Guest Interview: Tim Perryman of Perryman Painting and Remodeling
Tim Perryman, co-owner of Perryman Painting and Remodeling, discusses the importance of company culture and employee happiness. He dives into why he views his company as a “people company” first, and a “painting and remodeling company” second. He also discusses the importance of knowing your “why”, and having your personal and business goals aligned. Throughout his entrepreneurial journey, Tim has learned the great importance of introspection.
Video of Interview
- The importance of aligning your personal and professional goals
- Why employee culture and happiness is your most important asset
- The failures entrepreneurs are sure to endure, and why they matter
- How young entrepreneurs can use introspection to set themselves up for success
Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast, the show, created to help painting company owners, built 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 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 Tim Perriman, Tim Cohen's Perriman painting and remodeling with his wife and has done so for nearly 30 years. Tim's primary roles at Perryman painting and remodeling our general manager, sales manager and people coach and his company did 4. 5 million of revenue in 2021. He has a strong believer that running a successful painting and home remodeling company requires a focus first and foremost on people management and people empowerment, and that only through having happy employees are you able to consistently provide a superior experience to your customers. He is optimistic about the future of the painting industry. And throughout the episode, Tim shares much advice on how to create a company culture that will help propel your painting business into the millions. 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 s painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast Tim Thank you for being on the painter marketing master. My podcast man. How's it going? Good to be here with you. It's going well. It's going well. Yeah, it's good to have you here. So the you have Tim Perryman painting and remodeling. What do you guys do? Um, started off as a painting contractor and about, you know, we've added more services throughout the years, But about 567 years ago, I got my general contractor's license. Um, you know, so we could do kitchen and bathroom modeling. Primary Primary focuses on that we've just kind of We used to do a lot of different stuff, but really, just trying to focus on kitchen and bathroom modeling on the On the remodeling side of the business. We're about 50 50. Painting and remodeling. Got it. And then what prompted that shift? Um, primarily, I was getting bored entrepreneurs that used to happen a lot with us. Um uh, that that matters Really trying to increase our average job size. Okay, I hope we can sell more services to the same customer we don't need as large as a sales team. Um, so that and then we're also trying to generate more interior work for the off season in the winter time, so we can, you know, not having, uh, as much of a negative impact on revenue when it starts raining gold. So So, where where are you guys based? We're just outside of Sacramento Plastic County. I'm our shops and rock. Then I live in Panama, so we're right at the base of the Sierra Nevada. Okay. Great. And you guys have just that one office location. Yeah. Yeah, work. Our office been rocked and I work out of my home office? Quite a bit. Um, and my wife does too. So my wife's my partner. Okay, now you guys have a 5050 split. Was that? Yep, Yep. Very, very cool. Uh, been married 27 years, so been partners pretty much since the beginning. So you guys have withstood the test of time in more than one way, then? Yeah. Yeah. It's been an interesting journey for sure. So I got lucky. I found a good one. I wanted to. I wanted to stick with me for this long. She's, uh she's got a lot of, uh wow, that tenacity. Yeah. Definitely has some grit to go through that. So you where you at revenue wise right now? 20. We're gonna be right around 4.5. Okay. Nice. And then what is the What's the split? I guess Painting versus remodeling. We're about 50. 50, 50 50. And so were you will be closer to 55. A little bit more painting this year than remodeling, but how much? It's usually really close. Got it. And so when you made the decision six or seven years ago and I know you did it kind of You got a little bored. Where were you at six or 7 years ago? Revenue Wise. Um, that was so we were in 2004, We were doing about $5 million dollars a year. Just painting revenue. We were doing. We were doing track homes. We were doing new commercial, new custom homes. I mean, re paints. We were doing a lot of different types of painting. Um, and we just weren't enjoying it. Um, you know, we did a lot of prevailing wage work and capital working capital needs, and we just decided to scale it back down and just started doing repaint. Um, and the timing was pretty good, because then we had the crash, so we were scaling back. We're scaling back while the market crash happened in Oh, eight. Yeah. So we went from $5 million $1 million 10 painters to life and are working out of the house. Um, and it was easy, But, you know, I'm 53 now. That was 45 back then And I just looked at the wife. I said. I just I can't do this for another 15, 20 years. It's, you know, I need a challenge. So we decided to go and and higher sales guy and started growing the company for you. Man, that's interesting. Yeah, most. Most of the guests have kind of had a mostly upward trajectory. You've kind of run the gamut here and almost had several, almost almost a couple of different companies. I would say what you're doing right now. I think I think anyone who's been around long enough has had, you know, their share of successes and failures. And if you haven't gone through a correction where you failed and you had to scale back and reset and try to ramp up again, then it's coming. It hasn't happened yet. You're lucky, or it's going to come at some point because you're probably so yeah, okay. And then are you strictly residential or you both? What? We're almost 100%. Uh, existing homes were home approved. Okay, got it. And then who are your target customers? What does your demographic look like? We targeted about 12 to 15 zip codes. Different zip codes based on average median income house values, you know, So we don't We don't really serve the influence. We at the middle and upper income level. Busy professionals, busy moms. You know, the retirees, um, people that don't want they want to hire someone they could trust. You know, they're not to worry about someone coming out, and it's growing up. They'll pay a little bit more to get that. So yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that that trust factor is huge, right? They want to buy from someone they know, like and trust so. But I think it's interesting that you said you don't serve the affluent because I think for a lot of painting company owners, especially newer or smaller ones, they think that that those are the best customers. Why do you sort of almost Not alienate, but not really target? Maybe the top five or 10%? But below that, what does that look like? And why it's not that we don't. We don't work for them. It's just not our target market. There's a lot less of them first up, right, if they have a much smaller marketing pool to go towards, so, uh, and they can be a little bit more demanding. They're expecting, you know, a higher level of finish. So if you don't have a bunch of really high entrapment on your team, uh, you know, it's not just the experience at that point. Now it's, you know, they want to ultra fine finishes, and I just don't have the patience for that anymore. To be honest with you, that's that's interesting. Yeah, it's