Guest Interview: Brian Reis of Bella’s Army Painting

Published On: October 20, 2021

Categories: Podcast

Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast
Brian Reis

Brian Reis, co-founder of Bella’s Army Painting, discusses how to work ON versus IN your painting company to maximize growth.  He speaks about the importance of having an aggressive sales approach for your painting business, and why generating leads for your painting business can and should happen sooner rather than later.  He also is an expert in systems shares the power they bring.

Video of Interview

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

  • The mindset needed for aggressive growth
  • How systematizing a painting company can help painting contractors scale much faster
  • Knowing what you’re good at, and what tasks you need to hire for
  • The best ways to differentiate yourself as a premium painting company

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 PCA 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 on this episode of the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. We host, Guest brian Reese brian is the co founder and president of Bella’s Army Painting in the greater Pittsburgh region. Prior to Bella’s Army, BRian worked as a senior sales manager and site inspector for college works. Painting Bella’s Army is a Pittsburgh based painting company that produces well over one million per year in annual revenue. The company has been in business for four years, is owned by a husband and wife team and plans to expand outside of P A. In addition, brian has founded another company called painting systems blueprint that physically builds out and system eyes is painting companies for contractors around the country. Bella’s Army painting is the inspiration behind that business model that proves full system ization and optimization in a contracting business is not only possible, but a much needed necessity to be a top performer in the marketplace. All right, today we’re talking with brian Reese of Fellas Army painting brian. Thanks for coming on the podcast today, of course. Thanks for having me. Brandon appreciate it man. Yeah, absolutely man, it’s a pleasure to have you. So I guess tell us a little bit about your background So um background, this is actually my um 6th, seventh year in the industry myself um with our company, this is the fourth year, so we’re still a relatively fresh new company. Um but way, way back at the start, I basically had experience working for like a larger national company that taught us sales and management. So um I did two years worth of stuff with that company. So like like everything from like hiring employees to like getting leads to selling to uh just like empowering people, like there’s a lot of like little things that I think really helped just to understand the scale process and um there were like there was a full time sales role, we did like safety OSHA E P. I stuff. So I think the biggest takeaway though was like I understood how a company could be scaled and I saw the different levels of like what needed to be done to do it in a really efficient manner. So um we started our own company and that’s Bella’s army painting in Pittsburgh pennsylvania. So we basically just hit the ground running and how to go or a focal point to like do things a little bit more optimized. So that includes just like the digital stuff, the automation um is making the customer experience a little bit more effortless, and that was where we saw the biggest opportunity to like leaning towards so fast forward to today. Um We were in a spot where like we systemized enough to be optimized enough, um we are approaching the hiring and training game in a different manner to, so uh it’s a very comfortable point in our time, so like we feel we’re at a really strong point to just now actually add more a little bit quicker without hurting the quality or the customer experience, which is uh What we were aiming for from day one, pushes very cool. I love that man, you brought up a lot of points right there, that that interest, David that we’re going to dive into, I think a lot of that stuff is gonna be super valuable. Uh So you guys are based in Pittsburgh, and you said you co founded, who’s your co founder? So it’s my wife, so me and my wife and then her mom actually started the company with us. She doesn’t have much involvement, but at the very beginning, being able to assist this, be like talk to this person, go here and do that. Um that was beneficial for sure, Okay, great, so it’s family business, it’s great, yeah, and then who are your target customers and what services are you offering them? So target customer. Um I feel like this will never leave is just like high end residential, so there’s more affluent residential customers. Um typically anybody that like just say home value could be like $300, or more. And we kind of like optimize that model. So like we are shifting to like the commercial repaint side um that has been a nice percentage of our of our business this year. And uh now that the commercial repaint game is getting enough volume, we’re starting to actually explore the like larger commercial. So there’s like a nice life cycle journey was strategically picking and choosing, but the high end residential, that’s where the cash flow is and uh never really going to stop doing that. Sure. Yeah, that’s what you kind of built the fundamentals on I guess at this point. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So you guys, so where are you at, if you don’t mind sharing revenue wise annually? So as of today we’re at 817,000 in revenue And we’ve been over the past three months, I think our biggest month was 199,001 month. Wow, okay. And so about 817, that’s that’s the year to date actual revenue. Yeah. And what did you just collected Cash collected? What’s your projection for? 20, in total? We’re projected to do 1. 