Guest Interview: Michal Cheney “Ignite Your Passion” Series: Episode 5 – Painting Opportunity Abounds!

Published On: March 18, 2024

Categories: Podcast

In this series titled “Ignite Your Passion”, Michal Cheney of No Drip Painting will be discussing her journey from part-time hustle to over $2 million painting company, the amazing opportunities she sees for other entrepreneurs to succeed in the painting industry, and the powerful purpose she has developed while scaling No Drip Painting.

In episode 5, the final episode, Michal will lay out the very exciting opportunities she sees in the painting industry today.

If you want to ask Michal 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 Again that URL is There you can ask Michal questions directly by tagging her with your question, so you can see how anything discussed here applies to your particular painting company.

Video of Interview

Podcast Audio

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Episode 5

– Painting Opportunity Abounds!

Audio Transcript


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 Ignite your Passion, Michael Chaney of no drip painting will be discussing her journey from part time hustle to over $2 million painting company. The amazing opportunities she sees for other entrepreneurs to succeed in the painting industry and the powerful purpose she has developed while scaling no drip painting. In episode one, Michael discussed why she got started in the painting industry and what her initial journey looked like as a side hustle. In episode two, Michael laid out the road map of how she initially surpassed $1 million in annual revenue in episode three, Michael dived into the path to $2 million and how that is entirely different from the path to 1 million. In episode four, Michael unveiled her powerful why the purpose she has found since launching no drip painting.

And in this final episode, episode five, Michael will lay out the very exciting opportunities she sees in the painting industry today. If you want to ask Michael questions related to anything in this podcast series, you can do so on our exclusive painter marketing mastermind podcast forum on Facebook. Just search for painter, marketing mastermind podcast for 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/painter marketing mastermind. There, you can ask Michael questions directly by tagging her with your question.

So you can see how anything discussed here applies to a particular painting company. Hey Michael. Hey Brandon, how’s it going? Doing great. I’m excited uh for this, this fifth episode for really laying out the opportunities you see for everybody. Yeah, we’ve got to spend a lot of time together here through this series, haven’t we? It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful thing. Yeah, is uh and we’ll be spending some time in person here at Expo too. The uh but yeah, I think the the painting industry is, is, you know, it’s one that’s been neglected for a long time.

We see some institutional capital, private equity starting to take a look at it, it’s a, it’s a, a good cash flow business. The, the cash life cycle there is really good. Uh, the, the opportunities it’s not overly difficult to enter. It’s also not crazy, difficult to succeed just because there are a lot of non-professional operators out there. But how do you, I guess, what are the biggest opportunities you’re seeing right now in this space? Yeah. Well, I think the first kind of clue that I had that things can be done a little bit differently are, um, kind of under the professionalism umbrella. Right?

And I know every time I talk about this, I see a big smile on your face. So my goal is to make you smile today, Brandon. So I’m gonna say I’m gonna be right that the painting industry is not all that professional. The bar has been set low. It’s really not that difficult to, uh, exceed the expectations of our customers because they don’t necessarily have high expectations. Now, there’s reasons for that, you know, and there’s reasons that I hope to be a part of changing and some of that is because painters in general aren’t often thought of as having a real skill set. Right.

I mean, it’s not uncommon to go into a customer’s house for an estimate and they’re debating on whether they should hire you or they should do it themselves. Right. That doesn’t happen with an electrician. You know, you don’t have a homeowner usually saying, I don’t know if I’m gonna hire the electrician or I’m just gonna rewire the house myself. Um You know, so there’s some stereotypes I think that we have to fight against. But the first thing I recognized was the opportunity to literally just do a good job and blow people away with some basic customer service skills and really just showing up on time.

And so that kind of, I think early on, let me kind of understand that, you know, what I can do this better than I think some people are doing. So that in itself was, was a really cool thing to discover and, and really was one of the things that kind of set me on my journey in this, in this crazy path. So that was your first differentiator was to show up on time. Yeah. And, uh, I mean, listen, I’ve gone on estimates before where the homeowner tells me, hey, you know, the guy that came and did our estimate he was carrying around his, his dip bottle so he could spit in the bottle and, you know, and I said, well, you know, I just, I leave mine out like I, I don’t bring mine in.

Um I, yeah, I don’t, I don’t tip but I mean, that’s like the experience of that people have. And so, you know, you show up and, and you know, you’re clean, you’re on time, you might have just won the job with that. Yeah, that that’s not the traditional kind of kind of advice of showing up in a polo, right? Looking, looking overall presentable. Ok. So showing up on time being presentable, not carrying around your dip bottle. Um, what was your next focus from there? The the thing that I immediately started to understand was how from one company to another.

There weren’t really many set prices like pricing was always a game of guessing and, you know, I realized that there were opportunities to kind of create some standard pricing, which ultimately is what you need when you have a team, right? We’ve talked a lot about kind of the start up and when it’s the owner doing multiple jobs, you know, you might be able to, to kind of use your pricing based on a lot of feeling and be consistent with that. But once you start having a team, you’ve got to have some, uh you know, basis whether it’s unit pricing, however, you’re doing your pricing, you kind of need to make some decisions on that and that continues on as you grow.

