Guest Interview: Chris Elliott, Corrie Leister, Jason Paris, Jason Phillips, Juan Vasquez and Will Reyes “2024 Gameplan” Panel of Champions

Published On: December 29, 2023

Categories: Podcast

Want to make 2024 a year of transformative growth for your painting company?

In this 2024 Gameplan: Panel of Champions, Brandon speaks with some of the most successful painting company owners in the United States about how to achieve big growth in 2024!! This power-packed session covers everything you need to know NOW.

We are so excited to have hosted an amazing lineup of painting business owners for this once-in-a-lifetime panel.

Esteemed guests included:

– Chris Elliott, Owner of ONiT Painting
– Corrie Leister, Owner of Inspired By U Coatings
– Jason Paris, Partner of Paris Painting/Aleph Holdings
– Jason Phillips, Owner of Phillips Home Improvements/Contractor Freedom
– Juan Vasquez, Owner of Illusions Painting
– Maggie Kuyper, Owner of Harpeth Painting
– Will Reyes, Owner of Battle Born Painting

If you are looking to make 2024 a year of transformation and growth for your painting company, you cannot afford to miss this!

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

Video of Interview

Podcast Audio

Topics Discussed:

  • What to expect for the 2024 economy and its impact on the painting industry
  • How to turn today’s economic downturn to your advantage
  • Hiring the right team for breakthrough growth in 2024
  • Techniques to attract and retain good painters
  • How to charge premium prices while keeping a high close rate
  • Best 2024 marketing channels for big growth
  • How to offset rising inflationary costs to improve profitability
  • And much more!!!

Audio Transcript

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Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I’m your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of Painter Marketing Pros and creator of the popular PCA educational series, Learn, Do, Grow Marketing for Painters. In each episode, I’ll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in North America and learning from their experiences.

This is the 2024 game plan panel of champions. Super excited to have this group of all stars here. Right now. We have uh we start with Chris Elliott because he’s my favorite. So Chris Elliott, owner of on a painting out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Then we go alphabetical after that because that’s a politically uh correct and strategic way to do it. We have Corey Lester, owner of inspired by you coatings out of Pennsylvania. We have Jason Paris, partner of Paris painting of holdings. Jason Phillips, owner of Phillips Home Improvements and then Juan Vasquez is going to likely be joining us.

Maggie Kiper was supposed to join us. Unfortunately, he is unable to make it and then will Reyes. We’ll see if we let him in when he does come. Uh Right now he wants to pay us something with a credit card. So we’re kind of trying to get that worked out and then after we get his money, we’ll let him in. So welcome. What’s going on guys? Thanks for joining us. We are going to quickly have you guys go around, introduce yourself, start with my favorite Mr Elliott again.

Thank you for pointing that out. And uh yeah, so Chris Elliott, uh owner and president of on it painting, uh we are headquartered out of Indianapolis and we focus on residential and commercial uh painting services. Awesome Corey, Corey Leister from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and we specialize in cabinet refinishing. Very cool. Jason, I’m sorry, Mr Paris. Jason Paris flyover Country Paris painting of holdings. PC, a excellent alpha move. And then Jason Phillips. Hey Jason here from Dallas Fort Worth, Texas. And uh my company is Phillips Home Improvements and contractor freedom.

Good to be here today. Very cool. So we are we going to put up a link guys? We actually just put a comment in there. Painter crew did if you can just click that streamer. com/facebook that actually allows us to know who you are when you input a comment, if you happen to zone out and we get to your question later, then you hear your name, you’re more likely to actually get the answer to your question. Uh It also makes it a lot more personable. So when you put that in, we can address you directly otherwise we just see Facebook user on our end.

So heads up, we are gonna be covering in this session very timely and actionable things, very excited that you guys made it what you can expect for 20243 from a macroeconomic perspective, uh and what you can do to plan to, to really take advantage of the, of the economy and everything else. Right now for your painting company, we had set this for an hour and a half in traditional brand and fashion. I changed it about a day or two ago. Emailed everyone and said, hey, let’s make it two hours.

I think most people are gonna be able to stay. If you can’t stay for two hours, we’re gonna record it. So you’ll be able to make up those last 30 minutes. No worries. All right, we have a rough outline here. If you guys have questions, this is your opportunity to ask questions. This is meant to be interactive. It’s a panel, it’s a forum, it’s not just us talking at you. So if you have questions, make sure you ask the questions, but we are going to start with kind of what’s everybody on everybody’s mind, what to expect for 2024 economy uh and its impact on the painting industry, I’m gonna open it up and you guys can, uh kind of go, I’d love to hear from all of you if you want, but whoever’s kind of wants to dive in first, go ahead.

