Guest Interview: Annie Newton Industry Partner Series Series – Offshore Services for Painting Companies

Published On: May 27, 2024

Categories: Podcast

In this episode of the industry partner series, we host guest Annie Newton of ProfitWorks.  Annie ran a 2-location painting company with her brother out of Washington state called Four Seasons Color for 18 years.  She now runs ProfitWorks, a company that offers offshore services as well as controllership for painting companies.

If you want to ask Annie questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum on facebook.  Just search for “Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast Forum” on facebook and request to join the group, or type in the URL facebook.com/groups/paintermarketingmastermind.  Again that URL is facebook.com/groups/paintermarketingmastermind.  There you can ask Annie questions directly by tagging her with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

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Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind podcast. A show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over 1 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 in this episode of the Industry Partners series.

I will be hosting Annie Newton of profit works. Annie ran a two location painting company with her brother out of Washington State called Four Seasons Color for 18 years. She now runs profit works a company that offers offshore services as well as controllership for painting companies. If you want to ask any questions related to anything in this podcast episode, you can do so on our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast form on Facebook. Just search for painter marketing mastermind podcast form on Facebook and request to join the group or type in the URL, facebook.

com/groups/pain Marketing Masterm. Again that URL is facebook. com/groups/painter Marketing Masterm. There, you can ask any questions directly by tagging here with your question. So you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company. Thanks for joining us, Annie, of course. Thanks for the invite. This is exciting. It’s very exciting. Yeah, you and I have been crossing paths for a number of years. We hung out not too long ago and uh I think you have a ton of wisdom to share and I’m honored that you decided to come on the show.

Uh Well, you better. After how many years in the industry? 22 you don’t have wisdom. Something’s wrong, right? Something’s wrong. But there are people who have been in this industry for a lot longer who I think have a lot less wisdom. Yeah. Well, sometimes I, I don’t think we’re so different, but to some degree pain is our guide. Right. Exactly. Yeah. So let’s get into uh profit works. Tell us a little bit about what this is. Yeah. Um Well, thank you. Thanks for the opportunity to be here.

Uh Thanks for the opportunity to put maybe a little spotlight on something that our, our industry hasn’t done a ton of. Um and that is looking at offshore or remote roles that can service our companies. Um I think we are probably one of the last industries to say, hey, could this be a benefit what might it look like? Um That the big companies years ago, about 25 years ago is really where, where the roots were planted in the Philippines, especially, that’s the country that I’m a little partial to.

Um And the big guys did it right, the banks and um Amazons and um all, all the tech, they, they moved their entire corporate centers there. Um And those are BP OS. Today, we have the opportunity as a individual painting company to say I need a person and be able to resource a person into our company. So, um I think that’s maybe a little unique about what I’m doing. Um It’s not super new to me if I may speak to that. Um Nine years ago with my first hire, all the Philippines, um It was so I date myself, I went and uh purchased two books and I read up on it.

Um And I think I could do this. So after reading two books, I took the leap um and encountered a, a sourcing service. Uh my first hire was a total flop and it was my fault. I didn’t realize that some of the complexities of when you have someone remotely working in your business, the systems and the processes you need. Um So what do you do when you fall down, you get back up? Um So the second hire and she’s still with us today, nine years later, she’s promoted into multiple positions.

Um So that’s a little bit of not super new to the painting industry, but at the time, I probably wasn’t telling others about it because it seemed like such a f wait, someone from the Philippines is running the back office of the painting company. Um I don’t know about that. So it was a little bit of on the down low until others started that I benchmarked our numbers with, they were tapping me on the shoulder. What are you doing? Oh, and we, we run to um things in pain.

Um And it was a painful position. We had just acquired a second location and the buy wasn’t quite what we thought it was. And overnight I needed some resourcing that I didn’t have and that, that was a little bit of the solution. But the, so that’s the remote services, we kind of have two things we do. The other side of the business is controllership services. So you could think of it as um accounting with controls. Um, and process. So once a company has scaled to a certain point, they often find themselves the owner that used to sit behind the steering wheel and crank out payroll real quick.

Um Now you have multiple people who are running your company. Um, and you don’t feel like you have a grasp on the financials and now when they tell you you can or can’t do something financially, you don’t know if they’re right or not. Um, and it’s a little different than having bookkeeping services. That’s great. Bookkeeping is super important. It keeps our financial sound, but this is basically writing a road map and then putting controls often. Um we have clients who their people and to us for processing controls when it comes to the financial.

So we’re training staff with various painting companies and then they adopt the methodology we wanna use and then we do direct reporting to the owner. So as business gets get bigger sometimes, um it’s not a great thing that tons of people have access to all your numbers. Um And as multiple entities become in involved with growth too. So there’s some reasons for that, but that’s just kind of tapping into the controller role I had for 217 years in the painting industry. Just kind of took that knowledge with me and said, huh, it looks like others might need, might need that.

