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Chad Jeffries

Guest Interview: Chad Jeffries of Brick City Painting & Drywall

Chad Jeffries

Chad Jeffries, co-owner of Brick City Painting and Drywall, discusses his journey from subcontractor to co-owner of his business. Brick City Painting and Drywall does over $3 million in annual revenue, and Chad has had to grow as a person and a leader in order to effectively run his company. A staunch believer in the power of emotional intelligence, Chad runs masterclasses with his team to improve their culture, communication, and overall morale. Coming from a subcontractor background, Chad appreciates the importance of demonstrating respect for your employees, and he has worked hard to ingrain that sense of professionalism in all aspects of his business.

Video of Interview

Topics Discussed:

  • Chad's journey from sub-contractor to co-owner
  • The importance of emotional intelligence, and the benefits your company can gain from focusing on it
  • What employees want from a leader and a company, and how to give it to them
  • How to shift your mindset from being a painter, to being a businessman
Audio Transcript

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Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast, a show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over 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 on this episode of the Painter Marketing Mastermind podcast.

We host guest chad jeffries. Chad is the co owner of Brick city painting and drywall, a residential commercial painting company based in Mexico Missouri that does over $3 million in annual revenue. In this episode, chad discusses his journey from subcontractor to co owner of his business and all of the mental transitions that forced him to make a staunch believer in the power of emotional intelligence. Chad runs master classes with his team to improve their culture, communication and overall morale coming from a subcontractor background chad appreciates the importance of demonstrating respect for your employees and he has worked hard to ingrain that sense of professionalism in all aspects of his business. 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 chad. Welcome to the painter marketing Mastermind podcast. Thanks for joining us. Yes, thank you for having me. So tell us brick city painting and drywall, what do you guys do? We're mainly a commercial painting company, probably 80% commercial, 20% residential and light industrial I would say. And we have other little we hang wall cover and we do epoxy flooring, we installed drop ceilings. So there is some other small things that are add on services. Sure. And you guys are based in Mexico Missouri. Right? Mexico Missouri, yep. And what was your, what was your revenue in 2021? It was 2. 5 million. 2.5. And this year you guys are, I think tracking to be at 3. 5 million right now, as long as the numbers stay the same, it's nice growth man, congratulations. Yeah, COVID has been good to us. Yeah, all the other definitely have been benefits from it. Um so you and I were talking a little before the podcast started and and uh kind of about what, what do we wanna talk about here and you have quite an interesting story. So, so talk to me about your relationship, are you the owner of brick city pain and drama kind of walking through the history here? Sure. Yeah, me and I have a partner SAm Robinette. He runs a residential construction business. He mainly builds high end residential homes. So that's kind of how we got introduced, I was hired on as a sub in the beginning a subcontractor doing painting for them. The painters he had working for him kept pushing to try and hire me. Uh and eventually it worked in that my son was actually a patient at Shriners and so he has a prostate leg and I couldn't get any health insurance for him nowhere. If you're on a group plan you can. So I came here and started working and within a year he bought half of my business which was a carpet cleaning slash painting business. And I bought half of brick city. So that way we were both invested. You know, we both had the same interest in it and it's worked out great. We still are doing the restoration work as far as carpet clean goes also. So when was this? What what year did you guys do that? That would have been 10 years ago. When the final transition? Yeah, 2012 were I got an 11 year relationship with the first year, I was an employee subcontractor. And then after the first year when I bought in. So Sam was, he was running a construction company and then he kind of spun this off or how did that work basically. Just had a couple of guys working for him that would paint the houses, he's building And it became a problem at a certain point, those guys didn't have anything to do in between jobs. So we had painters helping pour concrete or whatever and it's not very profitable. So it was decided that he would make a another company and call it brick city painting. But left it up to those painters to basically market it, get the business going and you know, that's when I came in and as an employee then, but when my manager was let go I took over and then from there once sam seeing how I operate, he quickly wanted to you know, swap businesses basically. There was no money exchanging hands. He took half of my business, I