2 to 1. 4 million. That’s great. And you guys started this company in 2017. Yeah, it was December 2017, Wow. So essentially 2018. Yes, that’s some fast growth man. Congratulations. Thanks. Yeah, I um, I want to kind of dig into this concept, you talked about about, you wanted to do things differently, you wanted to systematize and optimize, you know, because obviously you’ve been able to scale really, really fast to take something from zero. Um, you know, to nearing 1. 5 million and essentially 334 years is impressive. Can you talk about a little more so um, in regards to this scale process, you mean like what we did to get from point A to point B I guess let’s start from point A so you said you were working for a larger company, you were doing sales and marketing and hiring and kind of a lot of these things, you know, a lot of painting company owners, their backgrounds different, you know, they come from the actual production, the actual painting. So you, you basically came at this from a different angle, you’re a young guy, you graduated college I think 5, 6 years back not too long ago. So talk to me kind of coming from this different perspective coming from sort of an outsider in As opposed to having painted for the last 10-20 years. How did, what opportunities were you do you think you were may be able to see that maybe some other people are missing. Um basically just from day number one, working on the company, not in it. So like we didn’t feel obligated to basically hop into an actual sighting, like physically paint the entire time. Um That limitation wasn’t really in our minds, which I think that’s the huge benefactor of like not getting stuck in the rat race of what we all know what really happened quite easily. So I I just learned that sales is king, so like you just get out there, create a never ending lead flow, you sell it and then you figure it out. That’s it. Okay, so you were kind of a self first sort of build and figure it all out later, correct? Yeah. Okay, that’s an aggressive mentality, but I think a lot of the, you know, most successful entrepreneurs sort of have that mindset, right? Um Okay, great. Now in terms of this never ending leads low, you know, you said you guys did things online, you know, you really leaned into the digital marketing aspect, Can you talk to that? Yeah, so um I think it’s important to note that like there’s like, you should never really depend on one source of lead flow. Um I think that’s true for everything you’re doing business. Um So in other words like the digital game, that’s just one fishing line that we tossed into the sea and um that could be one fishing line per medium, so one for facebook, one for google um each Thing might have like 10 to 15 different is running at the same time, but it’s not just digital because your ad spent costs revenue would be like a little higher than it should be. So um I think the things like whenever we started out that we never really kind of abandoned for the things that we always kind of explain it as getting used to making money without having money um doing the things that it’s just food strapping. So like you can just uh physically going google, you can reach out to people build a list of real terrorist commercial contacts that way and it’s always kind of work that list. You can um doing referrals, you can, you can have like partnerships with other contractors. There’s like tons of things like that that like, you know, you might get 123 leads per month from like each source, but if you have 25 fishing lines out there, um, your racket and stuff without it like seeming like it’s that difficult. Right? Okay, so what you’re, if I’m hearing you correctly, you’re saying that you you do the typical digital marketing approaches, facebook ads, google and things like that, but you’re also hustling in terms of networking in terms of trying to form those connections knowing you’re not going to get a huge lead flow through each one, but just the more avenues you have, the more leads you’re going to get for a month, correct? Yeah. And then if you work those lists every single month of of the things that take time to kind of build up in compound eventually those things are paying off like 234 years down the road. And yeah, that’s where like if you still want to, if you still have an aggressive growth mindset, yeah, spend more money on advertising on top of that. But some people make the decision to shift solely towards uh repeat work referrals and relationship based stuff. Right? Yeah. I think it’s largely dependent on the owners ultimate goal, right? Where you see the business going? Yeah. So you have experienced a lot of different levels of a painting company, you know, I’m sure you have bigger goals but you talked about different levels of scaling, Right? And just a couple years ago you had zero revenue now you’re essentially 1. 3, can you walk through Your journey because it has been so compressed, it’s fresh in your mind and kind of how things change and evolve along the path from 0 to 1. 