technically in your first year of Allison painting. How are you planning? You know, your 10073? Yeah, so I think all of us, well apart from Jason because he’s privileged to live in a warm climate for all of us that have to deal with the weather, this is mentioned, it’s just the perfect time to be planning for next year.
We slow down, there’s there’s a natural slower rhythm um where I live, especially this being my first year, I have a lot of time to plan. Um So the timing is is good to plan. I would like to mention though that the most important part of a plan is to have one. And I think a lot of painting companies just continue to operate as is status quo. They know how to find work, they know how to complete work and they never really plan for anything different this year, I think could have the potential to be especially difficult if the economy really does take a dump.
Um So the companies that are planning have some plan in mind and the plan may change over the course of the year Are gonna have a huge strategic advantage over others. So for us, you know, we’re we’re we’re trying to like basically triple in size from 10063 to 10053. So what we’re doing strategically planning is um we’re working on our strategic marketing plan, we’re gonna be implementing some new tactics that we we haven’t tried in the past. Uh and then I’m also going to be preemptively increasing my um employee count by 10043%.
Now that sounds like a lot, but really it’s going from me and a project manager to me and to project managers, a salesperson and an admin. So that’s, that’s part of our strategic plan. But just like matt, we started with our end revenue goal in mind. You know, if we want to hit three million, let’s work backwards. What do I need in order to do that and start planning that way. Yeah, awesome. Lauren Jason. I’d actually like to get your guys thoughts. I want to make sure we run through everyone on this. Jason.
Can you, can you kick it off here? Yeah, that’s uh matt and brad. That’s awesome stuff. You know, one of the things that, that’s worked for us that I’ve done since the pretty much the day I started the company is I take that annual goal and I break it down into a monthly goal and we have a, you know, barring any uh Covid’s or banking crisis or anything like that. We have a fairly consistent natural curve to the way our painting businesses in Dallas. And one thing I do is I take all of our numbers.
Okay, you need, you need leads, you need to actually run those appointments, you need sales, you need to produce and finalize those projects. And I break those start with an annual goal. I apply it against a seasonal curve to get monthly actually actually calendar week goals and then I divide that down into the day. So we have literally for every single day we have a goal for leeds, appointment sets for appointments issued. That means appointments that didn’t set appointments that didn’t cancel for sales by product as well as finalized production as well.
Along with this year, we’re having daily goals for google reviews as well. So really just comes down to breaking, breaking it down by the day because because my people who are working on the front lines, you know, they’re there in the trenches, they can’t see down the road to the end of the month always or to the end of the quarter. Sometimes, maybe not even till friday. I want them to know am I winning today? Am I on track today right now? And if that’s the case, uh you know, if we take care of our dailies, then then uh then the monthly are gonna take care of themselves. Right?
So that would be my suggestion for anybody setting goals is try to break it all the way down to the day. It’s easy to measure and easy to move the needle on a daily basis. So hey, Jason, I have a question and follow up question on that for you because so I’m, I’m heartened to know that you guys fluctuate seasonally. Um, up in michigan we, I’ve done this in the past where I’ve tried to put projections monthly based on historical data and the fluctuation that I’ve seen uh when I was running my last company, our best month might be 10033 to $10023,10013 worth of sales and revenue.
And our worst month is all the way down to like 10003 to 2130,21100 and so in trying to break down like we use E. Os as well. And when you, when you look at a weekly scorecard, well we have a weekly scorecard with a amount say dollar amount closed in sales. Well, what would you recommend in a situation like that? Should we scale back those that weekly scorecard number in the winter and scale it way up in the summer or just divided evenly by 21100? How would you approach that?
Well, is it, you know, is it likely that you can run 210 or whatever that high season number is during the winter? I think we need to say in that in that month, in that season, what does success look like? And I’ve, you know, I’ve learned that, you know, in my business, generally speaking uh before july 211th I get 2110% of my leads, 2115% of my sales and 21809% of my production and then after is the other way, well, doesn’t happen on for me on March 21100. It takes me all the way till April 1003 to get to 25%, which is actually 15 weeks instead of 13, which leaves my kind of my fiscal quarter two at only 11 weeks.
And so when I, when I start applying that I’ve, I’ve just, I’ve analyzed that year over year And I look at several year averages. I kind of throw out covid year you know and because it was an anomaly but you know my january goal january and february is our slowest month. My january february goal is nothing my you know nothing like my april may goal. You appreciate that Jason. That is definitely a level of granularity. Uh That’s actually the most granular goal I’ve ever heard in my life for a painting company.
So breaking it down by the day where you’re tracking day for day is pretty incredible. But that’s also because you’ve spent a lot of time and we’ve talked about this a lot and I want to dive into it further as we move as we move forward through this um live round table. But you’ve really spent a lot of time building your S. O. P. S. Building your metrics. You’re extremely data driven. You have you have the KPI for every single member of your team and when you get all that dialed it took you years. Right?
So people listening that that’s uh you know they could they could feel you know kind of disheartened by the fact that you’re actually drilling down to the day. And most people are lucky if they can drill it into the quarter. But you’ve spent years building that up. So I think it’s something for everyone to aspire to. Um getting to that level of granularity and and comfort with your business where you actually know exactly what you should be on even a daily basis. Lauren Wood, It’s a tough act to follow there with Jason, you know, predicting his hourly sales throughout 2023, but what are you doing as you prepare for the next year?
We have a lot of the same things, I think a lot of it’s been covered um were obviously much younger and less developed than someone like phillips home improvements. So I think, I think for our audience it’s important to not feel intimidated um to remember that these little freedom machines were running are, they’re all at different places and there there are different, you know, success and a win looks really different for each of us and to really um really be excited about that, that you don’t have to be 15 years in to to be having great ones.
Um The thing that comes to mind for me and I do this a lot because I’m naturally like a super big picture thinker, so that tends to be like, I’m very visionary, so in like an us since um that I think when you go into the new year um I would, I often do this even like On track at age almost 243 um all the time, which is just really breaking down. What do I want my life to look like is being a business owner serving my family is, am I the person I want to be um is my family the kind of family that I want to have, um are my kids having the, the experience of, you know, in my family at their school, all these factors that that I really envisioned for them is my marriage the way I want it to be and going into the New year, just really breaking all of this down before you jump into like putting on the hat of like I’m a business owner, I gotta do the stuff like everyone’s just gonna have to deal with me.
Um just really questioning those things and being willing to reevaluate and recalibrate and say, I mean if we’re being honest, I think this is a great time of the year to say, should I be running a company? It am I running because I don’t want to work for someone or am I running because I’m designed to be a business owner. Um that sounds like, may be harsh, but I think it’s a really good question um and uh and to not be afraid of asking those huge questions because if for me, if my personal goals, who I want to be as a person, my marriage, my family, my role in my community, if those things are not in line, I’m not, I’m not doing it doesn’t matter what kind of business plan I make, I can’t probably even run a good business.
Um so, so I kind of took your question, I kind of diverted a little bit, but I think that is a great um a great thing to do essentially all the time, but at the, you know, New Year time, I think it’s a good question to ask and make sure that from the very foundations you’re doing, you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, what is your business, if you’re a business owner, I’m a business owner, what is apex painting? What is it doing for me and my family?
Like is it, am I accomplishing those goals? So I have new goals for 2023 just based on that question alone, how, how I want my business in life to be designed to best serve my family and then from there being able to also say, okay, what, you know, obviously what does my business need for me, How am I gonna, how am I gonna make those goals and then actually create goals and accountability? I love that. Yeah, I think, I think, you know, you said it can sound kind of harsh or maybe kind of scary opening up for some people that might be a can of worms.
You know, maybe they’ve been working on their business for years, they almost don’t even want to open that box. But I think when you do, you can kind of forget why you got into it in the first place, you’re so busy putting out fires, you’re so busy running, you’re so busy trying to grow, they kind of forget what you’re there for And Simon Cenex big on, you know, start with why I think if you know your wife, you remember your, why it’s gonna open your mind just in terms of your business in general, right?