took half of his still doing the restoration work. So what a unique stories. So you were working as a subcontractor to a business that wasn't really even a painting business as a construction company. Uh He realized that he needed to create a painting business. You then came on as an employee. You then did a good job and got promoted and then he then took notice of how good you were at actually swapped swapped half businesses with you, yep, that's pretty much it it was the best thing either of us could have done. It worked out great even though it sounds kind of crazy the model, there are a few few steps. There was a bit of a journey. Yeah, yeah it is But it was a great journey, I'll say that and I'm still on a journey today. Yeah, well, good, good for you guys man, you've built this up to something really sizable now, looking at some impressive growth that you're expecting um throughout 2022. So uh talk to me, you said he kind of left it up to, to you guys, I guess. How are you going to market and grow the business? The painting business? How did you do that in the beginning? For me? It was, you know, there wasn't really a marketing budget, this and that and we were residential painters, so it was kind of boots on the ground. Um some of the guys thought I was crazy, but I had yard signs everywhere and we had a trailer. That was crazy. Yeah, they thought I was just because I would put them out everywhere. I mean I would leave it there until the city called me and made me move, you go put it in people's yards, that you didn't have jobs where you were at. Okay, alright. I thought you were running around neighborhoods, popping these signs in people's yards. Okay. But we own several properties throughout the town we live in, so we would take our job site trailer and set it outside of properties that were in high visibility areas. Were not working there. It was just for a moving billboard basically. So that, that was my first how we first started marketing and as they would say, boots on the ground. And I still kind of do it that way as I'm a big relationship person. So most of the contractors I deal with, we have ongoing relationship. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That grassroots marketing, especially when you start out, you know, kind of using, uh, using low cost tactics by using your head, you know, like putting a trailer in a high visibility area where you can leave it. Um, that, that genius. We've got a ton of calls from that and then from our carpet cleaning stuff, we learned another technique where if you're at somebody's house painting, they call it five around. You go to each neighbor and the three houses across the street and leave fliers behind saying, hey, your neighbor just got painted, call us today and that you would gain business that way. But It didn't take long. We went from three people to 20 people. It was a matter of about three years. Yeah. And residential, so it worked. But there was a lot of time putting in, you know, but that's what it takes when you don't have a big budget, you're gonna use a lot of your time. Yeah, Yeah. You're gonna either pay with time or money, but you're gonna pay someone out of that business or you're you're gonna pay with neither. And then you're gonna really pay the time because it's just gonna take you a lot longer to build a business if you just referrals just repeat that kind of stuff. Yeah. Yeah we love referrals but I'm big on pushing out and trying to find new ways. We've tried several marketing things that didn't work to you know direct mail and things like that. Yeah. Yeah those those can they can work but they can be tricky. So you started um really residential but now you guys are 80 commercial. How did that transition happen? That was a long journey also uh then it was several steps. There was no just going from painting mrs jones. You know right now we're in several houses. I mean several businesses were a quarter million dollar paint job, 100 50. You know before it was 1000 to $5000. So the path to that for us, we started out in just houses of course then we went to like small mall jobs. Uh Mcdonald's, things like that, there were small so you could still contain it. And we slowly went up to the what I would call mid size ones and now we're in large commercial but we had to get banks involved so that we have money behind us. There's a lot of steps involved in that if not you I think you could go too fast and be a bad thing if you don't go along the way you you end up getting a big job and you can't man it, you don't have the money behind you to get it. Next thing you know you're getting liquidated damages and stuff like that. So it was a long journey, you know I say kind of stair stepping up, it probably took us five years to get from residential to large commercial. Was that always your guys plan to go to head to the large commercial? No, it wasn't my plan in the beginning, I never dreamed that I'd ever be here. I thought we'd just be painting residential houses and I don't remember exactly how it happened but we basically got invited bit on a commercial job. It was a smaller one. And uh that's what started it once we got in there, I really liked that work better. I didn't have the same deals with the homeowner, you don't have people over you. It's just a lot different kind of work I think and you can