You know, if we talk about pricing just for a moment as you grow, you still have to update pricing. And it’s kind of, I’ve, I’ve discovered it’s kind of this piece of the puzzle that is kind of forever being updated, right? Um So there’s just some consistency with pricing and, and even being able to just create an estimate that looks professional and it’s not handwrit on a piece of paper. Uh you know, I mean, some folks still do that. And nowadays with the technology, there’s so many different programs that you can use to help create that professional look.

Yeah, leveraging technology and the resources available to make, to really up upskill Upsell your company, right? You it’s not difficult to make your company look far more professional and advanced than maybe it is or maybe it feels by employing some of the resources that are pretty readily available. So true. And if we want to just talk about technology for a moment, if you’re trying to attract a younger crowd to work for you, you can’t be writing things down, right? They want everything on the phone. I mean, sometimes they don’t know how to really communicate in person.

So, um, you’ve got to have some technology behind what you’re doing, especially if you at some point hope to attract some, you know, younger folks into the business. Yeah. So when you’re looking at this industry overall, how do you think it compares, I guess, let’s keep it to home services for now and then let’s go outside of that. How do you think it compares to the other home service industries? Well, like I kind of touched on, we’re up against some stereotypes that we have to fight against in my state, Ohio.

There is no license or certification you can get as a painter. Whereas plumbers are required to have a certification, electricians, you know, general contractors, all of those people have to have some sort of certification in Ohio you don’t, which can, uh, you know, allow anyone to do this job. And unfortunately that’s kind of, I think what some people think is that anyone can be a painter. Now, I know that to be different and that, that’s just, you know, kind of one of those things that we have to change.

Um I can tell you one reason, one way we try to change that is with our schools around us. So I’m part of a workforce committee through N I. And the intention of that group is to get the word out that the trades or painting is a viable career path, right? So there’s an education piece that helps um attract people to the profession. And then, you know, on the flip side of that, it helps kind of start to educate customers too. We try to even on our social media outlets, we try to present ourselves as being professional and caring about our team so that hopefully will kind of help some of the stigmas that are attached to the industry.

Do you think this is gonna sound maybe like a trick question but it’s not. Do you think that it’s a good thing or a bad thing for people who want to start a painting company or want to grow a painting company that this stigma exists? That the barrier to entry is so low that anyone can hypothetically do it. Is that good or bad? Well, for me, it’s good because I see all the opportunity in that. Right. I see how it doesn’t take much to impress a customer.

Uh You know, that part of it’s good. I think where it’s still challenging can be attracting younger kids to the trade, especially painting because sometimes the idea is that the only job in the painting industry is to be a painter. But we know you could be an estimator or project manager. Uh you know, there’s admin, you could be an entrepreneur, you can be a business owner. And so I think when you can kind of start breaking the barriers in terms of what you are saying about the industry, to young folks, to whoever it is, that’s what starts maybe turning heads like, oh you, you have a complete career in the paint industry, right?

You don’t just have to be a painter. And I say just in quotes because I think of my painters as highly skilled professionals and hopefully other people are starting to think that as well. Yeah, I did meet some of your team members at the women in paint conference and they seem like they were maybe 30 years old. I mean, they were pretty, fairly young. Yes. Yes. Um young. So they, they don’t want a paper trail, right? We, we have been a completely electronic uh company for years. Now, but to your point, they’re young.

What’s, what is gonna attract them to this industry? Right. Um, so we’ve got, you know, I even tell, you know, we’ll talk about getting women into the industry in a moment or even just into the trades in general. Um, but you know what you say to your nieces and nephews right about the painting industry or, you know, the Children of, of your kids, all of that can have an impact and, you know, might result in, you know, people considering to come this way. Um, because, you know, as, as I’m sure, you know, uh, you know, especially in my generation, the idea was you have to go to college.

The big push was college, college, college. And if you went to like a career academy or a trade school, it was really, unfortunately people were thinking, oh, they’re doing that because they can’t hack in college. Right. So people weren’t going that direction and there was, you know, the stigma attached to it that, oh, you can’t do anything else. So you’re going in the trades and as we know, there’s a huge shortage in the trades industry and that is, is, you know, one reason probably why beyond that, out of, you know, I’m not sure the exact uh statistics today, but out of the skilled trades within the United States, about 4% are women.

So there’s a huge shortage, there’s not a lot of women in the trades and that shortage could be curbed probably just by women, knowing it’s a viable career path and knowing that it’s a safe place to work. Yeah, the, there’s a lot to unpack here. The idea of attracting young people to the trade, you said it’s more difficult because people think anyone can do it and essentially kind of, kind of view it maybe as less than, compared to some of the other home services. Do you think employees subcontractors team members of any kind?

Do you think that they view a career or an opportunity with, let’s say a, a plumbing company or an electrician or a roofing company? Do they view that as more prestigious? Are they more likely if everything is equal? Do you think it’s harder to attract them to the painting company? I do? And one reason again comes back to you have to have a certain level of training to ever be a plumber, right? The other thing we know is that a lot of these uh you know, electricians and these groups have apprentices, right?