3 million. Yeah. So I think the biggest thing is just um having an awareness factor of being able to take a step back and just like literally time block every week um like section of time for you to like look at things in a in an objective manner, meaning at a certain point you’re doing everything, you’re doing sales, you’re doing production management, you’re doing the marketing, you’re doing your admin work. It’s a lot And in order to do 6-7 full time roles and do the system ization of your company focused on development empowerment. That’s tough to juggle. And you get to a certain point where like you might system eyes the production and you might have a project manager managing that, but you might be working sales full time um that’s you still working full time in your company, not on the company. So like you kind of got to like take a step back and not get stuck in the right room, you know the little rabbit hole of doing stuff full time forever. So I think going from Point A to Point B like there’s different like levels that we kind of like come into. Um I’ve touched on a couple already but um just always thinking that what is my actual purpose for this company, It’s the systemized stuff to make it more efficient um to plug holes on things and like where we might be losing money or efficiency points, uh recruiting, hiring people, developing people empowering them, like shifting towards that and making sure everybody is doing their school for the day, not compared to you physically thinking have to run around, do it all yourself. I think that’s curious. Yeah, no that makes sense. And so you kind of talked about all the different marketing channels, you’re using the hustle, you’re putting in the fact that like many entrepreneurs when you’re starting, you’re having to wear a kind of a lot of hats. Um but still recognizing the fact that that’s not enough, you need to kind of back up and work on. Can you talk a little bit to this idea of System Ization? You’ve talked a lot about kind of putting those systems in place, Can you speak to that? Yes. So overall, in my perspective, the concept of System Ization it, I mean even just like running a company, you’re physically just building a system and you’re having a rockstar team helped carry out your system for people to give them something that will make their lives easier. So again, system Ization is just like you having won a game plan of of what you actually want to make better and to just figure out ways to optimize people’s jobs to give them the most resources they can where like if you run away, um they can still know exactly what he’s done. Very simple, clear and concise. So System Ization, it doesn’t have to become plex or hard. It could be a simple checklist. It could just be like a quick target for the day, but is having something repeatable, simple and scalable, Giving up somebody training them and then going to the next one and just rinsing and repeating that is what we think the whole concept is just to kind of make sure, okay, great. So it seems like a big focus for you on system. Ization is essentially having employee job roles and basically what success looks like in those roles very well defined to where you don’t have to micromanage and you can step back and focus on bigger picture things. Would that be accurate, correct? Yes. Okay, that’s great man. So that’s actually great segue because you have mentioned that you guys are approaching things a little bit differently in terms of hiring, you know recruiting, you mentioned this need for Rockstar employees, which I think is Is key you know, to any business that wants to become really substantial. How are you guys approaching given the tight labor market, given kind of all the uncertainty of 2020 and 2021. What’s your approached into hiring? Um It’s it’s treating hiring as a sales game. So that’s what I was trying to be good at from the get go is like just getting jobs. That was never the hard part. And again, like every single person that you talked to, they’re always gonna say it’s tough to find good people tough to hire. That’s my biggest bottleneck. So um treating it like a sales game um One it forces you to actually have a lead flow. Um Most people don’t have a lead flow and they’re not spending money on it. Um So that’s step number one. And the second thing is like once you actually have the lead flow? Like how are you pitching them? Are you doing the same things? Like are you metaphorically touching them as many times you are you know compared to your customer that you’re actually selling your paint job too. So um just being very very interactive kind of just like hitting them from all corners, texting, emailing and there’s automation you can set up Um and then the actual interview that’s like your presentation so like you gotta like sales pitch them like yeah you’re interviewing them and asking them questions but um you know what motivates them, what makes them tick why they’re here, they plan on being here for one year or 20 years. Um Are they comfortable just painting forever or that they want to work their way up to like a project management or a general manager role so we dissect them really hard and challenge them. And I think that’s been the biggest success factor is because like people that are genuinely good and rock star players, they’re attracted to people that have their shit together and I think that’s the biggest thing is just like they can see the structure, they can see the foundation, they can see the predictability and more importantly they can see division that we’re painting for them and they’re bought into it and they’re willing to invest three years of life to get there. I love it so correct me if I’m wrong because we’re gonna take a little bit of the leaf here but to me it seems like one of the biggest differentiators you’re focused on is not necessarily you get this sign on bonus and not necessarily, you know, we’re going to pay X amount of our compared to why amount of our, I am going to ask whether you’re doing those things. But for you that the core focus is really showing them an opportunity to progress and move up within your company and that this is a company with career potential, correct? Yeah. So because like usually the people that um are good, they’re one’s going to ask for more money of course, which that’s a given but they don’t want to be in the same place for more than a year or two. So um snowing what makes them tick again. You can just be like, okay like your