Jack Magee, founder and owner of Trailblaze Paints, shares how he has grown to doing over $2 million per year after only 2 years in business. At 23 years old, Jack is the youngest guest that the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast has ever had. Throughout the interview Jack shares his entrepreneurial mindest, and the power that mindset has had on growing his business. Jack is working hard to make Trailblaze Paints as closely resemble the McDonalds model as possible, and he outlines how he is systematizing his business to improve efficiencies while he grows.
Video of Interview
- Power of the entrepreneur’s mindset
- Guerrilla marketing tactics that work
- How to generate 50+ 5-star Google reviews quickly
- Where to find painters, and a unique hack for vetting them on the spot
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 Jack McGee. Jack is the founder and owner of trailblazers paints a residential and commercial repaint company based in Mooresville north Carolina. Jack shares how he has grown. Trailblazers paints to doing over $2 million 23 years old, Jack is the youngest guest that the painter marketing mastermind podcast has ever had. Throughout this interview, Jack shares his entrepreneurial mindset and the power that this mindset has had on growing his business. Jack is working hard to make trailblazers paints as closely resemble the Mcdonald’s model as possible and he outlines how he is systematized in his business to improve efficiencies while he grows 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, Jack? Thanks for coming on the Planter Marketing Mastermind podcast man. Yes sir. Thank you for having me Brandon. So tell us a little bit about Trailblazer paints. Yeah. So our company’s motto is honesty, integrity and quality and that’s what we built our company on. We started February of 2020 as soon as the pandemic hit and old man Very quickly became the # one rated paint company in our area. And where are you based? Um, Mooresville north Carolina. So little north of charlotte. Okay, nice. What’s the, what’s the population there? Oh gosh, I don’t know a lot. A lot. And you quickly became, how’d you do that? Um so I’m less of a pain or more of an entrepreneur. Right? So um just strategic referral strategies, sitting down with customers at the end of the project saying, Hey, if you leave us a review will knock $50 off the bill and we get the review while we’re there really helps versus just randomly sending them a review link or just asking and passing mm I’m not gonna tell google about this Jack. God, just getting it works, man, it gets you there faster. Right, what do you, you guys have over 50 reviews now, don’t you? Yeah. 55 today I think. 55. So are you at this point? You guys are obviously super new company? Just barely over two years, Are you doing the sales at this point? What’s your role in the company? So we had a sales guy for six weeks and I trained him and he just had the personality of a soda can so he didn’t last. Um I just just hired another guy though and I think he’ll, he’ll be decent. So I don’t manage the production anymore. I’m trying to step out of the role of sales at this point. I don’t do any of the back end work. You know, Again, I’m an entrepreneur. I’m not, I’m I’m really good at hiring people that are better than me. That’s about it. Yeah, I love that. And so you’re, you’ve been really focused on, on getting these systems set up and then getting people put into those roles that are maybe going to be able to perform them better than you. Exactly, exactly. So you have it, what’s your work chart looks like right now? Who do you have in the house? So in house people is my administrator. She’s the one that helps me actually build the system so they’re trainable. Uh and then plenty of other things and then the production manager is an employee, The sales guy will be a 1099. But I would, I would consider that in the house still um Sure. Everything else, our marketing efforts, our painters, our call services, anything else Under the sun in my business is all ah subcontracted. Sure. So do you guys use a call center then to field your calls? So you’re in a, so you’re on track Right now in 2022. Your, I guess this will be your second full year in business, um, from a calendar year And you are on track to do over two million, is that correct? Yeah, that’s impressive. Over to definitely over two. So then what? Um, I mean, what kind of walk us through this? Because most of the guests that we have have had painting companies for quite a lot longer. You just went from zero to an hour or two. I would love to get sort of a chronological timeline like, hey, here’s, here’s why I started the business. Here’s what I did first here, maybe some mistakes I made. Like if you could just kind of go through your journey, that would be great. Yes. So I’ll start with year one. It’s funny and I’m having the most fun today and I’ve ever had in my business. Uh, and anyways, Year one, I was working, you know, 70, 80 hours a week. I was helping my subs on these projects because I didn’t have quality subs. I was fighting to get bids by being low priced. I was having to do the classic thumbtack and just scramble for leads. Year one was tough. Year one was a lot of learning. Um, and then I kind of figured out some marketing principles and strategies. Um and do heavy guerilla tactics. So we’re all wearing companies shirts, I’ve got wrapped vehicles were putting yard signs all over town. I’ve got direct mailers going out to my ideal clients. Um Again, strategic referrals at the end of the job. I’m sitting down and saying, hey, you know, is there anyone else you know who would benefit from this service neighborhood facebook pages, Can you post on your neighborhood facebook page while we’re here? The reviews helped with the sales. Um What else do we do? I