And you get training and you make darn good money doing it. It’s not really like that in the painting industry, you know, I mean, you can’t go get training and then be guaranteed a job because one there isn’t any training unless you get with an established business. You know, Nick Slavic is the perfect example for this because he has apprentice on his team, right? He has a really solid training program and that’s difficult to do. I mean, you can’t do that if you’re a one man show, now, you might be able to do some on the job training, but you have to be established to really even have a training program.

And we know that the average painting company in our country is 1.5 people. Right? It’s still a, a very, um, painting has been around for years. But the idea of being able to build a successful business is a young idea. So because of that, and because it really takes a lot of um you know, support and you know whether that’s the financial support team support to develop a training company within your own business. There aren’t a lot of options. I I don’t think to actually even get trained. Yeah.

So you’re, you’re talking to people about, hey, there is an opportunity at a painting company to have a career and to advance and it’s a real trade and there’s something to be make here. One thing we’re starting to do at painter marketing pros. And I’m wondering if with all the young talent you’ve attracted, whether you guys have have seen this is we’re trying to teach people how to, how to own and create a business. One of my goals is to have team members come mentor them throughout and then have them actually go and create their own business.

Is that something you’ve seen or used as a viable, let’s say, recruiting tactic or something that you’ve, you’ve maybe thought about doing within your own company with this younger hungrier crowd. I love that idea. Here has been my experience with team members is that most of them don’t wanna be an owner. Ok. You know, this, I know this because we’re business owners. It takes a certain level of drive grid in, driving in. You know what? You’re right. That’s the best word for it. It takes a certain level of insanity to even go down this road.

Most people can’t do it. Right. That’s why small businesses usually fail. Most people are not cut out for this and beyond that, most people don’t get over a million dollars right to, to that level. So I have found generally speaking, the people that worked for me, other than one painter that I’ve had, who did end up going off to start his own company. Most people want a different level of security in life, which is totally fine. But to your point, I like what you’re saying because you might be able to find those go getters that maybe it’s on their heart to be a business owner because they are insane like we are and they want to do that.

So if you can attract them for the potential of being a business owner and then couple that with the opportunities that are in our industry, I mean, that sounds almost like a match made in heaven. It really does it. And it, there’s this concept of entrepreneurship, you know, being an entrepreneur within an organization, you get someone hungry like that. And let’s say you, you open up a, you wanna open up a second location or a new service offering or some sort of maintenance program. All of a sudden you have someone on your team, all the ideas don’t necessarily need to come from you.

All the big initiatives don’t need to come from you because you have a, a mentee who, you know, is basically practicing entrepreneurships. I think I’m getting a little bit off track, but it was just a question I had for you. No, I love it. The let, so we’ve talked about the other home service industries and how they differ from painting. Let’s talk about just other, other industries in general. Do you find that painting right now is particularly good when you just open it up to all the opportunities that people have available to them?

You mean like let’s talk from entrepreneurs from business ownership so you could start, you know, and, and this is a pretty broad topic. So it’s not gonna be a super easy answer, but you could start some kind of tech company, right? You could make a software product. I mean, most people aren’t gonna be able to do that. But hypothetically you could, you could um you could open some sort of retail store you could get into ecommerce. You know, there’s, there’s drop shipping, there’s all different kinds of, of business opportunities available.

You could create a dog walking company. Right. Any, any kind of service business is pretty easy to start up. There’s product businesses. Do you think painting still is a good opportunity when you open it up outside of home services? Yeah. I mean, the thing about painting that I think could be attractive to people is it’s very low cost. I mean, especially if you start yourself, it’s all sweat equity, you know, you don’t need a bunch of tools. Uh And Sherwin Williams is very eager to open accounts for people so you could probably get accounts very easily. Right.

Um So it’s like very low cost and I think if you’ve got a little bit of skill in painting or you at least like it, you’re probably, you could be a candidate for starting a business if you’ve also got that coupled with, you know, some drive and grit and insanity and all those things. Um But I mean, I think that, I mean, I love the painting business and, and part of it is because, I mean, it was my road to becoming an entrepreneur and quite honestly, I, I it was always on my heart to be a business owner and I had tried other things in some capacity, certainly didn’t have the probably ambition and knowledge I have now when I did this.

But this was, I’m just gonna say relatively easy to start because it was me creating just a job for myself. So I’m not sure if this answers your question, but that’s kind of where, where I went with it. Yeah. No, 100%. I, and I think not all service businesses but service businesses in general can start that way. And I think painting is easier because you, you know, the lack of needing a license lack, you can just kind of watch some youtube videos, even if you never painted, go practice on your own house.

And boom. Now of a sudden, you can open, open for business officially. So the barrier entry is very low and it provides you the opportunity to eat, you know, pay for your food, do things like that as you grow versus if you were to try to start some, you know, some kind of product company or tech company where you know, that that’s a much different life cycle for how that business works, paid up for that. And if, if you’re really savvy, you might not ever have to be the painter, right?

You could potentially right from the gate have subs and you just be the customer facing and figure out how to get some leads that that’s also a way to do it. And I, you know, now I’m saying this from the perspective of, of, you know, being where I am now, but it’s, it would not be that difficult. Yeah, that’s essentially essentially, then you’re doing arbitrage, right? You’re, you’re selling for one thing, you’re finding people to fulfill it for, for another and you’re taking the difference between those prices.

