Guest Interview: Dave Scaturro “Big Commercial Growth” Series: Episode 2 – Structured for Big Growth

Published On: December 4, 2023

Categories: Podcast

In this series titled “Big Commercial Growth”, Dave Scaturro of Alpine Painting and Sandblasting Contractors will be sharing how he has grown his commercial painting company to becoming one of the largest contractors on the East Coast, and the advice he has for companies looking for ambitious growth in the commercial painting space.

In episode 2, Dave is going to outline how you can set up your company structure for big-time growth.

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

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Episode 2

– Structured for Big Growth

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.

In this series titled Big Commercial Growth, Dave Scaturro of alpine painting and sandblasting contractors will be sharing how he has grown his commercial painting company to becoming one of the largest contractors on the east coast and the advice he has for companies looking for ambitious growth in the commercial painting space. In episode one, Dave discussed how to conduct effective commercial painting marketing including some unique strategies and tactics that alpine painting utilizes. In episode two. This episode, Dave is going to outline how you can set up your company structure for big time growth and in the final episode, episode three, Dave will deep dive into finding training and mentoring new leaders within your organization.

If you wanna ask Dave questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so in our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast forum on Facebook. Just search for painter, marketing mastermind podcast form on Facebook and request to join the group or type in the URL facebook. com/groups/painter marketing mastermind. Again that URL is facebook. com/groups/paint marketing mastermind. There you can ask Dave questions directly by tagging him with your question. So you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

Welcome back, Dave. Hey, Brandon, how are you? I am good man. I’m always good when I’m talking with you. Uh You said that to all the guys you hand, I don’t say it to all the guys. I said, I said to maybe like four of them. Just the four of us, the ones you hear on the other one. I like talking to more than one person, but you’re one of the people I like talking to. Hey, so we’re going big today, you know that, right? We’re going big dude.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Let’s go, let’s go. Who wants to grow their business, right? So if you do listen up, we got some, we got some tips on how to do it. This is it, man, this is it. Yeah, I mentioned you, I mentioned you in my presentation before we dive in here. So I just got back from you. Yeah, I said, uh I said we’re shooting a film in a podcast together. But I brought up, I brought up what you talked about with the target markets.

So how you said you have a bunch of different target markets and then we were talking about messaging and the sales process and how it should really be a uh consultative sales process. So I talked about how you have a specific message with a specific landing page with a specific portfolio and all of that for, you know, if you’re targeting a church versus an industrial complex versus, you know, multifamily, et cetera. Thank you. Let’s get the word out. Let’s help out our, our fellow painting brethren. Yeah.

So what, what’s the, what’s the saying? Rising tide raises all ships? That’s what we’re doing today. It’s something like that. Yeah. So this one, we’re gonna talk about company structure. You run a, you run a much bigger company than most of our listeners. You run a quite sizable company. So I think you’ll have a lot of pretty neat insights to share that may not be applicable from day one. We can kind of maybe back into that, but I think it always starts with, OK, what is a really big well functioning company look like?

Where am I right now? And then you can kind of start to map that out if you do want to get to that level of growth. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I look, there’s all different levels. It’s, it’s just, I guess how you compare yourself, um, to the rest of the contractors out there. I mean, I, I sat alongside some contractors at the last commercial contractor event through PC A that were 45 times my size. And, you know, I like to think that we’re a larger contractor but it’s all perspective.

You know, it’s, um, I think you have to find the right company size growth for your comfort level, for your family, for your team. Um There’s, there’s no one size fits all here. There’s no bigger is necessarily better either. Um, so we’re gonna talk about that, but, you know, I think the goal for most is growth overall, right? Because if you’re not growing year over year, you’re probably dying, you’re probably going backwards. You have to be focused on growth to some degree at what level, well, and how fast, you know, I think that’s really up to the, to the individual.

Um, but I will tell you we’re in the people business, Brandon and without the right people by your side, you’re not gonna grow because you can’t do it all yourself, that’s for sure. Yep. Yeah, I wanna, before we kind of get into your work chart, which is, I think would be a good place to start. But before we get into that, I very much agree with you. If you’re not growing, you’re dying, you know, you’re either always getting better or getting worse. There is no static in this world.

So let’s say, and I bring this up because again, a contract with someone actually brought up a um they were talking about different painting companies, goals. And this one painting company had the goal of being at 4.5 million in three years and five years and in 10 years. So the goal is just to stay at 4.5 million, which maybe that’s maybe that’s actually what they want. But if you were, if you were talking to someone who let’s say, did wanna stay at their current size, knowing that there, there might be churn or attrition, you know, attrition of some kind or unexpected things happen.

What would you recommend in terms of a growth goal if they didn’t actually want to get that much bigger? But they also recognize, you know, we’re spinning around like a billion, a billion, you know, miles a second throughout the universe, you know, with the earth and, and nothing is static, we’re on a moving, spinning flying ball. Uh And so the, the idea of static, it just really doesn’t exist. Yeah, I caution them, right. I think you should always be growing your company, like you should be growing as an individual, you should be growing your team, you should be growing your business.

Um That concept of continuous education is important. Um But it, it should be, it should be slow and controlled. That’s what I encourage my team. That’s what I encourage anybody that will listen, that you don’t wanna grow to the point where you have so many growing pains that you can’t deliver on your promises that you’re not in line with your, your core values anymore. So every, every decision to grow should be measured. Um You should be analyzing what’s working, what’s not because if you grow too fast, too soon something’s gonna give and you’re gonna end up, uh, not sleeping at night, you’re gonna end up having these growing pains that hurt so bad that you’re gonna want to reconsider some of your future decisions, slow and controlled growth is always the key for us.