put lower quality painter in there because there's all kinds of stuff going up, you know Mrs jones as I say, she's looking at her walls really close Exactly and seriously they're pushing out of the way so they can hang shirts up to sell them. So it's a little different game and I liked it better. So then I started pursuing it after that and That's when I realized I got to start with the small $10,000 jobs because we didn't have the bank account behind us, we didn't have that kind of stuff. So over time we built it and built relationships with bankers before we have you know lines of credit things like that that bring us through big big jobs, they don't have to worry about payroll. Sure. And now are do you guys use W2 or 1099 employees? We're everybody's W. two, they're all employee employees. Yeah. We don't have it that way. When you started you started with W. two. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not a big fan of The other one. I think the 1099 that's for a subcontractor, that wouldn't be an employee. You know they're not getting any benefits, we don't pay their taxes so I would look at them as a subcontractor. But no ours are all employees on payroll, benefit packages and stuff involved. Yeah. Nice. So we I guess what what gross profit so on the job, what gross profit margins are you looking for? Um With your residential versus your commercial versus your industrial, the commercial and industrial is definitely a lot higher than the residential just because the residential work. I mean That I don't think the money is there like it is a commercial, you go to the big jobs, they got $1 million dollar budget, you go to the residential house, they have a lot smaller budget of course But in residential our profit margins are roughly running about 30%. But in commercial And there we get to use different tools which makes these numbers this way. But we're 40-60 profit margins, which is crazy to me, but we're using jet rollers, power rollers, all kinds of, we're using different tools, different techniques, you know, we're looking to be efficient big time when we're training every day, we actually have a designated trainer. Okay, nice. So what, what are the biggest, let's start with, what are the, what are the biggest struggles um for your residential paint jobs and what are the biggest struggles or or difficulties for your commercial paint jobs? Um I would say for the residential, its form, it's just a different, I feel like I said when you go to those jobs, so I have different people there. I don't have certain residential and certain commercial, it's hard to transition from one to the other because you can send a residential guy into a factory and he's taking forever painting a parking baller. It's gonna smash. So that as far as struggles go, that would be the big thing trying to transition somebody. So we try to keep residential residential commercial and commercial. But really, I guess, I don't, I don't know that we have big struggles. The commercial side. The biggest thing is if you miss something in the plans, things like that, that has happened in the past, you know, you know, Yeah. Now are you moving forward, are you focused on, I mean, are you still trying to grow the residential piece as well or are you ultimately gonna eventually become full commercial? Uh, no, we feel like we need to have a foot both. And Covid is a perfect example of why as soon as Covid hit, we were to immediately, we started getting our big commercial contracts, they got canceled and yanked out from under us. So in the matter of two weeks, million dollars worth of work went right down the drain. That was terrifying. So, uh, and then we immediately after huge surge of residential came in and pushed us through the first six months of Covid. We normally didn't do much Residential, like said 20% at that time it went the other way, we're doing 80, residential. So we feel like the way the markets go, sometimes commercial be up and raise down residential up and down. We want to have a foot in both of those in case, you know, one is up and one is down, we're able to shift. So we're gonna stay in both. We're actually talking about expanding the residential side, trying to make another crew that's strictly residential. So we can get more because we're getting calls and I have to turn them down right now. Yeah. Yes. So you're, you're basically making your business more resilient trying to so we can get through the hard times. You know, Covid was a big lesson. It's great when it's great. But when it goes bad, you need to be ready. Covid is like basically anything, anything you think, oh that could never happen. Covid can happen, Anything can happen. I was 100% agree. That was the craziest experience we've ever had around here. So yeah. Really nuts man. So what are, you know, over the course of the last 11 years that you've been with the business? Um what are some of the, I guess that the things that you feel have gone really well in your growth journey and what are some maybe hiccups that you had? Uh maybe some that were even unexpected that that you would maybe be able to caution some other people against if they haven't experienced those hiccups yet. Ah that's kind of a tough question. Um We've had small hiccups that were do with, you know estimating things like that where we learned lessons, one