goal is to make 100 K. In the next three years, this is how we’re gonna get there. You know, one, is it possible to, are you on board with helping us get there and from there, you just talk with them monthly, one on one and then you just make sure you’re very clear on how we’re taking action steps to get there just so they’re not left in the dark. Yeah, I love it. I love this. You know, I talk a lot in para marketing approach focuses a lot on the automation, right? The touch points, have any touch Custer’s multiple times uh to get them bought in. I love the fact that you’re treating employees the same way. You know, especially in such a tight labor market, it can’t just be, hey apply for your job and we’ll see if you, if you, you know, if you fit your, your selling them the vision, you’re kind of staying in front of them. Um I love that man. So how are you, where are you getting your employee leads from? Are you using indeed or facebook? What’s your, what’s your lead source? What have you found to be most effective? Um Honestly facebook’s been by far the most effective. Um all of our people came from facebook or I think there was one from zip recruiter. We tried that once, but way too much money. Um I mean right now it’s basically just utilizing conversation. So like if you go to a community event, you talk to people, um if you are on facebook, you’re posting videos and you’re targeting and you’re, you’re doing in a different manner. Um but the reason I say facebook because like usually the people that are genuinely like good, they’re usually busy doing other stuff and they’re not actively seeking usually. So, um if you strategically run something online, like a video or something like that, um it might pop up in their feed without them thinking, you know anything. So if you can just like understand what kind of person you’re trying to like attract, all you have to do is grab 123 seconds of their attention and then just get them to click it and thats whatever. If you have a really good recruiting process, then you can just like hooking real men basically. Yeah, so you’re basically targeting ideal prospects using video ads and then essentially getting them kind of getting them into your world, into your funnel where you’re going to nurture them with continually touchpoints and ultimately sell them that you are a company that offers them a lot of potential, correct. And um, again, like tying it back, remember how I said, like have tons of fishing lines on the sea to get like actual lead flow for your pain projects do the same thing for recruiting, like, and indeed we might get one person every other month. But then again, that’s one person. So like knowing the how much that person can bring into the company. Um, it’s not worth abandoning that avenue. You know, it’s just a matter of like analyzing your cost analysis based off of like how many people you actually get in the door that year, Right? Yeah, I love it. You’re willing to try a lot of different things and not just abandoned just because it didn’t create this massive inflow. You know, if the return on investment made sense. Even if it was kind of small investment, small return, you’ll keep it open. Yeah, yeah, that’s great man. I really, really love, uh, your focus, your basic, creating an employee avatar, right? I think the best companies are essentially creating uh customer avatars, you know, what does their ideal customer look like? Where do they live? You know what, what, what you like you said 300,000 and up. They own a home that’s worth 300,000 or more, you know, in the Pittsburgh area, you’re essentially doing the same thing for your employee avatar, and so you’re able to actually figure out where that employee hangs out, you know, they hang out on faith, they’re not necessarily un indeed because they already have things going for them, you know, they’re not just sitting there needing, needing a job necessarily, but you’re maybe going to recruit them. Do you find that a lot of employees, you’re actually recruiting away from other jobs, yep. Yeah, like um for example, we just found two people actually from instagram. So like uh this person’s mom actually reached out to us because um he worked for a cavalry finishing company and um the guy was closing shop in like two months and moving down south. So um we it was, it was a clean transition and then we actually recruited his brother in law. So um both of them are actually now on the cabinet scene, but um I mean that was one avenue where like he wasn’t actively looking, but like we’re just so busy out there on the online space that like it’s going to kind of just like spread eventually, right? Yeah it makes sense. So I know some people are so tied in to the day to day you know and it can be really overwhelming I guess all this stuff is nice and it works really well but for someone who’s just feels like this is miles away from where they are currently, you know and doesn’t know the first step, what what would you tell that person who’s still out there painting? Maybe they just have a couple of painters who work with them. What’s step one to try to to try to get out of working in the business and on the business. Um sales. That’ll be my answer because um this is how we did it like we just one found the lead flow and to just started selling work. Um We just, I mean don’t lie to people but like you can just like make it up and say like hey I’m 2 to 3 months back already, whether you are not like this, like you could have nothing in your backlog but like you start selling stuff and stacking it in advance. Um and then from there, once you have like two months of work just sitting there hire two people out the gate. Um you can be on this site, you can train, develop and like Systemized their role without you physically having to paint. So