People, for example, people say, oh I have subcontractors, I can never I can never afford to hire W two painters, right, I’m not a particularly big advocate one way or another, I think the subcontracting model is great but but you get into this sort of narrow minded focus whereas instead you could say, well let me entertain all possibilities. If I were to hire on W two employees instead of subcontractors it would cost me more in this way. But with the fulfillment improve what I when I run into fewer callbacks, what I end up having higher quality where I get more business from that could I increase my profit margins by raising my prices and in your mind just kind of expanded and you’re gonna see opportunities that otherwise you miss can’t keep your head in the sand.
So I think it’s a great point Lauren as you’re heading into the new year, Why are you, why are you in the game? We’re all in this game of entrepreneurship, why are you in the game, make sure that your wife is strong and make sure you’re moving towards your life goals in your life plan. I want to kinda add to Lauren, that’s great, thanks for bringing that up. There’s often a lot more to being a business owner than just the tactical business stuff. I know our our mutual friend friend Jason paris does a three day solitude retreat this time of year every year.
I don’t think it needs to be that drastic but I would say take even just a few hours or or some time out of your day to evaluate not only your business but kind of what you want your life to look like because as business owners we are in control of that. I know Jason has a lot to say about uh what’s your triple crown stuff, Jason time money and free. Yeah, we we are capable of bringing that to ourselves and sometimes you just gotta step back and and be a little introspective and plan uh not the business tactical stuff but just the feelings part of it as well. Absolutely.
So we have focused a lot in terms of actually planning the numbers on revenue goals. Right. Starting it’s a top line approach. I think it’s the approach that really makes the most sense. What are you guys trying to hit year back into it factor and seasonality. As Jason said, you can look at historical years when you’re doing that. Um and then if you’re new, you do sort of have to take a guess right and then you factor in whatever you want, your growth rate to be, How are you guys looking at budgeting because that’s obviously the next step when you look at revenue, then you need to start looking at your budget.
How do you guys approach that? Anyone can kick off? So we have, I kind of stole some numbers from some of our colleagues uh nationwide as I was trying to figure out what the budget for employees. Uh so for every um uh in trying to figure out a compensation plan, we budget essentially 7% for a project manager, uh 7% for sales. Um right now I’m budgeting about 10% of our gross projected gross revenue for marketing, Which was actually was under that my first year, which is surprising. Um about half of our sales.
I looked at just a few days ago, about half are 1.25 million was referrals and word of mouth like crazy for our first eight months of business. Um but you know, that’s not sustainable, right? And I contradict people All the time, like, well I’ve grown my business for 15 years using just word of mouth and referrals. Like there’s a point where you can’t get any more than that. If we can keep getting that $600,000 a year in sales and referrals, that’s great. But I’m gonna intentionally spend more money in marketing.
So if the goal is three million um I need to be willing to spend what? 300,103 this coming year in marketing. So break that down. It’s 20, about $24,000 per month. And I’m gonna start spending that in February even before it’s gonna be another 2.5 months after that. Before really any of that revenue starts to become realized what our exterior jobs we sell. Um so that’s those are primary, you know, the we subcontract, so about 40 47-48% goes out to labor directly, about 12% goes out to materials. And that’s those are the big pieces of our budget.
I think that uh perspective is really good brad on what the industry averages are. I know you and I have talked about this and our marketing spend is 33 ish percent, 303. So I think as we go into next year, we know that there’s a lot laying on the table that we can potentially bring in it if if we do see a downturn in the economy or just to support natural growth, uh we know that other people are spending more and getting more in return than what we are.
Yeah, I want to dive into that too because that that number is astounding for people right brad just said $24,000 per month on marketing. So if you’re if you’re hiring an agency that would include what you’re paying them. If you’re doing ad spend whether it’s through facebook pay per click if you’re buying leads through angie thumbtack whatever your strategy is that would all go towards marketing. If you have an internal marketing person you might want to add that. But 24,000 is mind boggling for most companies, especially painting companies.
They would think that that’s absolutely insane. But when you actually run the numbers, if you’re between eight and 12% that’s if you want aggressive growth brad just just did 10% right aggressive growth matt just said, okay, he’s at 3%. 3 to 5 is essentially sustain and grow. You know, a lot of it will be the referral repeat business matt um has a large commercial component to his business is more relationship driven than some of the other companies. But think about these numbers right? Cause they it depends on again Lawrence, what’s your, why what are you trying to achieve with your business?
How how fast do you want it to grow? Do you want it to just be a lifestyle business and something that you enjoy doing? Are you trying to do what brad’s doing? Which is extremely ambitious. He has very ambitious goals so he’s gonna invest into those goals and kind of bet on himself and his company. If I can chime in real quick we do have a question from a user asking what type of marketing I do. So I’m happy to speak on that real quick. Yeah guys I want to throw up.
So there’s a link here, I’m gonna post, it should show up. There. It is. So if you go to that link you can grant stream yard access to your name and and I think your photo so we actually know who you are because otherwise we just see facebook user we can answer the questions. That would be great if you know who you are too. So I have a digital agency. I use service legend out of Arizona. It’s Ryan Davis, a good friend of mine. So he manages my google S. C. O. P. P. C. And um facebook advertising that accounts for right now is about $1003 total per month.
And we’re gonna increase the ad spend on facebook and google. Uh Probably not significantly because I’m not super crazy about facebook ads. Um But the there’s a volume there so even though the average closing rate is low and the average job sizes lower it’s gonna provide me the leads to keep to feed another salesperson essentially. Um We’re gonna go way deep on door hangers and every every door direct mailing come in february. So uh we had been doing about 5000 mailing pieces a week and I’ll be increasing that to maybe 10 to 12,000.
And that’s gonna be a combination of the door hangers and E. D. D. M. So between the digital and the the mailing and door hangers. That’s gonna be the lion’s share of my marketing spend nick nick just said he just did it didn’t work, it did work nick, we can see your name and your photo. Thanks for doing that stream yard link. Uh, Jason lord, you guys have anything, anything to add to this topic. And as your, how your budgeting, how you’re planning your marketing out for 2023 Lauren, I’m my plan.
No, we do have a plan, but I’m also just taking notes from brad. So your panelists and you’re also an audience member taking notes over here. That’s good, aren’t we? All? That’s good. So you know, when it comes to, when it comes to, you know, budgeting, um, I use target allocation percentages and I say, okay, you know, 100% is my projected revenue. And then the next thing I’m gonna take out is define what I want my profit to be that I’m gonna take out my cost of goods sold blah blah blah.
And look at those high level numbers. One of the things we have to be careful with is getting down, measuring the blades of grass instead of the lawn. So to say or looking at the trees instead of the forest. It’s important to pinch pennies, but you also, you know, if you’re an owner operator or you’re out there selling, uh, some people may disagree with me on this, but a few more contracts. Well, sure, sure. Take care of a lot of waste elsewhere. So what you don’t want to do is step over dollars to pick up dimes.
So that’s, that’s one thing. Ultimately those dimes are important too. But they’re not as important as the dollars. At what point you can have people managing the dollars and the dimes, that’s, you know, that’s a win. But the, uh, over over to marketing, One of the things that I want to do is, is I want to have a mix of, of, of marketing channels, okay. Because you never know when something is going to, let’s just say, for instance, you’re one of those people that do all their advertising on Tiktok, not a lot in our industry do, but there are industries that do well, what happens if, if, if all of a sudden Tiktok is banned in the USa and that was your revenue stream. Okay.
Back in the, what was that? The nineties, there were literally uh, mortgage companies and, and finance companies that they’re only marketing channel was fax fax machine advertising. And when the FCC outlawed that so many of them went out of business and I’ve been bitten by mailers that, you know, I paid for that didn’t get, that really didn’t get delivered, I can tell because the phone didn’t ring. So I want to have, uh, multi channel marketing and I want to be, uh, anywhere that my target demographic is my ideal customer.
I want to be on their phone. I want to be on their computer. I want to be in their mailbox, I want to be at their front door, all of those different places and it’s, you know, depending on where you’re at and how much time you can put into marketing diversifying uh, is not easy. But we need to, I think as you grow, need to have the idea that you need to have, you know, start diversifying, don’t diversify and then let you know if you try to diversify too much, you’re not gonna get good at anything either and that that’s not gonna work.