almost, uh, it's almost a separate service offering in a way when, When you can be level. Yeah. So when you when you're kind of targeting upper, Um, you know, middle to upper, I guess. Do you have percentages like, hey, we go from the top, you know, Top 95 to the top 50 or what does that look like in terms of income? Um, Tell me more about that question. I don't think I don't think I wanted it, so I don't think I wanted it so well. So let's say you didn't target the top 5% because those are those are the customers that tend to be more demanding, which obviously can hurt your margins if you have to go back and repeat work. Um, do you go from like 50% to 95%. Or do you have a set range? That's a good question. You know, we don't really track, Um, that we don't track are we track our zip codes. You know, we do a lot of flood of data reporting, so we track, you know, number of appointments and sales and closing rates. And bye bye bye, Zip guards. But not necessarily by, you know, the demographics. That's a data point that we don't track. And probably I'll never will, because we tried too much data as it is. Um, but we I believe that the targeting specific zip codes that fit the home values that we're targeting kind of hits that that that demographic, you know, it's not perfect, but it works. You know, if you get into direct mail, you can really get laser focused on on on messaging and who you talk to, And I know you can do that with, you know, retargeting on social media. There's a lot of ways to do that. We're just not that sophisticated. Um, eventually, I'd like to be, you know, have a marketing team that knows how to do all that stuff. Yeah, Yeah, I think I think it's a good point, especially when you are targeting geographic areas that generally are fit. You can really develop presence there as well, right? If you're using bandit signs or they're seeing your band's routine that you can kind of become the local painter in that suburb. Um, yeah, we only target. Uh, you know, we don't even target Sacramento city of Sacramento. There's a big big market there. Um, we kind of target the outside edge of the northeast section of it. So, um, so there's a lot of growth opportunities just in our, you know, 50 mile radius from here. We want we want to scale into different markets. We can. But, you know, We've got a really good name recognition where we're having to doing this for 30 years, so yeah, so is that primarily I know you have some sales people, and I know you're you don't have a really fully built out marketing team, and you've been around for a long time. So is it a safe assumption that you're primarily generating business to repeat and referral customers at this point? Well, my wife, she pretty much sits in the marketing seat. That's what she does. That's for pain. You think for the company go to graphic design content, making things look pretty getting stuff out the door. Um, we've We've got a lot better on our, you know, our target client and messaging and and how all that works. Um, you know, we started tracking lead sources and return on investment, you know, and all that stuff. So we've gotten better at it. We still have a long ways to go. You know, we're not very good at social media, although we did. We have a lot of activity on social media, but it doesn't generate a tremendous amount of leads. So That's something that we're going to focus on in 2022 is really get our social media marketing down with before and after pictures and videos and, you know, getting getting engagement from our target market, you know? Yeah. Yeah, that That actually was a shift that Facebook made. So it used to be if you had organic posts. If you were just active on social media, You would have a wide, uh, following a lot of engagement. They decided, ultimately, they didn't publicize this, but they changed their algorithm to really promote paid advertising. And so now you essentially will reach probably a 10th of of what you would have reached two years ago. If you don't boost that post. If you don't pay for a structured advertising campaign, a lot of painting company owners don't realize that. But it has changed. Yeah, we've noticed we've noticed that the type of post good photos if you've got a video is really good less marketing and more just content that people want to look at. Yeah, instead of just a you know, call us. Hire us. Here's our discount. Here's our marketing piece. Right. So, uh, so we're working on it that, uh, we do notice that that that we don't really get any leads on this for boosting post, you know, super expensive. But but we track and we're only getting I think 5% of our leads are coming from social media, right? So yeah, the It's a great point that you make to about not being overly sales. You know, people are not on Facebook instagram platforms like that to be sold to one of the the kind of I guess rules of thumb that we found works really well as the 80 20 rule. So I have 80% of your posts. Be value. Add be just sort of demonstrating your work, but not sales at all. And I have 20%. Maybe some kind of a promotion or you're in this neighborhood or whatnot. Lot of people not be jaded. Yeah, we're We're launching a new a new division for concrete coding. We're gonna be, uh, the area dealer for this this material products. So, um, but we engaged with a marketing team that is kind of backed by the parent company, and I'm really excited to work with them because they're all about lead generation through Facebook primarily. And I spoke to one of the other dealers, and, uh, he can't keep up, keep up with the leads that they're generating through Facebook. So I'm just gonna be super excited to see what they can do on that end. Yeah. Yeah, awesome. Man. We'll have you back on the podcast. And 20, you'll be about 10 million be a year of explosive growth. Um, okay. So I love the fact that you're tracking your metrics. You You say you don't have a You guys are super tech savvy, but yet you are tracking your numbers, which is already a lot, a lot more than a lot of companies are doing. Talk to me a little bit more about that. About where you're finding the highest R O I and and kind of the different mechanisms you're using to grow your business on marketing specifically on marketing. Yeah, where you're getting your leads from right now. Last year, the majority of the leak came from Home Advisor, so we were doing a lot of a lot of purchasing leads. Um, the return on the investment at Home Advisor It wasn't bad About 8- 10%. Um, but our lead conversions to appointments was really low. Are closing rates are really low. Um, You know, we just found that the quality of those leads weren't very good, so we were really focused on in 2021 focusing. We have four key things we're trying to do in 2021, which has increased the percentage of the leads from our repeat customers. Percentage leads from referrals, percentage of leads from Google and social media. And we achieved the first three social media. We failed. We didn't We didn't really push the needle on that one. So right now, Google's our number one lead source, and by far it's inexpensive. The leaders don't cost that much. But you have to have a really good website. You got to have some good at Io going, Um, and you gotta You gotta pay for the paid for the ads, you know? So when you say Google, are you essentially blending paid paper click Google ads with the organic Seo? Yeah, basically, whenever someone calls, we asked him he had to hear about us. Okay, if they say our website, we ask qualifying questions for what drove you to our website. Um, so we don't even websites, Not even one of our resources. So somebody called. Said website. They There's no place for my guy to put it into. Yeah, I have to ask qualifying questions. Then we'll have you know what? Drill bits. Our website. So uh huh. So, um, a lot of it's