don’t know, we just try to be everywhere. Sure. Um And and it really goes a long way and uh So anyways year one was tough. You’re one was a lot of work, a lot of customer complaints, a lot of saving the day. Ah you’re two Got a little bit easier. We did 700. Um You know and there were really two parts to the year, the first half of the year and the second half. The first half I had facebook agency who I don’t think had the best integrity and was kind of jerking me along and I was green enough that I was listening to them and trusting them. Um And it hindered my sales. So for the first six months I did about 200 in sales and then we switch marketing companies and Expanded into 500 nice sales for the last six months. Um So hiring hiring high quality marketers is a big deal to ah And then I so this year has been really focused on sales. So towards the end of the year, last year we were getting a lot of leads. Um But I was not an effective salesperson. My clothes rate was about 17%,, which is not great. Um And so far this year we’ve drastically increased that closer to 35 40%. How did you do that? Uh Some very intentional sales training. Well I’ve got a sales trainer. His name is Marshall Wilkinson. Um It’s like actually going in there and handling objections professionally pressuring people um delivering quotes on the spot and having having the confidence in your product that is the right fit. Sure. So when you, I guess let’s I got a couple of things I kind of want to dive into um when you professionally pressure people a little bit, what does that look like? It sounds like you really, you paid someone to come in and train your team right on sales factors that, so that’s that’s awesome. You know, very few companies do that. Painting companies. What are some of the biggest things that you’ve learned? What what does that process that sales process, close process look like for you guys. Yeah. So his philosophy is called a LP. So altitude as in your confidence and your competence and your product. L is logic? Does this make sense? Is this a good fit and p is the professional pressure? Um A big part of it for me too is the altitude piece just coming in there and understanding hey, I’m literally the best um in the least arrogant way possible. Sure. But then when it really comes down to sitting at the table also, you know, hey like this quote is twice the other guys quote like, but I’m just gonna go with the other guy and then asking them the questions say, you know what matters most to you price for getting the job done on time, on budget and at the highest quality and eventually you loop them into, Huh? There’s a reason why this other guy is 50% less and that’s you’re going to get what you pay for. Yeah. Yeah, competing against the truck in the trucks. The fly by night contractors over there. Yeah. You have to, it sounds like what you guys are doing is kind of educating I guess the, the customers in a way. Yeah. Well at this, at the same time it’s not discounting someone else and I don’t like to sell by telling horror stories because that’s not, I’m I’m always just say, I’m like, listen, we all know that friend who got totally ripped off for paint all over the house or this, you know, we don’t need to go into that right now. I think everyone understands you get what you pay for, right? Yeah. Yeah. No, that makes sense man. So then another question I had is is you you really focused on kind of formalizing the referral process um Which I think is genius. You know people, people tend to think that referrals and repeat business is this passive process, but it’s really an active process. What does that look like when you sit down and and you ask if if you know any of their friends or neighbors or family might need a paint probably do offer incentives or what what what does that look like? Yes. So that’s on the front end to, that’s something we’ll bust out when someone says, hey like can you come lower on the price? Well no, it would be disingenuous for me to have presented an inflated price. Yeah, but what I can do is I can offer you these rebates and what a rebate looks like is hey at the end of the project we’re gonna sit down with you and we’re going to do X. Y. Z. Um typically that looks like a google review a facebook post in a certain group. I don’t, I don’t just want you to push it on your personal page. I want you to put it in a group where thousands of people are going to see it and then another one on the next the next door app. Okay and then the, so the value of those is going to fluctuate based on the project size. Um is someone who’s spending $60,000 with me is gonna want more than someone who’s spending $10,000 with me right? Um you’re gonna ask a question and I cut you off. You know, do you, if you, do you ever have people refer directly like, hey, my sister needs her house painted. What does that look like for the person who referred if you get the job with the sister and what does that look like for the sister? Does she get some sort of better price? So the sister, No. Um mm but for the person who refers, we have a referral incentive where whether we get the job or not, we’re gonna send you either a $50 amazon gift card or if you have Venmo or something, we’ll just give you straight $50 cash just for a qualified appointment. Sure. And the way I, the way I phrase it to my clients is you know, I’m paying a marketing company to get me these appointments. I’d much rather pay you my customer than my marketing company. Yeah, no, it makes sense. And and those are best leads you can get. So 50 $50 for refer lead. I mean that’s a steal. I know I know that’s great man, I love that. So all right. So you have, I’ve kind of been figuring things out. Your one was a bit rough. Um as it often is for new businesses, you say that you are really an entrepreneur and that that’s your personality. So