So knowing where you’re at in that process, what you should focus on. But I would definitely say don’t rely on one or even two lead sources. I would have at least, you know, at least four or five lead sources that I was, you know, getting leads from. Yeah. And I, and I would like to add on that as you diversify your marketing tactics, tracking your data becomes even more important because your revenue might go up. But if you don’t know what lead source, the lion’s share of that revenues come from, then you’re missing out.
That’s where you’re, you’re stepping over the dollars to pick up the dimes, right? Cause you might start investing more in one tactic when it’s really another one that’s giving you a much higher our ally. And so that’s part of our strategy is we’re gonna, we’re gonna, of course come up with a plan for the year. But every month we’re monitoring our, our rely on each marketing tactic and then we will shift marketing dollars to whatever is proving to be more profitable. Yeah. So I want to follow up with a couple of things there, Jason.
I want to make sure people really pull away the nuggets what you just said. So you’re talking about 55 to 7 different marketing strategies, right? And you’re saying, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, facebook’s constantly changing their algorithm. It’s an auction process when you advertise it. They used to be organic posts. Everyone who follow your page would would find it would see it now. Organic posts only have about a 10% reach, which is why they want you to boost all your posts, right? Pay per click. Pay per click.
Ad costs have gone up this year. Pay per click google is always changing algorithm. Again, another auction process. So if you’re just all in on on google ads, you’re all in on your facebook ads, you’re you’re all in on your flyers that that might dry up right? Or might all of a sudden become one day a lot more expensive per lead. So it is important that multiple fishing lines in the water. Another thing you said that is very critical that a lot of people miss is you have to be at a certain size, a certain scale for that to make sense.
If you’re saying, well, I’m gonna run facebook guys, I’m just gonna put $1003 into it and I’m gonna run a paper click, I’m gonna put $500. Well then you’re just gonna throw your money away. You’re just gonna throw a little bit of money away everywhere. When you have a smaller budget you do need to be more targeted. In the beginning. Maybe you have 1 to 2 sources. And then as your company scales, Jason obviously runs a pretty large company at this point you can then start to diversify that budget while giving it the appropriate amount of investment to actually make sure it works.
There’s a minimum threshold there. Glenn asked for you brad. Um And I know nick responded that dope market is good but he asked for the direct mail. What whether you do that in the house, whether you use the company to help you with that. So direct mail, there’s actually a franchise that I use um International minute press. It’s the same same company that Nick Slavic uses up in Minnesota. I just found a local franchise here and um it’s a it’s a franchise. So the guy that I work with is the owner and they’ve been great for the E. D. D. M. He’s super reliable.
Um Door hanger. Also I have a local vendor here. It’s not through an agency but each of those companies can handle the design, the, printing the distribution. So all I gotta do is help them craft the plan. You know here’s here’s how many I want to send. Here’s some of the areas I want to target and then they take it and run with it from there. Yeah one other. Go ahead Lauren. Sorry I was just gonna add that. Um For those of you who are kind of a smaller scale.
So I’m one of the companies that we did about 600 K. In in revenue in 2022. And it was all organic. So um I’ve just begun using, I’ve just spent my first like literally this month our first money on any ads. So I’m I’m just like slowly getting into this and realizing kind of where the faucets are and where I want to turn them on. But E. D. D. M. Is designed through the US mail system to be you can on a smaller scale you can do it by yourself with relative ease and for those of you I’m not in a big city.
Um I’m in rural south central michigan and um I know rural, my rural area pretty well. So pinpointing the neighborhoods and the areas that I know I would like to send mailers to. Um I my gut feeling is that I’m going to know that a little bit quicker than um are you know marketing company because we aren’t it’s a little more unique and um kind of country area. So um just just as a reminder that dipping into the E. D. D. M. Without anyone’s help. I think that’s that’s kind of low hanging fruit whereas running facebook ads um I’ve learned working with Pathfinder that there’s a lot of nuances to making those work.
Well that I don’t find very intuitive. So that’s just a thought about direct mail. It’s very powerful and I think um I think it’s one of the easier ways to get into marketing. Maybe maybe you guys have other thoughts about that. So guys, one of the things that we need to keep in mind regardless of what channel when you’re talking in marketing, there’s there’s two concepts of reach and frequency and if you’re whether you’re talking E. D. DM or facebook or whatever it is, The idea is you’re better off to instead of sending you know 100,000 flyers.
200,000 03 Flyer to 100,000 people. You’re better off to send 10 flyers to 10,000 people one month at a time spaced out. That way you become. It’s top of mind awareness. Very few people are going to click on your ad or call you or go to your website based on the first time they see your ad. So you have to stick with it so you’re better off to pick a smaller group and make sure that they know your name and it takes it takes consistency to do that. Yeah I think 33 flyers is like by the third one you get you get a return that you can’t get in the first two if I remember right. Yeah.
The uh most homeowners, especially when you’re talking higher ticket prices, they really need to be touched 5 to 7 times. And that’s where the automation tanner’s drip jobs does a great job of automation helps with those touch points but sending the mailers to them multiple times, reaching them as Jason said online and offline there becomes a power, it’s an exponential power when people see you in multiple different ways and it’s not just all they’ve seen facebook ads, they’ve seen a bunch of times but they started facebook ad, they saw a line, a lawn sign, it’s all wrapped van.
They got something in the mail all of a sudden you’re you’re kind of in their world. So if you can get really good at targeting and like Lauren said she knows where the community she serves, she knows where she wants to to work. She knows where the right work is, where her dream customer is. If you can hyper target that dream customer online offline multiple different ways. You start to just become top of mind for them. So when they need to hire a company or someone asked them for a referral, you are you’re right there when it’s ready when it’s time to go um brad.
So you made a really good comment about how important it is to track your performance to track your data and how this becomes more complicated and even more important, the more channels you get as you kind of spread horizontally as Jason’s been talking about someone Tony asked, how do you track marketing performance, How do you keep revenue streams designated by source? So part of it is through drip jobs, which is what we use as our crm, there are some high level metrics that are tracked through there.
So I can see, you know, the amount of revenue for example, that was generated through each of my lead sources. That’s one of their default metrics. Um doesn’t give a ton of detail um within drip jobs. So we actually keep a separate spreadsheet that we, we track for all of our sales through google sheets and that allows us to track in a lot more granularity. Um, things like we can break it down by zip code, you know, how many, how many sales do we have in zip code?
What was the average job size within that zip code? And how many, how many, how many, how much revenue did one crew were they able to produce for us this year based on how many days they worked? So how profitable is one crew versus another. And that allows us again to shift not only marketing dollars, but uh, we can shift more and more projects to the more profitable, easier to work with cruise. So drip jobs does a lot of it and um you just gotta take those numbers refer back to how much you’re actually spending for those and you can find out your cost per lead, your cost per acquisition.
And that data is super helpful in figuring out what the R. O. I. Is. You’ll notice that that a consistent theme here is profitability. So that’s what everyone keeps diving into his profitability. It’s not just the revenue. What brad just talked about know your sub crew as well. I know your employees well what production numbers do they need to meet and then if one sub crew is doing better than the other then try to lean more towards them because at the end of the day revenues vanity profit is sanity.
I think all of it starts with if you’re a startup business or or shoot there’s a lot of companies out there that are mature and not doing it but starting with the job costing and you can actually, in a rudimentary way track your leads and your marketing, your referrals, all that stuff through your job costing. If your job costing an excel or whatever it may be. You don’t need fancy software especially smaller companies can just brute force that and it’ll give you a lot of information right off the bat.
So erin erin had a good question. He said he loves the growth talk that kind of moves us into the next major topic for today. On the flip side, what are some strategies when we see the changes in the economy to stay ahead of the tsunami? Obviously people are concerned about a potential recession. How are you guys feeling and addressing that? And some, I’ll take that. You start first off shout out to Aaron who is a member of the Ellison painting wall of Champions. Thanks for joining us today. Yeah.
Um, so honest for me, it’s, it’s a little different than maybe Jason would answer because he’s 15 years in and I’m eight months in. Uh, for me, I’m just continuing forward boldly and I’m making decisions based on uh, what I would consider just normal scenarios. I’m not necessarily planning for a recession. I’m moving forward as if nothing is really going to change. Um, but even if it does in, in speaking to guys like Jason that have been through the, in the industry for so long and maybe were around during the 13 recession.
