Guest Interview: Brad Ellison of Ellison Painting “The Birth of a Giant” Episode 3

Published On: February 13, 2023

Categories: Podcast

Brad Ellison
In this series titled “The Birth of a Giant”, Brad Ellison of Ellison Painting will be discussing what it looks like to start a professionalized and profitable painting company from day one.  It is a 4-part series.
In episode 3, Brad will discuss how to effectively build systems and processes that create a roadmap for future success.

Video of Interview

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

Episode 3: Change The World

  • how to construct systems  and procedures

Audio Transcript

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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 and 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 series titled the birth of a giant brad Ellison of Ellison painting will be discussing what it looks like to start a professionalized and profitable painting company from day one it is a four part series.

In the first episode episode one, we discussed brad’s decision to walk away from his previous partnership and the assets he found available to him. In episode two brad dove into what it looks like to launch a highly professionalized painting company from scratch In episode three This episode Brad will discuss how to effectively build systems and processes that create a roadmap for future success and in the final episode episode for Brad will elaborate on what it looks like to scale a painting company, both in terms of mindset and concrete steps.
If you want to ask brad questions related to anything in this podcast series you can do so in our exclusive painter marketing Mastermind podcast form on facebook, just search for painter marketing Mastermind podcast forum on facebook and request to join the group or type in the U. R. L. Facebook dot com forward groups forward slash painter marketing mastermind again at U. R. L. S. Facebook dot com forward slash groups forward slash painter marketing mastermind. There you can ask brad questions directly by tagging him with your question.
So you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company brad. Thank you so much for coming back to conduct this episode three with us man. My man, happy to be here as always. Brandon. Excellent. So this this episode is titled Change the World. Um let’s kinda start with you know the systems the process is what you would do to change the paradigm of your local market man. Yeah, a couple of things we should address first, let’s do it. So we I’ve been using this term starting this company from scratch and obviously I’m using that term kind of loosely.
But a couple of people online have actually mentioned like let’s be real, you didn’t start from scratch, right? Yeah, admittedly I ran someone else’s company for five years but I did really start Ellison painting from scratch. No there was no company, there was no marketing strategy, there was no painters, there was nothing. So technically I would say I did start it from scratch but I did have a lot of advantages. The other thing no one has mentioned this to me but I do want to point out you chose to to name this birth of a giant, which I jokingly suggested to you, it’s definitely, it’s definitely a bold, a bold prediction.
Um, and it’ll be funny five years from now we’re going to look back and I’m going to be Jason paris two point oh, and be like, wow, we were right. Or I’m going to be mowing lawns somewhere and be like, hey, remember how quickly brad Allison flamed out five years ago. So this is the, this is the babe ruth. You know, your point of the outfield? You’re right. That’s right. All right. Let’s get to it. Alright, so how do you build systems and processes to create a road map for future success?
Yeah. So the last episode we talked it was kind of like the nuts and bolts. It’s like, hey, if you want to fly to the moon, what do you need to build the rocket just to assemble it? Right? So you got a source of the materials, you gotta, you gotta put it together and now you have a finished rocket. What I think this episode, what we’re gonna be focusing on is all right. You got your rocket. Now, how do you actually launch it at speed to clear Earth’s gravitational field started actually reached the moon. Right?
So there’s gonna be some overlap because we talked about some of the systems that I think needed to be in place when you launch, like to actually assemble the company and then now we’re gonna talk about how we’re actually using those those processes and systems to to really launch quickly. Um, so, so I would say one of the things that’s been very, very helpful for us to scale quickly has been um simply software solutions and different tools that we’re using the number one software that’s been really instrumental for us.
And I want to assure you that I’m not being endorsed or compensated by Tanner mullen just use his coupon code, make sure to use brad’s referral code, you know, is drip jobs. So it’s obviously it’s a cr all income seen crm estimating tool, invoicing scheduling everything. Our good friend Tanner mullen is the, is the owner of that company and developer runs his own painting company. And he has actually encouraged me is like, hey, when you refer people over because I refer a lot of painters over to drip jobs.
He’s like use the use the affiliate link. I want to give you some money back. I will never ever take money from Tanner for everything that he does for our industry. Uh, just like, I would never, I would never take a referral fee for referring someone over to painter, marketing bros. Um Anyways, off topic drip jobs, what does drip jobs do? Drip jobs allows me to take all the a bunch of tools that I was using it with my previous company and get it all in one.
So it handles lead intake. So when someone clicks on a get quote button on my website, all the information is entered automatically into drip jobs after the leaders created helps with lead nurturing. So they’re gonna until it’s actually set as an estimate, they’re going to get text messages and emails saying, hey I saw that you reached out for an estimate. Um you know, how can we help you? Hey, you know, do you still need help with this project until it becomes an estimate it’s going to continue to nurture.
Uh That lead of course it helps with estimates. Um I think you’ve seen examples of how I’ve pieced together my estimates. The nice thing about drip jobs that comes pre populated with a lot of different um uh some templates and stuff. I kind of tweak those templates and made it my own. It’s a fully customizable platform so you can create it however you want, but it handles estimate delivery, it handles project management. So once an estimate is accepted and becomes a job, you can actually schedule it right within that crm.
You can see all the jobs lined up on a calendar, you can assign a different crews. Uh and then the last piece of course is once the job’s done, it allows you to handle all the billing, invoicing collections, bookkeeping. So it’s, it’s a phenomenal tool. Um It’s, it’s ideal for smaller companies and I’m hoping that it’ll be ideal once I’m into like the four or $5 million range. It’s all in one. Um, I joke with Tanner that it’s about 85% of what I really wish it would be, but that 85% is 100% better than any other option out there in my opinion.
So have you, I’ve never found, I’ve never found anything. Any software, anything that’s 100% what I need. No. And you might, you might find a software that maybe you like a little bit better for estimating, but it doesn’t do the scheduling or doesn’t do the invoicing or vice versa. You know, Quickbooks is great for, for billing and invoicing and they do have some estimating software available, but it doesn’t match trip jobs. So for all in one hands down it’s the best. Yeah. The second software that I use is um, a call forwarding system.
It’s called open phone and there’s a lot of different phone services available out there. Open phone what I use it for is simply call forwarding and texting. So when someone calls my office line, it’s just a fake number that open phone created for me. It’s the number that’s on all my lawn signs, it’s on all my vehicles. It’s on all my shirts, uh, and they can call, they can speak to me if I’m able to answer the phone, which I’m usually not, uh, they can send a text.
They can leave a voicemail. The best thing that has done for me. Brandon honestly is the auto text responders. So if I don’t pick up, which, which I’m gonna be honest, I don’t remember the last time I’ve actually answered the phone when someone called. So people are calling your painting company, it’s going to voicemail every time it’s going straight to voicemail. But they’re also getting that. I know they’re getting that auto text right away and the auto text simply says, hey, sorry to miss your call. If you’re trying to schedule an estimate, click this link and someone will get back to you right away.
And I know I know and I’ve definitely definitely had a lot of my leads fall through the cracks that just, and I do, if, if they don’t go to drip jobs to request an estimate, I do follow up eventually. But it saved me the additional expense of having an admin, someone to answer the phone because I don’t right now, I don’t have the call volume or even the, the additional tasks that need to get done. That necessitate having an adamant. I will the spring right. I’m gonna bite the bullet and start, I’m gonna incur that expense before um actually need it.