of the lessons I learned is we weren't double checking ourselves as in one guy, double checking the other and I'm the guy at fault that I missed a zero on one of the estimates which that zero made 100,000 square feet. So needless to say that bid was way off and we wanted for sure when we realized we want it and realized what happened, I disqualified myself. But uh, it cost me $7,000 to get out of the estimate for a bid bond performance bond. So that was a very lesson that lesson was learned. Yeah. So now we double check numbers once one guy does it, we hand it over to the next guy, he does the same math and kind of double check stuff. But um, as far as big, you know, hiccups like that. The biggest thing I'd say we had is in the beginning was employee retention. We're hiring just people and it didn't work out. We had low quality people, they were causing a lot of problems and now we've shifted that to, we don't care if you're a painter or not. We're hiring on the quality of the person and training going forward. And that's been, It's my, that's been the game changer for us. 100%. Mhm. Fighting a 30 Year painter telling you that you're wrong and this and that it's just, you know, there's no time for that. So we're noticing the young guys, we can mold them the way we want instead of going back and forth. So we, we took training very seriously and put a big training program in here. How are you vetting? How are you vetting people for qualities like what, what kinds of qualities are you looking for in your employees? Um, more of their morals and ethics than anything. So when we interview them, we're just looking for like I'm not calling it just good people, you know, are they, they're job hoppers or they stay at a job for a while that's important to us because we don't want someone who's shows a record of that. But the biggest thing is we you know their family life or they have kids or they married things like that. Their ethics and morals are huge to us here because we can train everything else but you can't train that. Yeah. So we feel like if we get good people so I don't know how to say exactly what we look for is just in the interview, the feel you get from the person you don't necessarily ask a lot of personal questions but and we usually get other people that already know them because we live in a small town. It's not like you know big city where Everybody's a stranger, somebody knows everybody around here. It's only 12,000 people. Yeah wow okay that is a small town. So you're you you have a really unique perspective you know because you you co own this large successful painting business and you started as a subcontractor. So how how how has your mind had to shift or has it had to shift as you've kind of gone from subcontractor to employee to manager to now co owner of this business. Uh there's been a lot of what we call in here. I've made a lot of little adjustments along the way because in the beginning I was uh the technician and owner. So I was out doing the painting and the bidding and all that on my own and I was the guy you called when you needed a whole bunch of paint on the wall because I was fast but I didn't have the business side to it so I could get the paint done. But all the other stuff was foreign to me. Long story short I have a G D. Don't have a high school diploma. So those things I had to work through and learn along the way. So yeah there was huge transitions in learning business which the B. C. A. Was a big part of that. I started going to the expo I think it was 10 years ago was the first one. It was the one in ST louis and I've seen Lynn Fife there and I got all hyped up and ever since I've been to every single one since and we've had land come in our office but I've had to make major adjustments. You can imagine just going from a painter to running this business. My my way of thinking is totally I can't, there's so many changes I've made. I can't even explain them to you. You know I used to complain about guys not being fast enough. Things like that. Now I realize mistakes I've made in the past, yelling snatching brushes from people that's not a way to go so that that doesn't happen around here anymore. So you're you're basically saying that one of the things you've been learning is I guess how to be a better leader, how to communicate better. All that. Yeah took emotional intelligence classes. How to deal with difficult customers under pressure classes just to help with. And we've actually brought employees to those classes to help with their communication. actually here in two weeks on the 14th we have a seminar that we're hiring to come in and do an emotional intelligence class an eight hour class for the whole company. And then they're gonna come back in three months and do another class called Communication with Tact. And it's how to communicate on the job site better and not get upset and understand other people. So it's not just about putting paint on the walls. Were getting that I've had to make a lot of changes. I could put paint on the wall but didn't understand the other things. So there's a whole lot of steps that you know not only me and the emotional intelligence stuff but just learning business. You know some of that stuff I didn't understand either. Now I look at it differently. So and my partner already have been being in business for a