I guess can you speak to that? Maybe a little bit about your background and then how that mindset and personality has impacted your business. Yes. So this is my fifth business. All the other ones were just massive implosions. Um, that’s how it works, man. That’s how it works. Yeah, but I’m so glad I did that. You know, I didn’t go to college, Get kicked in the teeth by life. Yeah. Yeah. And just from the start, you know, I had a lot of people behind me saying stick to the brush or get on the brush, you’re going to make more money. It’s going to be a slow grind, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And uh, I’ve got a philosophy that you listen to everyone, but you don’t take everyone’s advice. Um, and this isn’t the last business I’ll start, but I want to treat it almost like a Silicon Valley startup of, hey, let’s go big, let’s go fast. And uh, but let’s also do it right, right. How old are you, Jack? I always ask the follow up question. How old do you think I am? Yes. 28 23. You’re 23. Yeah. You play at a higher level. You play at a higher level. Impressive. So you’ve started four businesses Prior to starting your painting company at 21. So, so when you were 21, you had started for businesses. Yeah, guitar lessons. So I still play guitar almost every day. That’s like my meditation? Um I was lazy with that? That was the lesson on that one. Um then got pulled out of the restaurant industry did landscaping and that was just, I didn’t mark it and I wasn’t diligent in sales and it was, you know, you can’t really subcontract landscaping either. Mhm or at least if you can, I didn’t, I didn’t have that perspective then then home remodels and that was tough because I wasn’t the one buying the house, I was the one working on the house is right and it’s just a lot and I like to paint better and then I had a stock options business Which I would make you know, 2% a month on but being I think I was 1920 at the time I need cash, I don’t need 2% on my money every month. Yeah, interesting man. Pretty, very so with this, with this entrepreneurial drive, you’re approaching the painting business as a kind of a Silicon Valley startup. Move fast, move hard, potentially break things sometimes but keep the quality up right? Like in that facebook’s model, like move fast and break things something like that. Um What is I guess how is that changing how you approached the business? I know you said you didn’t stay on the brush, you you weren’t gonna kind of paint and grind and so probably you hired a little bit more quickly. But what are the biggest differences between how you’re approaching it and how you see other painting, company owners approaching it? Um, I’d say big pieces in the branding and the marketing and the, the actual back end side of the paint business. So understanding the importance of systems. Um, one of my favorite things that I always come back to is Mcdonald’s, Yes, we have a 16 year old girl running a multimillion dollar business, right? Because their systems are so incredible, they can just take anyone and toss them in the kitchen and make them a manager of how to do this and that. Um, so trying to figure out how you make systems that are so easy that a monkey can follow them granted. Mcdonald’s is a little bit different than pain, but understanding the systems and the importance of systems and your business, which I’m still like, that’s the big thing that we’re working on this year’s sales system building the piece that’s gotten me to where I am today is my branding. So understanding, who is my ideal client? Who do I need to be in front of, where do I find those people? Um, how do I be the biggest fish in my pond? We’ve actually, uh, so we’ve got Our # two competitor and uh, I’m, I have an unhealthy obsession with competition and I run into this guy at Jersey mikes and I’m laughing with him. I’m like, dude, you gotta watch out man, we’re coming for you this year. And I’m joking and he blows me off. He’s like, who’s this kid? Like shut up, get out of my face. He’s like, there’s plenty of work. You’re not taking any work for me kid, basically massive. Um fast forward to two weeks ago and we’re competing with him on every bid and we’re winning every bid. And we get a phone call from a client saying, hey, just so you know, your competitor Lance, the other painting company is literally harassing my current client. Just trash talking us. And he’s got, he’s got nothing to show for it. He’s just, he’s flustered and he’s scared because we’re sucking all the oxygen out of the market. What’s he’s you’re saying he’s he’s calling your customers saying bad things about your company. Yes. Yeah. And we’ve gotten that feedback several times now and he’s just like, he’s actually scared because we’re, and I always say it like this, we are literally taking oxygen out of the market. He can’t breathe. What are you, are you going to I guess just ignore that. Is that going to alter your sales process if you know that the customers are going to be getting calls from him every time, which are approached there. Not at all. That’s him. He’s selling for me. Yeah, right? If you have someone harassing you about another company yet. The company that you’re calling about is the number one rated were young professionals we present well and we’re the most recommended. What does that say about the other guy, you know? Yeah. And he’s getting the second most phone calls, you know? Yeah. I wonder what your, your Jersey mike’s encounters are gonna be like now I think it might be a little weird. Uh you see, I don’t really care. I’m not gonna play dirty um because that’s not how you win business. Yeah. Have you ever watched the movie? The founder? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love that movie. I was actually talking with my way, I, I looked to Mcdonald’s a lot as well as, and then that movie, um Mcdonald’s, it turns out it’s actually really a real estate company, you know, and that’s really what they are. Um which is interesting. And I was talking to my wife last night not to take this topic and insanely, you know that this podcast insanely off topic. But I was like, I wonder if painting companies could do something similar where they could basically open, let’s say open franchises or even office locations in different areas and by small commercial buildings um, for their painting company and become sort of a real estate company. I digress. I don’t know, real estate law very well. I hadn’t thought about the real estate aspect and painting either. And I’m not a big real estate guy. So that didn’t you intrigue me? Yeah. Well your Silicon Silicon Valley guys. So I know you’re gonna, you’ll probably go go back and figure out this answer for me, if you figure it out, I would love to know well, and that’s another piece to, you know, you’ve got the franchise model or keeping it in the house. And that’s another thing of, you know, to me, this isn’t a successful company if I don’t have multiple locations. Um So do you keep all of those in the house and have systems so that it’s easy enough that it’s not a headache doing that or do you franchise that because You know, on a franchise, I don’t know how much you make on a franchise. What is it like? 5%,, 3%. I know very little about franchises, Let’s say it’s 3% versus being the owner, you’re closer to 20%. Mhm. Anyways, that’s just those are the kinds of things that keep me up at night I guess. Yeah, I guess the franchises, you get the infusion of capital, but for painting company is not really a big deal. If you want the real estate way, maybe it would be a big deal. Um And then you, you have someone else who’s really responsible for it blow up and and basically sell your system. But yeah, what are you thinking about opening a second location in the near future or what’s your thought process with that. Well, this one needs to be a well oiled machine. I I think this one location, which would essentially be from Charlotte to Hickory, which is a 40 mile radius. It could easily be 20, 20 plus million dollars. Yeah. So until we have one location that’s just a well oiled machine, it doesn’t make sense for me to expand. Yeah. Yeah. That was interesting to me to that your your competitor is so panicked when, When you are at, you know north of two million because I know he shouldn’t be Right and you shouldn’t be, nobody should be. There’s plenty of work where you are. You just said you can get to $20 million. I have no doubt. There’s this misconception oftentimes with the scarcity mindset that if you have a professional competitor and they show up to the same bids as you, then there’s not enough work for the both of you, you know. But but one thing Jason paris always says go into your Sherwin Williams store um ask them how much paint there selling per month, Do the math to figure out how many jobs that is, what percentage job of those jobs do you need? Um, to actually be at the level of success, you want to be, take into account how many paint stores are in the area and the math kind of shows you you’re thinking small, Right? So you’re saying 20 million, a lot of people be like, you can’t get to 20 million, but you can, you sit down and you do the market cap of of, you know, a number of houses and your target demographic and there’s a lot more opportunity available than people tend to realize. Absolutely. Absolutely. So what is, so, so it seems like you’ve given a lot of thought to your, your ideal customer, your customer avatar, what does that look like for you? So it also goes with the branding. I mean what’s your brand suited towards? And ours is luxury painting services. Um, we want to be on the high end of our market. So what does it look like? Um, 800,000 plus dollar homes. Typically they’ve got someone who lives at home, whether it’s the wife or the husband that works, it’s typically a partner, someone stays at home um, typically with Children Anywhere between 40 to 65 and then within certain zip codes. So if you look, I think we found it on the census studies, but you can see what areas and what zip codes have, what amounts of household incomes, house values. Um, and you can really pinpoint what zip codes are, where your money is going to be. And that’s huge for if you guys are doing the direct mail and things like that, that’s massive that the pinpoint door hangers, anything, anything offline, you know, online too. But offline you can get even more granular, you know, house by house. Yeah, no, I and that’s a, that’s a big thing. I really do like the direct mailer strategy and some people have asked me about it and it’s not necessarily for direct response because you you don’t get great direct response off of direct mailers. It’s more that once you’ve called me You’ve already seen me at this point maybe 100 times. No joke. Sure. And we’ve created a relationship already. Yeah. Which makes the sales process that much easier. Yeah. No you’re you’re kind of um maintaining this top of mind presence for new prospective customers. Exactly. And most customers have to be touched multiple times before they can make a decision. So before they even are in the market you’re touching him you know that you know that that they are your ideal customer. You want to paint their house when they want it painted. And so you’re touching, touching, touching, touching them when they come in the market you’re you’re much better position than your competitors who who haven’t touched it yet. Exactly. I think brian Reese is the one that taught me that has brian been on this. Oh yeah he was I think it’s number four or something. He was early on. I’m gonna have him on again. We’re doing a around to at some point. I’m sure he’s only her own exponentially