a lot of that. I think we only spent $20,000 on Google last year Again. It was the highest percentage of our lead source. I think it generated 30 35% of our leads. So Yeah, that's great, man. That's great to hear. And then do you track when these leaves come through? So I know Home Advisor The leaves were not the best. And you do get a lot of tire kickers, and it is a different game. But do you track the profit margins and tie that to your lead sources? Our gross profit margins are pretty consistent, regardless of lead source, so but we do track revenue. So by lead source, we track, uh, spend. You know what we spent on the on the on the lead source? We tracked How much how many leaves came in. How many of those converted to appointments? How many of those appointments turned into sales? Total revenue. The average sale. Uh, those are the key metrics. Better look at when I when I want to look at lead source performance, You want to see, at least I want to see at least a 10 X return. I want to see a high lead conversion to appointments, and I want to see a high close rate. Yep, that way. You know, because of all your all your resources are performing well, then your sales seems to so you know. Yeah, no. 100%. So when you say a 10 x return, I just want to clarify this because it can be confusing for people. You're basically speaking about the revenue that you ultimately generate from the from the marketing dollars that you put in. So you put in $100 to Home Advisor. You want to see $1000 in revenue from everyone who came through? Is that correct? Okay, so then then when you're saying you know that the leads and then what percentage of those are booking estimates and what percentage of those estimates are becoming book jobs? Ultimately, that 10 X number you're talking about the end of the line from the beginning line to the end of the line. It's just one metric that we look at because if you're closing half of those those appointments that you're running, that means you have to run twice as many appointments to get the same amount of sales. So, uh, your cost per appointment if you factor in your labor, right, you guys opportunity, all that it can really affect it. And so when we first started doing home advisers, Hey, it's nine times return. That's not bad because we can. We can still the employment counter quick. But then when we started to peel back the onion on the other metrics like, Hey, it's not really that good of a league source we need to move away from. I love that I love that. And it's something that a lot of smaller guys overlook. You know, in my mind, the worst scenario is a is an estimate that doesn't convert. That's the worst scenario because you've you've bought the lead or however you got the lead. Your salesperson wasted his or her time. Your estimator went out and wasted time. You have so many people who just wasted all that time providing that estimate, you have to factor that in. Yeah, some of you guys know Garrett Martel from from two day painting. He, uh, coached me for a few months a few years ago and one of the things he brought to my attention, but he called it leads slippage. You know, a number of number of leads that turn into appointments and we sucked at that. Yeah, we got a We got a new lead. We would call them once we call them twice. And then we would not call them anymore. Right? Well, they weren't interested, right? They were like, We don't We don't need as many leads if we can convert them all into appointment. So we really got focused on our lead, our lead conversion and our follow up process to set up an appointment. And our lead conversions Went from 50% were close to 90% in 2021. So from from leads to a set estimate. Correct. Right. So we have one person. His main responsibility is managing lead sources when they come in, getting on them and converting those two appointment. Okay, So the way that you were able to solve this is you basically hired someone who his job is to get these estimates set. Kind of an inbound sales rep. He's inside sales. Exactly. He does outbound calls to, but his main job is he's tracks leads, he texts, emails, calls, whatever you just got to do to convert that into an appoint. Awesome. Okay. Thanks for sharing that. And then, um yeah, that's that's super helpful. Yeah. Garrett actually was on the on the podcast ways back. So he had a lot of good in super smart guy. You haven't talked in a while? Yeah. Super. Super smart guy. So are there any marketing or growth strategies that you thought would work? Well, you were excited, and then it was just a total flop from a marketing standpoint. Not really. I mean, we tried. We tried TV a long time ago. We used to do home shows. Um, you know, But we really weren't aware of, you know, lead generation what that meant And lead conversions and closing rates and all that stuff. It was just We were just out there just doing whatever we can to what we thought was running up. Yeah, just actually, without really a whole lot of clear direction on what we were doing, You know, it's like, hey, trying to trying to grow the company. Yep. Yeah. And in the beginning, sometimes it's just kind of what you have to do to, you know, it's not always so clean and neat. Um, yeah. Yeah, business. Uh, it's interesting, but, you know, trying to find a direction of what you're doing and why you're doing it is, uh, is a project in itself, you know? It is Yeah, you're you're you're y your long distance. Why your long distance and ambition? But then you have to rein that back into what are you actually gonna accomplish over the next 12 months over the next quarter? And then how do you even know whether you're doing it? Whether you're on the right trajectory or not. Right, Because you can you can get into this sort of hamster wheel. Uh, situation I talked to, You know, a lot of young contractors, and they want to know, You know, I want to grow my business like your size. I'm going. Well, you know what? Yeah. Why do you want? What do you want out of it? It's like, Hey, I just I just want to grow my company. And it's like, Well, why do you do they look at me? Kind of the blank stare in their eyes are going well. Isn't that what you're supposed to do? Yeah. You really need to think about that. Because if you can get really clear on your why why is it that I want to grow my business. Why? Why do I have a business in the first place instead of just paying for somebody else? Um, you know what motivates you to get up and grow this thing? What is it gonna look like in five years from now? What's what's your lifestyle gonna be like? What is your day going to look like? Why is it that you want to grow this? Do you want to make more money? If so, how much do you want to make? And and you know what? By what date? Yeah, get clear on that. Uh, if it's about getting more free time Well, you probably shouldn't be doing this. Yeah, you know what I mean? I mean, yeah, you're you're gonna have to invest a lot of a lot of hours to get to a point where you're going to have that three times, depending on what your goals are. You know, everyone's different. That's why you got to get clear on that. What do I want out of this? Right? That's where where assessments like disc assessment can really come into play. Uh, if you've never had one done in yourself, I'd highly recommend it. One of the things they measure, um, are the things that motivate you? You motivate, uh, And if you can tie, what motivates you? What gets you up every day to do what you do to building your business? Ah, it becomes really fun. It kind of helps you get clarity on your y behind it. You know, uh, you might you might be motivated by, you know, money results, metrics. You know, tangible things. You might be motivated by helping other people helping your customers, helping your employees. You might be motivated by work. Life balance. Mm. Might