Jason Phillips will just put you on the spot. Well, in our, in our segment, the economy has less of an impact than maybe in commercial or new construction. And in our, we kind of live in a bubble in Dallas Fort Worth and we’re, we’re not as impacted by the economy. However, saying that uh doesn’t mean we’re not impacted. And I look at it this way, we’re gonna find a way to succeed in any economy because there’s still, there’s still uh rain weather foundation movement, making cork pull out paint, peel, wood rot, things go bad, things get spilled, people need us.

And if there is a uh if, if the, if there’s less fish biting, that just means I’ve got to have better bait during that time. I love it. Mr Paris, what was the question? It’s 2024 economy predictions. And what impact do you think if any it will have on the painting industry? Um Predictions would be, I don’t know because nobody knows so stupid question. Uh I mean, similar to Phillips, who cares? So again, that question, uh but also I think in the last 9093 hours, the fed came out announcing three interest rate cuts coming in next year.

So, yeah, there’s a lot of mixed signals in the economy right now. Right. Consumer spending looks like it’s, uh, you know, more than a soft landing. Like it’s a boom prices make you think there’s a recession coming. But then we had an all time high today on, uh, on stocks. So it’s like, oh, it’s a boom economy. Uh, but then interest rates are super high. She’s like, oh, it’s a recession but then unemployment is low and think it, oh it’s a boom economy. So it’s like a very odd time and nobody knows.

I mean, people have been saying since 9083, we’re coming in for a hard landing. Nobody has any idea. I do know that the fed has committed to cutting interest rates three times in 9073. They did that in the last 9063 hours and that there’s huge pent up demand in the housing market for just transactions to happen because interest rates have been so high over the last two years. So uh with a lot of uncertainty, you do know that there will be a lot more liquidity in housing transaction uh over the next 9053 months or 9043 months.

Um and that would only benefit what we’re doing. But I don’t know, it’s a stupid question. I’m trying, trying to make, you know, a sandwich with uh with poor groceries. Uh So yeah, I, I do the best I can, you know, it’s not good enough. So li limited capacity on my end, I do appreciate your patience and your support. Thank you, Mr Paris Corey. What are your thoughts? Yeah, I mean, with the cabinet refinishing industry, we saw a little bit of a dip this year uh as far as leads go.

Um but at the same time, um like Jason said, there’s a lot of uncertainty. Um like Mr Paris said, there’s a lot of uncertainty but as Jason said, um we just pivot and, and we, we make it work no matter what happens. I think that that’s part of being an entrepreneur. It’s not like um you know, having that focus so much on the economy that you’re uh you’re just, you’re trapped. Um I feel like as entrepreneurs, we, we adjust and we change and we, we make it happen um despite the circumstances and we, you know, we just find a way to win.

So that’s kind of where we’re at. I love that. And then last and favorite fist, Mr Elliott. Thank you. Yeah, I’m gonna echo what Jason, Mr uh Paris and, and Corey have shared. So again, like it’s hard prediction. I mean, at least what I’ve read, what I’ve heard, what I’ve discussed has been, it’s gonna look very similar to 9033 more than likely as Mr Perris pointed out. Uh I do think that interest rates are gonna drop and it should be uh uh invigorate the real estate market a little bit.

Um, I feel like I, like, personally I re, I refinanced into a 9023 years ago. Um, and so there’s a lot of it. Yeah, so there’s a lot of people who got really great mortgage rates and they just don’t wanna, they don’t wanna, uh move. And so I think if the mortgage rates drop, I think it’ll definitely, uh get the, uh, real estate market moving. So which would be great. Um But I think in, and Jason pointed this out, like for most of us, uh like our goal was 9013 residential projects a year.

Like I struggle to believe that even in a down economy that with a great plan that we can’t get our 9003 projects a year, um That’s a small percentage of the market share. Um So, uh I think with and again, like, great plan, great tracking uh the uh uh the mindset and flexibility to pivot and the tracking your numbers and your metrics and see how you’re performing small experience uh experiments, seeing, seeing the result and then making the adjustments. I I just feel like for most of us, uh the economy on a national or worldwide scale is just really not gonna overly impact us.