So, yeah, so I am sure there are a lot of people listening who don’t really understand what controllership is. I had uh my background’s in finance. So I had investment thinking uh for three years under private equity for two years and I don’t understand what controllership is. So I’m assuming the vast majority of people listening to this don’t understand that. So let’s get into maybe the specifics of when we talk about the systems or knowing whether or not you can do certain financial things. How uh what does that look like and how is that explicitly different from, say bookkeeping?

Yeah. Oh, good, good question. And we’ll do our best here and it still may be a little fuzzy. Um a fractional, so fractal means someone not full time in your business, but they carry um a fractional role often as a responsible role. A CFO A controller. Um You, what many would consider is a fractal for marketing? Um So you put on that marketing hat and you know, all things marketing, you could speak to it and you do it well and the parts that you don’t service, you have formed uh relationships and partnerships with others.

Um But if someone was trying to make all the decisions about marketing, they’re gonna be reading for a while and following a lot of podcasts to, to on board and gain the knowledge that you have. Um So in i it’s a trend and I see what the future looks like and even in, in our painting industry, we’re gonna be leaning more into fractal um services. I know in my 217 years, it feels like the complexity of business has increased from what it was 226 years ago. So we’re greatly benefited with all the mini platforms.

Um that, uh you know, our field had run around with ipads 215 years ago, we launched that and that seemed like a huge move to go from paper to ipads. Um But with it has come some complexity and so it’s nice to have someone who maybe can speak to uh the numbers and then be your translator with your CPA. Um And then put some of the controls in place. How do you, you know, locking Treasury Services? So, one of the things that we do is we pay all the, we pay everyone on behalf of our owner.

So it kind of is a shield of protection when it comes to money. Um We’ve seen a few of our clients be hit with some fraud in the last 251 months. That’s everyone has seen the scammy stuff. Call me right away. I can’t get to my phone and why are these funds? Right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s the thing. Um, we had our first instance two weeks ago of payroll fraud. That’s the first time we’ve seen Payroll fraud. Excuse me, what it looked like is that someone had their direct deposit.

Um, the employee had their email hacked. They then emailed hr and said, hey, um, can you please change my routing number? My banking information has changed for this week’s payroll because they had access to the employees, um, email. They could see pay stubs or emailed at this time biweekly. Um The, the payroll was rerouted. It went to a platform that is, it’s an international platform and gone was a paycheck and it cannot be rejected by Intuit. It was an Intuit payroll. So fraud is kind of knocking in all kinds of places and it’s just, it’s not very lovely.

So, um, controllership services is putting processes in place. So that is a stop and there’s a, there’s some controls around money as opposed to what, what just happened with the money. It’s been very intentional with it. Yeah, it sounds like it’s a very proactive process. I think anything you can do to prevent fraud right now is important. We’re seeing a huge uptick in, in Facebook and Google and just obviously text fraud. And that’s why the, the 10003 DLC, um you know, if you’re doing any sort of automated text messaging, you have to register there because they’re trying to cut down on spam and fraud via text.

Uh It’s gotten a little bit out of control for sure. But I, one of the things you said that I think it was really interesting was this idea of that we’re moving toward the, the trend in the industry is more toward fractional services. I agree. I think everything uh peer to peer sharing rights at Uber, things like that. Um Airbnb, all that’s peer sharing. And then I think fractional uh services through fractional CFO CMO, right is kind of what we would be Chief Marketing Officer or marketing agency and then through controllership through things like your uh offshore talent, offshore services, I think it it is the most efficient path forward.

And as the complexity of business continues to grow, uh there’s just more skill sets that you need, so running a painting company, but it used to be a little bit simpler than it is today now, or? Are you good at Facebook? Are you good at tiktok? Are you good at these Cr MS? Do you understand these automations and on and on it goes, I, I think about how reasonable your services are as a fractal CMO uh that if you, if we were to in, as a painting company, if we were to employ you for full time in our company, how cost pro prohibited and think about how large the size of your business would be.

Um That’s also true for CFO are we in need of budgets and cash flow projections and cash position reports and negotiating with the line, a line of credit with the bank and other things, we are, most painting companies could not afford to have on their payroll full time. Even if you have the 21000 2517 K for the full time to sit on your payroll, then you have the other variable is how uniquely do they know the nuances of our industry? Um And that industry knowledge. So it’s just, it’s neat to see what you’re doing and how you’re leveraging that.

Um And I love how it’s really winning in both ways by the dollar. But also the um pulling the pressure off of owners to have to manage a role that is somewhat difficult to manage when they know more than you do about a certain topic. Sure. Yeah. And I think the fact that you, you have that extensive background in paint painting. Right. And you serve the painting industry and focus on that. I haven’t found, uh, I guess I industry agnostic. So companies that serve all kinds of industries, I just haven’t found that same caliber.