But most of the people who are listening to us, they are already running a painting company. So when we’re looking at, at this industry, they know professionalism, they know show up on time, they know the bar is low. Ok? If you can do that, you can differentiate, you can command respect, you can start to recruit team members if, if you create some sort of apprentice program or show them, hey, there’s a real opportunity for advancement in this company. What else are you, are you seeing other exciting trends?

Are you seeing things that, that, you know, potentially might be coming in the industry, whether it’s M and A, you know, roll ups um from private equity firms or just other bigger painting companies over the next 1003 to 10 years. How do you feel about the future of this industry? Well, uh the the private equity thing is interesting because um I think it means we need to be on top of our game, right? I mean, we’re kind of gonna be competing with people that have a lot of money, business owners and very, very good ones for investors.

Um So I think if there isn’t, if that right there is the fire that we need to, uh you know, be on top of our game, have our processes down, have our systems down because they’re going to likely be able to do it better in a shorter time frame if we aren’t careful, they definitely won’t be on the tools. You know, they’ll be, they’ll be taking stuff that they know from, from the, all the roofing companies that they’ve rolled up and all the H VAC companies that they’ve rolled up, they’re gonna head into the industry, scoop up a bunch of painting companies.

Hey, hey, we’re gonna put these systems that we already know, crush it in these other industries that are technically more advanced uh from marketing and sales standpoint than his painting. And now we’re gonna be the guy that you’re competing for your quotes against. That’s scary. And now, but the other side of that is if you’re someone that has a desire to maybe sell your business one day right now, there’s a market for it. So think of it in terms of you do perfect your business. You’ve got a strong, uh, business that, you know, is profitable and you’ve got systems in place.

Well, now you actually might be a candidate for selling that business because you know the question before now is always, well, what are you gonna sell? Right? Like I’ve heard people say, oh, I sold my painting business. I’m like, well, what did you sell? Did? I mean, you’re not like, so, but now people are coming in that actually are probably gonna want some of our businesses that are doing well and so it could end up, you know, producing another opportunity that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Yeah. And I, I will go ahead and just caveat in there owning digital real estate.

So what, what we focus on Pay Marin Pros or having tons of reviews. So if you have a Google business profile, private equity firm comes in and you have 300 plus five star reviews, you’re, you’re dominating the search engine for, for all every time they search from anywhere around you, you’re showing up, that’s an asset, that’s 2100%. We view that as an asset. So, so, so do things like that. Yeah. And when you go out, you know, obviously we do, you know, we do, we do that stuff, right?

So it’s a little bit of a plug for painter marketing pros. But even if you’re not using us or you’re not using any kind of agency, when you go out and you complete a project, get the five star review, get it yourself, get it because that you are building an asset every time you get that five star review. Well, I’m gonna tighten up my five star review process those reviews. Yeah, but no, I I actually, I mean, I, you know, my background is in private equity so I like it but I think the fact that we have seen a little bit of activity there.

We have seen some capital into the market shows it’s a good market because that capital doesn’t tend to enter bad markets. You know, it, it is a truly desirable market and it’s one that has been largely ignored, neglected. You know, we kind of people who quite frankly, a lot of people who probably shouldn’t even really be in business have been able to do, ok. Just because the bar is that low, which creates opportunity for people like us who are for thinking, trying to better ourselves, trying to professionalize our businesses to really do quite well.

That’s right. You get me all fired. You’re getting me all fired up here, Brandon. I know I’m getting fired up, I’m getting fired up the, um, so roll up M and A, uh, the, the threat, I guess of potential, which, which I don’t think is imminent, but I do think it’s coming, the threat of the, a largely fragmented market, somewhat consolidating and therefore you’re having a little bit stiffer competitors. What used to fly five years ago is maybe not gonna fly five years from now. Do you see any other alarming trends or mistakes that you see, painting company owners make things that, that really need to be addressed aside from lack of professionalism.

Well, I have started to see where drones can paint the exterior of a gonna actually be. I, I feel like I’ve been hearing about that so long. I mean, I’m impressed with the power washing, you know, have you seen the power washing drones? Um So, yeah, who knows? Maybe we’ll have robots doing, doing this job as is gonna, there’ll just be Amazon drones everywhere, doing everything. Yeah. No, I mean, really this conversation, it’s just reiterating to me that you gotta take this serious, like the, the folks that, that aren’t the professionals or, you know, that, that might not have all the skill set to um really create a well run business.

They, they’re not, they’re really not gonna be able to compete at some point. Um Yeah, I think that’s a very good, you know, we went through the industrial revolution, we’ve gone through all these different things and we’re at this point, knowledge is really a, a commodity, right? Because now everything’s available online, we could just ask Alexa that it used to be what, you know, was really important before that it was what you did is really important. So now it’s really how you think, how you think is what’s really important right now and it’s what’s gonna win.

And I think it’s, it’s uh it’s unfort it’s going to be sad. But I do think there’s going to come a time when people who are a little bit more old school thinking are going to be phased out of their own industry, maybe potentially an industry that they’ve potentially operated in for several generations because it is coming to a town near you, you know, professionalization of painting company. That is a thing that’s happening, whether you’re on board or not. Yeah. Uh, you asked, like, if, if I see people doing things we’ll just say incorrectly or wrong.