long time. There's been a huge mentor to me and you know there's a lot of lessons I don't have to learn because he's already learned them you know before I did. So yeah so I'm I'm obviously a very big supporter of the P. C. A. What do you feel have been some of the benefits. You know you go into the expose for Over a course of 10 years and being involved for 10 years? What have been some of your big takeaways? Well just that my growth as a businessman not a painter is what's brought Brick city where it's at I mean I could be out there putting paint on the wall but that's not going to make the business grow. It's the other things I'm doing, which that's what the Pcs helped me with. Um every year we bring other employees too. So like this year there was a couple of guys with me. We want them to also experience it and get something out of it. And that way we're all coming back all fired up and ready to go. But it's invaluable to me, my experience with the P. C. A. Has been I mean more than great. Yeah. You know I can't explain how much they helped me just by the classes took over the years. So so you're you've had to shift from And this is obviously a big topic right of thinking like a painter versus thinking like a like a business owner or or the are those really different things or do they have to be different things? one of the things that you've really um gotten a lot better at or at least changed your perspective on it is kind of how you I guess manage painters or deal with your team because you communicate differently right? You've you've taken leadership courses and emotional intelligence courses and um what what are some of the other shifts that you've noticed because that that is a sticking point for people, You know, we have people all the time to come to market pills and they're not a fit because they don't think like a business owner. So what? And I'm drilling into this because this is this is a real struggle for a lot of painting company owners, right? And so I any advice you can give, because you've gone through this struggle now and you've, you've won, you've come out the other side. So anything we can kind of drill into um I think would be really beneficial. Um Well I noticed some business owners, they all at least a lot of business opinion owners I've met think, oh I can't find a guy that works like me and cares about it like me and you never will, you gotta get over that right out of the gate. No one's gonna love your company. Like you do, no one's gonna work as hard as you do. But you have to trust people and you have to, I have a saying you got to sometimes let people fail so they can succeed. So let them, you know, actually fail. Then you can go back to them and work through what went wrong and how to go forward. We don't talk down to anybody. I think that's huge, the way you communicate to everybody, even your body length, Well your body language just more than your words. But you know, you don't want to upset all employees. You're not gonna get anywhere there. And I noticed a lot of other bosses, I've been out with Sharon Williams on Excursions where there's 20 of us there and other owners and it blows my mind. They come up like, oh yeah, this guy is lazy and they just cuss them out and the way they talk to their employees, I'm like, think about it and you worked for you. Would you work hard? You know, you're not motivating people here with that. No. So we have, you know, we try to get bonuses for people that are going above and beyond. Uh, there's our pay scale is definitely up there. All of our benefits are just like union. So there's vacation. This, that the whole nine yards, which, and we actually pay mileage for guys to drive to work and back. We give them windshield time one way. So those things are keeping employee retention but also showing respect for him. And that's something in the past that as a painter, I never would have wrapped my head around, Hey, we need to pay these guys gas and let's get to work said you might be like, oh, forget that they don't deserve, well they're gonna quit and you're not gonna have anybody. So you gotta get past those feelings. And I think that's where the emotional intelligence helped me out realize sometimes when your emotions are bubbling up, pushing back down because they're not gonna do nothing but hurt you buddy, you know, and that's true when you're emotionally wound up, you make bad decisions. I feel like, yeah, so now that you guys have grown considerably and are on track to probably do 3. 5 million this year, how how are you getting the majority of your business? Both in terms of residential and commercial. The commercial residential were mainly, it's from referrals and just the local people see us around. We don't really advertise for residential at all. It kind of just comes to us. Uh the commercial, we're in all kinds of the, I don't want to call him, you know, the websites like blue book, uh you know what I mean? There's there's great beam, we're getting invitations that way. The biggest and the best way that I like is our local big contractors, big relationship guy. So I'll show up at their office, try and talk to them this and that and gain a relationship once they end up hiring me, they generally stay with us because we're handling stuff on a professional level different than other painters. I I don't