At least you can definitely expedite some of that attrition and negativity if you grow too quickly and you don’t have your operations in Dave. What is that behind you on the desk? The thing that looks like a smoke paint can, it looks like a, it is a spilled pink can, is it? Yeah. Yeah, I just li, you know what? I just dumped it down one day and I’m like, ah, didn’t, didn’t go there. It’s a, it’s, it’s a, a mock spilled paint can. It’s an old Klux Spilled paint company.

It’s one of the many companies that Sherwin Williams acquired throughout the years. And there’s a funny family story for us. Uh, that holds true and that’s why I keep that little piece of history around. I love it. Yeah, I, uh, I had seen it on our last episode and I meant to bring it up afterwards because I was like, I’m, I’m almost certain that that’s a prop, that it, it would be a random thing sitting there and spill, but I don’t want to bring it up in case there actually is a spill paint can right now and I forgot that it’s here several weeks later.

So I figured it’s probably a prop. I actually, we have, we have little pieces of paint history throughout our entire office. That’s one of them. One that you can’t see above that on the rack is a Dutch boy white lead and it’s this little court can, but it weighs about £15 because we lead is very heavy. Um, but yeah, we have, we have a little piece of paint history all throughout that kind of remind us of the past. We’re lucky. Our company has been around for 48 years. So we’ve been able to acquire some unique pieces of history over time.

That’s cool then. All right. So let’s talk about your work chart, what your company looks like. Yeah. Yeah. Um, our company is pretty big, uh, at the top and I, I think I should first start by saying our ORG chart is for this year. It’s, it’s current time. It constantly moves every time you have, uh, someone moving up over or out of the company. The ORG chart change, it gets updated, um, when you’re small, you should have an ORG chart based on, um, a role, right? And it’s ok to have, you know, one person’s name in many boxes on the ORG chart.

But as you grow and develop, you should start to think of. Ok, how do I get my name out of so many boxes and put new names in? And um what we do is we set an org chart based on our hiring priorities for the future. So we have an ORG chart for today, which is actual and then we have an orb chart for the next three years. That’s theoretical based on where we want to grow. So if we wanna grow, let’s just say 10% a year, year over year.

And that means in, in three years will be, you know, $33 million more in total top line revenue. Then we reverse engineer what that looks like. OK. Well, how many salesmen do we need to bring on to get that additional 10 million in revenue? OK. And then what’s the sport that goes around the sales team? How many project managers, um how many crew leads? So there’s like these little formulas that you come up with, to create teams to make sure that, that, that Frisbee on the pencil doesn’t dip down too far in one side, everything should kind of even out over time.

And then you, you plan for those key hires. Those are your hiring priorities and you discuss with your team or when do we want to execute on those hires? All right. Ok. We need a salesman. Do we need a salesman? Q one of next year or Q three of next year. And that’s what, you know, starts to promote, you know, the conversations and then your, your goals are what comes out of those, some of those are they hiring goals or other goals to create systems or find processes that you have to make sure that you’re ready for that growth and you’re anticipating it and you could be proactive, not just like, oh my God, I’m reactive. Sure.

I like it man. So the, the first thing you had mentioned was sales, you know, modeling it off of sales is that, that seems like the most intuitive way to do it is that how you would recommend paint, painting companies model their org chart and plan their hiring. Just start with sales. What are your sales goals and work backward? I think it really depends on what stage of business that you’re in. If you really go back to the beginning, Brandon and you have, you know, your owner operators out there and they’re kind of doing it all.

They have to identify what they strong suits are. You know, maybe that owner operators strongest asset is, you know, running, running the crews working in the field, making sure that the quality of the work is being upheld and the jobs are getting done timely and you’re making money on your projects, but they’re kind of an introvert. They’re not great customer facing people. So maybe that person should hire a salesperson, right? Um, maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe it’s, hey, I’m, I’m, I’m great talking to people, but I don’t really know what a good paint job looks like.

So they need to hire an operations guy. So it’s, it’s, I think it’s dependent on your organization. You have to look inside the most important thing. And that I’ve learned from our business coach that I want to give a shout out to, uh, that’s Brian Nolan from, um, Nolan consulting, been our coach for the last three years. They’re outstanding. They’ve really helped our company get to the next level and then our individual coach is, uh, is Jared bias. Um, and Jared’s company, give me a second. I wanna make sure I get this right.

He’s with common, good family, business advisors and, you know, he helps coach us, um as a company with our leadership team, he comes to our board of directors meetings and he does some one on ones with uh our president, my brother. So, you know, get, getting the right coach to assist your team, get to the next level I think is invaluable and I recommend every single person no matter what size you are to invest in a business coach, right? Um And then the next concept is when you’re creating the structure of your organization, um keep in mind to continue to push, to get yourself out of the hourglass, meaning create the structure in a way that the decisions don’t have to come through you anymore.

And that’s really what the ORG chart design is. It’s how to get yourself out of every decision, how to have other smart people, help you run the business so that you can be more efficient, more effective and more streamlined for growth. Because if every decision has to go through you, then you’re only as fast as, as you are. Um, and it’s gonna be a lot harder for you to move up and on to the next level. Yeah. Well, it’s a lot to unpack. Ok. So the, so you do business coaching through Nolan Consulting Group?