Uh, I think it has to do with what we’re talking about right now. Most people that I would interact with in this business probably have no idea what we’re talking about. Really. Now, now, I, I know that my pocket of community, especially when I think about the local community I have uh they’re not, they’re not thinking about this at all. And, and I think that’s probably where there’s a big opportunity, at least to understand. Yeah, the importance of, you know, creating a professional business of, of course, it has to do with, with how you’re operating the business, but there’s a bigger picture here and we don’t 214% know what’s around the corner.

And, um, you know, you, you kind of almost have to safeguard your business and the professionalism piece is one ticket to doing that. W what do you mean when you say that a lot of people in your network would not even know what we’re talking about. Well, uh when I think of kind of some of the one or two man shows I’ll say in, in my town, the, the first piece of it is, is they have created a very busy job for themselves. Right? And, and, and, and I understand that and I respect that. Right.

If your true skill set is being a painter, I love that. Nothing wrong with that. But if they have ambitions of, of having a business that can provide for them on a different level than what they currently have, I think the challenge is going to be to get them to understand that there is this bigger picture and unless they want to be a painter forever, they might, there might need to be some other skill sets that they acquire in order to have a business when we see these big firms coming in and, uh, and acquiring some of these businesses and what could end up happening to some of these solo preneurs could be, they could end up as a painter working for one of these bigger companies. Exactly.

Till Amazon comes in and then replaces all the painters. Then we have a bigger issue with all the robots. That’s right. Yes. The robots, the robots are coming. I don’t know how long it’s gonna take. I do believe something like that’s gonna happen. I just, that, that stuff, it takes a really long time for it to actually work. You think the technology is there? But it, it just isn’t a lot of times. Yeah. Absolutely. Ok. So we’ve talked about what people are doing wrong, the mindset. Some people would not even really understand what we’re talking about if you’re listening and, and you don’t understand what we’re talking about and you’re not gonna retire within the next five or 216 years.

You probably want to start to try to figure out what we’re talking about and the professionalism being really the primary differentiator. What else do you think people should be keeping in mind about this industry that makes it unique, that provides opportunities that might not be as readily accessible and other home service industries or industries really in general? Well, I mean, I I’m still gonna come back to hiring women because, you know, obviously that’s near and dear to my heart and that’s, that’s a a missing piece of the market, especially when people say I can’t find workers, right?

You hear that all the time, I can’t find workers. There are no good workers. And so I think the invitation is around, who are you trying to find? Right? I sometimes people will say I can’t find any good workers, but they don’t really know who they’re looking for. I kind of relate this back to customers. You know, you need to know who your end customer is in order to attract them. Well, you also need to know who your end employee is or even subcontractor to attract them.

So, you know, for example, if we put an ad out there, we might put an ad with a female on it and maybe recreate that same ad with a male. You know, you often need to kind of be able to see yourself in those ads in order to maybe consider it for, uh, you know, an option. And so I would say, start including women in your ads, let people know that you are, you know, women can, can apply for the job as well. And that might sound kind of funny, but naturally women don’t know that there’s career paths within the painting industry or even some of the trades.

I mean, they might be uncomfortable applying, they might think that you didn’t expect a woman to apply for that role. Yes, I’ve actually had people say that to me before, you know, and yeah, so, I mean, that is one, you know, so I would encourage people if, you know, if you have a hard time finding workers, one identify who you’re actually looking for what type of person, uh you know, we’re more concerned with character as opposed to skill, right? So when we put our adss out there, we aren’t necessarily touting, here’s how much you can make, right?

Because we want people that, that’s not maybe their first concern, maybe they’re more concerned about joining a team that is supportive or uh you know, having opportunity, right? And so even if you’re creating ads or even if you’re just speaking about the business, you need to understand who you’re trying to speak to. And for me that always is at least making sure we’re including women and minorities. Yeah. So there’s a quote if you can see the world through Joe Jones eyes. Then you can sell what Joe Jones buys and here you’re selling an opportunity, you’re selling your company because it is a sales and marketing game.

That’s what a lot of people don’t understand. You have a target customer. You have to sell and market, you have to identify that target customer know that target customer and then sell a market effectively to them. You have a target team member, you have to know them and then sell a market effectively to create messaging. Like you said, create an image that they can see themselves in messaging that resonates with them. And if your messaging is hey, earn up to this amount. I see that at mcdonald’s all the time drive by this mcdonald’s, you know, managers can earn up to $21213 an hour, right?

Or, or 212 an hour. If you start mcdonalds doesn’t really care who joins. You know, if you, if you’re not gonna like stab somebody back there, then you’re probably good enough. Their systems are super dialed in like world class, they can put just if you got functioning heartbeat, they can plug in and it can work, right? But for a company, when you’re trying to build a company, you’re listening to this podcast, you’re gonna want more than that. So you don’t want to put out the same messaging that mcdonald’s is putting out where they’re just looking for a pulse.

You want to probably put out something else. So, if you’re saying, make up for $2100 an hour, but then you’re gonna get somebody who’s gonna come in and say, hey, how much am I starting at? I, I’m here for the money. Exactly. And then you wonder why people just are talking about money. Why, why there, there’s no culture. Exactly. So, you know, actually that kind of trails back to if I see mistakes, that’s one of them. Like, I don’t wanna hire someone that’s only interviewing because of the dollar amount.