Uh, I’ve, I’m around a lot of, of marketing agencies, accounting companies, all kinds of different companies for all kinds of different verticals. And I have yet to see that same quality matched by companies that just do everything right over any kind of industry because you do really have to have that expertise, like for the stuff that you guys are doing for the safeguards and the processes, it is not going to be the same for a painting company as maybe for some kind of medical practice or, you know, landscaping company, all that stuff is gonna be different for sure.

Um Let’s get into something that, that I think is really interesting and I’m actually seeing a lot of painting companies wake up to this, but I think it, it’s very misunderstood or not really understood. Uh is the offshore talent? I think some people just have a negative sentiment towards it. Some people just don’t know how to do it or how to go about starting it. They’re open to it. Let’s get into that. Sure. Well, let’s start it. Let’s start in a mutual starting point here. Uh The negative biased has been earned if you’ve had a phone call to a support desk name the company and it’s been less than a seller experience and you might have been just about to lose it as you’re asked the same question for the fourth time because they are looking for the right script to then give you an answer back.

Um When we think international, sometimes that’s sometimes that’s the image that just popped up or the memory of, yeah, I about lost on an hour and a half phone call, right? And we’re pleading for them. We’re trying to think of some complex question we can ask that then gets them out of that phone tree and then we’re transferred to the US and, and you know, we, we do those tricks with things. It’s like we can drop keywords and oh, suddenly the call has been transferred to Florida.

Oh, how nice. Right? So we know how to game the system a little bit and get what we need. Um But I think it is such a disservice um to some of the talent that is out there. One of the most common terms out there is a va that’s a pretty familiar term and I, you see it in the paint fors and other things. So you’re saying virtual assistant, virtual assistant. Um But va there are virtual assistants, but that is a title and a word that’s being attached to some real talent um like a high end, a high end web developer creating these really high end web developer just because they, they happen to be in this other country, right?

We have over 2515 civil engineers um on our staffing and they’re referred to as VA S. When I look at their education, it exceeds mine significantly. They’re in a civil engineer. Some are a civil and a mechanical engineer. Um And so I kind of wince because I feel like that someone walking into a very professional setting and assuming someone’s a front desk receptionist when, um, they have invested heavily into their education track. Um, so that the future is bright, um, when it comes to virtual services, um, a remote role, um, you know, COVID broke the zip code and it was kind of a great thing and I think it, I was involved in this before COVID happened but I think it really made people go, wow, when our people had to work from home.

This is interesting. Now I’m gonna, I’m going to consider other options. Um, but one of the, uh, my favorite things is the game isn’t really for us to go find someone for $5 or $3 an hour as we all hear. Oh, yeah, for three bucks an hour you can get someone who will run the whole back end of your painting company. Uh huh. I think for $3 an hour right now you’re gonna I don’t, yeah, not quite sure how that one mass out. That still makes me scratch my head.

Um, I, I certainly know that there are those price points, but instead if we looked at the talent first, I think that’s really important to look for character fit. Do they, are they going to embrace our culture? Um, I encourage our clients that if they have a wall of their staff lined up on the wall and you know, they celebrate their staff as you walk in the door, you can see the eight by tens lined up on the wall that if they have someone, virtually, their picture should be there too, that it should be that meshed in their culture, not someone, it’s not a robot, but someone without relationship, we’re also going to look to see how can we, this is about leverage.

Um So the business processing centers in the Philippines, they’re vast. Um and significant amount of dollars in training have been put in. So on their own dollar, they went and got their degree, whatever and multiple degrees. But then under some of these very well known firms, they got years of training. Um and their training was on someone else’s dollars. So when we direct, we directly recruit against BP OS. And our calling card is you could work from home. We may ask you to work the graveyard shift.

So me, our sh our shifts. Um so you’re on our time zone but we’re, we’re saying let’s go compete with them if we give an offering. That is the same as the BP OS. And one of the little secrets is, is the HMO, the private HMO is available to 2% of the country and it’s the Cadillac of health plans. They even send you a birthday cake on your birthday. I don’t think they do that here. If you need LASIK eye surgery included, it’s really a Cadillac um health care plan and they will stay with up to two hour commutes each way at a job like that because of that health care plan.

And um it takes a lot of work to be able to make an offering like that. But now that we are able to have that offering along with work from home and have quality of life. Um, many of them used to live in Manila, they find themselves moving back to the Providence where they’re with their family instead of sending money back and they’re, they’ve doubled their lifestyle. Um and, and so that’s kind of fun. It’s kind of fun to be able to go. Hm, how can we be shiny and get in front of some of the best talent that is deserving of a much better quality of life.