know, it blows my mind sometimes it seems like all these guys could be successful. They just need to change their practices. You know, the weird conversations, the messed up billing the unprofessionalism, you can just hold yourself together and what you say you're gonna do. Well really? There's a lot of guys that can't get, yeah we see him get emotional wound up and you know you're yelling at the guy that's paying them. I'm like I can't understand that. I feel like if they didn't do that they would get to the next job but they can't keep themselves together that G. C. Does not want to work with them anymore. So for me they call me if there's a problem I'm big on finding the solution not an excuse. You know not another reason why we can't fix it. We're not even gonna talk about that we're gonna talk about how we're gonna fix it and move forward. So most of the guys that we work for they love that about me because I'm a problem solver. Not you get what I'm saying we're not just gonna sit by and let someone else figure it out. I'm going to actively be after it. Yeah. Yeah I mean you're you're kind of kind of cleaning up for them that this is their busy. Um So if you can make their life easier then why wouldn't why wouldn't they harry especially some of these other guys are acting the way you know the way that they are. Yeah sometimes price comes in but that's how I can overcome the price points on them. They look and they're like oh well we remember these guys they were difficult to work with Brick City is not, it's worth the extra money, let's call them because we won't have the headaches and we're right now cleaning up jobs for other paint companies that aren't finishing their jobs. So the GCS are calling me, can you help us out? And I'm going and doing it and in which we're gaining more relationships, our business is growing and growing bigger due to that, so yeah, Covid was good to us. Yeah. Do you guys have any and I mean, do you guys have team meetings where you kind of set goals? Like, do you have a five year goal or three year goal? Yeah, we once a year we'll have a meeting where we set big goals like you're talking about, but we have weekly meetings every thursday today, when I'm done with this, we usually have at one o'clock and said when I'm done here, we'll have an office meeting with this office personnel. So every thursday we do that once a month, we have the entire company, all employees come in for about an hour and we have a, you know, a company meeting, talking about what we're at the jobs we're at, where we're going, what's coming up, you know, just kind of letting them know what's going on. We usually have little raffles and giveaways and stuff during the meetings to keep everybody engaged. So they like it though, So it's Yeah, well, what, what do you do with the, with the raffles, Is it or the giveaways? It just kind of random or do you reward people for certain things? No, it's random. I mean there is certain people like an employee of the month or somebody does something. We had one guy that once was coming to work and homeless person got hit on the road and he pulled over and saved this guy. So when he came to the meeting, We honored him and gave him like a $200 bonus or something. And the other guys will basically just have a raffle if there's nothing special. So just everybody's names in a hat and there's Rap off like 10 things. Sometimes it'll be tools, sometimes it'll be $25, gift cards, something like that. It varies. We kind of mix it up a little bit, you know, so Covid obviously, um, you know, was unexpected and, and change some things. But Looking forward, let's say the next 5, 10, 15 years, how do you see the painting industry changing or do you see it not really changing. I would assume it's going to change because I think everything does, uh, how it will change. I'm not sure. I don't know that. So I thought at first when Covid hit that it was going to affect everything greatly and we tried to get into the spray and sanitizers and all that, that quickly around our area just dived off. But I would assume that there will be other trends coming and going as we do. But I don't know that it's going to change drastically in my mind. I think there'll be small trends to come through, you know, like wall covering goes up, things like that, you know, now like metallic epoxy flooring and the countertop stuff comes in a bathtub re finishing and we try all that just, we got the bathtub training that to try and get in on those things. But they seem like they're more um shots in the dark in a sense, like it's two or three years and it kinda, you know, goes away. So I don't know that it's going to change a whole lot in the next five years. As far as big, big changes the past couple years were big changes around us just because a lot of companies didn't make it through Covid and the ones that didn't make it through obviously fed us more work. So that was the, to me, the biggest thing that had happened around here. But I don't know that the whole model of painting is going to change a whole lot. Do you think that the labor shortage is real? Um I would say it's not real in one sense and I guess it all depends on how you look at it if you're trying to find some experienced painters to come in and go on. That's, that's why we changed our hiring model. It doesn't seem like