That’s like the last person that, that we want. Um And then beyond that, I would say, if you’ve got other layers in your business, if you have estimators, you know, make sure you’re talking about that stuff, our, you know, way of showcasing who we are. We do a lot of that on social media. But you’re gonna see, you know, we honor our estimators, you know, and our estimators or even project managers, you know, one of our benchmarks is when they hit a million bucks, we like to honor that, you know, you’ll, you’ll see on our social media, us talking about, you know, estimator Morgan or project manager, Katie or whatever.

And that is also a message to say, oh, there’s other positions in a painting company. And so there, there’s some strategy behind that for us when, when we use people’s titles like that. Wow. I really like that and understanding the perception. You know, we all know that, that the painting industry is sort of viewed in somewhat of a negative light due to lack of professionalism or lack of licensure or whatnot. But the idea that people don’t even understand the roles that are available. They don’t understand the opportunity.

Like every single per obviously, that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense that you would run a company and every single person except for the owner would just be out there painting. Of course, that doesn’t make sense. But people think we think in these little shortened versions of the world, that’s how we efficiently operate. And so if you’re not in the painting space, you just think, oh, painters, if you work there, you paint and so showing people this opportunity really educating which in this case is sort of your customer.

It’s it’s your proposed team member, educating the the target team member on the opportunities available is important. And I think very few painting companies think like this. Well, I think you’re right about that. The other thing I’ll say why I find it important to mention those titles and try and showcase that in some capacity is because we do have some customers that follow us, right? Or potential customers. And it immediately lets them know that we’re established now, they might not be thinking this consciously. But when you start to kind of disclose that you’ve got other level layers within the business or, you know, even if you can, um, tag someone that you’re, you’re working with, you know, we work with a lot of the high end remodelers and we can leverage those relationships to advance, yeah, to advance our own standing in this sense, history.

And that sinks in with people. I mean, it’s, it’s common for us to go to an estimate and, and people to repeat back to us some things they’ve seen like, oh, you guys are so professional. You do such high quality work. Like they’ve never actually seen our work in person, but because of what we put on social media, they can get a sense that we’re established and we’re really quality driven. Yeah, it’s great. And the, one of the really important concepts here too is your sales starts well before the lead comes in and, and that’s just totally missed on most of the industry people.

What’s your sales pro first off? People don’t even have a sales process most of the time, don’t even understand that question. But then it, it, the sales process starts before, before anyone’s told you they’re looking for an estimate because they’ve already looked at you. So you’re s what, what were you putting out to them? What did they see before they entered, officially entered your ecosystem? Well, let me, I’ll tell you something. That’s, that’s kind of funny. Um, we really attract older ladies. Ok. And it’s not uncommon for them.

It’s not uncommon for them to call and say, you’re, you’re a female company, right? You’ve got a lot of females and that creates some safety for them, right? And we’re of course proud that we’re female owned and, and that, you know, 1003% of my team are females. But if we weren’t saying that our little old ladies of Columbus, Ohio might end up with another painting company. Um So, but, but that is all, you know, I’m joking but that is all like a uh you know, a, a sidekick of us showing these things on social media is that it is part of our sales process and people do in some capacity feel like they know who we are before we show up for that estimate. Yeah.

And that’s, and I think that’s so important. So I’ve been running this podcast for like 2100 years, right? Uh 2100, 2700 years, some, some good amount of time. And one of the things that I had to come to grips with was if I’ve said something and I feel like I’ve said it before or maybe several times, I should still say it again. And, and because in my mind I’m like, dude, you’ve already said it so many times, but the person listening doesn’t feel that way. And I think a lot of painting companies, they’ll put something out on, let’s say they put something on social media like, hey, we’re, we’re a female owned company, right, three quarters of our team is female and they won’t want to do more stuff to show that because they’ll think, well, we already put it out there.

We don’t want to beat a dead horse, but there’s, there’s this really big gap, there’s this big misunderstanding between what, you know and what you’ve said and, and you think that you’re kind of beating a dead horse and between the fact that that most of the industry that you’re targeting has never seen it, never heard it. And even if they had, they probably forgot it like 30 seconds after they read it. So that this idea, you have to constantly be educating your prospective customers on what you want them to know and you’re doing it in a strategic way.

I want you to know you’re safe. You, we have a safe team, you will feel comfortable with our team. I want you to know that. And I’m gonna continue to hammer the social media show our team, every spotlight team show what the good culture we have. And part of that is just to make darn sure you don’t forget that you’re safe with our company. Yes. Well, and to take it a step further, you’ve heard me talk about this, but you do that also with your values, right?

Because that you displaying your values, uh you know, with your bat signal, uh you put your bat signal out there and you’re gonna attract the folks that you want to attract. But more importantly, you’re gonna deter the people that you don’t want near the business, whether it’s employees, dental employees or customers. And it’s kind of the same idea. Uh, but I’m with you, you know, repeat those things that are important to you all the time. People can always tune you out. You know, they could, they could not listen to my podcast.