The feedback that I got was the companies that Had systems and um had taken the effort to professionalize their business were the ones that not only survived the 2008 recession but absolutely thrived. The bigger companies can weather a slowdown. Um, they can adjust their scale, they can move some money around to maintain profitability and the smaller guys that had always referred on just word of mouth referrals and just didn’t really know where the next job is going to come from. If those next jobs didn’t come, they folded and either completely left the industry or ended up to, they went to work for Jason phillips, right?
So I think that it’s an opportunity for companies now to, to buckle down when it comes to professionalization and system izing their businesses so that if there is a recession, it’s actually not a threat. It’s an opportunity. Yeah, very similar to what brad said. Um I look at it two ways, we kind of have a retreat plan uh on the books, so to speak. Like if if things really do get bad, this is the step we take first, this is the step we take next and so forth until it’s well, it just feels it feels comfortable to have that plan in place.
You’re not blindsided if you got to do it. Uh but on the complete flip side, I don’t let that dictate my mindset. I have a growth mindset for next year. In fact, we have a new project manager coming in the end of january. Um and a lot of it goes to what brad said is I think there’s huge opportunities for the professionalized companies out there, especially the ones that have the ability to invest to grow. Uh I think it’s the, the less professionalized companies that are going to struggle that don’t have a plan, They don’t have a marketing plan, don’t have a production plan.
Uh you know, watch your numbers know where everything is and I think there’s nothing but growth in 2023 for most painting companies, Lauren Jason you guys want to add to this at all. 2023 economic potential economic drawback and how you’re preparing or thinking about it. I’m curious to see how it plays out for the home improvement sector because um you know, the your home is is one of the foundational assets, so if things do tighten up, I mean, you know, the things that you, that you might not want to put money into.
Um I’m curious to see if homes um in our area improving your home um is just the demand, especially for exterior work is just unbelievably high and um your home is people’s homes are really important. Um It’s something that they save up money for years to spend. Um I’ve had several clients in the last year who described to me how many years they saved to get that big paint job and you know, refinished and carpentry work done. Um So I don’t know that that’s, I would be surprised if that really goes away because that is one asset that you just, you know, you have and you can hang on to it, it’s gonna, it’s gonna work for you as a, as property kind of always has.
So, and I think that ties in really, really nicely with um what I think brad and matt were saying, you know, when there’s a a pullback in the economy and, and people, you know, get a little more concerned potentially or inflation or whatnot goes up, they’re still going to invest into their homes. That’s still going to happen. But what’s gonna happen is they’re gonna become more selective about the company they hire. It has been just a tale and it’s been unsustainable. The supply demand curve has been out of control.
I’ve talked with people who, who had just launched a painting company and they shouldn’t have right there. They shouldn’t have, they’re not, they’re not qualified to do it. They’re not approaching it right and they’re not gonna be here in a year. I can, I can guarantee it for some of these people. So there’s gonna be a professionalization. I think the tide is gonna, they’re gonna raise um that the bar is gonna raise because homeowners are gonna become more selective but like brad said, best defense is a good offense.
It is an opportunity that her is gonna be thinned a little bit. But if you professionalize and you step up your company, you’re gonna be richly rewarded. And the economy obviously moves in sight. When that cycle turns back and it becomes very bullish again, you take off. So it’s an opportunity for growth, lean into it. Play to win abundance mindset, not a scarcity mindset, Jason, I know you have some awesome stuff to adhere, you know, through the years, I agree with a lot with what Lauren said through the years, uh, when the economy’s been down, people are still investing into their home.
Maybe they’re not doing the full kitchen remodel or whatever, but they still want to make sure that their home, that they do life in, that they sleep in. That needs to be a sanctuary. A piece of place of peace is well taken care of. And uh, when, when time starts getting tight, the first dollars that companies stop spending our marketing dollars and I see that as an opportunity to gobble up market share and that’s my goal every single time there’s a downturn. Yeah, So we have focus for everyone listening.
You know, it’s really important to pull out the trends, right? All four of these people are highly successful. They all live in different markets around a little bit different companies and they don’t all approach things the same way, but you’re gonna see trends of the most successful painting company owners again and again and again. Right. Two of the trends that we’ve seen so far are a focus on profitability, right? Knowing knowing their numbers, so focus on profitability, knowing the numbers and then a growth oriented mindset when other companies are scared or other companies are pulling back, they’re gonna go ahead and move forward and that’s how they’re gonna increase and take additional market share.
Like Jason is obviously very Jason, what are you, do you mind sharing what your revenue is anticipated for 2022 for for 2022 looks like we’re gonna hit just short. I’m looking at, I’m looking at my scoreboard up here just short of eight million. So eight million. Right? So Jason got eight million. So that is a that’s a big company and he’s gotten there by by this kind of mindset he plays with. So there was a follow up question related to this uh that I want to talk ask you guys.
So in anticipating recession this is from Tony, is it wise to diversify services going into it or would it be too late for that and more effective to focus in on existing services slash systems? I think that can be really um I think that can be really unique to your market. Um It’s my first thought just that like I know my market and there’s a couple offshoots that pair with painting that I see a ton of demand in my area for. Um I don’t think I could advise anyone else to diversify that same way.
I don’t know, I don’t know what your market is like and um I don’t know what your ability is to juggle different things. I think some people are designed better to um have different irons in the fire and others really need to focus in. Um And I also think if you’re if you have not stabilized your first sexually business, your first product, what you sell, you haven’t stabilized that you probably have no business diversifying. Unless you can’t stabilize it and you actually just need to change your business then you should.
Um So that’s just that’s one thought Jason. Did you want to go? Yes, I’ve got some thoughts on that. If you’re gonna, if you want to diversify, you know, is it is it going to take a new sales process, is it going to take different advertising channels? Is it going to take a different, you know clients? I look at it this way if if if I can still serve that same homeowners need, I can I have a database of that, I can market to virtually free of my own clients over the years through email, phone calls, mailbox, whatever.
And if I just have to teach my sales guys how to sell something new and I can find workers to to get it done then it’s it’s pretty easy. The danger again, like like Lauren said the danger is that you dilute your focus and and you lose ground on on your primary breadwinning uh product or service. So I would be careful about about you know, a lot of, a lot of in our area probably in years to a lot of home improvement contractors do christmas lights when it’s cold out, right?
That’s very common. You know the painter’s already have ladders. I think that’s a no brainer. You know if you can, if you can do that, it’s your same customer, They already know and love you of course you’ve already worked on their house with ladders, they’re probably gonna trust you for christmas lights as well or is it something totally, totally different outside of your lane and uh just make sure that you, my, my first piece of advice is make sure there’s someone on your team that has the bandwidth to champion that product for that service that they can own it.
That would be my first piece of advice. I think there’s two different ways to look at this too. And I don’t know where, who asked this question? This was Tony Tony Tony. If you can let us know know where you add a little bit about your company. That would be great because we’re a very diverse painting company. We do residential repaint, we do residential custom new construction, we do commercial, new construction, we do commercial repaint, we do uh, we’re really getting into flooring, epoxy flooring, so all those things are very synergistic and very similar sales cycles, even though we kind of run two divisions of our business.
Um, but I was also founded and was partners in a hardwood flooring company and it was blew my mind how different of a business that was, The sales cycle was different, the production was different and it, there was no synergy between that and my painting company, like I thought there would be, so I exited that business and allowed me to focus back on what I was good at here. So I think there’s, there’s opportunity if you want to diversify within the painting industry is a whole lot easier than adding, say, you know, home renovation or whatever it may be. Yeah. Right.
Do you have anything to add? I mean for, I can only speak for me personally and I would say that in the midst of a recession, I wouldn’t consider diversifying our services. Um, you know, Jason mentioned christmas tree lights, something like that is gonna be the first thing that homeowners are gonna cut out if they’re really trying to tighten their belts, right? They’re not gonna pay to hang christmas lights cause that’s not a need. Whereas painting often can be a need. Um, I would say the time to diversify would be when things are good, things are humming, you’ve, you’ve really stabilized your operation growth is, is healthy and then you focus on other things.