a very realistic model. Uh, there's plenty of people out there that want jobs. They're just not painters so you can get over that then for basically in the past two weeks, I think I've hired five people and I have another interview tomorrow. None of them. Excuse me. That's a, that's a pretty, pretty strong hiring cadence you're on right now. Well, we're trying to gear up for the season. It's already started and we need to build up the crew so we need to start now. Um, but yeah, I don't think there's necessarily a shortage of people. It's just, I really believe that people are being too picky and that's why we switched to hiring the quality of person and training them. I'm not going to find a 20 year painter that's ready to leave his job and come to me. It's, they're just not out there. So once again we've found hiring just non painters. Uh, we have and one guy who just, he gets a buddy and that guy is his for two months, then he switches to another guy. So he just is constantly training. Uh, and we actually set up a training room in our shop. It's every new employee goes in there on the first day and they paint wall ceiling trim everything's timed out and there's a trainer with them, showing them the way we do things. So that's, that's been hard combat to the so called labor shortage. I said, I don't think it's a shortage. I think it's just a mindset, there's no Painters out there wanting to be hired, but there's other people that want jobs. So your, your town is 12,000 people. Is that what you said? What's your addressable market like your total addressable market with depending on your radius for residential? Uh, as in population wise, you mean, I mean once you get to Columbia Missouri where we go over there, there's like 100 and 20,000, but I would guess within our whole area that's probably only half a million three quarter million people with that. And our 100 mile radius from us and you guys are doing so let's say half a million and you guys are doing, you know, gonna gonna be doing 35 probably. Um, and how many painters do you have? I think with these new people that are hired, we're up to now the 21 so, and there's four office personnel. But our biggest reason for getting all that work done so fast is switching tools. We went to jet rollers and power rollers and all kinds of other techniques that most guys aren't, they just aren't doing well. I just, I think it's interesting cause that's a lot of people and you know, there's this, the debate of whether or not there are people to hire, you know, and so many, I think so many painting company and use it as a crutch. Oh, I just can't hire them, just can't pay them enough, just can't keep them. Um, but it seems like you and in your evolution, um, of, of leadership and kind of taking these courses and emotional intelligence and treating people with decency and respect and hiring for character. It seems like in a lot of ways you fixed it of in here, we feel like we're doing fine with it. We're not stressing on it anymore. It was a stress point, don't get me wrong. But yeah, I feel I can hear her employee retention has been great and usually within, I'd say 30 days that new employee is profitable. You know, we're probably just breaking even on him, but with all the efficiencies that the other guys have, it's not a crutch. Uh, that's the part. I think other owners have the problem with the month or two of training where they're not making money off of the guy, they can't get over that. And it's, if you don't get over that, you're never gonna get new people, you're gonna have to let jobs go. So marrow how you look at losing money, you're paying somebody to train them to me, that's not losing money, you're making them better and every day after that they're always gonna be better for you. Training is a great investment, but not a lot of people look at it that way. They don't want to put the money in. They just want a guy to come in and start making the money and it just doesn't work that way. Yeah. At least in my mind it doesn't, yeah, I know it's accepting the fact that there will be an on ramp period, you know, an onboard period and you're gonna pay for that and acknowledging the fact that they are not going to come on and care as much as you do and they never, they never will, they are not you. The only way that, that will any of us, any of us business owners will be able to solve this I think is if we can clone ourselves or something, but that just starts to get really weird and scary in my mind. So to shut that off. Yeah. But I guess you can do like my partner did, hey, you want to buy into half of, that's why once you become part of it, then, you know, you're, you know what I mean? I don't want to shoot holes in your own. So sure can't bring all the employees on his owners though. Yeah, I mean that's where I guess, I don't think too many painting companies have it, but some sort of Aesop, you know, employee stock ownership plan or something. But those tend to be for, for fairly sizable companies typically do something like that. But the idea is ownership interest. Um, yeah, yeah. In the business, what are they? Yeah, sorry. I say, if we treat them with respect and pay them well then we're, you know, I think treat them with respect and appreciate them goes a long way as far as keeping them there. So yeah, you can't, you can't