And that person will be tasked with answering the phone every time someone calls and for anyone, anyone listening, that auto text back just when, when they call and he doesn’t answer, it’s something, you know? Hey thanks thanks so much for calling else and painting. Sorry mister, how can we help you write something along those lines correct, that’s exactly what it is. It looks like at least, hey, someone reached out right away and then they can communicate, hey, this is what I need. Another ball at least is rolling.
That’s very different from they called, they got a voicemail may or may not have left a voicemail and then they’re just left wondering if you’re actually gonna get back to them? That’s right. That’s right. Another software I think we’ve talked about before is company cam. So company cam is software used to take pictures. I use it for estimates and job site pictures, uh, we use it for project management. So this is something that we just implemented for our crews crews are expected to add photos as the work progresses.
So every day they got to take literally five minutes walk around the job site. Here’s what we got accomplished by the end of the day. Um, and that’s been really nice. The customers have a live timeline link so they can follow along and anytime they click that link and see all the photos within that stream. Um, but really what’s what’s been most important and the big point, the big selling point that we used in, um, when we asked our subs to start using it is when they start the job.
When they first come on, we asked them to walk around the property and take pictures of anything that a customer might eventually say we broke, it was our fault, right? So if there’s damage screens, if there’s uh, you know, nick to some damage to a wood floor. That stuff is, they take a picture, it’s time stamped automatically so we can see when it was taken. And so at the end of the job they say, hey, we’re really happy with what you guys did. But hey, it looks like someone dropped some tool on the wood floor and it took a gouge out.
And so I’d like you to pay to have it refinished. Well, we can look back through the pictures and see. Well this picture was taken before we even unloaded our tools. So it’s unfortunate we have to do that. Um, and most of the time it’s never going to come into play. But our painters have been burned enough times and I’ve certainly been burned enough times where the customer says that we did something, the crew who I trust and appreciate and love says brad. We definitely did not do that.
And I still end up having to discount a job or write a check for something. So it’s just avoids that and it just takes the blame off us. Right? Yeah. Quality assurance there and making sure that things are transparent on both ends. Hmm. So those three tools, there are kind of the software solutions that I use and what, that how that’s allowed me to scale is that even from my very first estimate, I am, I am viewed as this highly professionalized big painting company even though it’s just me and my wife and one subcontracted crew at the time They would see I had my truck branded and it allowed us to appear much bigger than we were.
And it also allowed us to have the systems in place. So as we actually scaled from one crew to to cruise up to now eight. and now, you know, official employees and whatnot. We were able to to not have to change any of our processes or any our systems. It was it was built to scale. The last thing that I do want to mention this is gonna seem really, really silly and I don’t have the data to show that this actually makes any difference. But um, I use a laser measure and actually have one.
Always keep it in my pocket. Um, it’s a it’s a bosch laser measure. Most of my interior estimates. I based off square footage of floor space, which we can have that argument off at another time. Not between you and me. But everyone else that says, you can’t, you can’t estimate interior jobs using square footage. There’s too many factors. Yes, I understand. I’ve done 8000 estimates in the past six years. I figured out how to do it, but I keep the laser measure and when I’m walking around the house, even if I don’t need the measurements of the room, I still use the laser pointing at the walls and I can’t tell you hundreds of times people have said, oh my gosh, that’s so neat.
Is that measure the square footage? And I say, yep. And there’s so wowed by the fact that a painter has something that’s perceived as high technology that it automatically sets me apart from someone. It also uh it also reduces and actually eliminates the risk of me scratching someone’s wood floors with a tape measure, right? I did. I made that mistake in my very first year, my very first month doing estimates and I will never, ever, ever do that again. So it’s $50. I think it’s a nice little tool.
Do you need it to scale? No, but get a laser measure, it’s awesome. People love it. That’s for Yeah, I kinda wanna kinda want to recap that. So what what you did was, and we I know we discussed some of this last episode was was leveraging the technology that’s available that didn’t used to be available and essentially gives you the resources and what you just described the appearance, the image of a highly successful, highly professionalized company that has the resources to where a homeowner customer feels that they’re definitely gonna be taken care of.
You have the backing, no one, you know, people say that they want local businesses and they do, but, but people are uncomfortable if they feel like you don’t really have the resources of the company because you’re not going to take care of them. If there’s an issue, you might go out of business if they’re right, If if there’s um, if there’s another project comes up, maybe you can’t get back to them, you can’t, you can’t correct something. But if you can kind of show um lend this perception that you have all these resources, even if maybe you kind of don’t at that point, the trust factor goes up.
You can do that through simple, affordable automation is that you invest into as opposed to needing to hire more and more people, as you said, it’s scalable. So when you grow, you can actually continue to use those same pieces of software, you kind of become a big company almost from day one in a way. Yeah. And the perception of course, is that I’m this big professionalized company, which I am now, but I wasn’t then, But the reality is for that suite of software solutions you’re looking at under $300 a month.
So literally anyone listening to this podcast should be able to afford that. And it, it’s a, it’s a game changer right off the bat. Yeah. And all this stuff. I mean laser measures is fairly easy, but there’s there’s onboarding, you know, I know drip jobs, there’s onboarding will actually help you learn the software and everything is just if you, if you feel afraid of the tech company cam open phone, you know, just use it and and actually work with your team and they’ll teach you how to use it if you don’t have to be a software guru to use this stuff.
Yeah, there actually is one more software solution that we implemented more recently that I hadn’t put in my list here and I don’t know how I didn’t think about it. Um when it was just me and my wife, we didn’t worry about like HR payroll, you just write yourself a check any any time you want and then your accountant, you know, kind of fixes it on the back end. Yeah, so we’ve started to use Gusto. So now Gusto is a basically a time tracking payroll HR solution that we use now for me and my project manager Ron they provided all the on boarding support.
So run, I just sent him a link, he goes, puts all his information sets up everything up for taxes. Uh and then once a month I run payroll pays directly from Gusto through my checking account. It is a brilliant solution that also is going to allow me to scale as we add more employees. Yeah, I love that man getting taken care of all that back office stuff, which is easy to get tripped up on if you don’t proactively do it and then the laser measure is something I want to touch on two.
So this, this $1003 tool. Um Again, it lends this perception that you are just, you’re different, right? You have to be and that’s what we’re all about, right? The podcast painter marketing mastermind. It’s like, how do you differentiate yourself? How do you not go out there and compete on price? Because if you’re viewed as a commodity then at the end of the day, if you’re not the cheapest, there is no reason for somebody else to hire you. So how do you differentiate and doing things like that? Obviously have the right service.
Obviously take care of people, but you know, people don’t always necessarily know that that’s where you get into review generation and referrals and things like that, but on the front end year things that you can do to implement in your sales and marketing system that will differentiate you right there and that $50 even if you already have the information, you pull it out and you shoot the laser anyways because now the home, I was like, wow, this guy really has it dialed and he really hasn’t figured out for sure.
And I’ve actually gotten a lot of pushback online through our painting contractors facebook group when I mentioned the laser measure or even just basing pricing on square footage, you know, they say if you’ve been in the industry more than a year, you should be able to look at room and know how much it’s gonna cost, which is true, I can look at a room and say, alright that’s an $800 room, that’s a $1200 room etcetera. Um But the customer feels some sense of peace knowing that my estimate is going to be based on something other than me eyeballing it.