They could not, they could unsubscribe from, from following you on Facebook. So never, if it’s a value, if it’s something you think it’s important that your market, no, never stop sharing it. Don’t worry that you’re gonna annoy people. That’s another thing I’ve noticed in the industry, people are so worried, they’re gonna annoy somebody. You know, like, like we’ll have this message and you, you’re, you’re uh you know, you’re a partner of ours. So you use the, our CRM and the messaging and, and what we’ll have some, some people do is they’ll have closed dozens of leads.

You know, the messaging is working right there. There’s all the back and forth and then one person responds and they say, hey, please stop texting me. So like it’s like it never worked in the first place. There’s a fire, it’s like immediate shut off. All auto, shut off, all automation, shut off, all messaging, shut off. This one person said, I, I texted one time. Too many. You gotta see the force through the trees. And that, that is a pattern. Maybe it’s the small thinking small, maybe it’s not thinking as a business owner or maybe it’s not really understanding sales and marketing, but there’s a lot of small scared thinking in this industry and you got to see the big picture.

I think some of that I, I would just have to say is kind of human nature, right? The feedback is so much more impact. Yeah, exactly. And so I think that, you know, the invitation as a business owner is to figure out how to channel that out. Um, because you’re right. I mean, it’s part, really, it’s part of my own personal development. You know, some of the things that have held me back in life are me being afraid of judgment. And now I’m at a point where I know, well, look really everyone’s busy judging themselves.

They’re not over here worried about what Michael is doing, right. Um But, you know, I think there’s a psychological piece to what you just said that, you know, we’ve got to figure out how to overcome and navigate and I think it goes back to what you and I were talking about. I think it was episode one might have been episode two, but I believe it was actually episode one, which is the business is an extension of yourself and you’re basically putting yourself out there into the world and any kind of negative feedback or anytime anyone says anything about it.

It’s really hard to not take it so personally. But as you said, the invitations out there as a business owner, it is your responsibility to separate yourself from the business and to really look at it more objectively. Absolutely. Absolutely. So the, the professionalization of the industry, the fact that, that there’s a low bar, low bar entry, which I love, I think it’s great. It obviously it has negatives and the negatives are, well, people don’t expect a lot or you get undercut by chuck in a truck. Great.

I hope there’s 1000 chuck in the trucks because you’re just they all make you look better because they’re so bad, right? And targeting people are always willing to spend money on, on good projects. So you just have to show them why you’re a good project uh putting your values out there. What else have we not talked about in terms of the, the opportunities in this industry and the differentiators? What am I missing? I know you see it, I know you see all the opportunities you, you work with painters that’s you’ve chosen to do that.

I have chosen to do it. Now. My my big thing with this industry is it, it is just it’s the addressable markets there. So there’s concept tm So total addressable market, the addressable market is very, very large, right? The addressable market for painter market is actually much smaller. So the company I run is much smaller, there are 33 to 400,000, you know, numbers are different painting companies in the United States. But as you said, the average of 1.5, I’ve also heard 1003. So I don’t know exactly what it is but most people are doing, you know, one or two person company.

Those are not a fit for Pain and marketing press. There are very few that are actually a fit percentage wise that the PC A, some of the franchises, those are good fits for Pain and marketing price as a that means what, what it means for Pain and Market pros is we need to be the best in the industry. We have to be the best in the industry. We have to let everyone know we’re the best in the, in the industry because it’s a small market. So we have to go in and we have to own that market for a painting company.

You have a large market pretty much regardless of what location you’re serving. Your market is, is every house there. You know, maybe you don’t, maybe there’s certain areas that you’re less interested in serving, but you still have a whole lot of houses. And technically you could open up a second location. There is no ceiling. Technically you could, you could turn it into a franchise and spread across the US and Canada. So there’s actually no ceiling. And that to me is the most exciting part of a painting industry.

There, there literally is no cap to what you can do. It’s except you, it’s Jason Perry as your, you know, your, your only ability, your only, what is it, your only limit to success is like your ability to execute on your business plan. It’s something like that. And I think for a painting company, it is, it is you, you could, you could build your painting company to hundreds of millions of dollars a year. 100,000%. There’s no reason you can’t. Except for you. That to me is what’s so exciting about a painting company.

Yeah, you’re right. And the, we have the private equity firms to prove it right. Because they, because they, they see that, they see that. Yeah, there’s a one garage stores, right? Couple, couple 100 million or so. I think Tommy Mellow that, that and, and should be done in the painting industry 100%. We know that we’ve had Michael Sutton. He’s done a podcast series with us, like I say, is that 14 million, 16 million, something like that. You know, Jason Phillips has done a series. He’s, I think he is at 1213 million right now.

Uh Paris painting, I think somewhere around 12 million, I mean, the, the eight figures is starting to become more and more common. Nine figures is possible. It’s the, the market is there. It’s just can you go in systematize it well enough a lot of, it’s an operations game. I think the, the sales and marketing is actually kind of the easy part when you really figure out how to dial that in. And can you, can you run it remotely or can you find people to run it? Because that’s where you can start to run into hiccups.

Can you open a second location? Can you make that work? Right. It’s, it’s super exciting. I, I will have to say that I think for many, it’s also something that can paralyze you in a way, you know, because you expand, you have to literally expand what you think is possible for you to break your brain, which is not an easy feat, but you’re right. I mean, that what you just talked about when really, when I think of opportunity, that’s what II I think about is that if you want $100 million business, you, you could have one in this industry.