I’m interested to hear from Jason when you, when you guys expanded from painting into roofs and gutters, did you do that in the midst of an economic downturn or when things were going well, great question brad. We actually did that when things were going well, I got, I started, first thing I did was gutters because I was going out on these exterior quotes and they had rotten fascia boards or old galvanized gutters that were rotted through and they needed to replace those before we could paint and so they didn’t know who to call for a gutter company, so I’m waiting on them, they want to hire me, they want me to, you know, they want me to paint their house and I needed, I needed to put food on the table that, that weekend, you know, or that week and I, uh, so finally I just got sick of that, holding up my jobs, I called a local, you know, gutter vendor, material vendor and said, hey, I wanna learn how to do gutters and the manager, the manager literally came out and told me or maybe he said, hey, you get the stuff and I’ll come over and teach you guys and he came and we did, my house, my house was literally the, the first house we did and I learned so much in doing that and now all of a sudden I was getting not just the paint jobs faster, but it’s getting a good er work that went with it and I mean that makes a lot of sense.
That kind of proves my point that when you have the time and the financial resources to correctly develop a new vertical, that’s the time to strike rather than out of desperation and, and I think Lauren had a good thing, hit a good point, you know, there might be a time, I’m not so arrogant to think that Ellison painting is the, you know, some unicorn that would absolutely survive a recession or depression if push comes to shove, I would be more apt to just leave the painting game entirely and change industries.
Um, I don’t know. Yeah, I think those are great points brad. I’m really glad that you brought up this, this idea of whether you’re doing it in uh, you know, a good economy are kind of a pullback because most most and it goes back to marketing. Most painting company owners think that they’ve tapped out a market well before they have. So I think we need to, we need to go downstream or we need to cross sell or we need to do something else. We need to expand geographically.
We need another location. But if you actually sit down and look at your numbers and your tracking them, These four people are tracking them. You realize you’ve most likely only gotten a very small percentage of your 10, your total addressable market, so know your numbers, know your market. If you’re serving, spoke with the company recently had a million people in their service radius. They are trying to target the top 10%. So you should know that if you don’t know this kind of stuff, you should and there. So they had 100,000 total addressable market and they thought that they were tapped out while they were doing less than a million in revenue. Right?
So we ran through the numbers and realized that they don’t need to do these drastic changes that they’re thinking about. If you want to start rolling in from painting into gutters are roofing. That’s a panic reaction. Most likely you’re, it’s not the right reaction because the sales process, the fulfillment, everything is different. You’re gonna drag your name through the mud and you’re gonna weigh down your team. But like Jason said, if you wanna, if you wanna offer christmas lights, they might cut it, they might not be interested because it might be the first thing that they cut per brad.
But you can, there’s no harm in sending an email, right, customer database reactivation or other comics, send out an email, you might get some sales that come through the door so you can hustle, you can offer things to your existing customers, things that are not going to bog your team down. It’s also an easy mental, it’s an easy mental game to play when things aren’t working the way you want it to, to just start, you know, you can just wanted to start something else in the industry in the market.
Uh, could you hear me okay? Yeah. And so, um, I think it’s a good reminder and this goes back to, I mean, there’s nothing there that can’t be said enough that the impetus for professionalizing. Um, the thing with home improvement, the trade is that there’s too often there’s just nothing making professionalize. You can just, you can just run kind of a hack business, you’ll get lots of business, you’ll make probably make some money. Um I’m down here in Houston, my brother is having a huge renovation down in his home for six months.
Um And like talking to him about his contractor and he’s this is a contractor that most of his neighborhood is used and he’s just an asshole and difficult and moody and uh and you’re just going like this is hilarious, like this guy is like kind of popular and basically people have said like well he’s better than the guys who don’t actually do the work. So so like he’s like the preferred contractor, I mean the the opportunity to professionalize and offer great customer service in the trades is just there’s no bounds, there is no limits and um and so I just think that when you when you have the time when when things are good um Actually knowing your numbers, actually building a good team.
Um Actually having S. O. P. S. Having contracts for your customers to sign all these things that are simple and obvious in other industries um do yourself a favor and do them and start to see how they begin to work for you. Um And they and they they support everything you’re doing and you you have a much better business so I think as people again just planning wise that is um that just can’t be, it can’t be said enough, I built my company to a certain size just um just so I can hire someone who can do numbers and stats because this is my my weakness.
So knowing what you’re capable of, knowing what you’re good at. Um knowing the kind of team you need to build, you’re not gonna, most people don’t do things in isolation. Super well, um that has been, I think that’s a really good point for planning and and just realizing I immediately had a vision of who I need to hire, I needed an incredible P. M. Um I knew I was not going to be the field leader that my company would need hired him. We built the company up to um over half a million.
So mainly so I could hire this administrative side um financial brain because I knew if I want to have the company I need, I can’t necessarily be that brain. So professionalization is really a matter of being honest and planning and doing a lot of really miserable work that then works, works for you and allows you to have the company you really want. Yeah, go ahead brother. You sound better when we can hear you, thank you. Thanks for the compliment. I would challenge everybody that, you know, if we’re gonna assume for a moment, I’m going to make the assumption that pretty much everybody listening to this podcast that that you want to grow your business and maybe you as a part of that you want to have not just the money, but you won’t have time and freedom as well and you can you can spend money or you can spend time.
If you have, if you spend money you can implement systems, you can hire third parties, you can hire employees or you can spend your own time so you can spend someone else’s time or you can spend your time and if if you will, you know maybe you’re that guy or that lady that that you’re still trying to master the making of the widget, right? And if you can if you can get your team to deliver your product, your service without much of your interaction, get your production team rolling right.
You can then focus on sales and marketing and improving that process but try to make each thing begin to run without you having to do it personally. But you have the oversight and you know the KPI S uh to measure whether it’s working or whether someone is doing their job or delivering the value that you need and then once you do that then then you can start developing more people and it comes down to you know people and systems and if you don’t have people and systems then you’re left with your nose to the grindstone all year long and maybe you’re just gonna have a high paying, high paying job which is really just a high paying slave driver.
Yeah, contractor prison. Oh yeah that’s right. People ask constantly, why can’t I keep people, I can’t find good work, are you someone that people want to work for? And this is a huge question. Are you setting people up? Do they know what a win looks like this is? We ask this of ourselves all the time. It’s not a it’s not a one and done kind of answer. Do my people know what it looks like to win from my new guy who does mostly prep and taping and unmasking and cleaning machines to our lead painter on a job who has you know, a work plan and has to execute it and get a sign off to my P. M. Who has to run the whole field, Does he know what a win looks like?
Does he know what he’s doing, how he’s doing and if he’s winning what he’s going to, I mean what are what are you working towards if you can’t create that for your people? You I mean you’re not, why would they wanna stay with you? Why they look over and see someone who feels the satisfaction of knowing they’re in a job and they’re working toward a goal. Um I read something recently that said people really it’s not the highest paying jobs where people have the most satisfaction. It’s it’s um feeling like they’re they’re contributing to something good they’re part of something great, they’ll work, they’ll work extra hours for for less pay when they feel that personal satisfaction And it’s as easy as asking the question.
It’s like, it’s like, it can be scary like asking your spouse, like what can I do to be a better wife? Ask your employees, you know, what, what would you, what would make you happy in your work? What would make things easier? You know, what would bring satisfaction? Um, having those open conversations, especially at quarterly reviews. I, I find those just so insightful and you get all the answers. The crazy part and we just have quarterly reviews is that your team will repeat. You’ll hear the same thing.
They all know the answer here are the things that make us happy here are the things that we would love to be better. Um, but you have to ask the question. You have to be interested in the answer. You’re bringing us the hard and scary questions to ask ourselves and others. And it seems so simple, intuitive, like, hey, ask them what they want, ask them how they like working for you. But yet it’s actually so rarely done. And part of it is we don’t want to, we want to look like we have it all figured out.
We wanna, we’re the boss. We don’t need to ask them. We already wanna, you know, there’s this impostor syndrome that a lot of people suffer from. If you ask you show weakness or you show maybe you don’t have it all figured, but that honesty, that transparency is gonna get you the respect of the people who work for you and it’s going to allow you to build up loyalty, it’s gonna allow you to better their lives. And, and really that’s what a lot of us want to do, right?