be motivated by learning knowledge. Right. Um, if you can tie those motivators to your Y, um, it can be super powerful, you know, they really can't. I've been working on that for years. I mean, people would ask that when I was younger. Hey, why you You know what? What? What is it that drives? What's your why you gotta have a reason why you're building a business. Otherwise you're never gonna make it. You're never going to succeed. And I would just look in the same way guys, look at me now. They're like, I want to make more money I want to have free time, right? That's supposed to come in at the people, give you and you have to dig deeper. You really do. And if you can tie that your your motivators to the goals of the business, uh, it becomes a lot more fun, you know? Yeah. No, I mean, there are a lot of lot of highs and probably more lows. I think when you're starting a business and grounding through it, Simon Sinek has a book start with. Why? Like this? Yeah, Yeah, there's some infographic I saw one time, and it was it was a day in the life of an entrepreneur or something. It was like he woke up. He's like, I'm on fire, I can do anything. And then he kind of goes down. He's like, I am the worst. What decision did I make? And then I guess something good happens. He goes up and he's like, Wow, I'm literally the best business owner there has ever been. And he's at the lowest point of the whole day and he's like, I'm the stupidest person on the plane and it's just it's these extremes. I saw that graphic and that that really does anyone who's been doing any amount of time. Like I said, If you haven't failed, are you either extremely lucky or it's coming? You know, we fail a lot more than we succeed. You really have to have tenacity and persistence, and you almost have to be crazy to stay doing. Yeah, no, it's true. And and I think the more you know, people think all these personal and there's business. And maybe for some people, that's true. I don't really think it's really true for anyone. But when you're an entrepreneur, there it is. It's as personal as it gets. You know, your business is you've made that choice to make it basically not your identity. I'm a family man. I have a lot of other things, but it is a very personal thing. The success of your business. Yeah, I believe that you really can't separate. I don't care if your employee or a business owner business owner, you're just gonna be devoting a lot more of your time towards business. But you really can't separate business and personal life. You really can't because if you're not happy at home, you're probably not going to be very happy at work, and vice versa. If you're not not happy and satisfied at work, you're probably not gonna be happy at home. Uh, being able to tie your personal goals to your business goals, uh, is also very powerful, right? What? Because that's why we do this right? We're trying to improve our lives and and hopefully the lives of our families, the lives of our employees and their families, Um, the lives of our customers. I mean, you really you really have to. You can't separate the two. I used to think that they were separate and you don't talk for personal business at work, and I just I just don't think that's the case anymore. I think you really have to. You have to tie them both together. And if you can tie your personal goals, uh, and your professional goals to your business schools and you can get everyone in your company in line with that, you can have a super powerful company, you know? Yep. And that's where the I think the culture comes from, right? It starts up top, and people that think it's this nebulous kind of concept of culture or Maybe it's Bs, but it's not if you And if you're not aligned, if you don't know why you're doing what you're doing, how do you expect the rest of your team to be on board? Yeah, I mean, it's really people development. It's one thing that I'm really focusing on in 2020 21. My main goal is to become a much better coach and development of people Because I really believe that. The main No. one thing that's probably going to stop a company from being able to scale it's people. Yeah, the development of the people primary. The leaders in the company, primarily the owner of the company, the general manager. That person needs to always be learning and growing because what got you here is not necessarily what it's going to get you there. Yep. So the owner is the leader, and the company's going to only be as powerful as the leader. Yeah, as you scale, you need more leaders. And so you know, my role right now is really to develop the other leaders in my company, and that's why I want to become a much better coach so I can help develop them so we can grow the company. Because without that, we're going to fail, you know? Yeah, we're gonna We're gonna We're gonna hit a ceiling, and we're not going to break through it. You know, give people the opportunity to grow with your company. I see you have your golf clubs back. There were those kind of position there to inspire the actually, no. I went golfing last weekend. It's been raining a lot here lately, so we have been a I'm in a golf league. So I play once a week on Thursday afternoon. Play nine holes. Nice. That's about all the golf and I get in. Everyone's while I get a full around in, So Yeah, Nice. So, how you know, there's been a lot of talk in 2021 about labor shortages. How has that impacted your business? Um, they haven't Right. Last year, 2020. Uh, there was a definite impact because the government incentivize people to not work That that dragged into 2021. But I think they cut that money in half. And a lot of the state unemployment dried up, so it wasn't nearly as bad. Um, we look at your staffing and getting particularly painters on on board. Ah, It's much more important than I think the smaller companies realized because every painter that you add should bring in, you know, close to $15,000 a month in revenue. Uh, you know, if you're running 50% gross profit at seven grand a month and gross profit, so if you're short handed and you've got this big backlog. you've got a lot of opportunity to sit in there. No. So you have to hire painters. Um, so we we we changed Brandon Lewis from the Painters Academy was one of my coaches 56 years ago. And he brought awareness to me on the importance of recruiting. And you need to look at recruiting like you do marketing for a new customer, right? You have to identify what your ideal painter looks like, right? What drives them? What do they want? What do they need? What's their pain? Right? Develop a message that targets that that person. Uh, then you have to get the message out right? You gotta get it out. Whether social media, whatever, craigslist indeed, whatever it is, you got to get the message out then you gotta click leads. Then you got to convert those leads to appointments, and then you got too close to the sale. It's its own sales process. It is. And you should have it. You should have a recruiting budget. And if you look at it like that, you can track, You can say, Hey, I need to hire 10 painters this year. Well, if I if I if I hire 10 painters, then that means I have to do You know, 30 face to face interviews? Mm. I got to do 30 face to face interviews. Then I gotta do you know, 90 phone interviews. And if I'm gonna get 90 phone interviews and I got to get, You know, 300 leads Yeah, Uh, and then okay, well, now my goal is to get 300 leads. How do I do that? Yep. You know, and track it weekly monthly. You know, have someone that does that constantly. Um, it's interesting people that say and you hear it all the time. I can't find anyone any good. I can't find any papers. The reason for the constant refrain. The first thing I asked him. I said, Well, Let me ask last week. How much time did you spend on recruiting? Last month. How much money did you spend on recruiting? And now look at me like, um, I didn't spend any time last week and I didn't spend any money. What are you talking about? People are supposed to just show up, you know? That's your problem, right? If you are, if you can't find people, it's because you're not actually looking for people, right? We always we have three adds up running right now, and we don't need anybody. Yeah, yeah. I have a backlog You want to build. You want to build a freaking bank of 25 people that you want to come work for you and stay in touch with? Yeah. That's how you build a company. Yeah. You You, you market and you have a backlog of potential hires. Like business development, right? You're building relationships. Yeah, with people that you want to come work for. You don't have a spot for him yet, but I'm going to stay in touch when opening comes up. Hopefully you're available, right? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. The knicks, Slavic and I actually talked went pretty in depth about this when he was on the show, and you know, he has his decent human being model. But this idea that yeah, employees are not really marketed to our thought of right, and so there's a lot that goes into that. You have to obviously have it. Who would you want? Who would you want to pay? And most people if you really sat down and thought about it, you want someone motivated? You want someone accountable. You want someone presentable to the homeowner or the business owner. Whoever they're going, there are a lot of different characteristics that you want, right, And so what does that person want? That person most likely wants a stable job with stable income. They probably want opportunity for advancement. They want to know it's going somewhere. They're not the person who just wants to go clock in clock out and doesn't really care. That's not the employee you want. So if you want to hire a certain employee, you need to market to them. Like you said, provide the messaging, provide an actual opportunity at your company for them to do something right advance and right That very same day, that Nick, Nick and I talked about it. I was on Facebook and I saw this ad. So at least they were running an ad, I guess, at least. But it was for a painter, and it was like, Don't you can't be drunk. You can't be high like If that's what you're putting in your ad, who do you think? Who do you think's gonna apply? No. Nobody who's worth a damn is going to apply to an ad that you're just saying You can't be like a drunk idiot. You know, it's it's amazing. And then they say, Oh, no one's there. Well, no one's there because no one wants to work for you. You're Are you targeting the unemployed? Are you targeting the employed, right? Yeah, and that's another point I want to find out. I want to find the guy that if I'm looking for a skilled painter, I want to find the guy that's already working. Yeah, he's not sitting at home. My message is going to be targeted him, and it's going to be the pain, the things that he's not getting from his current employer, that we're going to be able to provide So what are What are some of those paints that you're going to solve? Uh, I mean, if you look at the reasons why employees aren't engaged, there's a lot of data out there on that. Um, it's recognition. Okay. A job well done. Um, they want to know that they're being heard, right? The voice is being heard in the company. They want to know that people care about them. They want to be around a group of people they like and are friends with, Um, you know, they want to be They want to learn and develop and grow, right. And And I would argue that those five things are probably ahead of money. Yeah, recognition has been people wanting to make good money. I mean, the money is the easy part, right? But the other stuff the hard stuff. So if you have that, uh, and you have steady work, um, clear instructions, you know, um, happy customers. If you're not working for happy customers, man life, life is hell in our industry. So that's what you need to provide. If you can provide that people will will come and work for you. They'll want to come work for you. The word will start getting out. You know you'll become into the New England Patriots of the pain world. Yeah, everyone wants everyone to come and be on that team because they went right. Winners. Can you give some examples for people who maybe aren't really sure how to do that? How can you provide recognition? How can you do this? It's It's It's a process, right? Um, you need to get clear on your why and what you're doing this for. And once you realize that this business is not about, you know, putting paint on houses, it's about the experience. You know, it's about the people. It's about your customers, their experience. It's about your employees and their experience and your own. Once you once you realize it's about the people, then you really focus on the people right, and you have to build an organization where that are full of really like like Nick Saban. There's kind, good people. So when we were looking for people, we don't even ask them technical skills until we go through the people skills. Yep, I don't care if you know how to pain. You know I care if you are going to be a good fit in our company, you know, Are you going to provide our customers with A with a first class experience? Are you coachable? Are you gonna be able to follow our process? Uh, and are you gonna hold yourself accountable? Just screw up, or you gonna own it, You know, um, And if we feel that they're a good person character wise, then we'll start asking if we're hiring, uh, someone that's got skills will start asking skills questions. What do you know? How do you do with all that stuff? That's secondary. We can teach all that really easily. You can't teach someone how to be a good person, you know? So you gotta you gotta hire for character, you know? Yeah, that's a That's a great point. And if you've got a bad apple in your company, you need to get rid of them quick. You gotta weed em out fast. We used to let those people waffle in our company for months before, you know, our crew leaders would eventually say this guy. We gotta get rid of them. You've been with us like nine months. How come you're just now telling me, why are you protecting that? You know, But we've got a really good at that and just really teaching, You know, our leaders had to develop their people. You know, I've got eight direct reports to report to me. My job's to develop them, and primarily they develop them so they can learn how to develop the people to report to them. So it cascades down all the way down to the apprentice level in the company. And if, uh, you can build a really good world class training organization where you're just constantly training and growing and developing your people, that's where the power is. That's how you grow a company. You know, everybody's engaged. You know, I talked to my one of the first things I ask them when we do a check and is you know, how do you like working here? You know, there's no better feeling than animals that I love it here. I love the direction the company is going to love the leadership. I love how well we got our customer focus. Our people focus. I mean, that's super good. Now it's just a good now you got to get that from the people reporting to you? Yeah. He wants them to be saying the same things to you, you know? Yes, you could be working. You're running a really A people business. The painting is essentially secondary. Yeah. You know, the young company business owners, they don't get that. They don't. They don't understand that that people don't buy paint jobs. You know, At least our clients don't they buy. They want the experience that were promised. They want a hassle free paint job. They wanted to look beautiful, but they won't want it to