Um, and that’s been very, very rewarding. So let’s clarify what are BP OS Business uh processing uh centers, operation centers. So they are the Verizons, the T mobiles. Um and they if you look at a map, the downtown Cebu Manila, there’s high rise after high rise and they’re just full of people. So the number one service that the Philippines provides to the world is off, off services. So these are the hubs and many of them are owned by, you know, large international companies. Uh And so we’re just, it’s like we’re peering in the window, we’re looking at the 40th floor and going one of your talents there.

I think we’d like to give him a little invitation to consider something different. Um Yeah, you’re able to go head to head with these large tech companies, telecom companies because you can now offer them this health care uh option, which is largely unavailable. Right. And we’re paying their, their health care option. That’s the Philippine government, we’re paying their retirement. It is quite a long list. Um, so they, they don’t, sometimes if someone considers themselves as a freelancer, it’s to freelance is almost uh for them, it feels like it without a safety net.

Um And that can feel a little bit scary. It can feel like I might make a little more than I did at my normal job. But what if something happened? Um, the Philippine country is a social country so they’re kind of used to a ton of perks and benefits that equal almost nothing of value. But the list is really long. Um And it makes them feel they don’t, I wouldn’t describe the country as having an entrepreneur spirit. Um They’re really a good citizen is one who works hard.

That’s a little bit of the culture there. Um And what we can offer is maybe a little bit of blend of all, but the best of all, a good citizen is one who works hard. That’s pretty good though, in terms of what a painting company might be looking for, someone reliable, who invested into their work. So what are the positions that you find, you know, for a painting company where they might be able to fill with offshore talent really helped their company? Um I won’t go in order of importance because I think it’s dependent on the size of company, right?

And what your needs are. Um Probably let’s talk about the role that will pro provide the most amount of leverage currently. Um That role would be an estimator, the other term would be a quantity surveyor. So if you’re a commercial painting contractor and you do plan take off with Os T or Plans Swift or one of those, um There is a huge amount of upside to being able to not just get someone who does plan plan takeoffs for that role. We’re hiring either an architect or a civil and engineer.

So you’re getting someone with a incredible skill set with the expectation that they’re going to help create the scope work and all the things that are needed. Um That role is wildly successful right now. Um, I’m looking to at someone who’s, I regard as a marketing expert in our industry and as we’re looking forward, those of us who have, um, those of us who work with larger companies and who also see good commercial. We see trouble is on the horizon and trouble really started to rear up probably mid last summer when you’re, you’ve been awarded a commercial job.

And those three, we look ahead, just look like they, they’re forever reset and the, the job isn’t canceled, but it’s like it’s on ice. Um And it’s not moving forward, it could at any time move forward, but really this has to do with it. The capital is not being released. Um And so painting contractors feel good. We look at our backlog and we’re like, got a couple million sold, we must be good except that if it’s not revenue ready, if that, that isn’t actually going forward, we’re in crisis as if we have no sales.

So, um one of the strategies was, hey, could we look at double and tripling the amount we bid intentionally land more work than we believe we can produce, knowing that what we think is landed work may actually be awarded and not actually executed. Um And with some of my larger clients, I’m seeing between 10 and 5173% of their backlog. That is the story. Um And they’ve navigated and they’re doing really well. Um And they’re protecting the amount of revenue, all their budgets. They, they, they built, they’ve been able to protect it, but they would be significantly down.

And in this rain, we’ve had such a run of amazing years, haven’t we? Financially speaking, all that build in building their management team, all that build in building their infrastructure is threatened right now if they can’t maintain the revenue. And this is just a strategy. It’s about 29 cents on the dollar for a price comparison that they can go input someone into that role and double and triple the amount that they’re bidding on. And then the flip side of that is be able to take advantage of when the phone rings and there’s an addendum, there’s a change and they need it like noon tomorrow because the board is meeting.

Can you get those in at that point? You know, you’re their person and um the number could actually be really good if you could suddenly throw on hold everything you’re working on and pump out that number for them. So there, there’s also the upside of you can capture the opportunities where there’s really good gross profit. Yeah, so I I wanna clarify a couple of things. So when you say trouble ahead, you’re essentially talking about a potential economic downturn. I am. Ok? And then the, the position that you were speaking about was an estimator for a commercial painting company.

Yes, you are you seeing positions for, let’s say a residential painting company where they might be able to say, ok, the economy might get pretty dicey. You and I were talking a little bit before the start of filming. Uh, marketing always becomes more expensive in the second half of an election year because it, all this money gets poured into, into, uh, all the different paid ads platforms. And then people tend to close more slowly because everyone’s sort of waiting with bated breath. Let’s see what happens is the world gonna end this November or not.