That’s why a lot of us have a company, you can have an impact on people and make the world a better place. I know Jason you’re extremely big on that bread. Yeah. So Gil Perez asked a question, Just ask it for a second time that I think that we should all touch on because this is all something that I know, all five of us are really passionate about. So his question was, what did you all do from what you all do from burning out from being overworked.
What processes did you put in place if any, to maintain a healthy professional life? So, uh, we started our company. You know, my wife and I quit our jobs right after we got married and started our first business, which is health insurance agency so that we would have the freedom to set our own schedule, make our own money and make our own decisions in our life. And most people when they launch a business, that’s, that’s the goal, right? Time. Money freedom. Right? So the for us, we my wife and I will only make decisions for our business that will not sacrifice our family health.
I don’t, I don’t answer work questions or working queries after five o’clock unless I want to, you know, if someone reaches out out of, ignore him until the next day, I put hard boundaries that when it’s, when it’s family time, it’s family time. And when people ask, well I don’t get home until 103 30 how I need an estimate in the evening, I said, I’m sorry, I want to be home for dinner every day by five or 5 30. I don’t do evening estimates. So if you can’t meet during the day, then maybe we’re not going to be the right fit for you.
So the first thing is just to put boundaries in place, but also Rachel and I, we, we intentionally live below our means, which means we can afford to take less money out of our business, which then means we can put more money, keep more money in our business in order to grow with money rather than time. So I haven’t had to sacrifice a lot of my time to go out and actually hang door hangers to generate more business. I use the money, use our money to pay someone to do that.
Um, but this all still goes back to the very first question that we were talking about earlier was you gotta have a plan. If you want to have processes in place to maintain a healthy professional life, then what, what’s the end goal? What what’s the revenue or the profitability that you would need in order to feel like you can take a step back and then what are the steps that you can put into place to get you to that final goal so that you have, you can take more time off and have a more balanced life.
You have everything, not your life, serve your business. I agree with that brad. It’s the kind of the mindset of begin with the end in mind. We started our business very similar to that where it’s, you know, this thing isn’t gonna be an 80 hour work machine. It’s just not and and that’s how we’re gonna grow this business. I think it might be harder if you’ve already put yourself in that corner. I think it’s hard to get out of it. But speaking in painting terminology, if you haven’t painted yourself in that corner yet, just don’t, you don’t need to.
So David had a question, I think I know how you guys are going to respond to this, but he said, how are you pricing this year’s exteriors compared to last year’s pricing with how everything’s changed. I guess the overall question would be, are you reducing prices because of the potential economic drawback of recession? I know what my prices need to be regardless of what the market says they need to be. And I actually sent out an email to all my outstanding exterior estimates from last year and told them if I didn’t hear from them within seven days, I was officially closing it out and if they want a new estimate for 2023.
I’m happy to provide it with updated and increased to 2023 pricing. Did you get any anyone to come through from that? Any kind of sense of urgency? Yeah. I had three that had accepted the proposals. That’s great. We did the same thing. It’s great. I mean it’s standard. Right? I don’t really eat at McDonald’s. I did, I’ll be honest. Um like a week ago I think it cost me $9 for the meal. I was blown away. Used to cost $5. Price increases are standard. They increase across the board. You should be increasing them with your company as well, especially as labor as labor rates increase.
Jason you know there is this pervasive mindset in this industry that painting is a commodity and that it’s all about the price. Like it’s like gasoline, how many dollars and cents per gallon. Okay. And if if you’re one of those guys, you have to break that mindset because people are not your your painting product, your service is only a commodity. If that’s how you market and sell it period. Okay. Because people they want a company they can trust to invest in. If you’re working for homeowners like we are to to take care of their home one of the, for most people probably their most valuable asset.
It’s about the experience. It’s about the ease of doing business with you. It’s about the smile at the end of it and it’s if it’s all about the price to you then you need to build more value into your sales presentation or U. S. P. It’s not about price. Say that again. Say that again. Also if your if your job costing in real time your your prices are increasing as your needs are increasing as as your, I mean I I don’t think it’s some big enormous shift if you know what things cost, you know what you’re planning for um Like you know this year to 2,153 we’re off.
We’re for the first time. Actually Christmas is our first one which I’m so proud of. So we’re about a year and a half old. Um we have paid holidays for all of our employees this year. I’m like so stoked about it. Um and that’s just so we just build that into our plan and so we can accommodate it so um and I totally agree. I mean you you’re selling, you’re selling trust. Um you’re not, I mean painting is part of it but it’s a big part of it but there’s so much more to sell.
I’m not ever nervous about being two or three grand over the next estimate. I’m offering something completely different. Um It’s not it’s not upsetting to me at all. I had a customer. Gosh they were agonizing. They were like we don’t know what to do. you’re almost double the price. And I said, well let’s let’s chat about it. You know what, what can I do to help you? You want to go through, you know, just talk about each line item on the estimate and they’re, they’re just like, you know, I just, it didn’t stress me out at all because I know exactly why I’m pricing this historic exterior this way.
I know exactly what we put into it. We just did one just like it this year. And so I just got to walk through it with them, just line out and my line on them and just describe all that goes into this, the safety, the equipment, you know, the time we have to take to do four colors on your, you know, essentially like, you know, ornate trim would trim the carpentry work. You know, they didn’t go with me and I didn’t, I didn’t even blink an eye like I know, and they were like heartbroken about it.
So I don’t know. And they did say to me and we really want you to be our backup and I thought, you know what, we’re probably going to pay in this house because they’re going with something. I don’t know if that guy is even gonna show up this summer. So you know, you just, you gotta know your business and who you are and the money is on the table. The customers are there. You do have to find, they have to find you. But it is not a, you’re not competing with, I’m not competing with any paint contractor in my area yet.
I don’t know if that’s gonna ever happen. I don’t know. Yeah, you’re your own, your competition is your ability to execute on your business plan. As Jason parent said, Jason yeah, in the office dash dash brad Ellison, you know guys, I actually have that actually have that hanging on my office while the wayne, Gretzky, Michael scott quote. But Jason there is a question. I wanna, I wanna address it real fast. I’m trying to make sure we hit all these from jeremy. He said, what are you using to view the scoreboards?
Would love my team to see the numbers to help with growth and mindset. Jeremy is gonna have to come visit me in Dallas. If he wants to answer that question, you gotta fly there man, you gotta fly there. Jeremy. Jason will be a great host. I’ll uh open the doors on what we use. It’s a it’s a web based software called Gecko board and it uh it mostly tracks are metrics that the team can see um it does some of the internal stuff for the leadership team too.
But it’s very visual, just google gecko board, you can pretty much back anything into it. Yeah, I like that you’re that transparency with the team, helps everyone trust, helps everyone get on board and and again, as Lawrence said, working towards that common mission, we’re not in the industrial age anymore, we don’t have people just working on assembly lines, you know, putting the car parts and whatever, people want to be part of something bigger. Now, you have to market, brad’s big on this, you have to market to employees, you have to pitch them a vision the same way you do the homeowners, you gotta treat all the same as all marketing sales and giving them an opportunity to get something great from your company.
Otherwise, just the way that you would be viewed as a commodity, potentially by a homeowner, you’re viewed potential as a commodity by a potential employee, and then it all comes down to dollars, and probably they’re gonna go somewhere else, even if they pay them less, but they treat them better, or they can sell them some kind of future or vision or give them a a why, why they want to work there, Why? They are investing their time, they’re investing their life into your business. Why should they go invest their life into your business?
There’s nothing more valuable than time. You cannot get time back, You can get money back, and I’m like harping on this, but I really challenge people to question whether you should be, are you the business owner, because if you don’t deeply love people, you don’t love setting them up for success and giving them an employee or subcontractor experience that is really meaningful, That helps their families, that helps their their them accomplish their goals. I just like, I really question if that’s where you should be, because I just have found this to be um absolutely intrinsic to business success, just on a very foundational level.