Jared bias is your coach. So, for the people who are listening, I’ve, I’ve heard a lot about Nolan Consulting Group or not. I don’t know everything about it. Would you recommend them or, or do they kind of start at a certain revenue threshold? And maybe there’s someone who’s better earlier on or what are your recommendations? I think for 95% of the painting contractors out there. Nolan Consulting Group is the right fit and, and they have contractors that are, uh, 1 million or less in total revenue right now and they have contractors that are uh, 45 million plus in revenue.

So they’ve got the gamut. Uh, the cool thing about Nolan consulting is a lot of their systems that they encourage their members to utilize are based off of an existing paint company that Kevin Nolan runs, who’s also a partner in Nolan consultant, uh, called Nolan Painting out of the Philadelphia area. They’re one of the country’s largest residential painting firms and family owned. They’re over 40 years old. They employ, I think over 200 contractors. And another shout out Kevin, the owner who’s transitioning out of his business, he’s selling it to his four Children just wrote a book that launched last week that I can’t recommend enough called Organizational Muscle.

I read that book in five days. It was over 6.5 hours when I couldn’t put down. It really spoke to me as a business owner. Um And I, I think every one of your listeners would benefit from reading that book. So go out and get organizational muscle. I got on Amazon and I got it through audible great read. It talks about a lot of the stuff that we’re talking about today and it really helps compartmentalize kind of the steps you need to take as a business owner to kind of slowly advance up the ladder.

So, um yeah, Nolan consulting is a great coach or any contractor that’s looking to get to the next level. They have one on one coaching for the owners. They do coaching for your sales team, for your project managers and they also have mastermind groups that they put together. So, like I’m in a legacy group which is larger contractors. We meet a few times a year and we share best business practices and financials. So, I mean, we go deep into it to make sure that we don’t have to recreate the wheel.

We learn from each other to make our wheels more efficient. Yeah, it’s so great. Yeah, I can’t recommend business coaching enough either. So the, the people who are listening to this podcast are listeners, they’re investing themselves, they invest in education, they’re, they’re learning, taking the time to learn this stuff. But when you combine that kind of natural curiosity, uh getting stuff from the free podcast, things like this and then you combine it with more structured coaching program or more structured system, the results will really compound themselves.

So if you’re not doing something like that, obviously, if you’re not a member of the PC A join the PC A, you’re not a member of some sort of structured coaching group, like no, a consultant group that can really, really help propel you. Um OK, another thing I want to dive into here. So when we’re talking about, you talked about the hourglass or sort of a lot of people call it being the bottleneck, you know, having to go through you with decision points and, and the whole organization sort of stops and waits on the owner to give the go ahead or, or say what’s actually going to happen.

Another, another thing to think about is really labor, especially for the smaller companies is not even as much, necessarily a decision point as is another pair of pants. Right. Someone who actually just needs to get things done, um, which then leads to the natural next question of systems versus people. Right? There’s one school of thought, hey, make your systems a world class really? Get those sops dialed in and then the people are sort of secondary, you plug them into the system and, and it’s easier to just kind of make it work because the system is almost dummy proof.

The other school of thought is hire an expert, subject matter expert and they’ll actually create your system for you or help you with it when maybe you don’t have the most refined of system. Do you have a preference? Um, we’re in the people business. So it’s all about having the right people around you. So people first, but, you know, without systems, it’s hard to scale up, you gotta make sure that you have a standard operating procedure for every piece of your company. Um So once you have the right people, they help create the systems and then the people run the systems, the systems can’t run by themselves.

There’s no magic A I that’s back there. That’s just, you know, doing the work for you, give it another year or two we’ll see at GP T is gonna help run your business. No, I mean, look, there are tools, there’s things through technology that we embrace, but ultimately, you know, we’re service business which means your people help make it happen. So, yeah, I mean, that’s, and that’s again, part of the key is even when you’re looking to scale up, you have to look to your left and right and say, OK, who are the people that I can see on my leadership team?

Who are the people at the top that are my integrators? Typically, as a business owner, you’re, you’re the visionary, right? You’re, you’re setting the primary aim for the company of, of where you wanna be in five years and then you’re reverse engineering it back to you today and then you’re, you know, creating these priorities along the way to help get you to the next step. OK? Here’s what 30 days looks like. Here’s 90 days, here’s a year, here’s three years, here’s five years and you’re communicating that vision all through the culture that you’ve designed to make it a fun place to work.

Um But you need the people to help execute that. You need these integrators that you can say, OK, here’s the game plan I’m getting by in, everybody knows what success looks like. Now go and who’s actually putting in the work, who is running the ops. So you can run the sales, right? Or vice versa. Yeah. Yeah, it is. It’s a, uh, it’s not one of those things you can have just one or the other, you know, in terms of the sops or the people, you can great, great people.

If the company is a total mess, it’s not really gonna work. And the Sops, if you just put, put in a total dud, like you said, we’re in the ser you know, service business. So service business relies on people, relies on customer service, relies on all that stuff uh very heavily. So let’s let’s kind of back up and let’s just make up artificial company. You know, Bob’s house painters, let’s say Bob’s house painters is just Bob. Bob’s out there. He started his ground in a way he’s working.

He, he’s got big ambitions. Bob wants to get the, I mean, we’re, we’re talking about big company growth. So let’s talk about 13 million. Bob just started. He wants to get to 10 million. What would you recommend again? Recognizing every company is different, every situation is different. What would a potential hiring roadmap for Bob look like if you sat down with him and he said, hey, Dave, I want to get the $10 million. What should my road map look like? I mean, the, the very first piece of any company and any real good business book or, or talk to you about this um is mission values, vision those things have to be in place before you can say, oh, we’re scaling up, right?