Yeah, licking your finger and kind of sticking in the air and then giving them a price is the worst thing you can do in their mind. They are not a painter, a painter, they’re not painting contractor. Give them the peace of mind that you’re doing it the right way. I can look at the room and say it’s probably about $800 room. Or I can take out the laser measure, Bingo Bango, pull out my phone to do calculator. Yeah there’s $800. That’s based on something. Yeah that’s important. Yeah. Otherwise people feel like maybe maybe you’re quoting it wrong and they’re gonna you’re gonna take a dive and you’re gonna leave them hanging or you’re ripping them off, just kind of charge them whatever you feel like in that room. Yeah.
Cool man. So those those are some Softwares um that you’re using that you can use from day one costs under $300 and anyone can use them S. O. P. Standard operating procedures, let’s get into it. So have you heard of this guy from Minneapolis named Nick Slavic uh he is big on these S. O. P. So that stands for standard operating procedures. Uh He is obviously the most vocal proponent of SNPs within our industry but S. O. P. S. Are not specific to painting of course. Uh Any business that wants to be run professionally.
If you want to be able to grow, you want to be able to train, you need to have S. O. P. S. In place for all the major tasks that are going to be repeated time and time again. So it’s simply a step by step outline for those repeated tasks. It allows you to create reproducible results and training guidelines. So when you bring someone on board you’re not trying to figure out each time, how am I going to train this person? You don’t have to do that, You’re gonna train them according to the S. O. P. So they know not only you’re gonna teach them how to do things but then they have those S. O. P. S. When they actually get out in the field to produce paint jobs.
They’re following the same procedures, they were taught during training. So S. O. P. S. Are important in a lot of different fields. The painting of course is important when you’re if you’re trying to train a painter which I don’t do um I don’t train painters. I recruit painters and then kind of train them are S. O. P. S. And what we expect as far as what we’re selling to our customers. Um I trained my S. O. Ps. Around things like sales, project management billing collections, uh even tracking data.
So when I haven’t hired a new sales guy yet but I do have S. O. P. S. In place. I’ve simply outlined what what are the step by step? What’s the step by step process by which I provide an estimate to a customer Right starts, you know step one is simply showing up on time. It’s greeting the customer at the door walking around. Here’s the question that you should be asking. You know, steps one through 15 or however many I have. Here’s how to properly provide a sales visit project management once the job is sold.
Okay what’s step one we’ll step one is reaching out to the customer saying hey I see that you accepted the estimate through the portal. Really looking forward to working with you. Here’s what to expect moving forward. So if we have if we have S. O. P. S. In line for all these, not only are the expectations for the people that work for Ellison painting. Clearly laid out, there’s no confusion about what they’re supposed to be doing and how they should be doing it, but when we’re talking about scaling again I’m not having to recreate the wheel.
Every time I bring out a new salesperson or project manager, what all they need to do is teach them the S. O. Ps. And equip them to do the job properly. Yeah. How do you do you have a certain method? So when you talk about using SNPs to train or you know allow new people to kind of come and get started easily. How are you documenting this stuff? Is there is there software recording videos, What are you doing for that? Everything is just documented through um through like actual like google sheets through our google. Okay.
And I know that I think Nick does similar things. His look way better than ours. Ours are simply like honestly like documents just go 12345 all the way down to the bottom. But Nick was in town this past week to do a master class and one of the topics was S. O. Ps. And he pointed out something which I actually follow without even realizing it. Um A lot of people are they’re like totally daunted by this idea of creating S. O. P. S. They think well I don’t have a freaking week to go through and document every step.
He said for the S. O. P. S. That you need to create and there shouldn’t be that many. It shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to create one S. O. P. Which means if I wanted to just sit down from scratch and document my sales process, it shouldn’t be an all day thing I’ve done again. 1003 estimates over the past six years. I should be able to say okay what is the first thing I do? What is the second thing I do? You create it? You look at it and say all right are all the steps necessary to be laid out?
Some things are common sense. You don’t need to say okay when you when you pull up to the house get out of your truck, walk to the front door, right Those things you don’t need to be laid out but start by step by step by step all the way down to the bottom. Review it, see if there’s anything that’s duplicated anything that’s um that’s redundant or it’s just not needed and then start there. And S. O. P. S. Are kind of like they’re never written in stone you might change them over time right now.
My S. O. P. Says uh walk around the house with a customer answer all their questions and then let them go inside, get pictures, get your notes, takeoff and piece together the estimate. Well my S. O. P. When I bring on new sales guys this spring is going to include actually doing in home presentation. So my S. O. P. Obviously will have to change at that point. Yeah and I think some things you know obviously you’re gonna have to get out of the car and walk to the house but in terms of where you park you know if you don’t want them going to the driveway, make sure you specify park on the street.
So you kinda wanna, you wanna make a dummy proof without just being ridiculous. Put the left foot in front of the right foot while you’re walking, you know, correct, correct. You know, one of the things that I do and I would encourage everyone to do this if I hadn’t thought about it is my truck or my jeep is is branded Ellison painting is kind of striking. I make sure that when I pull up obviously I’m not gonna park in the driveway unless it’s a circle drive and I’m not blocking anyone, but I always park in such a way that they can see my jeep directly behind me as I knock on the door.
Uh I don’t want there to be any confusion about who I am. All I gotta say is hey brad Allison Allison painting here for our estimate. Uh now I wouldn’t do that if I was driving some beat up old junker, some people maybe maybe and there’s no shame in driving those vehicles, but I would say do whatever you think is going to help you have the best best result, whether that’s in sales project management painting. If if if you’re driving a beat up old van and you’re kind of embarrassed about it doesn’t paint the prettiest picture, then maybe park it partially behind a tree and then go up to the front door.
Yeah, and I think that these um, these SNPs, so they’re not written in stone, don’t be intimidated, just start putting it down. It’s something you can also build over time. So you know if you if you if you say well my sales process is actually gonna take me a really long time. There’s a lot that I do find summarize it in the beginning right? Like like reaching out to confirm the appointment, maybe you have five different things you do to confirm the appointment. Just say confirm appointment at least get something down on paper because done is better than perfect.
A lot of people just like you were saying they just kind of feel overwhelmed and so they don’t really know how to start just put something down on paper and you can come back to it over time but do not get paralysis by analysis with this stuff. And I think a lot of people they hesitate to do this because it’s just them and one helper and what do they need an S. O. P. For? They’re they’re the ones who know how to do it, They already know how true.
And if if that’s all you’re ever going to be as an owner operator then you could probably make that argument that you don’t ever need it. But if you’re listening to this podcast it’s probably because you’re trying to figure out how to grow your business. And I would say it’s better to have these things laid out ahead of time because even if even if you end up not bringing someone on as a sales guy or project manager for another year, it’s still going to make you critically think are you actually providing a service that you want to provide?
Are there things that you’re missing? Are there better ways that you could be doing something? You’ve done something over and over and over again? Possibly just by habit without really putting any thought or reason behind it. Creating your S. O. P. S. Is going to allow you to take a critical eye to every step of your process. And I think that’s I love that man. Yeah positions you to be able to hire a lot easier to build out your organizational chart, but also makes you look at what you’re doing, it doesn’t make sense.