Um, Jason, what do you think about that? That’s true about whether someone should be a business owner or not, if if they don’t love people, if they don’t love people and they’re like success for someone else and really get some sort of, there’s some sort of satisfaction, it doesn’t have to always be like, you’re the exact same way, but if that’s not satisfying to you to set other people up for success, well then you’re gonna be stuck as an owner operator forever, and maybe that’s okay, maybe that’s the way you want it, that’s how most small businesses in America are, but if you really want, you know, do you want to be the cobbler, that’s the only guy that makes the shoes and he’s there, you know, or your or your stereotypical restaurant owner who works seven days a week, like 12 to 14 hours a day, and is the family run business and mom and dad don’t even have a life where you’re, you know, you’re contracting business can be the same way, why not?
If we’re gonna use the os terms here delegate and elevate, and when you delegate well, um you empower other people to grow and to begin using their, their skills and everybody is better off when you lied well and you delegate well, but like if you don’t, if you don’t like people, you’re not gonna be a good leader period. If you don’t like people, you’re gonna say, well that’s the kind of, um, if they don’t like it, it’s my way or the highway, you know, that, that, that’s the kind of boss I am, is guess what?
You’re only gonna get one type of employee and you’re gonna be, again, you’re just gonna be stuck in a rut and I hope you are in love with people because we are in the people business, the people, we serve the people who deliver our products unless you’re the only one delivering your product. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if we’re, if we’re talking about asking ourselves the hard questions there, the hard truth is that there are people that are not cut out to be the owners of successful, thriving painting businesses.
And, and some of them can run the owner operator, painting company and make the money they want to make and work the schedule they want to make and that is success in and of itself. But some people are not cut out to run a company like Philips home improvement. That’s the truth of the matter. They may not have the sales ability, they may not have the people management ability. Uh, they may not be able to create a culture that’s healthy and thriving and growth oriented, but they might be a phenomenal director of operations, they might be a great project manager.
And the reality is that some, some of some owners of painting companies probably should close up shop and go work for someone else. They would likely make more money, work less hours and have way less stress than they have trying to just trudge along through this. You know, one job at a time when the next one come in, I’m losing a guy, I hire a guy, lose a guy, I hire a guy, lose a guy. That’s just, that’s just the fact of the matter and I’m, it’s not trying to be dismissive of those guys, but there are, there are some people that are cut out for business ownership and there are some that are not so bright.
In addition to what you just said, I totally agree with what you just said. There’s a lot of people that go into business because they don’t want a boss and, and a lot of times the reason they don’t want a boss is because they’re not very disciplined and if that’s the reason you’re in business, you’re not, you better be self disciplined and have more discipline if you’re going to succeed in business. Again, everybody’s definition of success is what it is, is for them, but if you just got into business because you wanted to be your own boss, Well, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re serving a crazy person and there’s different ways to have success as a business owner within this industry too.
And this is something that brand and I have talked about at great length is I look at my subcontractors, we only use subcontractors as part, each of them has their own business and my goal is to help them grow their business. Now, my goal in helping them grow their business is to grow through subcontracting work from Ellis and painting. But if they, if there’s a language barrier for example, and they’re not great at sales or they’re not great at communication, they don’t want to build these big marketing systems and spend the money for marketing, but they still want to grow their company well, great.
I have the perfect vehicle for that. I’ll do all the sales, I’ll do all the marketing, I’ll do all the project management and you just keep recruiting painters that you can effectively manage and produce a high quality paint painting service and we’re both gonna win, you’re gonna grow your business. I’m gonna grow my business and you can still be technically working for yourself, but more as a partnership with Ellison Painting, right? So there’s, there’s a million different ways to, to succeed within this industry and that might be at the $15 million range, it might be 230 $2100,2100 range, it might be being the owner of that big company, It might be simply as being a painter.
Some people love painting. I love those guys by the way, I want to, I want to run through a couple more questions were run out of time. We got about four more questions to get through at least mat or brad. If one of you could just quickly say what the E. O. S system is because some people have asked about that, they’re not really sure what what everyone’s talking about. Go ahead matt brad. I was gonna say, go, you go, I think you follow it more strictly than what we do.
Okay, so E OS is based on a book called traction by Gino Wickman Wickman. Right? Yeah. And uh, in that the E O. S stands for entrepreneur operating system. It’s basically a system by which you can run your business and they focus on a lot of different things such as establishing your core values, your mission statement. There’s a worksheet called the V E T O, which helps you track your, your 20 year picture and your three year plan and your one year goals and your quarterly rocks and your one month issues.
And it really just helps to have a hyper focus on what you want your business to be, how you wanted to operate and how people are supposed to operate within it. So it’s been really useful for us. It’s, it’s funny because me and my project manager Ron are going through it now chapter by chapter as a team and some of it is clearly geared towards companies that are way larger, you know, when they’re talking about have created or chart. Okay, well our our chart is me and Ron and that’s it and all the responsibilities are between the two of us, but it’s also allowed us to create an orc chart for what it’s gonna look like in 21 now all of a sudden we’re up to five employees and you know, hopefully 210 subcontractors and our bookkeeper and our marketing partners.
Uh so it’s it’s fundamentally a system by which you can grow your business in a healthy strategic way. And I highly recommend if you haven’t read the book, read it and then don’t just read it, implement it, Awesome. Yeah. To budget to plan for your company that I would say to that there are uh companies or people out there that do the full on 8093% follow that system. I think if you get 2809% of the way to following it, you are so far ahead of the competition. So don’t get overwhelmed and and and worry about doing everything with it.
I mean go go for it if you can, but just do something I’m glad you said that that book is pretty pretty in depth and even if you just implement one thing at a time and over the next 2100 to 15 years trying to implement all of it. That’s great. Jason one of the things that I run into, a lot of people who say they’re not good readers. I’ve got a story about that about me, but you know something you can do with with that book and most books, most business owners are driving around the truck all day, get you an audible subscription, download the audiobook and just listen to it while you drive.
If it piques your interest, you can go get the Kindle book or the hard copy book and highlight things and make some notes. If nothing else, just listen to the audio book. It’s only like four hours total. And that’s if you listen to it on a snail space. Yeah, I’m sorry Brandon, that kind of like what Matt said, just taking it taking it as a resource, it’s meant to be, it’s meant to benefit you even if your company is small, even if your doesn’t look exactly like everything else.
I think it’s so important that you know, your company doesn’t need to look like any of these companies here. Um, it doesn’t need to look like nick Slavic, it doesn’t need to look like these are all just resources that you take and you can, you can uniquely fit into your systems and your plan and um and make it work for you and then just just shut off the stuff that doesn’t doesn’t apply or doesn’t fit and and do something that, that really is unique. It doesn’t take away from how independent and personal your businesses, some people get nervous about your business feeling corporate feeling, you know, overly, you know, sort of generic and this is, it’s really, that should be the opposite.
Um, it I do es as well um for someone who is wakes up everyday wanting to reinvent how I live my whole life. I mean that’s just my personality. It’s such a great, great structure. You might not love how it feels at first, but it really gives you so much freedom um, to keep your goals and to really narrow down what what you want to stay focused on. Um, so don’t be afraid of it as someone who’s super independent and like hates rules, I will tell you that.
It’s been amazing. Amazing thing for me personally. And I just said one more thing about that is even if you do started and you, you establish what your company’s core values are just having those in place and written down and top of mind has the potential to really change how your business operates. And it’s to Lawrence point, my five core values are probably different than Lawrence and my core values shape who I am recruiting and how I’m building my company and the same for her. So even if you just went through that and stop there didn’t have the heart of the stomach to finish it.
Every company should have their core values or even the independent owner operator should have his or her core values laid out and determined. Just put a little bit of thought into it, write it down on paper and even that alone, that one little step could make a huge difference in your business. Let me take it one step farther if you don’t, I had trouble establishing those, I actually was like upset by the idea that I had to like write these down and like cling to them. I actually think the process of even just thinking about what your core values might end up being.
So I have like a running list of like seven and like and and like and like the other day when we had quarterly reviews, I was like oh my gosh, that one really like I felt that one really leading from just like talking with all my employees. Um even if you’re, even if you’re trying them on, just the idea of doing that is is like, it’s weird how it comes back and it starts, it starts to become kind of almost like a language list word starts to kind of like the definition, it’s sort of like chicken egg and the definition of your company what you are, you start to figure it out.