Because that’s kind of like the building blocks. So, you know, mission to me is like the why? Like, why are you doing this? What is, what, what’s in it for you? Why a painting business? What, what, how are you different? How are you providing value? What does it mean to you to do what you do? What? why? Um because that has to speak to people because $10 million is a big company. And if you’re gonna get there other people that are on your team need to know the why and then your values.

OK. What’s, what’s important? What are, what do you, what do you stand for when you have to make that really hard decision has to be filtered through a value system. So, you know, it’s in line with your company values and what’s true to you and to your firm and then the vision is OK? 240 million in revenue. That’s one piece. Great. How do we get there? What is our geographic territory that we’re gonna be working in? Who’s our target customer? Are we going residential repaint? Are we going new construction through G CS?

Are we going direct? Only? Like what does that look like? Let’s, let’s actually think about this and create the plan. So those are like the building blocks that you’re gonna start at. Um You’re gonna create these, this vision towards the future. And for us, after we had kind of our five year vision, then we start breaking it down and like, all right, what are the key priorities? Like, what, what are, what are the the pillars that make up that vision, the building blocks again? But let’s get a little more granular.

And for us, the four key pillars to our organizational growth um are growth, right? Organizational structure, team development and operational improvements. Those are the four categories that speak to the vision of our company. And then within each one of those, we broke down little pieces. So I I’ll, I’ll break it out. So for growth for us, we’re gonna grow through acquisitions through strategic partnerships through diversification, through gaining additional market share and profitability or organizational structure. That’s gonna be through org chart planning, cascading our goals, acquiring outside talent and promoting from within and through our vision and values through team development.

It’s gonna be through education and elevating our current team through creating uh a unique culture that people wanna be a part of holding each other accountable, regular coaching, continuous hiring and decision making and operational improvements include incorporating new technology, holding effective meetings, file structure and finding larger facility to help with our growth. So that was through these deep leadership meetings that we had with our core team at the top of the ORG chart and we took a deep dive into different aspects of our business and said, yeah, thi this is what makes sense.

And again, it’s just another layer that we can look at these individual, you know, uh growth lines and say, is this a fit or not? Um Does it feel right? Are we heading in the right direction? Um Is this in line with our values, vision and mission? Um And now we can really analyze OK, if we are to get there, what are the gaps that we need to fill in order to do so? And those gaps become your goals. Once you get a certain amount of goals in place, you start, you know, getting buy in from the management team, you cascade those goals down through each individuals and on our one on one meetings, you have um each one of the teammates taking on a portion of that goal to help get it accomplished in the time frame that the leadership team expects.

It’s a whole plan, it’s a whole process. This is I I kind of just I threw it all up on you, right? We can, we can slow it down as much as you want. No, that’s great, man. So we, we have a lot to unpack here. So going back to Bob Bob says, hey, you know, I’m I’m new in business. I got, I have big ambitions, right? I want to get the $22024 million. The first thing that you really focused on is number 240 $250 million is a big company.

So recognizing the ambitiousness of the goal, first and foremost, but also recognizing that a big company there, the values, the vision stuff like that is, is probably much more important in a big company than it even is in a small company because the owner doesn’t have his, his or her thumb on everything. It’s going to start to become its own entity operating really without the owner, whether or not the owner even wants that just because that it’s too big for the owner to control everything. So if you have not successfully instilled those values, like you said, driving decisions through the primary values of the company.

If you haven’t successfully uh created the vision and really gotten everyone bought in and understanding the vision of where, where you’re going, things are gonna start to really fall apart. Yeah. And I think that’s such an easy thing to overlook. Yeah, I mean, you know, in, in our business and I remember early on, you know, you know, I grew up through the business, right? My father, you know, had the business in place even before I was born. So my whole life, all I knew was alpine painting and watched my father kind of go through these highs and lows.

You almost like the stock market. And he would tell me even early on as I started to work with him in my winter and summer breaks that look dave not every year is a profitable year, you know, and you’re gonna have good years and bad years and, and we saw that some years he would make more money than he ever dreamed of. And then some years he would lose money and he’d be like, all right, you know, we gotta, we gotta tighten up family spending. Let’s go, family meeting, everybody get together.

You know, it’s gonna be a tough next three months, guys. I like, OK, you know, so it’s like that, that’s what happens in business and you have to prepare for that, you have to prepare for, you know, that rainy day and the fact that not every year is guaranteed to be profitable. So the more you can create stability in the structure of your company and having a plan for slow and controlled growth, the better off you are at limiting that instability. Yep. Yeah. So uncontrolled growth ensuring that your quality controls in place, ensuring that the right people are there with the right metrics.

Uh all of that and I think the ups and downs just in general is its own good thing to understand because we’re all, we’re all sitting here thinking about Bob with his $22024 million painting company. You would think Bob’s raking it in, right. Bob never has a financial concern again in his life, but maybe he actually does have financial concerns when you have big companies. I think we all know as business owners, it doesn’t necessarily mean, you’re making tremendous amount of money. Hopefully your company is structured well enough, but there are rainy seasons, there are downtime.

So don’t think you’re just fully out of the woods when you get to a certain revenue number because that’s not the case. Yeah, revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, which means don’t chase that $23 million figure. That number means nothing to us. In fact, there are guys in our area, right? Painting contractors that are double our size and we’re friendly with them. And through conversation when we start talking about their business dynamic and you know, customer base and profitability and gross margin and net profit and all this, you find out that yeah, they’re double the total top line revenue, but at the end of the day, their gross profit and net profit is half or at the same as what you are, right?