You might be wasting time, you might be doing things that are kind of redundant or well that doesn’t really make sense when I write it all down or you might be man like you just said the I have this really nice van, it’s really nice truck and it’s wrapped and and I never think about putting it right behind me when I walk up to the door. That would probably make a difference if they saw it and it kind of in the in the back of their mind, I’m already different, you know because they’re already saying wow this looks really professional, right?
Let’s see what they have, let’s see what they’re gonna do here with this estimate, bring out the laser pointer game over. Yeah, it’s all over man. So that that’s S. O. P. S. Um super appreciate that man. Let’s get into SCP is obviously one of the biggest benefits is it’s setting you up for success with your organizational charts or chart. I’d love to hear about kind of how you’re building that out now. Sure. So when you when you launch a company, like when I launched it was me and a project manager is me and my wife.
Now it’s me and Ron, my project manager, there’s really only two people that are taking care of everything except for the painting, but even so we have an orc chart that not only kind of list. Okay brad the owner, he’s in charge and directly below him is Ron, but it also lays out what our job responsibilities are. Um It allows you it allows you to start planning ahead for what your company will look like in the future. So we do have an orc chart right now which is simply me and Ron, but under all those responsibilities for each of us, we’ve also dictated.
Is this a like a permanent um or a long term responsibility of one of us? Or is this something that for now, you know, this is what we’re gonna do. So we have next to Ron and me, you know sometimes in in parentheses it says admin. Well when we bring on an admin there’s gonna be a lot of tasks that I take care of. A lot of tasks that Ron takes care of, that are gonna be immediately transitioned to an admin. We’re also working on building out an ORC chart for, you know, three years out in five years out.
Where do we want, what do we want that our company to look like five years, we want to have that vision. Okay, well now I’m the Ceo and maybe Ron at that point is the Ceo. And so while I’m still the owner and Ceo and I’m gonna be at the top of the chart, Ron’s right there and now Ron’s got hopefully dozens of peace people reporting directly to him. And in order to hit certain revenue marks, we know we’re gonna have, we’re gonna need three or four sales people.
We’re gonna need four project managers. If we have four sales people, possibly, we need a sales manager. If we uh you know, if we have and it’s enough admin, maybe we need an office manager that’s really gonna be handling all that. Maybe we need HR person. So we’re building out that work chart with a view in mind for the future. And so as we add people, it just continues to adjust and evolve. Yeah. And one of the things, one of the strategies that that I’m particularly fond of is actually building out this sword chart.
So you guys right now have yourselves and all the different tasks that you’re doing is actually laying down and like you just said, okay if you have these number of sales people, you know, maybe you need a sales manager, you have this number of asthma, maybe you need an operations manager um and then actually actually building out these positions and then just putting your name And there are plenty of things you can reach out to Brad in this Facebook group, I’m sure he’s got resources and reach out to Jason Nick um and actually just okay, you have 20 different roles and your names in all of them are your your name and one other person in all of them.
And then you can actually start to visually plan out which role you’re gonna gonna replace first and kind of like to actually build out your road map and then there’s where you can actually get your hiring road map and then you can start prioritizing your hiring phone. What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, for sure. And that’s that’s we’ve done essentially, we we don’t have it like a tree like that, We do have it laid out with all the tasks that need to get done um And then for the future, who, you know what type of role would take on those jobs um to answer your hypothetical question, you know, for me, what am I planning to replace first?
Well first is admin, like I know I already admitted that I don’t really answer the phone, but that is my responsibility. So that’s probably yeah, someone, someone is going to be answering the phone. Someone’s gonna be scheduling the estimate, Someone’s gonna be entering paint costs into our into drip jobs so we can track our job costing. Admin is number one after that is sales. I’m hoping to replace myself in sales within the next year or so. It’s gonna be hard for me because I really, I really enjoy doing estimates and um I think I’m actually good at it, but I think that’s going to be important for Ellison painting to really become what I wanted to be over the next few years.
I’m gonna have to release those reins a little bit sooner than I might be comfortable doing. Yeah. Yeah. That’s part of the southern Jason paris has talked a lot about, you know, having to replace yourself and be willing to do that. So as you’re as you’re hiring these people out for these different positions, how do you have a process for how you keep, how you make sure that they’re accountable to their position or how you’re actually measuring their success? Yeah. So we are going through traction right now as a team again, the team is just me and Ron.
So we’ve we’ve started implementing and using the weekly scorecards. So we, I think we have eight different measurables things that can be tracked on a weekly basis that are important to know on a weekly basis. And uh that’s, I mean that’s a key for accountability. Alright, alright, brad. I am responsible to uh to interview one new subcontractor crew a week. Okay. How many did I interview last week? zero. Okay. I failed last week, Yep. In order to hit sales goals, I need to give, you know, 20 estimates.
How many estimates did I give? I gave 15. Okay, I’m behind. Uh now some of that is is that my fault or is that a result of decreased lead flow doesn’t matter. It’s it shows us that we’re falling behind in certain areas and gives us the opportunity to explore what types of solutions we can implement to overcome those issues, whatever the cause may be. So the score, the score cards, number one. Um but we also operate with performance based pay. Now as the owner, of course it’s 100% performance based pay.
If the company doesn’t perform, there’s no money to pay myself. But even even with Ron as a project manager, his pay is also partially performance based. So he’s got, you know, he’s got a base pay, he’s got some additional benefits, you know, his truck and his um his ipad, his phone, all that I pay for all that. But he has also paid a percentage of gross revenue for the projects he manages. So that’s for me, I was always motivated by money, not because I wanted to be rich, but I knew that I could perform my job better than most.
And so I wanted to be a reward more than rewarded more than most. So that’s that’s one of our core values is merit based opportunities. So that performance based pay, I think it’s going to be a part of every single um comp plan for every single one of our employees I hope. And I mean what you just said for you is important because you felt confident your role and so you wanted that. So having something, having a merit based payment system is probably going to help you attract a players, the kind of people who want that. Sure.
It’s one, it’s one of my core values. It’s people that just want to come in and punch a clock and get an hourly rate. If they don’t value performance based opportunities or merit based opportunities, then it’s going to lead them out during that process for sure. Yeah, saves you the bad hire that doesn’t fit um Cool man. So going, going to into this performance based pay, how are you? Um I guess how are you structuring that, how how is that working with the margins of your job?
The job costing, obviously you’re you’re having to build that in somehow. So we uh we we budget between 7 to 8% for project management. So when we were putting together the comp plan for Ron I essentially gave him a few different options. You know, here’s a lower monthly base with a higher revenue share uh and vice versa. Higher monthly base lower revenue share. But it all kind of evens out to within that 7 to 8% range. If if he chooses, if he decided to choose the lower monthly um base pay with a higher percentage, then it could actually end up being higher than 8% if he really over performs, which would be great.
I’m happy was this like a trick question like if he chose the higher the higher base and you’re not the right guy? No, no, no, because I know he’s the right guy. Um Ron is actually a good friend of mine and he was coming from a totally different industry and I think that, you know, he’s got a family and a new baby and so he ended up going in the middle of the road, you got a little bit safer, which is fine. Um You know, for me, I would be like, can we do 953% commission right?