like it’s a different perspective shift and once they’re good you leave a little bit you manage from a distance and still kind of like keep that tight leash, but like once you leave, you’re doing the same thing, you’re rinsing and repeating. Um so eventually, just like from day number one, you can make the decision to like, like physically work on it, but I think like the reason it’s a sales, because You can ask for like deposit money, like whether it’s 25% or 50%, yeah, it’s a liability, but like that’s a safety net, you know, they can kind of help expedite your cash flow wrong. I love it. Yeah, the focus on cash, so I think is overlooked by a lot of small business owners. Painter is no exception. Um Okay, I love that. So you had, so you guys are in Pittsburgh, right? So you guys have a pretty severe winter, you guys experience that the quantum of slow season, How do you deal with that? So we’ve been like, since june actually we were selling for winter, so like, everything we do is selling events on everything. So um that’s just like giving certain value propositions to entice people to wait. Um you could uh choose a different job niche. So let’s get a cabinetry for example, um like I’m sure everyone sees it, that’s kind of like pop pop in a little bit, so um in january this year was the first time actually leaning into it and trying at full scale um last year was our first cabinet job ever. Like we did I think just two sets last year for the whole year, but now we have uh four full time people just on cabinetry. So that alone knowing it’s like a higher profit margin. Um And like if you look at the online analytics for like running ads, it’s pretty consistent from january to december every single year, it doesn’t peak um with like seasonality. So adding predictable cash flow sources or like income drips typically helps. But I would say it’s uh the winter goes back to the relationship marketing because you can run and sell digital advertising all day. But then again just like if you don’t retain and capture the same people and just like give them monthly newsletter to like just touch base or like reactivate them, then it what’s the point? Like you’re doing all that for nothing. Um But usually like yeah like the winner is a lot of repeat referral relationship based work and then work that is specifically not Peking or dipping from seasonality. So you guys, when you said the advertising analytics, you’re essentially saying that that you guys don’t just start advertising a bunch when you need to work, you’re consistently putting your name out there. Uh Is that what you were saying? Okay well like that and like um let’s just take extra painting because Pittsburgh P. A. There was a winner, there’s a spring and there’s the summer, So usually like february March and april and even like May and june peaks up and demand dramatically. Um in the winter it kind of like levels off with cabinetry. It’s consistent lead flow. So like it doesn’t keep dramatically, it doesn’t drop dramatically, it’s pretty consistent and predictable. Got it. And what from a business perspective are you guys finding most challenging right now? So most challenging is honestly just uh Mhm I’m trying to think what else will pull it down to because it’s probably just making sure that we’re being very picky and strategic on who we’re actually bringing onto our staff Because um I mentioned you before this, there’s a reason why we do subcontractor and W two employees because the sub allows the maintainer volume and have our cash flow rolling in and we don’t feel pressured to hire people in the in house. So like we can take our time doing it that way. Um We do have lead flow of course in such a position to like help get people in the door, but we’re very, very picky and it takes a while for people to get through our process, but once they do, they usually stay with us for more than a year, which is pretty um you know, it’s a win in my book? Yeah, that’s great. So with the with your recruiting efforts, do you offer any sort of sign on bonuses? Have you, have you sort of been forced to do that this year or have you increased your hourly rate or how have you dealt with the labor crunch? I I just increased our our right. So um, Everybody on our company makes between like 18- 25. So like starting out I think 18 anything lower than that I really haven’t offered. So uh again it comes down to who’s your target customer? It’s a really good rock star painter. So um if they’re good, they should be able to produce at least at a specific level. So uh at that rate, I’m not afraid to offer them like 2025. Um, like there’s one guy just hired him yesterday. Um, we’re offering 25 at the gate, but um, he just performed. His trial date was really good. He messed with the team culture and there’s a conversation, we just really acknowledge what he can do and again talk down a challenge and said that like this is easy the expectations. But um, yeah, there’s nothing to be able to or not being afraid to pay people more and just tracking them on a daily basis to make sure that everyone is accountable? Nice. Yeah. And I think the split that you have between W2 employees and subcontractors kind of provide you the best of both worlds. Are you, is that split roughly? 5050? How does that look? It’s pretty close to 5050. Okay. And do you ever view the subcontractors? Do you ever bring them in house? Is it almost like a trial period at times? Or how does that work? Um So we basically have, so there’s always a backlog of jobs. So like we have leverage to pick and choose what makes more sense to give somebody for project number 12 and three. So the first couple jobs are usually very small. It could be like one day, two days. So things that were like if they go south we can fix them without losing a lot of money. Um That’s how we integrate and then once they make that pass, um we just start giving them, you know larger and larger and larger jobs. And you know, we just try and never not keep them busy because the second that they have like a little gap that that forces them to kind of like look elsewhere. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. And you spoke about customer reactivation about staying in front of your past customers and that kind of helps you a lot of times during the winter season. I think this idea of referrals of repeat business. A lot of painting companies approach very passively, you know, they think, well I did a good job. So I get a lot of repeat business but they don’t realize the amount that they’re leaving on the table through not having the month of emails were not having the touch point. Can you speak to how you maximize your repeat and referral business? So how we maximize it is one we keep track. So like we have a list of all past customers. We have a list of all estimates. We’ve gone on that. We did not convert, We have a list of all of our contractor connection referrals. We have a list of realtors, we have a list of buyers, sellers, we have a list of everybody. So every single month everybody gets a newsletter and that’s just like a personal punch point. More information on us personally as owners of the company and um twice a year. So once in uh full time, once in the springtime we reactivate them. So it’s a really hard marketing campaign for four weeks split where there’s phone calls, emails, texting direct mail. Um there’s a lot of stuff that goes on there. So that’s the gist of it. And throughout the year you can pepper in some like long term drip campaign, you could do um referral campaigns like there’s so much opportunity, it’s crazy and like that you’re raising fan base and like even if they didn’t go with you, maybe you made a good impression and like maybe they’re making a little more money now and like they want to go with you in the future. So tons of opportunity. Yeah, I love that. So for your activation campaign, do you typically include some sort of discount? You know, this is not the only do you ever offer some sort of referral bonus or incentive? Always. Yes. So like everything in life is like like not even business, everything is a value proposition. Um So like you always want to feel like you’re giving away way more than you’re actually receiving and asking for. So that could be in the form of the discount it could be informed of like. Yeah I mean like whatever it is, you just want to make sure that yeah you’re just giving them something for being a part of your business in my hair. Can you, can you give us one example of some incentives that you’ve offered that has that you’ve seen work well? Um. Okay. Yeah so like let’s take cabinets um if you work with us in like scheduled during this month we will buy all new hardware for you for your charge. So like things like that. Um it could be like an entire extra repaint um Or like if you paint the entire extra of your house will do all of your man doors for free or things like that. So like little things that it’s just like a little package cluster. Yeah. One thing I’m noticing that’s a little bit different about what you’re saying from what a lot of companies do is you’re not saying X% $500 off your offering something free on top. What’s the rationale behind that? So uh never focus on price really. Honestly, it’s just a matter of like what the perceived value is Because sometimes, like if you’re saying it’s a price issue, they say you go into like $14,000 for an extra repaint. Um, but like you left out like half, like, let’s say you’re not doing all of the trim, it’s mainly deciding porches, floors, Um they think 14 to lots of that, but you might be able to add in the other stuff knowing you don’t have to spend time asking only for like two grand And be like, okay for 16, we’ll do everything. You know, I have to worry about again for 15 years. So like shopping inventory on them. Um they might Change their thought process and say like, Okay, my perceived value for 16 grand for everything and I have to worry about it. Yeah, sure I’ll go for that or, You know, like maybe it’s, it’s downgrading a product or like itemizing everything. Like say you’re painting the interior and there’s 17 rooms. Maybe they want to paint 17, like itemized and give them 17 options. Um they’ll say yes to something on that. Yeah, I love it. So kind of the up sell down sell options and then they’re feeling it really custom tailored to them to what makes sense in their mind for for a value proposition, yep, that’s amazing, man. So you take an aggressive approach, it’s paid off, you know, you sell and kind of figure it out kind of build the airplane on the way down sometimes that causes risk, right? Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Can you talk to a blunder that you’ve made with a customer or a situation you’ve got in and how you resolved it? Um, there’s a lot, wow. Let’s see, fog question. Right? Yeah. Um well, I’m gonna give you two examples. So like the first one is just the risk that we took on as a company making decision to add a new job type and then the other ones are risk for customer. But um, this morning for example, we just had one of our production facility flood, there’s like a foot of water in the basement um for summer like, well it’s like right near a creek and um, our cabinet place that we spread out of its like a residential house. So like we rented that and we converted the basement in all the rooms upstairs to spray um work zones. So It was an unconventional way and like we took a risk of doing that, but like we didn’t have like 40 to 50 grand to like make an actual legit spray zone that has like the open spray boost stuff like that. Um, and