So if, if you’re at 1.23% margin for gross and they’re at 21.2% margin for gross, but they do double you, they’re making the same amount of money that you are, but they have double the amount of projects, double the amount of headaches, probably not servicing their customers as good as we can because we have more control. The the the top line revenue means nothing be at AAA point where you can make enough profit so that your company can continue to grow, that you can have stability and a comfort level as far as overhead and management so that you can service your customers and be the best version of, of yourself.

Just because you’re 35 million doesn’t mean you’re making money, right. You know, not opening up the books and seeing like you just said, just because you’re a big company doesn’t mean you make money. They don’t correlate the same be a, be a well run company, be a well structured company at any revenue point. That’s what you should be focused on. Yeah, that’s great advice. You have revenue, at least some minimum minimal scale. You know, whether that’s maybe half a million or, or whatnot to where you can actually get some people in the business helping you, gives you options, you get to some minimal scale, you can afford to, to bring on a person, two people, you can start to get help above that.

It’s really a nice to have. So your, your focus should really be first and foremost on getting your, your house in order so to speak and then growing, not vice versa. And I think we get, we get so hung up because it’s just an easy metric. I mean, obviously I’m super guilty of it. It’s what the whole podcast is based on, right. Painting companies that do over a million year revenue because you know, those companies that do, they figure something out, they’re usually not a total dumpster fire, they’re usually doing all right.

And a lot of people aspire to that, but it’s super important to recognize to see that goal through a clear lens, not a, not a rose filtered uh lens. So you know, when you get there, you wanna make sure you get there the right way. So you dropped a lot of knowledge bombs day with the with the key priorities. So you have the mission values, vision, then you went to your four pillars and then you went, what are the things under the pillars? What did you call all that, the priorities, those are basically individual priorities for each one of the pillars?

OK. So then you have all these priorities. So that’s a lot that, that’s a lot of stuff you put there. How, how do you guys implement that in your day to day? Is that, hey, you’re gonna review it quarterly, how do you actually all those different priorities that you have their acquisitions, for example, organizational planning, you know, team development. How are you guys implementing that? Yeah. So I think the one way that we kind of navigate through everything that I just shared with you is we take our team on a regular basis and we have meetings, right?

So I think it’s important to talk about our meeting guide. Um But first we have, if you look at the structure of our company goes back to the org chart at, at the very top is um our board of directors. So our board of directors kind of has two meetings a year and they talk more strategy about the company. They’ll look at our strategic plan year over year and they’ll give us advice, they’ll make recommendations um and, and kind of help say, yeah, you’re on the right track or not or just move it over a notch.

Um In June at the last minute, we have, we have a meeting coming up in, in less than a month uh for the end of the year with the board of directors. But in June, we were crushing at Q one, Q two and they said, um yeah, we’re moving your, your top line revenue up. I think you could do more than what you’re shooting for. You’re, and, and we had a restructure based on their recommendations. So, you know, the goal was X and now it’s gonna be Y um and in turn, we had to hire a few more people in order to do that.

And that was, it was like a push goal, but I’m glad they did because we, we are on target to hit that new push goal now. And if it wasn’t for them, kind of, you know, giving you a little boost and, and encouraging you and challenging you, we wouldn’t have got there. So that was great. Um Below them, we have our leadership team and that comprises of the president of our company, uh who also holds other titles on the org chart. He’s the head of uh a people and process, which is our hr division.

Um Yeah, myself as director of marketing, I also hold a few positions. Uh Ben our other owners. So the three of us are equal owners. He’s um director of sales and then our director of ops is a guy by the name of John pre great individual. Um So glad he’s on our team. And the four of us make up the leadership team and we have monthly meetings with a facilitator, our business coach, Jared and we talk through kind of the strategic plan. You know, what do the next 35 days look like?

What are our priorities? How do we refine our goals and make sure that they’re being um accounted for management team meets four times a year. One of those we just had, which is a strategic meeting. So in Q four, we talk about the gaps of the company based on those priorities and we brainstorm for a full day about how do we fill those gaps? What are some of the goals that we need to create to fill these gaps to help get us closer to our vision? We’re getting buy in from all the key managers of the company and then it goes back to the leadership team, goes back to the management team.

And ultimately, within about three months, we put this thing into a blender and we come up with our 40 key goals for 2024 and that’s the five year guiding document that gets rolled out the beginning of every year, which talks about what five years looks like we reverse engineer it to today and it has our 40 goals and everyone in the company has a responsibility to hit a portion of those goals. In fact, there’s names associated to each one of those. Typically, it’s a manager’s name or a leader’s name next to it.

But within these goals, there’s many tasks that can be a part of a larger goal and it trickles down to cascades down to every individual so that their one on one meetings, they know what their tasks are to help accomplish the goal. So it all kind of flows back up. Everybody owns a piece of, of one of those goals and we’re monitoring over time if we’re on task or not in order to hit these goals in the right time frames. So you said 40, 40 goals. Yeah, 40 goals. How did you guys come up with that number?

Mhm. Um It was just a number that kind of organically came to fruition. Every goal has to be smart. Um You know, the acronym like specific measurable, attain attainable realistic time bound. Um So it has to be like a real tangible goal that you can acquire. But the 4353 felt like, yeah, it was the right number. The the first year we, we tried, we, we didn’t do well, we got a little more than half done, about 27 were complete. Um And this is still a new strategy for us.

Um This is only about 3.5 years old. Uh Second year we crushed it. Um We got, I think 35 out of the 40 goals accomplished which, you know, we said going in, we’re a little upset, we didn’t hit more goals. This is the year of the goal we’re hitting our goals. Um And then this year they’re about to be rolled out, you know, for 2024. And again, we have about 40 goals. They’re pretty ambitious and we’re excited about them and we get the whole company jazzed up and behind these, these are socialized goals.