Most people, he’s a little bit a little bit not quite like you, I guess in their most, most people are that’s okay. You’re off the deep end, but that’s a good thing. Yeah. Yes, that’s how we based it. So he’s got a pretty decent base pay that I am over. I am paying over market for Ron as a project manager doesn’t mean I’m over paying Ron for his ability. That’s definitely not the case. But other companies may budget 5 to 6% for project management. I intentionally for this first roll budget at 7 to 8% to attract in a player that wanted to grow with the company.
That’s how I got Ron in. If I had offered him the 5 to 6%. Yeah, I don’t think it would have been enticing enough for him to come. So yeah, I think that if you, if you are willing to pay well compensate people in the manner in which they want to be compensated and feel rewarded. Um, and prized. You can attract those a players. Uh, but yeah, I I love performance based pay. Yeah. Yeah. And I want to, I mean what you’re doing right here is an investment in your future, right?
And the, I mean I’m, I’m kind of hesitant in bringing up the people listening to this aren’t like this, but you see comments in facebook groups and I know there’s some stuff in the paying contractors group. I’ve seen like this like hell hey, why why pay that company to run your eyes? You can just keep the money for yourself. Like this incredible uh scarcity. Really ignorant mindset about about this, about how to invest into your business and what you’re doing right here some people would, I actually have this knee jerk reaction.
Well why would you pay eight when you could pay five that’s 3%. you could be pocketing, but you’re paying eight because you know that he’s going to get you to where you’re going faster. You know, you don’t have to worry about it. You’re not going to have to replace him, which cost you time and money. You’re not gonna have to step in and fix a bunch of things because again, costing you time and money because he screwed it up. He’s going to just grow you there. So you’re willing to take a temporary, uh, like a slight reduction in your gross profit, Your net profit because you know, you have a long term vision here.
I think that’s right. I think a lot of people, their minds would be blown if they knew that I’m paying around over $100,000 a year and I’m seven. My company is only seven months old, but that’s that’s the value that he has for me, right? For your mind, your company is not, You know, it’s not where it is. It’s where it’s going to be. Well, same reason. The same reason why I committed to spending $63,000 a month in marketing before I even had one single job sold. Yeah, betting on yourself.
But I mean if you have the systems, you have the processes, painting is a tried and true business model. We are not creating a brand new software, we’re not creating a drug for cancer. You know, this, this stuff is tried and true. if you get the right team behind you, if you get the right processes, you educate yourself, you almost can’t fail if you do it the right way. Yeah. So actually gonna succeed to your, to your speed. I don’t want to clarify that, but you can, but people could though they can try.
Absolutely could they should try and even if this is the same thing where if, if I can find a sales guy that can do 80% of what I can do, that’s a big success. If someone tried to do what I’m doing and only did 80% of what I’ve done, that’s still a massive success. Right? I mean that’s that’s a big win. So, um, yeah, I think that’s that right? There too is so key because you’re saying if someone can do 80% meaning they’re not doing as well as you are.
So they do 80% 4/5 as well as you do, that would be a huge win because you can replace yourself and you can focus on more things. I think sometimes people get caught up again. It’s a scarcity mindset, no one’s going to do it as well as I’m going to do it. That 100% might be true for your company, right For you. It’s Ellison painting, you’re, you’re good at sales. You like sales, you like interacting with people, you have a ton of experience. So probably whoever you hire is not going to have the exact same clothes rate or they’re probably not gonna be as good, but you are only one human being, you can’t, if you want to get there, you have to kind of take a little bit of a reduction I guess and the effectiveness of that role to actually grow your company and people need to understand that as a business, right?
And I think I’m self aware enough to know that. I think I’m a good sales guy, but I might not be the best sales guy for Ellison Painting Nick Slavic, he said his his best year ever. He sold $1.7 million for his own company when he was the only sales guy, then he hired a new sales guy and I think that guy sold two million in his first year and then he sold 0003 million the next year. So there’s someone that’s selling better for Nick Slavic painting restoration than nick Slavic.
Yeah, Well that’s powerful. Yeah, yeah, that’d be great. That would be great. That’s a huge win, man. No pride lost there. That’s excellent. Um dude, I would love to, I would love to actually get into, you know, we brought up to 78% for your project management role. I would love if you could just open up um about all your percentages in terms of how your job costs and where the, where those expenses lie. Sure. So I think when he, when he gets to tracking margins doing job costing, if you’re not doing this, then you don’t really know if you’re, if you’re healthy, you don’t know, you might be growing, you know, quote unquote growing, you’re adding painters.
But if you’re not tracking margins, if you don’t have budgets set for different things, I think it’s very, very difficult to actually look and say yes, we are succeeding. We are setting the stage for future growth or explosive growth. And so we really not only do we have budgets set aside for everything. We, we track every single job, so every jobs gross profit is tracked within. Um right now we have a spreadsheet, this is the 11 of the big things that drip jobs doesn’t do. That is a downside for me, which I’ve talked to tanner, they’re gonna have it eventually, but it doesn’t do really in depth data reporting. Right?
So we, we track it on our own, We track every jobs, every jobs gross profit. And then we check for trends. So those trends might be um what are the most profitable zip codes that were working in? And if we see 23 zip codes that are high above everyone else, then maybe we’re gonna spend more money on marketing in those areas. Are there, are there certain crews that are most profitable? Not necessarily just in who has produced the most revenue, but the most revenue per day per worker, uh which which crew is actually the most profitable when they’re on one of our jobs.
Uh Which marketing tactics are the most profitable. There’s one that’s giving me a 15 X. R. A Y. And one that’s giving us a five X. R. A Y. And we could switch money from the five X. To 15 X. We’re gonna track that track closing percentage, we track average job size, we track um I mentioned average revenue per worker per day. These are all this is all the data that is really important to me and we look at on a weekly basis to kind of constantly correct our trajectory.
Do we need to give this crew more jobs or less jobs? We need to spend more money here there. That’s so that that manages our strategy. But when it comes to Kind of percentage, uh budget for different things, here’s what, here’s what we do, we budget 7% for sales now. Right now, sales is me. So I pay myself to do sales. Um now I don’t do a percentage of um like I don’t do a commission per se, I just pay myself a salary, but my primary role is in sales now we budget 7% for that.
We budget between 6 to 8% for project management. And these are all budgets that hypothetically should should scale with you. Right. So it doesn’t mean when you have, if you’re at 1003 million right now and you want to be at five million. You don’t have to double the percentage you’re gonna spend on sales or project management. You may have to bring on more sales people, more project managers. But that percentage should hold true for the entire organization. That makes sense. Right, okay. Um marketing we are at 8 to 10% which means if my goal every month is to sell 200,000, I gotta I gotta spend 20 grand in marketing.
Now we’ve been able to keep that under 10%. I think we’re at seven or so percent right now. Other companies that have been around for longer and have this really strong reputation are really strong. Um Organic Google presence can continue to get that marketing costs down lower and lower as you get more customers and you can sell to repeat repeat customers. The marketing spend is gonna go down. But for a company like mine that’s trying to scale explosively 8-10% for marketing. Um labor we budget 40 to 103% of the total job size back for labor materials is not going to change for my company to most were at about 15% but all that you kind of take those numbers and it ends up being the target net profit for us is 15%.