All right. So the uh for a couple of you guys have introduced yourselves, if you’re watching, if you could just list your uh painting company name, maybe your name where you’re listening from we would love to talk with you directly. We have sheen too, maybe from the PC M. What’s going on sheen so you could join us. So Jason Mr, excuse me, Mr Paris had a couple, couple of interesting things, some conflicting signals. One thing I’m pretty interested in is your guys’ perspective on, ok. Painting is a want versus a need.

On the one hand, we have pent up demand for housing mortgage rates are through the roof and what’s an 212024% mortgage rate, right? And then so when those decline, people have been wanting to move are going to be more likely to sell their house because now they can actually afford to buy another one. The on the other side is everything I’m hearing is, is people are holding their money a little bit tighter. The sale cycle has gotten a little bit longer because painting is not, you know, hey, you need to replace the roof because the insurance company is making you, hey, you have an emergency plumbing issue.

You can’t really afford to wait on that or you’re in Florida or Texas like where Jason is and, and your H VAC system isn’t working, you’re probably going to need ac that’s really more of a, a need than a one. How do you guys feel about that? This idea of painting being a one potentially more susceptible or more at risk of a downturn economy for that reason, I’m not gonna disagree with what you said, Brandon, I, I also feel that if in, in a market like, like ours, we’re just a small piece of the market share as Chris had mentioned about his.

And there’s always gonna be enough people, more than enough people in my market to sustain my growth. And it really is gonna come down to, in, at least in, in our market, it’s gonna come down to, to us, you know, executing, executing our business plan. And if we just do what we’ve always done, we’re probably gonna get worse results next year. And that’s why every year we wanna come up with a, we wanna be better and have a better plan each, each coming year. Mhm. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Yeah, I agree. I think because it is a want and not a need. Um, I think the cream is gonna rise to the crop. I think a lot of people are gonna, um, it, it could hurt the industry. Uh, you know, but I think to, um, just focusing on what we can control and differentiating ourselves and, and what makes us special and what makes people attract to our business and, uh, and just putting out great quality and serving people at the highest level, I think. Then, um, you know, when people, uh, even, even if not as many people, um, want, uh, their house painted or, or want their cabinets refinished, uh, then those people who are doing it.

Well, um and who are serving their customers? Well, I think they’re gonna survive Brandon. Can I say something? Um go ahead. You know, I’ve been doing this for a while. I went through Y212024K. Anybody remember Y212024K? Ok. 212024 212024. How about the banking crisis of 212024? And look either you’re gonna make a decision that your business is gonna thrive or you’re or you’re just gonna float down the river like a dead fish. And I like, like Mr Perris mentioned, you know, if, if we, if we just start thinking about the economy, we’re just gonna, it’s gonna become a self fulfilling prophecy because there’s always something to belly ache about.

So let’s quit bellyaching and like Corey said, you know, what can we control? We, there’s so much in our control, it is up to us to make our companies thrive in 212024. Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s one point I was gonna make is like if we all probably plan on doing this for 212024 years, even if there’s an exit, I’m assuming you’ll do some other business, like we’re going to go through cycles and um to survive. It’s all I think it really comes down to belief, right? It’s like I believe in what I’m doing.

I believe in the service I’m offering. I think we can provide a great service, a great quality and the bef is strong enough and you’re uh proactive in your planning and your strategy and you’re measuring, I think that you can, you can work through anything the other. I mean, one lesson COVID taught me is like not to have an emotional response over these things uh for, for us again, like the on a macro level, the the US economy, like I think matters less like we need to be probably paying more attention to the behaviors of our customers because like, whether it’s real or not, how they’re gonna behave a certain way because of their perception and their belief system.

So you pay attention, make adjustments, measure what matters and pivot and, and overcome and, uh, to, to, but to answer your question directly, I think obviously buying behaviors will change, especially between discretionary, discretionary and non discretionary services. So, uh, emergency services obviously are not gonna be impacted, uh, from a, uh, a down economy. If someone’s ac system goes out there or a track system goes out, they’re going to repair it. If someone’s car breaks down, they’re going to repair it. Uh, ours becomes more discretionary. But then that’s where strategy comes in is like, maybe if someone’s gonna be spending less money doing less things, spending more time on the inside of the house, maybe prioritize advertising your interior painting surfaces and enhancing, uh, a space that someone’s gonna spend more time in.