These are goals that people take ownership of. They are absolutely obtainable goals. And uh and, and we get buy in from the whole team to make sure that these aren’t just, you know, four people that are responsible for completing. And this is throughout the entire company. Everybody’s got a piece of the pie. Yeah. So when you get the buy in, you, you spread this to everybody. They get excited. Do you do any sort of incentive based compensation, any sort of competitions, anything like that? Um We are not a huge company that surrounds themselves on like comp plans regarding like if you do this, you get a pay for performance for that.

The one thing we do is we, we pay our people very well. We have really good um compensation plans that include bonuses, but it’s not broken down to the level that um it’s so complicated, so hard to manage that. It, it’s, you know, you need three people to work for you just to manage a comp plan. Um But the one thing I will say is at the end of every year, if we are successful, we take about half of the profits of the company and reinvest them back into the business as far as equipment or into a fund to find future investments, like a new building um for our Welding division or uh a new office so that we can expand and grow.

And then the other 50% of the profits get distributed up by all the employees for bonuses. Um And it’s currently on a discretionary level, but we analyze with the help of every one of the managers of like who’s crushing and who’s not, who’s hitting every one of their goals who’s falling behind. Um And through our one on one process, we have a pretty good idea of like who are our contributors. You know, it’s easy in sales because you can see from a metric space, ok? How much revenue they bring in and how profitable was it, it’s harder when it’s, you know, an overhead position.

So we try and be as fair as possible and people get raises and people get pretty healthy bonuses here. Uh And that’s the incentive. So you know, wanna be a part of it. Yeah, recognition is important. Having a great company culture is important but yeah, you also have to pay well and make sure people feel it in their pockets. Sure. So you, I mean that sounds pretty great man. That sounds pretty generous. So you when you guys have a good year, you take half of it, you’ll reinvest in the company and then you’ll literally take half the profits and distribute it as bonuses to the entire team like a profit.

Yeah, and that includes the owners too. Yeah, that’s good, man. So it’s essentially a profit sharing model, I think. So it works for us. It has worked, you know, the trick is make sure you make money year over year, right? Brandon? Because that model sucks when you don’t make any money when people aren’t as happy. That’s right. Are you able to provide us a couple of examples of goals, whether for 2024 or just previous goals? Yeah, sure. So some of our existing goals again are centered around hiring priorities.

So some of the hiring parties for us include um I want a new commercial salesman in Q one. I want a new industrial salesman in Q three. I want uh a welding salesman in Q four. So those are some of the hiring priorities. And again, now that we’re bringing on three salesmen, I need to bring in one additional project manager to assist with that, it’s like a 3 to 1 ratio is, is typically the sweet spot for us. Um And then because of where we are, we’re actually bringing on another admin to help support kind of the functionality in um both with timekeeping and scheduling.

So that’s where they’ll be supporting. So those are, you know, like right off the bat, those are five positions that we, we’re gonna add in for next year. Um And then it’s refining certain pieces of our technology. So another hire that we want for an intern is a technology coordinator. They’re gonna be an internship typically December and January, which is when college students have offer breaks. So we’re interviewing now for that role and they’re gonna assist us with each one of our technology platforms to kind of connect the dots to help with API pushes and pulls.

So information flows stream lessly from one platform to the next, eliminating, you know, duplicate entries and, you know, working on some reports and some smart sheets that makes us a little more effective as a company. Um a big company initiative for us this year is refining our painter training program. Um We want a very clear career ladder with skill sets tied in so that everyone understands how to move from one level to the next. What are the pay scale ranges at each level? Um And that it’s more than just a skill set that we are evaluating our people based on their culture, you know, how they show up every day.

What’s their attitude, what’s their work ethic? There are specific metrics that are being calculated. Um We’re evaluating them based on their leadership ability, you know, how do they um command the respect from their team? How do they, um you know, are they looking to help get to the next level or are they just happy with where they’re at currently? Um We have, let’s see, I’m reading through them right now. Um we have implemented, you know, an on boarding process which is constantly being refined so that when you have a new hire, they feel like they’re the most important person at the party.

You know, they’re welcomed into the family. They are taught our mission values and vision right out of the gate. They, they um are acclimated to who their crew lead is if they’re in the field or their supervisor is if they’re in the office, um they’re embraced by everyone else who knows what their nickname is, their favorite sports team and, and uh in the background. So, you know, they can, you know, be welcomed. Um So yeah, those are, those are a couple and then, you know, there’s so many that are just less glamorous about, you know, financial reporting and different reports as far as budgeting and whatnot.

But yeah, I, I you have to find these goals that speak to your company, meaning again, what are the current gaps. Let’s, let’s just spend a series of a few days, many hours doing a swat analysis. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses, opportunities and threats? Typically, your weaknesses, opportunities and threats are gonna determine what your goals are going to be? And you have to just keep asking the right questions to understand. Is this the right goal for the right time period? And if so who’s gonna own it?

And that’s the other important thing. Look, these goals are big and over encompassing, but only one person can own it. They can create a team to help them accomplish it, help them complete some of these tasks. But ultimately, one person has to be accountable for making sure it gets crossed to the finish line. Yeah, accountability shoots, man. This is amazing. A lot of, lot of uh golden nuggets in here. So the were you involved in the PC A painter training development? Yeah, I’m, I’m currently the head of the, of that committee. Yeah.