So that’s after I’ve already paid myself for my owner ceo roles and sales roles. 15% net profit is the money that should be left there. That is mine to keep and do it with as I please. Yeah, man, that was nice. Thanks for, thanks for being so transparent about that. It was very nice for people. Um Alright, I kinda wanna want to switch gears here a little bit because I know you have a lot of value to provide here. So how do you communicate with your customers or prospective customers?
Obviously we’re always kind of inundated. We can email, we can’t text, we can automated text, we can call and we can have like an automated call of some kind. What do you prefer? So I’m under the belief that people these days don’t want to talk on the phone oftentimes they called especially to me. But also in general, I think when people see, you know uh you know, call to schedule an estimate they’ll call. But I think a lot of them are actually hoping just to leave a voicemail, they don’t really want to talk to anyone.
And nick Slavic, he doesn’t even have a phone number available. You cannot speak to someone on the phone until you’ve requested an estimate through his website. Right? I think that since people don’t want to talk on the phone, this works in my favor because it allows me to automate a lot of the email and text processes to communicate with customers and no one has to spend any time or energy to communicate with them, right? We don’t have to actually respond to communicate with anyone until we have someone active right within our, within our sales funnel.
So we provide those text and email options for scheduling estimates. We ask when we, when a job is sold, when when my project manager calls a customer or text, the customer, they ask, what is your preferred method of communication? Do you want us to call you every time? If so we will otherwise we can operate via text and email. Most people want to operate via text and email, which is fine with me because that that allows us to have a record of what was communicated when it was communicated and by whom, by which team member actually communicated with them.
And again, we don’t run into this this issue very often. But there is some like, there is some situations where, oh well, you know, brad said this or Iran told me that. Well, if everything is documented in in text or email, we don’t have to say, oh well, Ron do you remember saying that? I was like, uh, let me just look at my email. No, I didn’t say that. I actually said the exact opposite. Right? So I love having that documentation. We can always refer, revert back to that and refer back to that when we have a question.
Yeah, that’s great, man, that is definitely a bit a bit different, a bit unique, but that’s what you’ve noticed in your experience and what’s working for you now. Um So that’s great. I’m really, I’m really considering switching to next process where no phone number anywhere you go to my website, there’s no phone number to call. If you want to speak to someone, you email through the website, you request an estimate directly through the website. Uh I think it’s brilliant and then his admin is only having to call people that have already reached out.
Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely gonna save on time. Um Alright, so that’s how you’re communicating, How are you handling uh customer service, reputation management? Obviously that’s a big thing. I did a around table not too long ago with nick Slavic um An Oscar wins first of a nice job on reputation management. I’d love to hear about how you’re approaching that stuff. Sure, this cannot be stressed more strongly if you’re trying to scale your reputation has to be phenomenal, even though you feel like you have no reputation when you start, that’s the best time to focus on your reputation because you’re never going to have the opportunity to have a bad reputation if you do things right from the very beginning.
2100% and the same thing along, along customer service. So, so how do we, people ask? Well how do we get good reviews, I’m really proud to say. So we launched in basically end of april, beginning of May, I think that we’ve completed 2100 jobs and we have 295 star google reviews, so one out of three projects we complete, we’ve gotten a five star review, super proud of that, I mean that’s off the charts as far as industry average for how many reviews people are getting people to get there right and I’m truly blessed, but we, we we put a lot of effort into it.
So the number one way to get good review, this is sounds so stupid, but I’m just gonna say it because everyone needs to hear it. The number one way to get a good review is to actually provide exceptional service. If you are just providing paint service and you show up late and your dirty, maybe you’re rude because you haven’t had your cup of coffee doesn’t matter if the house looks great when it’s done, the customer is not gonna be inclined to give you a review because the service was just okay, it doesn’t matter how good the painting was, their customers are more inclined to give a good review based on your customer service rather than the finished product.
I see it 26% of the time, Right? People do not understand that, that’s exactly the same. The same kind of person who’s saying, hey, why would you use a laser pointer, you can just know it, they’re only focused on fulfilling whatever that particular job is, they’re not in any way being empathetic to the experience of the homeowner, they’re interacting with sometimes the reviews we get mentioned that the painting was was done well, but more often than not, they say things like brad, the owner showed up on time actually he was a little early for the estimate.
He delivered the estimate when he said he would Ron the project manager was excellent with communication. I never had to wonder when was my turn in line, He coordinated everything for me, the crew. Uh, they did a great job painting but man robert and bob so could not have been more kind and more respectful of my house while they were there. Right? So yeah, maybe they mentioned the painting looked good, but they mentioned five other things that were obviously far more important to them. So uh, and and this is something that I mentioned during the master class during a question and answer session last friday was when I go out and do an estimate, I don’t even talk about the quality of our painting work.
I don’t, that’s a table steak, like if you, if you can’t provide a quality finished paint job, then you shouldn’t be in the paint business. Every if you look at a finished Ellison painting job versus a finished nick Slavic chasing paris joe Schmo down the road who’s got a van. The finished painting product usually is not going to vary much, but what is going to vary is that that professionalism, that communication, that actual customer service from from the moment that they are introduced to your company to the moment they write you a check and the job’s done right?
Those are the things that people really care about and you can sell at a premium. Yeah. Yeah. The I like to say that like actually having a solid painting service that you offer, that’s the price of entry. If you don’t have that you shouldn’t even be, you shouldn’t what are you doing? Because you can’t even you can’t even produce what you’re selling. Um pretty much everyone can. I mean obviously there are the nightmares but saying, well we’re going to do to code so we’re gonna do this or that.
So is everyone, everyone else is saying the same thing. So when you, you know, working with companies across the country, we see that they think that these things are different. We have to be like, listen, that’s not different, right? That that’s the same. But when you start showing up and being professional, when they don’t expect it because most painting companies are not professional. We’re all here this professionalization of the industry, that’s what we’re focused on when you show up and you raise that bar and you, you know, you kind of hold your hold their hand throughout the process now people are willing to pay you money because they trust you, they like you they enjoy interacting with you and they know guess what if there is a problem now, they know you’re you’re actually gonna take care of it, you like, it’s going to get handled, They’re not sitting there on the edge of their seats, are they gonna steal from me?
Are they gonna screw it up? And they’re never gonna come back once they have my money, There’s no no more of that concern. You got it. So what I’ve spoken about is how do you, how do you earn a five star review? But the follow up question to that is how do you actually get one? Sometimes people will ask, hey how do I leave your review? Will that help you? Yes, of course. Please do. If you’re not asking consistently uh and directly for a review from these customers, you will most likely not get one no matter how happy they were with your service.
They may not may not even occur to them that a review is something that might help you. If they don’t work in a in a service industry, they don’t know that a google review is going to help you at all. You know, they’re working, they’re working to even if they work at google. Actually a customer that worked at google and ask him for a google review because he doesn’t work in that right, He’s not in the trades, they might have found you on google. But yet there that that’s not going to be in their mind, they’re just gonna be thinking about the paint job. Exactly.
So every single customer that we, we finished the job. Well most customers, we finished the job if if we did provide them the exception, you might not want to ask or if we dropped the ball in a couple areas, we’re not entirely sure that they’re super duper happy. Um 2000% of the time we will ask them for review trip jobs. Does it very, very easily. Yes, you put your, your review request link right into drip jobs and then when we mark the job is complete, they automatically get that text message saying, hey we’re so happy we could help you out.