And so the, what, what kind of residential painting company owner who’s listening to this? What could they do? What, what does your service offer that might help them either reduce costs or reduce, um, risk in some way or, or increase their sales to help offset this potential downturn? Yeah. Um, we’re seeing several right now. Um, one of the moves in. So let’s go into the market marketing arena right now. Um Some of them is looking at the paper clip and their heart is stopping when they see how much money was allocated last month and they can see the direct relationship to the leads.

Um That’s a really rough place to be in. Um, and they were saying there has to be another way we’re really not built to get the lifeline of leads cut off. Um, the firm that I speak, the client that I speak of, they leaned in a couple of months ago. And said we’re gonna hire a marketing content, um, manager and that’s all they’re doing now. They still have their other marketing services, but they’re leaning way in with their eye on pay per click being in a real struggle position.

Um, and I, and it’s looking to be a very smart move. Um, if that’s not, if by size of the company, um, the size of company that you have, that, that doesn’t feel like a fit, then maybe you’re looking at either production coordinator role, uh back office services, you’re looking to see. Well, if I, maybe you have, maybe a company has um you have an amazing team member when that phone rings, they’re creating, they light up, they were creating the experience. Um but she’s pulled away for the other 52 tasks we asked her to do throughout her day from payroll to enter in the Shen Williams invoices to all the things.

But when she’s on the phone, it’s gold and everyone remembers her name. Well, if we had to pivot and she became a little more outbound in her efforts, would that be a good exchange? And then those very tactical tasks became a back office service that so some many times um what we haven’t seen is clients come to us and say, hey, so Sally and Joe, we wanna replace them with someone $5 offshore. Now that that would not be a fit for multiple reasons. That’s not what we’re seeing what we’re seeing is.

Sally and Joe may have a unique skill set and what would it look like if primary part of their role is to create an experience? Um Then those other things that keep them from those follow up calls and other things um is being done by others. So it’s not that we’re replacing, we’re not, our service isn’t here to replace who you have in office. Sometimes our service is here to help you rewrite the roles and really lean into the strengths of whoever is on your team. Man.

I love that. I love that holistic approach there. That and I, I think that is the common perception is that, hey, the remote town is there to, to do what your current team is doing, but do it more cheaply. And the hope is that they don’t do a bad job, right? But the expectation is that they will. And I think looking at it as, hey, let’s figure out the real skill set of the team that we have and let’s get maybe a little bit more of a sales first mentality looking at, ok, a potential economic downturn, let’s get, you know, best defense is a good offense.

So let’s figure out how to sell. Let’s prioritize that a little bit more. And let’s take some of these maybe more mundane tasks that would be transferable and let’s hire someone through your service who might not be a $5 per hour person, but probably going to be considerably less expensive than if they were needing to bring in someone full time in the US to do that for sure. And I think, um, we often spend some time on the discovery call talking about what is good look like. Um If a, if a painting company is considering this, we’re gonna talk about who’s currently on your team, what we’re gonna almost always predict is there’s gonna be some level of anxiety and there’s gonna be some crossed arms and there’s gonna be a Yeah, like fun.

You tell me this is what they’re doing. You’re probably actually stealing my job, right? Like let’s not pretend these fears and anxiety isn’t largely at play. Um And, and we really want to see the owner speak into the strengths of his team and call out the strengths and then point them to where the future destination is and how their, their success is dependent on a successful on board of this other role. That’s how you win. But there’s a little bit of finessing in it because it’s uh huh.

I can’t believe you crossed over to the bad side, just like all the big corporations. I see what you’re doing. I’ve had almost verbatim things said like that on a call. Um, and those are really fun to unpack. It’s, and some of the ways that we unpack is let’s talk about the pain. What keeps you from being really successful in your role. Now, I hear you’re really valuable. He wants you around for a long time and we talk about how, how do we, how do we draft a way forward?

Um And I think it should always be with good in mind as opposed to fear. So I wanna, I wanna say something maybe slightly controversial or push back on a little bit. Uh Could it be a good thing? Right. So if you have somebody come, coming in, who’s hungry, who’s doing a good job, could that maybe wake the team up, you know, shake, shake them out of a potential slumber? And if somebody can’t handle it, maybe that person shouldn’t be there anyways. Other people can, uh, you know, sort of find, find the real value there because maybe they do realize, hey, if I don’t produce this owner could go find someone to replace me.

He’s not going to now or she’s not going to now. I don’t, and I believe, you know, this person that they’re not going to because I see this other person is doing the tasks that I’m not doing, you know, these are separate things, but I also see that other person is doing a really good job. And so I probably want to do a really good job too. Yeah, I think, um, what that role means to some, to a professional in the Philippines, they’re holding a golden ticket.