OK. Figure we’ll put a plug in there. So PC A does have painter training. I know Dave, I think you might even be adding more to it. But if you are a PC A member, if you’re listening and you’re not a PC A member included in membership is actual painter training course that you can take and get to your team. Yeah, I mean, we utilize that for my craft workers. You know, that’s the skill sets that we incorporate align directly with those videos. So when they look at their position description and the, and the career ladder and it shows that they have to, you know, master uh masking and taping, then it correlates them to watch a video to kind of get uh an understanding of what’s involved, learn some tips and tricks and then their crew lead has to verify that.

Yeah, they can successfully complete that task in the field. So it’s just a series of different checkpoints that you know, you’re gonna grade them on and painter training through PC A even has an evaluation form that we started using and customized so that you can say, OK, yeah, here’s the skill set. And did they get a one which is outstanding or did they get a four which is insufficient and then you can grade them over time. So yeah, huge plug to PC A for creating pater training is that’s again a tool that we use to help train our guys in the field. Yeah.

And for everyone listening, you know, don’t get overwhelmed. We’re talking about structure for big time growth. Dave’s company is very, very big. It’s probably a lot bigger than yours. Don’t get overwhelmed. Take the concepts, take the understanding, apply it to your business, be patient with yourself. But one of the things Dave that you said was this onboarding, we don’t really think about on boarding for employees or team members that much we typically will, we think about what’s the customer experience, what does that look like when you engage them?

But when we bring on a new team member, we’re not as focused in it. And this idea of just treat hiring like sales all the way up until the on boarding to how you actually treat your team member. That’s huge. And it’s something that big companies like Dave’s do. Well, yeah, we’re gonna actually talk about that in our next episode, right? Where we try and develop your next level of leaders, how you mentor your team to step up in an organization and really help produce. And that’s through clarity and that’s through support and that’s through having a great culture so that they feel that they’re part of something that they believe in and that’s really important.

A lot of companies Brandon always say, oh, yeah, customers are number one. Yeah, our customers are number one. But guess what? Our employees are more important than our customers. Make sure your employees feel the love as much as your customers do because they’re the ones supporting your customers ultimately. Yep. Yeah, we, we have had um we had a run in, I remember at Pain Marketing Pro some time ago, I think it was about a year ago there was a, a partner, we call our customers partners. It was a part of being particularly difficult to the point is, is borderline inappropriate with one of our team members and I had to step in and, and take a hard line, you know, essentially siding with our team member.

We ended up parting ways with that partner, but at that point, it was time to do that anyways, but it ended up being a positive thing internally because when you can show your team, hey, I have your back, they are much more prone to have your back and become much more loyal and excited about working at your company. So do take that line that your team is really, is number one, the customer is kind of number 1.2. There you go. Right. We don’t want to call it number two, but you have to value your team.

You have to respect your team because happy employees, happy team members make for happy customers. They make for a healthy company. You said uh another thing. So as you know, Dave, I, I’m always trying to drill down, right? Like on this, on this um podcast, my whole focus is what can, what can listeners take and then apply directly but try to really, really drill and you don’t know what you don’t know. So as we’re listening to, to you talk about your work structure to you talk about all these different meetings and, and goals and you know, some pretty sophisticated heavy stuff here.

A lot of thoughts obviously been given to it. Uh And someone’s listening, maybe they’re, they run a much smaller company. Maybe it’s a million, maybe it’s half a million, whatever it is. How can they even even sort of map this out in their head? Obviously? What a coaching program, would that be the way to do it? Are there any resources they can do on their own coaching? Yes, absolutely. I mean, look, I look back at the history of our company and through bootstrapping through a lot of hard work, uh, a lot of imbalance. Right.

I didn’t see my father a lot when I was younger because he was constantly trying to grow this company. Um, they made it right. It sure will. But I wouldn’t recommend that for anybody today trying to start their business. Uh, I think family and work balance is really important and it shouldn’t be one at the expense of the other ever. So for me having someone to help hold me accountable, having someone to keep me pointed at that North Star, uh, was, is, is vital for us to step up and get to the next level.

I mean, we’re already an established company. We already have a lot of systems, but you don’t know what you don’t know. So when we had a coach that came in was like, all right, let me analyze what you have. Yeah, you have a lot of great things, but you’re missing this, you’re missing that I would recommend you reframe restructure. Um, it made all the difference in the world to us and there were a lot of things Brandon at the beginning that they didn’t click. I had to hear certain concepts two and three times before.

Like, oh, that’s how I apply it into my business. Oh, that’s where it makes sense for me to pass the information down. That’s what they mean by cascading it down two levels. So they understand it. Um, to be a better leader is to be a better delegator. It’s almost a different mindset. You have to get out of. Uh I can just do it better myself into. I’m gonna be a coach. I’m gonna be a mentor. I’m gonna take more time than what it should take to teach somebody how to fish so that I don’t have to keep catching them fish in the future.

And that I think is really what’s gonna take us to the next level and help get us um on a trajectory for that continued consistent growth over time. So, yeah, going back to it, the structure and the accountability was all in place from the coach. They have a lot of the answers. They have the format and they’re gonna have the consistency for you because what happens with uh business owners, especially with growing companies, there’s always more and more and more and you’re getting stuck on the urgent you’re doing, you’re putting out the fires and you’re not spending enough of your time on the important items that are gonna get you to that next step.

So that coach always brings you back to focus, to say. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know you had to put out that fire but immediately get back on task to the important things that are gonna help ramp you up and get to the next level. Yeah, I know I’ve needed that. So I’m gonna basically come in, grab you by the collar, pull you out and be like, hey, you’re not thinking about this the right way. If you, if you want and you focused on XY or Z, you set some time aside here, you’d have to, you wouldn’t have to keep putting out the same fire over and over again.