So even if you don’t have them, you know, set, I think the idea of thinking about them is a great exercise and just is a super benefit to your business. Yeah. Thanks guys for diving so deep there. I want to run through these next two questions really fast. Uh We have some of that. I wanna be respectful of your time of everyone listening is time one question is direct mailers to H. O. A. Communities to get on on the radar of the H. O. A. Boards to be one of those 33 estimates.
Yea or nay think you’re sending it to the wrong person. If you’re trying to, if you’re trying to get to the H. O. A. And the board, you don’t need to send it to the residents of the H. O. A. Reach out to the board and directly and go have a conversation. Typically there’s a there’s a property management company that’s in between the board and the resident. Okay. Perfect. Um and then Jason, do you separate the sales and project management roles? And do the salespeople sell all three services, roof gutters, painting. Yes.
We do have sales and project management 100% separated because the personality style or behavioral styles, of of those of the needs of the people that succeed in those positions is greatly different. Um and the some of our people sell everything but most everybody, you know, they start in our system, they learn painting and then they then they learn gutters and they might then after that learn how to sell roofing or or or we do some windows as well awesome. And I want to keep this this next question kind of opens up a can of worms so hesitant to ask it, but it is important.
So I want to keep it hopefully 2 to 3 or four minutes here. But I had an experience recently as part of our pre sale system for paint marketing pros. We have custom video templates that we should work with with our, our painting company partners to roll out that go to new leads that go before an estimate that go after estimate video. The owner um, one of the, As we work with was hesitant to get on film and record these 32nd videos because he is an immigrant to the United States and he felt that his accent might be a turn off for some of the homeowners obviously that that’s not ideal.
None of us likes to hear that, but he felt that the reality was it might hurt his close rate. Does anyone have it’s a sensitive topic? Does anyone have anything they want to dress with that I embrace who you are. It might be hard at first, but it’s gonna mean that’s who you are that’s your business can’t hide behind not showing a video that’s all love it own it don’t don’t Yeah, I mean the people, my, my my thought is the people who are not going to, who are going to be turned off by that so to speak are probably not people you want to work with. Okay.
And I would say if this person is thinking that the language barrier or the accent is an is an issue, uh then they likely think that’s an issue with their their sales process. So then they should hire a salesperson, make your life easier. If you, if you don’t feel confident, your sales ability, then hire someone to do your sales and you focus on owning and running the business and managing the projects. And that person could be the person on camera. That that’s what I did at my last company.
It wasn’t language barrier, but the founder of my last company was older and didn’t really want to do it and I am happy, I was happy to do it. So I became the face of all of that, of that. I do want to make sure as we’re planning for 2023 I am very big on this. Um for the Pc expo for 1003 february 22nd to the 24th in Albuquerque New Mexico. I’m always astounded by people who are members of the Pc are not members of the Pc. And they said, well maybe I’ll go, I’m not really sure go right, go what?
So I guess let’s run through each of you and what, what’s one or two of the biggest takeaways are the biggest value ads from the expo for you, I wouldn’t be connected with anybody in this video. If I wasn’t there and everybody in this video has impacted my business in a positive way. Yes. The connections are incredible. Same thing. Matt just said, I would just like to make a plug on the Thursday of the event at 10:30. I will be giving to speak at the exact same time as Jason phillips.
So pick your poison if you want to, if you need a nap time, go to Jason’s speech. If you want to be razzle and dazzled, come see brad Allison or bring time my leadership team so that we can split off and one of us will be at brad and want to be a Jason’s. We’re not going to miss any talk between the three of us and I’m going to make them do homework. It’s going to be terrible. Um you go to the expo honestly the secret to me about things like expo there’s all these like, there’s all these tangibles like, okay, we can network like tangible.
I can like metric that I can like learn connect. Um I can, you know, all those, all those things. The thing that I think is the most valuable is flying away from your state and having a set of days where you think about your business and you take a break out of the paint shop off out of the field and you’re surrounded by people in the field so many of whom are inspiring and you’re doing that brainstorm, You’re doing that recalibration you’re asking maybe I would recommend you ask the hard questions of yourself.
You use that time to really think about what your business, what you want it to be, who you want to be and you’re gonna look around, you’re gonna see every version, so many versions of this trade and so then you can also get inspiration and that’s the thing that I think is the most for for a lot of people. That’s the thing that I think is number one. Um and of course, like if you’re not doing this business with colleagues, with friendships, with team members, if you’re not doing this in collaboration, you are missing out, not just on what you’ll give you get, but what you can contribute to other people.
And Jason, I would say it’s three, you know, for me, I would say there’s three reasons why you need to go. The first one is exactly what Lauren said. You get away from your business, you’re in a new environment, you’re transplanted and your mindset is different and you can begin working on your business and not just in your business, you’re out of the, you’re out of the whirlwind, that’s the first thing, the second thing is there are vendors at the trade show that you didn’t know existed that you need to connect with and you know, let’s just say there’s a, you know, 100 people that 100 vendors there and you find one that solves one problem for you that one golden nugget or that one connection is gonna make the whole time worth it.
And then the third one is uh you know like brad said the networking the connections, it’s not just networking. We’re gonna hang out and hang out after hours and shoot the breeze and be buddy buddy. You know, a lot of people see that as unproductive. It’s, it’s, it’s because you get to network with other experts who have solved a problem that you haven’t solved yet. And then not only that you’re gonna make friends with them, you can call them up later, they’re not the competitor down the street that has, you know, you don’t share with and won’t share with you.
Hey dude, I’ve got this big problem. How did you guys, have you guys run into this? How did you solve this? And people are gonna be open and transparent about helping you up your game, level up your game. So that’s the three reasons that the power of networking the trade show and the mindset and focusing on your business. Yeah, I went into the podcast that I just recorded with Brandon, there’s gonna be four episodes and it’s all about how I launched a business from 0 to 1 and a quarter million dollars simply off the backs and knowledge and resources of my friends within the industry that gave freely of of what I needed.
Yeah there are. And as Jason was just saying learning from other companies that are this this is really awesome thing every single day brain melts. We actually sit around a table 10 or 15 other company owners and you just solve problems based on whatever the topic is on that table. Um Someone had asked hey I’m a small business owner how do I work on the business? What our resources are small business owners. This is it go there you’re gonna network with people who have gotten there. Some will be small, some will be large and you learn how to work on rather than your business.
This is where you where you get that that you need. I am on the marketing committee for the P. C. A. So anyone who goes from this, I’m gonna give you a referral code. One of our, I’m actually not but I’m trying to drive expo attendance and I want to be able to say I did also. Brandon don’t forget that there are scholarships I had my first expo completely paid for. I mean not the hotel park but the whole that’s you know 809 $100. They you go to pc.
A. There’s scholars they have like six of them and I think it’s three and 33 or like you’ve never been before. Three are returners. You should apply for a scholarship. I think that they could use more applications. And this is like this is like the way that you get to go. I think especially for a first timer, it’s a no brainer and they can find out on the, on the pcs website or should they email someone? I would go to the website and then find the link and post about at least the painted site.
If I can remember to put it up because people should know they can do that and this this recording is going to be posting the pan american mastermind podcast form if you listen to it or you listen to the recording and you have questions for matt brad loran or Jason or me. Remember you can always tag um any of these people in that group and they’ll answer it. Uh and then we’ll also put a comment with a with a link to what Lauren was just saying how you can apply for a scholarship to attend the expo.
Is there anything else you guys want to add for two minutes over anything as we wrap this up. Thanks for putting it together. Brandon. Hopefully it’s valuable for one person did ask Tony asked when’s the next one? So we’re going to, we’re going to be looking to do these live rounds probably every month in the beginning in this facebook group and then that will probably probably go to every two weeks. So we will have this group of experts back on again because they’re amazing. Thank you for everyone who showed up.
Thank you everyone watch the recording and thank you most of all you guys for sharing your knowledge and experience with us. Appreciate you guys. Thank you guys. If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company again that you are L is painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast.
Hey there, painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also, if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the painter marketing pros website at painter marketing pros dot com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon at Painter Marketing Pros.com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon at painter marketing pros dot com and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time. Keep growing.