treat people like dirt and then just throw more money at them and expect them to want to stay and perform for you. No money is not always the answer. Yeah. Yeah. For for better or for worse I think for better. But what other advice I mean you're You've obviously learned a lot, you know, I didn't meet you 11 years ago, but I'm meeting you now and it seems like you have your your leadership mentality pretty well dialed in here. What other advice do you have to painting company owners listening to this who, who would like to reach that 23, you know, $4 million mark who want to get there and aren't um I would say don't rush it first of all, but the biggest thing is that to me, that person has to make changes within themselves. That's what I had to do to grow. I mean, you can't expect people to follow you if you're not even sure where you're going. Uh So there was, you know, I had to make changes within myself. So when we hired the Len 5 to come in As a business consultant, we, we brought him into the office 1st and he made us be better in here before I went down there to the shop and got with the guys, in other words, I felt like I had to improve myself as, but you're not you're not the problem. It's those guys, those lazy bumps, that's I agree, we can look at it that way. But I know that a lot of times I was the problem, I can look back now. I know I can look back now and see things that I've done in the past though. That's like why would you do that? That's crazy. At the time. I didn't see it though, it seemed just plain as day and I can't give you an example, but you know what I mean? Now it's simple to see the mistakes I made. But uh yeah, there's there's a lot of growth for us. I suggest not trying to go too fast because you can get hung up. Like I was saying where the money flow isn't there? That's that's a huge thing too. The cash flow isn't there? You need to get a relationship with a banker sooner than later and a lot of people have a problem with that. They, some people have a problem with own bank money. I've got over that a long time ago. That's just part of being in business, you're going to be in the bank's pocket in my mind. Yeah. So would you recommend um people consider hiring a coach, someone who can expose their weak spots to them. I would uh and I would say be prepared though because it's a humbling moment. You know, we all think that we're the best and this and that and then when someone else comes in who's a specialist, they quickly are like, oh yeah, they're pointing out stuff and you're like, oh my gosh, I didn't realize that this was this bad and it's it's kind of overwhelming. When he left our office, we had over a year's worth of work to do before we could even bring him back just in the office, you know, estimating stuff like that. Just systems there, they were working, but they were semi broke, you know, they weren't, you know what I mean? Now we fine tuned a lot of our stuff. So our offices, it's it's a lot easier. Let's put it that way. You're getting into doing certified payroll and all that stuff. They can get complicated with these big jobs. So be willing to to set your pride aside and and take that feedback and and implemented no matter how painful it may be. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. If you can and I don't know if you can show the improvements you need, you can't expect other people to do it. I mean if you're not willing to better yourself and take training and admit your faults, I can expect your employees to, it doesn't seem realistic two from your employees, right? You you're showing your you're doing it first. You're acknowledging you have things that need to improve and you're working hard to improve them. That's a great way to get by and I would assume, yeah. Well they all noticed it. The people have been with me for a while. They even joke about it. They're like yeah you're not there's been a joke like two new guys to get hired here. Like you guys are lucky you get the new chad. You don't know the old guy you know because Yes It's a massive improvement. 10 years ago I was working in the field with people so I was the guy snatching the brush out of your hand and it just doesn't make any sense. But at the time it made sense to me. So there's been some huge growth in that. Yeah. Well chad congratulations man. Not only your business success by your personal growth it's it's a beautiful story and I appreciate you sharing it with us. Sure. Yeah. No once again thank you for having me. I appreciate it. Yeah. Do you have anything else you wanna say before we wrap this up? Not in particular. I would say for the people trying to go forward and grow their business that yes the P. C. A. Is definitely a place that can help you become a better businessman. We're all already great painters. But the business side is the tricky side and if not hire a consultant there's a bunch of them out there. You don't just got to go to the P. C. A. There's other places but they have a lot of resources right they're ready for you meant for painters. So I would recommend chad thank you thank you so much for your time man. This was this was great and congratulations again. Yeah thank you. I say I appreciate you having me on. Absolutely. 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 they're 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.