They just got private HMO. They have retirement. They don’t have to go fight two hours of traffic, both ways they get to have quality time with their families. This is a dream job. There’s not enough of those dream jobs available. This is a dream job. So you have someone who’s sitting in that camp but just operating with such a sense of gratitude and loyalty. Um Kind of what you had just said, what, what we may see more of is this. Um Can I pick on a rule?

Let, let’s, let’s make this palatable. I I’ll pick on a role, the classic office manager. Um very important. The business cannot run without her. Um And she’s related to the owner and she’s been there 17 years that may or may not be a thing, right? Um And all things run through them and they love the control that runs through them. They kind of love the power. So the owner doesn’t entirely have power over this role because subject a little bit to her availability, what she feels like doing and the amount of overwhelm that’s currently going on.

Well, we know this is peak season. So how unrealistic that you expect those reports to be done every Wednesday? Did you see we got 17 calls left yesterday, like I know sales are important. So you have to pick, did you want your report or did you want me picking up the phone? I’m, I’m picking on a role, but just hear me out in this. Um, sometimes when we go guess what, we have a solution, we’re bringing you the help. You’ve always said that you needed and let’s look at your role and it says office manager.

So it says you are responsible for. So this, it says here responsible for it. Is that right? Oh, yeah, that’s right. And you peel away the reasons why they don’t do the things they really don’t want to do. Uh oh, now this feels really uncomfortable. Now you’re calling up the leading part of the role. They should be behaving as a leader. They, there’s sometimes uh parts of the role that they’re, they’re skirting because, well, there’s 26 Sharon Williams invoices to enter last night. Oh, ok. So that’s why we’re not prepared for a crew leader meeting. Yeah.

Yeah, that’s why that’s happened. So sometimes it goes and highlights that, that you have just removed their reason to underperform and now they’re not, they’re not feeling so great about things that’s a coach up or a coach out moment at that point. Yeah. So I think one of the things I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial career is really high performers love systems, they love clarity, they love accountability because they, they, you know, level up to that accountability. Uh and they love clearly defined goals and KPIS and people who are somewhat underperformers thrive in chaos because in chaos, they can, they can just sort of say, oh, there’s too many things going on. Right.

Or, or they can continue to try to take on more and more tasks to try to show how valuable they are through kind of overload. But the reality is, it’s because they can’t do their core job well. And so I think when you bring on a, a remote, uh let’s say office manager in this example, and they’re able to take some of these tasks that may be worth the reason that your office manager wasn’t able to do XY or Z that the owner thought was really important.

Yeah, it, it, it is gonna bring clarity and if your office manager really is good in this role, she or he will be happy, will welcome. It might be sure a slight adjustment but will ultimately rise to that occasion. If there’s just a complete, you know, burn out on the other side, then probably you didn’t have a phenomenal person in there. And it’s good to know that it might be a painful thing. But if you want to move the painting company forward, you cannot uh be a babysitter to people who aren’t contributing to the company’s uh mission and moving forward.

Well, said, listen to you. It’s like I’ve gone through some of this. I it’s, it’s kind of like a or something. This is interesting, but let’s talk about the actual implementation of this. So people are listening, someone’s listening and, and they think, you know what this makes sense I’ve never done it. I’d like to try it. Uh, they reach out to you. You’re obviously well versed in this, you offer it as a service, you know, the painting industry. Super well, what does that look like? Um, we’d probably go through a process of determining what rules should be considered and some of the things we would take into mind is what’s the size of their company?

What type of work do they do? Um What is the current pain? And where’s the upside? We, we have to identify upside and then come away with, you know, what good looks like in three months. Um If we don’t have clarity around that, uh II, I suggest that we just um be put on hold until we get clarity because if we’re, we don’t have clear, we could hire the wrong person if we’re not clear, um we could get someone into place and then they’re not given the resources they need to be successful.

So some of the discovery call won’t be finding out, you know, peel it back. What platforms are you using? Are you really in a place where you can say pretty confidently that this could be rerun, that this could be run um re remotely for the things that can’t be. Do you have a good system in place? Who else in your office besides the owner wants this position? It’s always a little bit of a oh boy, here we go. When it’s an owner reaching out and, uh, none of his staff knows and he’s gonna surprise them.

Surprise, surprise, guess what? On Monday, guess who’s joined our team? Um, and we’re gonna keep it on the down low and I just like to pop this on them and I just wanna see who rises up. Hm. That’s probably a bad plan. I wanna get a sense of our team also. Really wants to get a sense of, um, well, let’s just be frank. We’re gonna, we’re gonna identify the resistors. If someone says, oh, there’s no resistors at all. I’m gonna probably ask a few more probing questions because they are there and then to what level of resistance and if there is gonna be active resistance, could it harm the business by moving forward?