like we don’t want to spend that much money unless we actually like bought the building. So um, we made the decision to take a risk knowing that there was a creek there and he told us it doesn’t look um So like things like that like today like we’re out two full days of production and we’re cleaning the floor so um Things like that, we we we we do lose money but like then again the speed to market made us make more money than we thought on that. Um So so it’s all costs to her like opportunity costs and weighing not. Another thing was what I mean subcontractor jobs in general, sometimes they might not go as planned. Um You know like if there’s like one pickup or like say the expectations were laid out or you give them something too big too quick. Um A customer obviously is not happy, so um usually more times than not um it’s easier to control it on the in house. And for me our sub teams sometimes something goes wrong, We might have 4-5 to 6 pile up once. Um So that does happen. Uh You know that’s just a part of business but um again like we physically have to have our in house team to go there and we have to like schedule that around stuff. We already have backlogs which that takes time and the more time you take between that um You don’t like even if you fix it, they’re not happy. So um there were certain certain situations where like we did go back, we fixed it turned out really freaking good but they didn’t pass crazy okay um things like that happen, but again overall, I mean like we took the risk on that and that’s okay in my opinion, because if you expect it, you already have like a sunk cost in your mind for for certain dollar per cent per year. So it’s that’s fine and if you’re getting a certain percentage at least you’re guaranteed to hopefully at least cover your costs or at least near your cost uh it becomes more of an opportunity cost. Yeah, like on those, it’s usually you can break even on things that kind of goes south. Um So just knowing that one, you have enough question in your actual pricing uh and your sales process is good enough to actually get that pricing then that makes all of that so much easier to say yes to. Yeah that’s great man. So you’re you’re willing to move fast and break things uh knowing that some things will sort of go wrong in the process, but that’s a part of the journey overall. As long as you’re netting out, you know, it’s kind of the focus on return on investment if you’re netting out positive because the cabinet jobs have brought in a steady stream of income, the fact that you’re set back two days right now for the forward thinking business owner is is a cost well worth absorbing, yep one. Uh huh. I love it, man, I love the attitude, I love the uh aggressive growth oriented mindset, I think it’s it’s obviously why you’ve done as well as you have in the period of time that you’ve been in business, I appreciate you sharing all this with us. Do you have any any other advice that you’d like to give? Painting, company owners who who maybe aren’t as inclined to risk taking or or sort of some of this, you know aren’t as familiar with the sales and marketing as you are. Yeah, so um honestly in my opinion, as a business owner um if you’re under seven figures in revenue um like yeah you take risks, but the majority of your calculated decisions are not risky, so there are really, you know, comfortable ways to growth and it’s all about your awareness, like if if you’re very aware that you love being in production and you love painting or you love working with team members, maybe that’s your time allocation, maybe you can manage the projects but you have to outsource your sales team. Um Not like feeling like you have to be forced to go into the sales game um Yeah you might have to do a little while, but you know once you train and develop somebody that’s where you, you start to really explode and things become so much easier because let’s just take me for example like um I used to like I was taught to sell and manage um production, I didn’t know what I was doing um I still don’t know what I’m doing obviously. Um but like I hired that out so like the second that we hired a project manager to help facilitate all the management or in the pain, we had a place to deliver it. Um and we actually started actually spending time on training then it got so much easier. Like I can work 40 hours a week instead of 80 or 90. Um and like we can get just as much done if not more. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. So santa question, have awareness and just know that um you should probably double down on your strength and whatever you want to do whether it’s like to stay at 500 K. For a year or a million. You want to go to like 10 million. All of that’s ok. That doesn’t really matter where you want to go. Um Just know that you have an obligation ought to systemized to appoint, that’s efficient for your team and they have the resources to get done what um your business system says it can do. Yeah, I think that’s focused on self awareness is amazing. Higher for your weaknesses double down under strength. And I really also like the The focus you had on, it’s not just blatant risk taking. It’s really calculated decision making. You know when you didn’t spend $50,000 to get the spray booth set up appropriately. You know are the technically typical fashion, you kind of found a way around that. Um well brian, thank you. This was epic, this was epic. This was a great podcast man. I think you shared a lot of great insights and I appreciate you coming on, it’s great to be part of it and I appreciate the invite to be a part of this and ah I love everything you’re doing to man appreciate it man. All right, yeah, thanks. 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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