be a pleasant experience from the time the first call us from the time we walk off the job, you know, and our industry is full of people that don't know how to survive. You learn that if you can learn that you will crush it in this industry. I think that's a bucket, sir, If you suck at serving people and serving your your employees, you're going to fail. You're not going to be happy. And it's going to be tough and unhappy. Employees are always gonna make for unhappy customers. And I think that's a That's a super good point. You know plumbers, electricians. They have certain skill sets. I'm not saying painters don't, especially when you get in cabinet re finishing and some some fall finishes and other things. But they're definitely certain trades that homeowners really can't do themselves. You know, you can't go do a bunch of electrical work yourself safely painting people can paint their own house, you know, they can go buy paint and paint their own house. So when you know that a viable substitute is them doing it themselves, then it's clear it's not about the paint. Yeah, I mean, you gotta differentiate yourself, right? I mean, everybody. It's like everyone's a real estate agent. But, you know, it's a ton of freaking painters out there, right? There's just a ton of them, you know. And when your prices are three times as much as this Chuck and the trucks prices are, you know you better be providing something that's different. And it's not the paint job on the truck that I mean, it could be the paint stuff I don't want to discount. You know the importance of good craftsmanship, right? Uh, that's not what I'm saying. You have to provide a really good paint job. Wow. But it's arguably not the most important thing you know. At least in my opinion, it's not. It's about the people and the experience that you're providing. Yeah, the quality is almost assumed right? It's You have to provide a quality paint job. You can't provide subpar work, but that's not how you charge three times Chuck in the truck consistently and grow that business. Would that be accurate? Yeah, well, we'll think of it this way. Right? So the craftsmen out there right when they finished painting a house and they look at and they look how good their job looks, that's a pretty good feeling, right? I'm proud of the work I've done. But when the customer comes out of the house and and they're crying because the job looks so good and they're so happy with the services, that feeling that's the feeling that that is, like 100 times more powerful than the joy you get from providing a good quality job right? That customer is so happy with the service that you did and the paint job and everything that there is no better feeling in this business than a customer. That is just so happy with what you've done for them. That they're just On Cloud nine. You know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely. Um okay, so I want to I want to shift gears slightly and figure out right now, I guess. What is what is going the best for your company And what are you? Guys may be struggling with a little bit right now. I know. 2021 has been a weird year for everybody. 2020 was really weird. You're 20. was a really good year. I I know a lot of people industry that are just killing it this year. This kind of work out there. The labor shortage is a problem, but it's not nearly as bad as it was last year. Um, we always have supply line issues and getting paid. Right now, it's kind of tough, but, um, you know, we're all working through that. So, uh uh, this year I mean, everything's going really good for us this year. You know, my team is really good. I think we're heading in the right direction. We hit all of our beat, all of our goals, our key goals this year um, you know, we were able to stay staffed up. You know, we're a little bit slow now. This winter is not nearly as busy as was last year. We had a really dry year, so we had a really good December last year. Um, but but January's almost looked up, so we're looking pretty good, but, um, so So what's working really good right now, Just our focus. I think our ability to be able to forecast Accurately meaning looking out at the next 12 months be able to forecast revenue, gross profit. All of our operating expenses are net profit. We've gotten really good at that over the year because we tracked so much data. You know, we used to always look at you know what happened. That sucks. Let's just keep doing that again. Right? So we're always looking at trailing indicator. So we've got hopefully we have more profit next year. I don't know what I'm gonna do about that. I'm just going to work harder. Yeah, just keep just staying the hamster wheel and run faster. Work harder on. You know what I mean? Really good at that. But I'm really confident our ability to be able to grow. I mean, barring anything that's outside of our control, you know, you got those threats out there, we got inflation that's ramping up. That could cause a big problem. Yeah, I think we're over the worst of the supply chain issues. I think that's going to get better next year. But inflation could be a big, big problem, you know? Yeah. Homeowners are going to wonder why their their prices are higher and just blaming on inflation is maybe gonna be a tough sell sometimes. Mhm. Yep. No doubt about it. So, what is the What's the biggest blunder that you guys have ever made with A with a customer? And how did you handle it? Biggest blunder. You know, we've made lots of blunders. This about every just about every mistake that can have been made in our industry. My company has made it. So, uh, seriously, you guys we've learned we've learned we I can't tell you how much money I've invested. Mistakes we've made probably the most expensive one. We were doing a big commercial job and my sales rep at the time from my paint store. I told me I didn't need to use the product is specified. I could use the product line below that, uh, NFL. He knew he knew more about that industry than I did. I sell. Fine. Great. We'll do that. You will save me some money. Sure enough, customer Customer pen. I was using the right product and we had to go back and rethink everything with the right product. And it was expensive. Always follow your work. You know, it's the contrary. Do it's in the contract. You'll stay out of trouble. Yeah. Yeah. It's ultimately not his name on that project, right? Even if he is recommending it, Right. Um okay. Be careful who you listen to, who you get advice from. A lot of a lot of people think they know what they're talking about. You know, I think that's a I think that's a great point. Yeah. And even even for, um, painted marketing pros, we have We have all different sizes and types of painting. Company owners come through, and I'm gonna tell you the disparity between how some people think and how other people think and the advice given to some of the newer owners is Ah, it's scary. It's scary. Some of the advice that's out there. Yeah. I mean, God, if you're on social media live, everyone's a marketer. Believe generator. Yeah. Yeah. I and I can tell who the good ones are and who the bad ones are by how they how they contact me and what message they give me. Yeah. You don't even know what my paint is. Yeah, Yeah. What's your What's your Why do I need you? What's your message? Right. You know, I don't want you to work on my team. You don't even know how to market to me. And I'm your ideal customer. Exactly. Yeah, Tim, I I had a, uh I got a package coming to you. Just the messaging is all off, so I'm gonna make sure it gets canceled before it arrives. Don't worry. Uh, seriously, you're like a marketing guy, and you don't You know, I'm not a I'm not a professional marketer, but I understand. You know, I don't know what they want to hear and and you're not going to work. Yeah, If you can't. If you can't