That’d be such a terrible thing that you go and secure services like ours and in the end it harms your business. So, um seeing the potential for I instead of like, yep, let’s just get the fail and let’s make this happen. I think sometimes I have to ask uncomfortable questions and then I feel good that we did that because maybe we need three or four months to go clean up shop a little bit. Maybe we need a little more time to get clarity about roles. Um Yeah, if there’s a resistor, the, the uh implementation can get really difficult and it be, I’ll make it a couple hour process every, every day to fault, find, document everything extensively.

What I just found was the issue um as opposed to working with this person providing the training that’s needed and, and really um embracing them as if they had just walked in your front door. Sure, change can be painful and, and sometimes the people who are a good fit at your company now are not a good fit at your company tomorrow. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Um, the, yeah, we find with marketing people come in and, and what they always want is more leads. That’s what they think that they want.

But then when you actually go into, OK, how many estimators do you have? How much availability do you have in your calendar? What’s your clothes? Right. What, what’s your backlog look like? They start to understand that developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is a little bit more complex than we want more leads. And what you just talked about is, hey, they don’t come and they say, hey, we need someone who’s in office, office admin. Ok, great. We’ll go get you someone, we’ll bring them to you and then we’ll just sort of see how it works out.

What you’re doing is you’re diving into the business, you’re doing a full analysis, your expectations setting, you’re making sure it actually is a good fit because it might not be. We also tell people, hey, this isn’t a fit for you. You’re not ready for this, right? So that’s what a good company does. And that’s what I love about your answer right there was that most of it was not actually focused on the role that you’re hiring. Most of it was, it was almost like a business consultant looking at their company from the inside out and might be part of your controller services and background, just your process oriented brain and, and experience here.

But you’re not gonna go give them some position that’s gonna not be a good fit for them. I think that’s really, really awesome. Yeah, it’s just so important because um we may have a service and I think all our businesses are built on people and we’re hoping to go recruit and source the absolute best that money could buy. Um I’m making a promise on the other side. Uh I lead with, we have team members who have worked for us for nine and five and seven years. Um And they’ve had advancement from within, they’ve, they’ve been able to see the upside to this.

Um And I feel like I would be maybe selling something that wasn’t true and this is the business of people. So, um when we get to the final stage, we’re doing our video interviews. Um Part of my role is to boast about who their client is and what a unique thing they get to be seated with this client that they’re known as some of the best and the best in the industry. That they’re part of the PC A, that they contribute that out of all the painting companies to work for.

This is, this is how they lead themselves. They’re well respected. I’ve known them for the last 15 years. It’s a brand I trust and there would only ever be one of you. There’s one role in one of you. This is a unique opportunity. I want to position it. So we attract the absolute best and they’re bringing their talent and their experience of years and their education as opposed to uh try it on. If you don’t like it, we’ll just terminate them. That’s good. I’m about to send you a resume after we get off here.

It was very, any company are we talking about? Yeah. Yeah, it’s fun. It’s really fun. And then um we have a couple of companies, one has 51 is three, a couple of them have three and two teams, team members. So we have a couple that have multiple. Um And that’s fun. Now they’re joining a painting company with a team from the Philippines. We have two that have intentionally hired that said, you know, out of the gate we’re growing and we’re scaling here. We built our budget to be this um this person.

And if you don’t hire for this role that you hire with a management and leadership capability that they’ve had prior experience of leading others if you hire them for this. Um I think we could pivot. Um And I would like to see if they could come on with the knowledge of when we grow, you grow with us and they would under their direction, have another Philippine. Um So we have several clients who are now position, position like that and that’s actually worked out really well. It’s such a great setup.

Yeah, I lo I love giving people the ability to move up. I, I actually uh subscribe to the upper app. So I, I want people who want to move up and if they don’t want to move up, they, they, they probably don’t belong. Yeah, that’s a great way to say that I might steal that, steal it. What uh you’ve said this a few times and I think it’s so important and I think it’s often overlooked. You said what does good look like? What does that mean? Well, you can apply it to anything, right?

If we apply it to a role. Um Often I, sometimes we hear why someone needs a role really bad. Sometimes I like to run the other direction and go. OK. What, what would you ter terminate this person for? We usually have clarity about that. Sometimes we can have more clarity about what we invite them to leave over and be suc successful somewhere else versus, but what is good look like. Um And if we can’t define what good looks like, then I can’t share with them at the beginning of the process that says here’s the stretch.

Well, here’s where we think, you know, knocking out of the park in your next 30 days looks like this arriving really solidly, looks like this. And it’s amazing what people will stretch for when they hear as a possibility for themselves. Um And I just think it’s just super important in the business of people. Yeah. And I like when you, when you secure talent, right? For one of these companies, from one of your clients, you have a vested interest in it working out because your reputation is on the line.