since the last time you talked with him he is a beast. Yes he’s a really smart guy. Um and he I think he researched you need at least 12 touchpoints before a customer is ready to buy, yep. So he’s he’s the one that kind of taught me that nice. Yeah, especially with, you know, this isn’t an impulse decision for people, this is a big, big investment for most people, right? At the same time to how how do we make it an impulse decision? So kind of switching gears a little bit back to the sales process, you know, before you’re sitting down and you’re presenting your proposal, how do you build that emotion? Because this is an emotional sale. You know, people, people aren’t buying because of the price. They’re going to tell you it’s because of the price, but it’s it’s because they don’t see the value difference, right? Um so before you’re getting the proposal, before you go take your measurements, switching away from educating them on paint because I can tell you, hey, I’m gonna prime and I’m gonna paint this two codes with high quality paint, right? This is what I recommend as a professional blah blah blah. It takes me 35 minutes. But then the other piece should be, oh you want these colors, oh my goodness! When you drive home every single day, like your house is going to feel so much lighter. I can only imagine that, you know, over the last few years driving up to this dirty house, it just feels almost depressing. Looking at this house every time you come home, especially after a bad day, you just look at all this versus after we’re done and you know, it’s gonna be a beautiful light gray and just feel brighter and you’re gonna want to have your friends over and sit outside and barbecue. And um, it’s definitely time. Have you ever been slapped by a homeowner um, after you called the house dirty? No, not at all, because at that point we’re agreeing with them because they’re telling us, they’ve already told you, I’m not saying your house is disgusting. And if, like, I hate the color beige, I always find out if they want a beige or not before I trash on the color beige. Yeah, yeah. You’re, you would and I want to clarify that because I know what you’re saying for anyone listening. You don’t just start saying bad things about the house, you’re going off of what they’ve told you. Like, hey, this house, it feels dark and feel, you know, I don’t, I don’t really don’t like it feels sad, whatever. So then you’re, you’re coming and you’re kind of, you’re kind of basically empathizing with the pain that they’ve already expressed to you and then you’re selling the dream saying, yeah, that this house, you know, it feels it’s been feeling dark for so long, but, but here’s how we’re going to make it feel exactly the best. Um what is your, what is your plan for? I guess you said you’re gonna work on a lot of systems processes? Um, this year, is that the primary plan or are you still focused? Uh and in terms of systems processes that primarily sales, is it operations? And so what does this year look like for you and what does 20, look like for you? Yeah. So 2022. So where we are is we’ve hired key roles um and we’re working on training them and as we’re training them, we keep finding all these questions of what is not already answered. Sure. And plugging those back into the systems another pieces, client interaction. You know, I keep I’m on the high end of the market and we keep getting pain and the but clients understanding how to mitigate that via systems on boarding packages um but yeah, I need to extract myself from the field so that I can really understand how to build and expand those systems because it is still sort of a gray area. Sure. And going back brian brian’s incredible at that brian is really good at that. Yeah. So you, you’re saying that you get because you’re at the high end of the market, you get pain in the butt clients what what are the things that they tend to gripe about or that tend to be issues. Yes. So we’re at the like high, high end and people expect perfection and there was no such thing as perfect. Right? So it’s always the really small fine details. It’s not like there’s any dropping the ball in quality but it’s really small detailed stuff that it’s like, hey, we should get through the project and finish before we were Cleaning for 30 minutes every single day. Mhm. Or do I bid and create systems so that we have 30 minutes for a six man crew to clean every day? Mhm. Right. Um those are the customer complaints we get is basically small fine details, stuff that, and it’s not just one time at the end, it’s like we’re doing, you know, 15 30 40 50 $60,000 projects in residential world and that takes time and it’s in every day something. What is your typical profit margin on your projects? Your gross profit? So we bid them at 50 last year was abysmal. I think we came in at 25% after produced and a lot of that was from some things early on. You know, I’ve definitely gotten sued, I’ve gotten stiffed and that affects the gross profit. Um But this year we’re steadily tracking 40-45% after the project is produced. So we’ve, we’ve worked some of those profit kinks. How do you, how do you work that out with yourself? Do you pay them as a percentage of the project or how do you pay them? I just give them a dollar value. I say, hey, here’s how much I have to pay, you go do it. Okay, so you guys come up with your own separate arrangement essentially. Yeah, okay. And then who buys the materials? Is it yours? I buy I buy the paints don’t tell the I. R. S. I don’t think you’re allowed to do that but yeah. Yeah that’s okay. We won’t tell him. I mean at the end of the day you’re you kind of by them anyways because you’re either including it in what you’re paying them or or you’re buying it separately but um that’s actually you know how it works. Um You know with the paint shortage too sometimes