It would be a big help for us is if you just click this link and leave us a five star review on google, make it as easy as possible when we’re there when Ron’s, they’re doing the final walk around, that’s when he mentions it to them and then he immediately follows up with that text message. Uh the proof is in the pudding, I got 2100 reviews out of 103 projects. That’s, that’s quite a bit. I mean 210 out of three is I think astronomically high for getting reviews. Yeah, no, it’s excellent do the right things provide the great service and then ask, ask and follow up and make it easy.
People are not gonna want to jump through hoops. You know, we’ve all, we’ve all had an experience where we had like a really great experience like man, I want to leave that person to review and then we did it. I know I have definitely done that before and it’s because it wasn’t made easy to me, certain things came up, I started running or something else entered my mind. Next thing I know, I just never did it. Whereas so they had sent me a message and I click it, it just takes me 2135 seconds.
It’s like the five stars write a comment. Like I’m writing a text on my phone and boom, it’s done right and you can just tell people, hey, can you just go on google and leave us a review because they may not be able to find there. Now I have to google you, they have to, they see your little google business profile. Now they have to figure out where where can I actually write a review? I can read them, but where do I write them? You have to get on that link.
The link. Yeah, it needs to just pop up. Alright, cool. How do you handle it? So you talked about 250% 5%. Sometimes things are things things don’t go perfectly. How do you handle customer issues? Well, the number one thing I’ve done is hiring a project manager to handle it. So I don’t have to part of his job, responsibility and of course I can get called in. Sometimes people just want to speak to the owner, I was the one doing the estimate they want to speak to me Ron is phenomenal at handling customer service issues. Occasionally.
He’ll say, hey, you might just jump in on this one. I’m happy to. Um, the number one thing we do when we have a customer issues, we will accept responsibility. You know, the first thing you do is you put the figurative arm around the shoulder and say, listen, I am, I know that this, that you’re frustrated. I’m really sorry that you’re feeling this way right now. Let’s, let’s figure out how we can, how we can fix this. I thought the first thing you do is pull out the contracts say no, you said this and sometimes you got to do that.
But that’s definitely not step was not the first one. Step one is letting him know, Hey, I’m a good guy, You’re a good guy. I’m entering into this conversation with good faith to, to come up with the best possible solution. I’m gonna assume that you are too. And I’ve actually used those words when I come on site for someone that’s not happy. So you know, I’ve said, you know, I know we’re about to, we’re probably about to have kind of a tough conversation, but I want you to know that I’m here in good faith.
I want to make sure that this, this is corrected so that when I leave here, I can count you as a satisfied customer. And I know that you’re probably upset. But I’m gonna assume that you’re operating in good faith and you have best of intention with me. Can we, can we assume that before we start? They say yes. All right, Well, let’s get to it then. Tell me about the situation. How can we make this work? The it totally takes down their defenses. Any anger, frustration they had usually will will subside.
And then you can have just a normal rational conversation about what the issue is that you just did. Right. Right. And you just like you just read it. That’s right. And if I didn’t do that, my natural inclination Because I’m an Anagram eight, which is the challenger. If if I if I perceive an injustice, if someone accuses my crew of doing something wrong and I don’t think they did. My natural inclination is to put up put up my dukes. Alright, let’s fight it out. Right. And so I for me to its let’s deescalate.
Let’s let’s operate under in good faith and start there. And uh and then after that, it’s review the problem, you know? Well, we’re not happy with how the windows turned out. Okay, Well, what what aren’t you happy with? Well, they just they don’t look they don’t look good from here. Okay, Well, to be fair, you know, here’s some pictures, some before pictures. They didn’t look good before either. Were not window restoration specialist. I kind of told your husband that this is going to be the final finish.
But I agree with you. It doesn’t look very good. So you know, what are you hoping to do? You allow them to tell you what they what is what is the ideal solution to them and maybe start there? Well we want the windows to look look good. All right well unfortunately that’s not a service that I’m gonna be able to provide. Uh So does that mean that you know we can we can take that part off the invoice, we can just stop work where it is right now and and move on to something else.
There’s a million different types of solutions for a million different types of problems but it helps to find out what their ideal solution is. Sometimes it’s it’s a matter of I just wanted to tell you that I’m unhappy. Okay. You heard I hear you, I don’t blame you. I’d be unhappy if that was my finished product to. Sometimes it’s as easy as um I’d like, you know, a little bit of discount off the final invoice. Okay now before I say well I can give you 15% off I say well what what level of discount would would have you feeling good about this if you can take $300 off.
I’d feel good and in my brain I’m like $300. That’s 2%. Yes. Absolutely. Okay. I’m happy to do that. I never really offer a discount until I find out that’s something that they want and what level of discount they might be expecting. But this all comes back to accepting responsibility for the things that were our responsibility. But also I think it’s important that the customer is always right. Mentality is not necessarily correct in my opinion. And maybe I’m a bad business owner for this. But if a customer is wrong, hopefully I’ve, I’ve garnished enough good faith with them that I can tell them.
Well, listen, you know, listen, jim, I told you when I came out for this estimate that this surface we’re gonna scrape it. But because it’s so old, it’s been peeled so many times and painted so many times. It’s gonna have some scarring on it. I know it doesn’t look good. But if you look at this picture I took during the estimate, I said, hey, we’re gonna scrape here, scarring is going to be visible. It’s not gonna look that great. And you accepted the estimate knowing that that was gonna be the finished solution.
So, do you understand why I’m confused here. Why? I don’t understand why they’re why you’re so upset when I tried to paint as clear of an expectation for the finished product as possible. Does that make sense? Jim? Yeah. So I have the power to push back when the customer is actually wrong. You gotta do it delicately. You can’t, you know, tell them they’re idiots even though sometimes they’re acting like one, but it is about accepting ultimate ownership, paying for rugs to be cleaned when we spill paint.
It’s, you know, paying for a damaged window if it’s something that we damaged. And oftentimes Brandon it’s killed me. But there’s been times when I paid for stuff that I was pretty darn sure wasn’t our fault. But in the grand scheme of things, I would rather pay $300 to have a rug cleaned than to have a nasty google review Because when you, when you jump on and say, you know what? Hi. I, I honestly like Carlos has been with me for a very long time. I trust him.
He’s a man of integrity. He said he didn’t do it, but we can’t say who did it. I’m happy to pay for it. If I, if I take care of this, can I count you as a satisfied customer? They said yes, you can and often times I’ll get a review from that and those reviews are often better rather than saying, oh yeah, brad was great. Ron was great. The painters are great. It’s, hey, we had this issue on the job where we found some, you know, some mud on one of the rugs and we couldn’t tell who was from, but brad actually paid to have the rug cleaned even though he didn’t think it was his fault.
Really excellent customer service. Yeah. That’s the type of view that I want people to read before they have me over for an estimate because they know if something does go wrong. Allison paint is going to make it right one way or another and that’s what people are willing to pay for. You know, it comes, that’s the peace of mind that people are buying. That’s what you’re selling to people. Anyone can come paint their house, but they need to trust they need to know that you’ve got their back. Yeah.