land your own clients, how are you going to land good clients for me? You know markets Don't talk about, you know they want to improve your website. It's all about the S c O s C o N c. And I'm going to see Oh, it's fine and dandy. Um, they'll talk about the metrics on the back end of the website. You're back, links your oppressions, and I'm going. Okay. Well, it sounds good. How many leads am I gonna get? Yeah, right. That's the measurable that I need. That I need to know. I don't care about all that other stuff. Is just feeding the number of leads. How many leads? How many more lives are you going to generate, right? Yeah. No. Super super good point. What? What I call it, uh, W II FM. What's in it for me? You know that those are the things that that we look at that we know about that we like to talk about. But ultimately the our customers don't care about that. And even traffic traffic to a website. Traffic to websites entirely irrelevant. Who the heck cares? Unless, you know, unless you're Britney Spears that you're trying to be some influencer. Doesn't matter how many people on your website. What matters is how many? How many likes did I get on my Facebook? People follow me. It's like, Well, that's cool. But how many leads, Tim? That's what I can tell. That's what you're focused on your big vanity with the Facebook. You just want the likes and the shares. Yeah, Um, Awesome, man. Well, let me ask you this. How do you see the 2020 was crazy? 2021 has been really good, and and a lot of people have had a good year. And I can tell you, we've seen a lot of new startups, so I my own thoughts about what's going to happen. But how do you see the painting industry changing in the future in the next maybe 5 to 10 years? You know, you know, the construction industry as a whole generally doesn't change much if you look at all the other industries. As far as technology advances and how they move the needle. As far as how we do things, it changes very, very slowly. Um, there's all kinds of, you know, the technology is great, but man, it's it's almost getting, you know, there's too many technology solutions that we're trying to implement, and it makes business more complicated. Um, so I'm hoping that that's gonna that's gonna get streamlined, and then we're going to have more, uh, technology solutions that that are that can do everything for us, you know, a crm and and And they they have those out there right now. But I haven't had yet to find one that can do everything really well, you know, seriously, I mean, my team, it's like we have. I think we we counted them up. We have almost 20 different IT solutions that we that we're using right now. Uh, it makes things complicated, you know? So I'm hoping I'm hoping someone comes up with some really good software that can that can streamline that process. And they have integrations and all that stuff. But it's just and you almost have to be an I T guru in order to be able to get all the stuff that function. Well, you know, most of us aren't Aren't that complicated? People we don't want to have, You know, all those i t stuff. So the young guys that are coming up, I think we have a lot of really good young contractors coming up. Nick. Slavic. You mentioned him. Uh huh. Uh, Jason Paris. Um, in Minnesota. He's super shark. He's an innovator. He's going to change this industry. I think he's got some really good ideas. In fact, I'm going to go visit him. Uh, at the end of January, I'm going up there for some training, and I'm gonna go ahead and go spend a day and and check out his operations. He's super sharp. The p C a is is much more valuable now than it's ever been. You guys are doing a lot of good work over there, uh, as far as teaching people and, uh, really focusing on the stuff that matters the most. Um, You know, the social media, uh, the engagement that the I haven't I haven't been as close to so many painting contractors. I've been doing this for 30 years. I mean, What we have available to us now, compared to what I add in the early 90s. You know, if you wanted to find a coach or a mentor back in 1995, you had to reach out to your circle of influence and talk to people and find someone to coach you. If you want to find a coach or consultant now You go onto Facebook or Google and you can find 30 people that are willing to coach you right now. And whatever topic you want to be coached on whether they're good or not, that's the question. But, uh, the community that we have now is so much better now, you know, um and I think that's gonna do nothing but improve. So these young guys that are coming up, they have such an advantage over us guys that that were before them, you know? And they may not ever really appreciate that, you know, being able to learn now it's so much easier. So So I think I think we're I think the painters that are the painting contracts that are coming up they're going to be much more educated on on on how to run a really successful business. So I'm optimistic that our industry is really on the right path to, uh, it used to be all about craftsmanship, right? Um, and I think that shift is changing craftsmanship super important. But the experience of the employees and the company and the business owner and all that stuff, I think is really becoming more top of mind. Yeah, no, it's and I think from that perspective, too. It's easier as an employee or as a potential employee to compare options. It's easier to find coaches. It's also easier to see to follow 10 of your local painting companies and see which one looks like the best, and then go to Glassdoor. Right and see. You can actually sometimes find interviews or surveys by current that are that are anonymous by current employees. Or you can actually reach out to them on linkedin and say, how do you like so the the I guess there's more transparency kind of all around. It's hard to hide if you don't, you don't operate a good business, man. It's hard to hide nowadays, man. You better. You better be on your P's and Q's, you know? Yeah. Um, you mentioned my Our biggest challenge coming into next year is, uh, really I'm My next focus is I want to build a really good sales team. Yeah. Yeah. You know, you you need to get the most out of your appointments that you run. Um, you know, the outfront representing your companies. You need really good people that are professional sales people, and we're pretty good at that. But we're not great. We charge a lot of you know, we're at the higher end of pricing for for what we do. Um, so you need people that that, you know, know how to talk to people and and find out the reason why they're doing what they're doing. So, um, I can only take my sales team so far. So, you know, first quarter of next year, the goal is to hire a sales manager for our organization. Um, primary role is gonna be coaching and developing my sales team, because hiring training on boarding a new sales record is it takes a lot of time, and then the ongoing maintenance of coaching and training them really requires someone that's really focused on it. So, Um, our goal for 2022 is really just to build out the sales team and that will, that'll lessen that there will be fewer direct reports to me. Now, I'll just have to have the sales manager reporting to me. So that'll free up a lot of my time so that I can focus on hiring a general manager to replace your growing scale. Your business. It's all about replacing yourself. You know, when you first start, you're the painter. I got to eventually hire a painter to replace myself as a painter. And I'm a job lead, and I got to hire a job leader. Right. Uh, now I got eight guys working for me, and I'm I'm the outside project manager of the project manager. I need to hire a project right now. I'm shelling. I gotta hire a sale stuff. Yeah. Now I'm a sales manager. I gotta have a salesman, right? It's just rinse