Like what would stop you? Like what, like let’s actually put her up, what would stop you from running $100 million painting company? It, it would be the ability to get leads, but we know we can solve that. So then it would be OK opening a second location. That, that’s a hard thing to do, right? If you’re, let’s say you’re, you’re in Florida and you wanna open a location in Georgia, let’s just make it kind of extreme. So it’s in another state that’s gonna be hard to do. What if you don’t have a, a person that you can put in charge that you trust to do that?

Is it impossible? Definitely not. So, you’re right, franchises do it. And I know, you know, there’s the, they do it a little bit differently and there’s some negative sentiment sometime around franchises, but it’s possible. So if you could, if you’re in Florida, you figure out how to make the sys, you can, you can figure out how to mcdonald’s this thing, you know, how to make it so you can plug in a pulse and, and somehow make it work because the systems are just that good. But now you can open them, you can open as many as you want and boom, you’re at $100 million company.

I’m sure there are things that I’m not looking at, but I don’t see any blockers. Right. Well, uh, the biggest blocker, this is what I fully believe. It’s what happens between our ears. It’s everything right here. I mean, I think that that’s the, the biggest barrier to most things in life is the story we tell ourselves. Yeah. And that just doesn’t seem possible. Right? Like no way we, we, we can’t do that. That’s something like, you know, Bill Gates or something does that? We’re not, we’re not the person who could do that, but you could be the person who could do that.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I, I love and I think the fact that that barrier to entry is so low, makes that more obtainable because you don’t go into other states and there’s all these other licensure requirements and you have to jump through a bunch of hoops, there are very few hoops to jump through. And by far the vast majority of the states, which means if you don’t get a system and you can deploy that system remotely and that system can work, then it’s just how, how many systems can you deploy?

How quickly? Yeah, and what, what a great story, right? I always like the underdog. And if you think about, you know, a painter starting with a brush of their hand to owning, am you know, $100 million company that’s pretty remarkable. And wow, May, may, maybe I’ll be the one Brandon. I hope so. I’m rooting for you. I will tell you, I uh I’m also shooting a, a podcast series with Corey and Chad Lester inspired by you. I know, you know, you know, them um Corey, Corey mentioned the, the inspired by you how she’s, you know, the culture and the valley.

She’s very similar um to you with a very big focus on attracting the right team and building that team up. She wants to see that spread throughout the US. And she, so she’s think, I don’t know if it’s, if it’s a French, I’m not sure she’s entirely sure what that is, but it is a very big thought. So I think you, I’m very excited to see what both of you guys accomplish. Yeah. Maybe you’ll have me back on when I, when I get to the, the big, the big numbers, I wanna see someone just go ahead and, and teach cro lesson here. Right.

We all let him know who’s boss. That’s right. That’s right. What are they? 700 million? It’s nothing. Yeah. Nothing still still can’t provide good quality. I’m sorry. Did I say that? We’ll just edit that? It’s not in my area, it’s not my area. Yeah, fair enough. Um I will leave that be. So Michael, is there anything else related to opportunity in the painting industry? To differentiators of the painting industry? To maybe glass ceilings, people need to remove uh kind of how people should be looking at things here that you want to touch on.

You know, I, I think being a business owner really comes back to what you’re willing to do for yourself. And, and at first that that might sound if you don’t understand that. What I mean is what, how much are you willing to invest on yourself in yourself? What risk are you willing to take? How much can you believe in yourself? The Yeah, the, the more I’m in this position, the older I get, I think it, it comes back to really the story you tell yourself how you take care of yourself.

You know what you’re willing to do, to learn to be successful, whatever that means to you. And you know, that when I’ve, you know, kind of started to put that together. That to me is where all the power lies, right? That’s, that’s, it’s, it’s really up to me to take care of myself and, and, you know, be my own advocate and, and learn and believe that I can make a mark here in this industry or, or wherever I wanna be in life. Yeah, I love, it starts with you.

And as we wrap up this series, this is our, our fifth episode, I’m gonna find an excuse to do another series with you Michael because it was too funny. But as we wrap up this current one, is there anything else you wanna, you wanna touch on any messages you want the listeners to take home with them before we finalize this thing? As always, for me, it’s just a message of hope and uh you know, I think we can all do more together than apart, even if that’s in your own city, you know, uh over the last year or two partnering with other painting companies and having the conversation and, and letting that ignite some inspiration and passion that’s so powerful being around.

Uh even, you know, having these conversations with you, we know we’re about to go to the, the PC A expo. Those things are so powerful and, you know, we, we have a tendency to be on this roller coaster. And the times when I have made those connections, sometimes it’s just what I need to reinvigorate some motivation for me and it’s so powerful. So I think that’s, that’s my message for today. I love it. I love a message of hope, Michael. Thank you. Thank you for everything you did.

Thank you for this series. It was absolutely incredible. I enjoyed it tremendously and I appreciate all the time you spent sharing, sharing this stuff with everyone. Yeah, this is awesome. Thank you so much, 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 URL is

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 and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.

Keep growing.

Brandon Pierpont

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