So I had a I had a situation, this was one of our first jobs this past summer where we were painting the side of a garage and was in this very narrow space next to a wood fence. And so the guys actually had to get in a ladder from a neighbor’s property over the fence to get to the top of the soffit to paint it When they were spraying. It was there was a bunch of rain right after some some paint actually washed under the fence and onto this guy’s brand new artificial turf in their backyard, like literally brand new.
He just spent $1353,000 to have it installed. He was very, very upset. Well, I responded immediately and said I’ll be out there within the next hour so to take a look at it. I stopped out, I said, Okay, I’m pretty confident my guys can can fix this. We can be out here tomorrow. Um if we can get it all squared away, you’re gonna be okay? He said 100% guys get out there the next day. It literally takes some 10 minutes spray down a little bit of goof off, no evidence that paint was ever on his artificial turf.
The guy is ecstatic. Uh I went to the liquor store, bought him $100 bottle of bourbon, dropped it off the front porch, and I got a really, really nice text later in the day for him. So you really didn’t have to do that? You guys responded so quickly. It was amazing. Um I’m going to paint my house next year. I really like to get an estimate from you guys for that. Yeah, so I turned it from like this, this irate phone call about our idiot painters getting paint on his brand new artificial turf to getting a sole job for the next year, simply because I didn’t respond like It’s just watch it off, just take a hose, rinse it off, use some goof off.
It’ll come off. I’m not sending my guys out. No, not only did I get the guys out there for a supplemental visit bottom $100 bottle of bourbon just to kinda if eases nerves and I got a new customer just owned it. I love that. Um cool, so we’re almost out of time. Uh this this one’s been awesome, but I know one of the, one of the last things that you and I discussed talking about was was Sherwin Williams relationship with Sherwin Williams um and the benefits of that left to get get your feedback on that.
Yeah, now I can speak about my relationship with Sherwin Williams and this, this would apply to someone that is using Benjamin moore or find pages of europe or whatever. Whoever your go to, paint manufacturer is Sherwin Williams, I think has an unmatched rep program, their paint rep program, I mean we get so much attention from my rep Brandon who’s just just a phenomenal guy. Uh We, we primary, I mean 95% of the paint we use as Sherwin Williams of course, because we buy so much volume, we get discounted pricing, which I don’t even really care about the pricing because my customers pay for paint anyway, but The, I’ve been able to leverage that relationship with Sherwin Williams in a lot of different ways.
One is they actually paid whatever it costs almost $6,000 to have nick, Nick Slavic and Jason Paris flying last week for that master class. So it not only do I get to see my friends of course, but we get to, we had about 100 local painters there and the local, the local painting industry in metro Detroit took a big step forward because of that visit. Uh it allowed allowed me to kind of establish some clout as one of the industry leaders in Metro Detroit um got to meet a lot of potential subcontractors through that event and it’s all because Sherwin Williams likes me, they trust me.
And so when I presented this idea of, hey, I want to bring Nick Slavic in for a master class, would you help me co host this? And they did it and that’s above, you know, the shirts, they pay for our crew shirts, um they refer subs to me, that’s maybe the most important thing they do is when a, when a sub potential subcontractor goes into one of the local stores, I get, I think I get first dibs on almost all of them, they know how well I treat my subcontractors, they’ve talked to my subs, they, they’re so happy working with us, that they want to refer these potential subcontractors to me over someone else because they know they’ll get taken care of.
Um but one of the things that nick mentioned at the master class on friday, which, which struck me and I hope that strikes other people too, is a lot of us ask for things from our paint reps, like I did ask for them to sponsor the master class. I do ask them for shirts, but a lot of painting contractors are not then asking, you know, what can we do for Sherwin Williams, what can we do for our paint rep. Well, I’ll tell you the first thing I do for, for Brandon is by a lot of paint and that that makes his numbers look really good.
When I first met Brandon and when he was assigned to be my paint rep, I told him my goal was to be in the top 10 of his customers by the end of the year. Well within four months were were actually his number one customer. So I’m very loyal. Um I’m very loyal to Sherwin Williams, they’re loyal to me, they make my life easy. Um so I think part of it is it’s a give and take relationship. Just like my relationship with my subs, I scratch Brand is back, He scratches mine.
I don’t hound him about price reductions, I don’t complain about things. So he knows when I come to him with a request, I’m almost certainly going to get that request granted because just like they make my life easy and running my company, I think I make Brandon’s life easy as a paint rep. I love it man, so many aspects of running a successful company, so many, so many things to take care of, but I think this was was pretty holistic. Is there anything else that you want to add in terms of of today’s focus?
I would just say where the natural tendency of humans is kind of live in the now and sometimes way worse is to live in the past. You know, there’s there’s certain ways that people have always operated and I think that’s particularly true within the painting industries I’ve always done things this way. I’ve always done things that way. If you are in a growth mindset, if you’re really trying to make a big change in your company, it’s You need to forget about the past and need to look forward and say, what do I want the company to look like in the future?
And that future could be three months from now, it could be a year from now, three years, five years, 10 years from now. If you’re really aspirational and and start making decisions based on that, stop making decisions based on what has or hasn’t worked in the past or what you’ve done in the past or what you’re doing right now. If you really want to change your trajectory of your company, you need to start formulating new ideas on how to run your business differently and start implementing systems and processes that are actually going to help you scale from where you’re at now to where you want to be that 135 years from now.
We all we all just get stuck man right? And that’s the that’s the benefit of shows like yours. Brandon is that it allows us to constantly critique what we’re doing as a business. I was, I used to listen to a lot of like true crime podcasts when I was driving around doing sales and stuff. I can’t believe that I’m not bored at the number of painting podcasts I listened to on a daily basis. I think I’ve listened to every single one of yours, I tune into eric fox Knox training calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays at two PM. All the, all the different shows that the PC A puts out through overdrive, I never get bored.
And even though a lot of it is, is very similar in nature, it seems like every time I listen to something I get a nugget, I’m like, man, how did I never think about that? Like freaking Michael Sutton the door knocking right? 50% of his business in his first year one, So one and a quarter million dollars worth of business simply from door knocking. Like, man, how did how did I never think about that? All right. So now I have a conversation scheduled with Michael Sutton to figure out something that he thinks would work in michigan and how would I do it?
Yeah, so it’s, it’s so valuable. These types of shows, especially yours. Brandon what you’re doing. Um It’s helped me to have meet people and to get really great ideas on how to structure my business for scale. I appreciate that man and your uh, for anyone listening, note that he’s also taken action. So he’s listening to this stuff, even though brad has been in the industry for years, highly successful. He’s learning, but then when he learns when he, when he learned about Michael Sutton’s door knocking and how successful I was and year one he didn’t just say oh yeah I should get to that one day.
It’s like well how would I apply to this exact market? And then reached out to Michael sudden that’s the whole point of the facebook group. That’s the whole point of of P. C. A. I mean that that’s connect learn from each other and learn how to apply to your business and take the action oriented. You got it. And for those listening if if I’ve said anything today that you have further questions on please feel free to reach out directly. You can do it through Brandon’s facebook group.
You can message me directly on facebook. I’m happy to um to to converse with anyone and share whatever minimal expertise or knowledge I have. Alright, Brad. Well this was the end episode three brother, we got one more coming up and uh thanks man. Got you man appreciate you 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.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.

Brandon Pierpont

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