you just have to upgrade a product for the sake of getting the job done and the sub is not going to upgrade the product. They’re going to go from resilience to super paint. Whereas I’m going to go from resilience to duration. Right? So so when you when you have customer issues whether or not they are reasonable, how do you handle them with honesty, integrity and quality? Okay. Um you know in their mind they’re always right, yep. And the classic the customer is always right. It goes back to that logic principle to an A. L. P. Of agreeing with him. Hey I totally hear you. Mr and mrs client um you know if we look at this this is standard blah blah blah blah blah. You know just walking them through it and saying hey I understand this is just stressful process but you hired the best for a reason. You know this is this is just part of the process? I promise you’re in good hands and you’re going to get taken care of, yep so with your, you know you when you started the business you were wearing a lot of hats as as we all do when we started business, what what did you hire out first? So was it was it your admin and then your project manager and then your sales estimator, What was, where did you start replacing yourself first? And how did you choose that order? Well of course the first thing was the painters right? Um I think I painted one house and when I say I painted the house I had my friend painted and I went and sold to work um zero houses but we call it one yeah that one um And then from there it took me I think a full 12 months to make my first in house higher and it was a production manager and you know I got good at hiring subs, so I was like oh I’m I’m good at hiring and then I just kind of hired someone based on them saying they were going to work hard for me and he worked really hard but he wasn’t smart. Um So it wasn’t a it wasn’t a good fit and it wound up costing me Over $40,000. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah um And so I needed to take a step back and recoup $40,000. Um and then come september of that year. I hired an admin person so that I could be in the field and do everything and not worry about what was going on in the back end because we offer a lot of things and ah like color renders additional communications blah blah blah blah blah. So anyways office manager was the first person and she’s incredible. I’m so glad I hired her. Um Then the call service. Call service was next. So that I didn’t have my phone blowing up. And then uh the salesperson was next which again that was more recent hire in january and he didn’t work out. But then when I hired him, I also hired a P. M. And she’s been incredible. Ah So successfully. I hired the office then PM. And uh well we’ll see how this next sales guy does. I think he’ll do well. Nice. So when you when you say you’re good at hiring um subcontractors and obviously quality is really important to you. What’s your process there? How do you go about ensuring that that the quality control with these subcontractors. The painters. Well one I’ve got a list of over 100 different some contractors who want to work for me. So I’ve got an incredible list of people to interview in the first place. How did you get that? Uh That’s that’s a really good question. I do a lot of in person networking. So I see a guy with uh wrapped ladders at the gas station. I pulled over at the gas station and I talked to him. I see a guy at the grocery store getting food. I go talk to them, especially at the paint store, I see you at the paint store, I go talk to you anywhere, anywhere. I see a van like that, I’m going out and I’m getting your phone number and then interviewing them. I checked their ladders, ladders are a big piece for me. Ladders will tell you if they know what they’re doing or not. In my opinion, do they have 40 ft ladders? Are you insured? Are you clean dish? I mean as clean as you can get for a painter, yep, the other piece is none of our guys do drugs. No one really smokes cigarettes on our job sites. Um, and I think that’s just a personality thing. Like you’re just, I’ve got a list of 100 guys. If that’s the kind of personality you have, you’re probably not gonna fit my company. Sure. What, what advice do you have or what have you learned about hiring your in house employees? Uh, don’t hire the cheap people just because you can get someone cheat doesn’t mean that it’s not always worth having extra bodies because they’re just going to get in the way, yep. Um so higher for quality. I always interviewed plenty of people and other pieces like my PM, she was a Sharon Williams employee and she was just so incredible. I had to, I had to take her. Yeah, same thing with several of my painters, like they worked for other companies and said, hey, you should come work for me. Um I find that the best people typically already have jobs and you need to sell them on your vision and why your company is better. Do you, do you offer them a pay race to come join you? I just, the sales guy. No, no, no. I just hired um a videographer as well, A full time videographer. He took a pay cut. Mhm. Um So not necessarily some people, yes, the PM, she got a pay raise. Uh my office person, she’s had plenty of pay raises, but it’s more about the vision. You know, people want to be on a speedboat, not a sinking ship. So the, what is your, do you have a full time videographer? Yeah. So, well that’s how I’ve raised the position to them. It’s full time taking videos, pictures editing, those, putting it on social media. That was, I mean, I literally just hired that guy yesterday, which is why I haven’t really talked about it. Um but really, that’s the guys for an extra person to be on the job sites doing quality assurance. Oh, because we’re running Five teams at a time right now, we’re producing about 50-60,000 a week. And my production manager is