On the other side promises you’ve made uh your character in a way because you don’t wanna be misrepresenting the opportunity. So that should sound really good for the people who are hiring you because you want, when you’re hiring someone like you, you want there to be a vested interest, you want there to be an opportunity cost for you of some kind. If it doesn’t work out, that’s the reason guarantees things like that exist as risk reversal. Uh You’re carrying this risk with the client, you’re both very much aligned in making sure this is a good fit, which is probably also contributes to why you do such an extensive process to making sure that you’ve identified the right role that it is a fit and that the company set up for success.

Well, a contrary to what you might assume, sourcing is actually very expensive in the Philippines. Um, we have our own in house recruiter. She’s actually the one who hired on nine years ago. Um, and we’ve had to add to our sourcing staff, but it’s very expensive for a reason that you wouldn’t necessarily think when you lay it all out that the commitments, what the role is, the position, um, and all the goodies that come with it. Um, this is a sales ad. It’s not a job description.

We’re hanging and we’re hoping to attract the right person. Well, it’s highly attractive. The downside you have over 1000 applicants for a position. Um And so we have to go through all these multiple staging to do the weeding and the filtering out um hiring can go very fast in the Philippines. They don’t have unemployment. So if you find yourself in a job gap, you’re gonna pivot really fast. Um And we might lose. Um But if we can speak to more than you’re trying to land a job, we’re hoping they’ve landed and found their career um that they want to be seated with us.

But the downside to that is really, it is a lot of work um to do the sorting sourcing and the amount of talent. Um We’re, I’m not gonna be sorry, but we’re extremely critical when it comes to fluency. Um That’s a really big piece to this. Um They can speak and understand English really well, but you know what fluency is what allows us to connect. Um And if we don’t have fluency, then we have those pauses and we haven’t quite built the relationships that we have with our peers locally.

So the thing that will keep us from having really good connections is often fluency and not other talents. Yeah, I think the fluency is so key and I think that’s what a lot of people worry about. You know, going back to your, your discussion, your example of the customer service experiences that we’ve all had that we didn’t like we, she didn’t have, that was a fluency problem. That was, we had AAA question or something we need to discuss. That was probably fairly straightforward and it wasn’t identity, it wasn’t matching up with the script or whatnot.

They didn’t seem to understand it. And it was really frustrating to ultimately, we’re, you know, in your example, transferred to Florida. And it’s like, oh thank God, I’m gonna talk to somebody in the US who’s gonna understand and we’ll probably knock this out within a couple of minutes and I can go back to the rest of my day. So that concern is, is why I think a lot, why there is a lot of resistance at times that and the idea which I think is antiquated and inaccurate and you, I you addressed it, but the idea that we’re just trying to replace everybody, right?

Like through profit works, we just wanna have no one to have jobs in the US anymore. I think the, the focus on fluency is really, really critical and there are a lot of great people who, who are fluent. It’s amazing. It is amazing. Um And I think, you know, in general, whether you’re talking about an offshore role or not, um one of the best ways to protect our culture is va culture of growth that um you’ve had mastery of your task position, whatever that looks like. And that should mean the next rung up on the ladder.

But if we don’t provide opportunities for growth, then it develops this scrappy culture that I’ll turn my back. You know, we saw all the painters in the field, right, load this tip on and he’ll never know. Is it 517 or 515? He’ll just never know. He’ll just forever wonder, you know, we just see these behaviors like um if you know this, then how valuable does that make me? And a growth culture says it’s so imperative, you know, this because we’re going places and we need more to go with us.

So, yeah. Yeah, I love it. Any. Is there anything else you wanna add before we wrap this up? Uh Just a big thank you. Um And an encouragement. Um Maybe some validation a little bit. There might have been parts of this podcast that sounded like, oh, that just spoke to a couple of pain points. Um But I feel super hesitant. Um my team, I have this culture. Um I have this culture that we don’t, I don’t think the offshore thing would be. Yeah, I don’t think you understand our culture, we’re really tight, we’re really connected.

Um These hesitations and, and the pause, I just wanna validate and say it’s OK. Um It’s kind of a one off thought to begin with. Um maybe uh ask around, they asked to speak to those who are, who are doing it. Well, not, hey, I’ve had someone for a month. How many years have they had someone? Um Because there’s a lot of success stories out there, but I think they’re kind of quiet success stories and that, that might be you. I love it. Annie, thank you. It’s always a pleasure to connect with you.

I really appreciate you having uh you coming on the show.

Hey, thank you for the invite.

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 PainterMarketingPros.com/podcast for free training as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company. Again, that URL is PainterMarketingPros.com/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 PainterMarketingPros.com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon@PainterMarketingPros.com and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business.

Until next time, keep growing.

Brandon Pierpont

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