That’s right. Yeah, I mean, we have these meetings which will go into in the next session called the Big Five. Right. Here’s a teaser for wanting to see the next one. There are one on one meetings with every one of my employees. Everyone that reports to me has a big five meeting. Once a month. We have annual goals which are just five of your key goals for the company. And then we have accomplishment goals. Like what did you accomplish in the last month? What do you want to accomplish for next month?

And they should all kind of relate to your big five goals. And I act as a coach, a mentor and accountability partner to make sure that they’re accomplishing them in the right order. I support them. I’m their partner, I’m their teammate. Um When they have a challenge, I help guide them and, and, and sometimes start throwing it on my back to help them accomplish their goals. If everyone has that mindset where they have to not only look out for themselves, but without look out for the two or three people to the left and right, man, you can go a lot further, a lot faster. Yeah.

Ok. So another thing I like to accomplish in this podcast now that I do have a platform is to help people better deal with things that I’ve had to deal with. And I know one of the things I’ve had to deal with is when you’re building a business, you have the sense of guilt because you have a family, you have other commitments and, and you suffer from that mentally and emotionally because you, you’re taking care of your family, you’re taking care of future family, current family, whatever it is because of what you’re doing right now is obviously much worse if it’s current family.

Um But at the same time, you’re sort of not taking care of them because this idea that maybe you’re neglecting them or maybe you’re not being there as much and, and a lot of us find ourselves in that tough spot and you said something that I think was really, really good. When you started talking about coaching, you said you should not have success in one, both family and work at the expense of the other. And so often we’re saying, hey, don’t work so hard that you lose your family or, but you’re also saying, hey, don’t go spend all the time with your family and you lose their financial future and their freedom and you can’t take care of them.

And the way that you can balance those two things and not lose either is through maximizing your time and your efforts and you do that through mentorship, through coaching, through being more efficient. So you can get the same amount of progress done with working fewer hours. Great recap, man. Well said, well, it struck me because no one ever really says that no one says you should, you shouldn’t have one at the expense of the other. People always say, hey, don’t, don’t lose sight of your family. Don’t lose track of that work life balance.

But the work life balance isn’t about, hey, work more. It’s about work less and have more life. It’s never the other way. But the but, but it’s, it’s so easy to villainize, work, to villainize hard work, but we all need it. You have like you said, your dad wasn’t there for a while. Maybe he didn’t do it in, in the most efficient way possible. There really weren’t as many resources available to him as there are to everyone listening to this. It just, the industry wasn’t the same.

The culture wasn’t the same. And, but now he made it, you said he made it, he got there. And now you have this, this company that you’ve been able to continue to grow with your family. You, you guys have a lot because of the sacrifice that he made. So you don’t want to overly sacrifice. If you don’t have to, it does require some sacrifice. That’s ok. You can know that it’s ok, but try to be as efficient as possible. Don’t be stupid in your growth. That’s right.

Know your priorities, right. That’s really important, both personally and professionally. What are the core values? What are the things that are most important to you that you will not sacrifice? You know, and, and I, I put on not only goals for our company that align to me specifically, but I have goals for myself personally that I need to hit so that I am holding my truths to myself and to my family. Um, some of those are, I’m, I’m home every day for dinner before six o’clock. We have family dinners. Right.

That’s really important to me. Weekends are family time. Look, I can be on the phone, but we’re traveling everywhere we go as a family and we’re doing it together. Um I make a priority to have me time every morning, every single morning. I wake up at 435 like clockwork with no exception, 435 I’m up and I have two hours to myself it’s my time. Nobody could take it away. It’s not for my business. It’s not for my Children. It’s not for my spouse. It’s for me because I feel if my cup is filled up tall, I will have enough to fill up all the other people I love around me.

So you have to create these routines, these disciplines in life, to know your priorities, to write them out and to put them on your calendar in a time block prioritized method. So that, you know, you’re hitting success that you have a scorecard that you can keep track of. Are we on task? Are we, are we not? And then having a good team around you, whether that’s a coach or a business partner or a key leader that’s also encouraging you and holding you accountable and get your ego out of the way because if that partner comes to you and goes, you know what man, you really missed it this last week.

Don’t take it as an insult. Take it as a, that’s a gut punch. I needed to step back up and get back on track. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve done something similar. We call it kind of non work time. Like sacred time. You carve that time out. Family dinners is huge. It’s been, it’s been proven that it’s actually really important for the development of the family and kids and, and all that. So family dinners, we have something called Sunday Fun Day. You know, no work. So have those, if you carve out those times, no matter how much you’re working, but you, you, you honor them, then you don’t, you don’t totally lose yourself in the process of building your business.

That’s right. Dave, is there anything else you wanna add on building your, your structure? You know, setting up your company structure for big time growth. Before we wrap up this second episode, I would say invest in your people. Again, I can’t stress this enough. We are in the people business as a service company. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. So make sure you’re hiring the right people have a strategy to do. So, make sure that they’re very clear on the expectations for your company through position descriptions through these one on one meetings, through having clear goals for them and then help support them, help encourage continuing education and each one of your teammates encourage their growth in the organization, both personally and professionally.

If you invest in your team, it will pay you back in spades. Thank you, Dave. I appreciate you, man. I’m looking forward to your brand. Three. Yeah, me too.

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 URL is l84q3at72h.onrocket.site/podcast.

Hey there, painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also, if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the Painter Marketing Pros website at Painter Marketing Pros dot com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon@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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