and repeat, man. It's It's replace yourself until until You don't need to be replaced anymore because all the roles are filled. Clubs. Yeah. You're just doing 18 holes a day. There's a dream. Well, I super appreciate your time, Tim. I have one more question for you. As you noted it. A lot of younger guys are looking to you and saying, Hey, that's where I want to be. Do you have any other advice for painting company owners that want to achieve the scale and success that you have again? I would I would get your wife figured out. You know, it's it's It's probably a never ending process, but try to think it some clarity on that. You know why you want to grow your business? Um, and understand that that in order to scale your business, it's going to require people people development. Yeah, As you replace yourself in the company, you need to define each roll. It needs to be really clear on on what success looks like what specifically is the most important things they do for the company. Uh huh. And make that really clear, and then how we do it. And then you need to find the right person to fill that position. That's the perfect fit for it. Um, you know it. It's not easy. It isn't easy. This stuff isn't easy. Um, the good thing is that there's a ton of information out there. There's people that have already that are already doing this type of thing. They already know how to do it. This is not These aren't unique problems. These these are the same problems that every company goes. I don't care what industry it is. They all go through the same problem. You're going to hit these ceilings where you need to add another person, another Q person to help you break through that ceiling. And if you don't have a good map and you don't have those roles clearly defined, I can't tell many how many. How many good people have lost because I was didn't have good role clarity. I didn't. They didn't know what a win looked like. They know that they weren't recognized for good performance, you know. So being clear, really clear on the roles, defined, the role, what it is, they do what excellence looks like. And then how to do it. You need to have some good process in place so that when you hire that person, they're really clear on what it is that you're gonna have them do they have documentation on how to do it. You train it, you train it, you keep training it. You got to develop that person until I mean seriously. When you hire a project manager. I used to think, You know, hire someone or promote someone, and they should be really good at it in 30 days. No, man, It's 18 months until that person is going to really get it. And in order in 18 months, that means that you spend a lot of time with them. If you don't spend any time with them, they're not gonna move. They're going to be the same same failing statement that you put them in when you first hired. So yeah, I think we as as business owners have this tendency to think, Well, I know how to do that. That's easy. So why why did they do it the wrong way, or why is this not how I wanted it? When if you if you're not setting them up for success with the very clear job role, very clear. Like you said a picture of what success looks like then, of course, they're unlikely to hit the target just randomly. Yeah, one of my crew leaders that are in our crew leader meeting just yesterday, he says, What do I do when I got a guy that just doesn't want to work hard? Right? I said, Well, that's that's a good question. Um, you tell me more about that. What do you mean? He doesn't want to work hard? It's just not very fast. I said. Well, what? How are you coaching him? What are you doing to help them get out of not being fast, right? It's It's super easy just to say guys, not fast. Let's get rid of and get somebody else in there. But as as the coach, a leader or a manager, you need to ask yourself first, when someone is failing in a role in your company is Have you provided all the support that they need to be successful? Uh, and you need to help coach that person up to excellence. Have you? Have you painted a picture for that person on what excellence looks like? Don't attack the person. You know, I didn't. When When a new guy comes on to your job, the first thing you should do spend some, spend 10 minutes with them and tell them what excellence looks like on your job State. Everyone on my team, they show up 15 minutes before start time. They have tools in their hands. We have a five minute huddle. Before we start today, we're gonna talk about the goals you want to get done for the first half of the day. The goals you want to get done for the second half of the day. I'm gonna coach. I'm gonna help you learn all these skills and techniques. And But I need you to work hard. I need you to be engaged. I need you to care about your work. I need you to listen to me, right? Are you that guy set expectations up right at right when the person walks onto the job site so they're clear on what success looks like and what you expect from it's weird. In our industry, people just it's always muddled, right? Those things just aren't set. Made clear up front. They wonder why their people aren't performing. You know, you can't point the finger at the employee. You need to point the finger at you and go. What am I doing wrong? Yeah, I fixed myself, you know. Yeah. And if there actually is a legitimate bad employee which sometimes there will be How did that person make it to your team? What's broken in your hiring process that that happened? It's still your fault. I think that accountability is huge. One of my good friends, that's in a different industries and tech industry. Um, he once told me, he said, I never have to fire my employees. They always fire themselves. No. Yeah, that stuff for a long time. it's 100% accurate as long as you are clear on expectations and how to do it. And your coaching and they can't get it done because they're lazy, right? Not because the black of coaching and training, because they just choose not to do it. Yeah, they'll fire themselves. Yeah, and I think there that it can be underestimated the impact that how you treat one underperforming employee can have on the rest of your team. You know, if you if you're seen as a guy who just let them go versus you're seen as a guy who really cares, even your best performing employees See that? Yeah, No. Suck all the energy out of the leadership team. He's getting that drama guy, the guy that just sponging all the resources and energy out of the rest of the team because he refuses to to fall in line and live the company culture. You got to get rid of that person quick. Otherwise, otherwise it spreads like cancer, you know? Yeah, Well, Tim This was incredibly insightful. You're running a people business first. I super appreciate your times or anything else that you would like to say. No, you're not cautiously optimistic. Uh, for next year, I would love to see a 5-10 year run of what we had in 2021. Yeah, that would be off. It's hard to. It's hard to get a good run like we got. Uh, we all need it. We all need some really good positive stuff. So yeah, I wish everybody out there good luck and, uh, keep on keeping on Joe Dirt. Did you get that from Joe Dirt? I say I say that no one knows what I'm talking about. I said, keep on keeping on. I love that movie classic. It's a great the guy's attitude is just fantasy. Any time I think I feel down, I look at that movie like you're not down. Yeah, it's amazing. I need I need to bring back the mullet. Yeah, the mullet. Yeah, It was great, man. Well, Ted, thanks so much, man. It's awesome. All right. Good chatting with you. 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 PainterMarketingPros.com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon@PainterMarketingPros.com. And I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time. Keep growing.