just stretched so thin and if we’re getting all these nitpicky details, it’s really gonna help to have someone who is, whose only job is to be on the job sites taking videos and pictures versus them having to do quality control stuff, customer communications scheduling, all, all the stuff that a production manager needs to focus on. That’s interesting. So you have another, another set of eyes out there with a video camera. So people are definitely going to, um, I want to make sure they’re acting in the best manner possible. Do you Now you do interior and exterior correct with these homes? Mhm Yeah, we do inside, outside and cabinets and the cabinet. So when you’re inside of a house, I guess even outside, but especially inside, how does that work with the customer for you sending a videographer, do you get some sort of release? Do you let them know? Hey, we might be taking some videos inside your house. Is there any sort of, I guess maybe you don’t know yet because you just hired him. But what’s your plan that I could see some potential pushback. Yeah, that’s, I’m glad you brought that up because that’s what my PM says. She’s like, hey, we should really put that in the contract of like, hey, we’re taking videos and pictures on your job sites, you know, the intimate painting, the interior painting works already really intimate. As soon as you bring in a videographer, it could throw some people off if they don’t get the heads up, good point. This is the entrepreneurial mindset here, right, build it, build it on the way down, you jump off and be like, oh damn, I probably should have put that in the contract, but we’ll figure it out. No. Yeah, uh that’s, that’s a good point. Um, but piggy backing on that too, You know, what’s some advice for some other people where I see people get hung up, perfectionism. Yeah, that’s being perfectionists. Um, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t care. No, I love it. I mean, I think, I think I’m like, I’m really, really happy that this just came up because I think it’s, you know, so often we hear these stories and I mean that’s essentially what I’m doing is hearing people’s stories, asking people’s stories, but it’s all in the past and so they’ll, they’ll say kind of have a massive bias toward action, don’t be perfectionist, you know, you know, priority good as done is better than perfect. You know, all these kinds of things. I’ll tell you just to move just to do it. But it’s still scary. It’s scary for people to think they’re gonna mess up. It’s scary for people to think they’re going to overlook something and right now we just came across something you’re doing that, you did, you hadn’t thought about and I was like, oh, you better figure it out, but that’s okay because what you’re doing is still genius, right? You’re, you’re putting another pair of eyes, you’re gonna get all kinds of stellar marketing material from it, your your quality control process is going to be handled better, your quality is going to be better. So ultimately the customers are going to be happier and you just have to figure out how to iron out this one can’t as you go. So I think it’s, it’s that and that’s why you’re at over two million in, in two years. You know, it’s because of this kind of mindset. So I think for anyone listening, um this isn’t a mistake that you made, this is, this is proof of how you’re operating and living and why you’re seeing the success as quickly as you are. So I’m super happy that this just came up. Yeah, no, I’m right there with you. Um you know, it’s funny, I was really stressed earlier this week because we had just several clients saying stuff and I again, I’m obsessed with being the best. So when people are super critical, especially as consistent as it was earlier this week about stupid stuff, um I I got a little stressed, but then I got so excited because I was like, every time I’ve ever been stressed, something even better came after that as um yeah, and the other piece on all of that too is we, we went from like 10,015,000 a week in production Pretty quickly to 50- 60,000 a week in production. It’s a big job, it’s a big jump. And then I’ve, I go from, you know, 2000 a week and overhead to Now almost 10,000 a week in overhead and those kinds of things. I mean it’s hard to take leaps on stuff like that. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean that’s the growth pains. You know, if you want to grow fast, you are going to endure more pain in a shorter period of time. Mm hmm For better or for worse. Sorry. Anyone listening to who wants to pursue this level of growth, It is not all roses and rainbows as you go through it. When I say regardless, I mean this the way I’m handling it is so that I can remove myself out and not have to endure this all the time. I would say, I would almost argue if you’re taking a slower path, you’re just gonna experience almost the same kinds of pains and the stresses over a longer period of time because you, you have to be plugged into the business because you don’t have a budget to hire other people. So you’re, you’re kind of just condensing the, I guess the painful portion of the business. So you can get to the fund portion, like you said right now, you’re having the most fun in your business that you’ve ever had. What did you mean by that? Oh man, like I’m working 60-80 hours a week still and loving every minute versus so last year in the peak I’m doing everything and like I don’t want to wake up early in the morning and I’m not excited for the next day, sunday rolls around and I’m like, thank goodness the one day where no one’s working and I can just breathe, which never happens because you have clients who text you on Sundays and ruin the day. Um, vs now I’m waking up at 5:30 AM working out because I just want to feel good. Then we have our team meetings and everyone’s getting excited and everyone’s on board to build something big. Like it’s no longer just me saying, hey, I’m going to create something big. It’s all these people behind me who are saying, dude, like we’re, we’re not here to keep your business stagnant, we’re here all to grow it where it needs to be. Yeah. Amazing. So that networking, you selling people, this dream has made it now less lonely for you. It’s not just you out out here slogging through day in day out, you have a team that’s motivated to succeed. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And and that’s important too because you brought him on with this idea that hey, you want to be in a speedboat, you know, you wanna have opportunity, this is where the company’s going, you sold them a vision, it wasn’t, hey, I can pay you and I know for some people you might have offered to pay raise, but hey, I can pay you $2 more an hour. I can pay you 10 grand more a year. And that’s why you should care instead your, your focus of why you should care was, hey, here’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna disrupt this market. We’re going to be the top guys, We’re gonna do this and I can offer you a pay raise if you ended up doing that. But I think there’s an important distinction there. Exactly. A big difference. Big difference. Yeah. So what, I guess, what advice do you have? Um, just generally for, for anyone listening who maybe they’re starting out or maybe they’ve been going for a while, but they’ve never seen this cadence of growth, but they want to, what, what would you tell them to focus on? Well, I guess the first thing I’d say is do you really want to like, do you really want it? You gotta want it. Like if you’re, if you say you want it, but you’re not willing to give up the brush or you’re not willing to put other people in positions of power to grow this business with with and for you, it’s never gonna happen. You can’t do it alone. Yeah, I’d say that’s the biggest thing, understanding you can’t do it alone. Like if you’re trying to do your own facebook ads, stop, right, hire a professional, if you’re trying to do your own google ads Stop hire professional if you’re trying to paint. Yes definitely stop the google eyes. Good Lord if you don’t know what you’re doing. I know I tried I paid $80 a click for like three clicks and I was like God I’m so dumb With probably zero conversions. None that’s actually something drop in the bucket man for a learning experience for google ads. Yeah we can get back into advice if you have more specific questions but you know I know this is almost kind of marketing centric. Um we’re working on google ads right now so facebook is what gives me a lot of business but we’re doing google direct response as right now and I’ve paid $3,000 for three leads But my cost per click is $6 and I think what the issue is is the company I hired which was logical positions. Didn’t have it running to a conversion based page. I was just running to your website. No it was running to certain sections on my website so my homepage is built for conversions but they were running it so like extra painting was the title of the ad. So they ran it to my extra services page which didn’t have conversions set up. Mhm But my my cost per click was good, the client’s clicking on it I would assume are good I’m just not converting off those ads. Sure. Yeah it’s a pretty low conversion rate if you’re getting $6 a quick but um Okay, cool man. So I want uh one last question for you, I guess two more questions. How do you see the, the painting industry changing in the future or do you see it changing in the future? Oh man. Um yeah, I don’t know. Hopefully more people come in and treat it professionally and we can raise our prices and profit is less of an issue because there are more legitimate companies doing what we’re doing. Competition only breeds better products. Yeah, I love that. But as far as it changing, I don’t know if any engineers will ever listen to this because I don’t know that many painters are engineers. But man, I’d really love to see a painting drone or some way to make it automated so that painters, you know, can be robots, not people. Yeah, I’m wondering when amazon, you know, I think, I think they have in some places, I’ve never seen one, but I think they do do some drone deliveries or you know, at least in the, in the works of it. Um I’m wondering when they’re gonna enter some of these home service industries, I feel like it’s only a matter of time, you know, before you start seeing amazon drones painting painting your neighbor’s house or something. I don’t think it’s in the near future. But I think one day there’s gonna be something like that one day it has to, it’s just when does that happen? Yeah. At least for the exterior, you know, you look and there’s just a, just got to move it up and down the side of the house. So that’s weird. Yeah. Or you set up, I don’t know, some sort of frame and walls and you can have something automatically brush. I don’t know. Yeah. No, there sure are a lot of ways to do it. I’m not an engineer. Um any other things you want to say, Jack, really appreciate your time. This has been incredibly insightful. No, I’m appreciate you having me on. Ah it’s kind of fun. You know, I always do a lot of input to. So this isn’t just me talking from me being me, this is from a lot of other people pouring into me and what has worked for me. Nice. I’ve heard, I’ve heard worse. This has been kind of fun. I’ll take it. I’ve heard worse. So I’ll take that as a win. Jack is 23. He’s a baby. Little baby over here and he’s doing over two million. Um and he’s just making it happen because mindset is, is the most important thing. So Jack, thank you so much for your time and this was a gold. Mine. I appreciate it awesome. Thank you Brandon. 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.