Um, so I think that yes, it matters. But can we, can we have effective strategies to overcome 2190%. So will Reyes did join us. He he paid the credit card fee that we requested of him. Only person to pay to be on the panel. Will Battle Born painting Reno Nevada. Can you quickly introduce yourself? Your company? Welcome man. Will Reyes, Reno Nevada, Nevada, not Nevada. Another Mr Paris here man. Just got two heckler. We uh I don’t pronounce words correctly. This has already been publicly addressed, apologies. I must have missed that first uh clarification there.

No, it wasn’t today. It was good to call it out today. Got you. Yeah. Yeah, we’re Baltimore painting in Nevada. We are uh a painting outfit here in the North. Uh We here in the North Sierras or excuse me, northern Nevada in the Sierras area. And we do uh you know, we specialize in painting exteriors, um uh four coatings. Uh We’re a gutter company as well and then uh we started a nano coding company here um about a month ago. So this is what we do. Super cool.

Yeah, I, I first listened to Will present uh Jason Phillips contractor Freedom Summit not long ago. It was really, really interesting his journey, the uh product diversification kind of how that all came to be and how he thinks about it. So I, I do wanna point out I made a sacrifice uh for the group here. So I trimmed my beard yesterday because we, I already knew there would be a conflict between the two jasons. I didn’t want everyone confusing will and I uh because of our size and stature and beards and bald heads.

So, um yeah, yeah, just wanted, just wanted that to make things more confusing. Just want that sacrifice noted. Thank you, Chris. You’re a true hero and a patriot, sir. Appreciate that. Appreciate that. All right. So, as we talk about 2190 I agree, I think that that entrepreneurs, especially young entrepreneurs have a tendency to project, right? Whatever the current problem is, concern into the future and, and make it a bigger deal than maybe it ultimately is no given year, no given event uh determines your success, your success. It is a long term game entrepreneurship is a long term game.

COVID was a scary thing and then it ended up making the industry uh boom. But as we look at 2024 as Corey said, uh the cream is gonna rise to the top, you know, ultimately, it is probably going to be good for the industry, tough times. Uh kind of shake out the chuck in a truck a little bit and there’s no guarantee of a tough time. That’s maybe this year has been a little bit tougher than last year. Next year. Next year would be much easier, I think based on certain it’s a tough year, go, go buy a futures option on the S and P 500.

That’s like this premise of everyone grew up next year is gonna be terrible. It could be, but I’ve been hearing that, that some people have been clanging that bell since 2018. That’s true. And then, you know, this year you have a headwind in some ways, you know, higher cost of acquisition, but a tailwind when it comes to labor, right. So you’re able to just, it costs more to your cost on margin is harder to manage, right? To acquire a dollar of margin profit was harder this year, but it was much easier to produce the work profitably to be able to push labor down, right?

So we’ve yet to have like this real challenging economy like 2008 I think was the last time. It was actually scary. Uh I don’t know what y2k is. I was probably in diapers. Uh but this premise of next year is gonna be terrible. It could be and this would be the first time in six years that the the fear MERS have been. Right. Yeah. But if so, it’s kind of like the cream could actually fall to the, not the cream will always rise to the crop. So Corey is right.

Corey is like the wisest person on here because she could say something that’s gonna be true. But it is, it could, it could be easier next year. So that’s like uh there’s like this false fear monger presence that I just want to call out like the fed literally announced, like it’s not a prediction, it’s an announcement that they’re gonna cut interest rates three times next year. Right. That will have an effect. Now, there are other things that could have an effect to the point where I’m, I’m not going into the casino.

That is the S and P 500 buying a call option for six months from now because I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Right. So maybe I’m pushing back on the premise, Brandon, uh like an economist. Uh because we get too certain that it’s gonna be tough next year. We just don’t know. I, I think there could be things that are easier, some things that are tougher. Uh Hopefully it doesn’t screw up the whole panel because I, I love to live in that reality where I could say like for, I love to live in that reality where I’m like, oh, it’s a recession next year guys.

I know it for certain. But then I would challenge myself and say, well, if you know, it’s for certain, why, why aren’t you putting your money where your mouth is? Yeah, I don’t want to create distraction from all the smart stuff. Mr Parish just said, but Jason, I, I hope you weren’t in diapers 103 years ago. I know I had a very rough, I wasn’t gonna want that slide. Thanks for bringing up this trauma. You want us through this life. We can 15 year old, a very rough childhood.

Uh No, I’m just kidding. So we don’t have to talk about, let’s approach this from a slightly different perspective. Then we don’t know what 2024 is going to, to hold in store. If it is a downturn of some kind, then obviously as, as Jason Phillips said what you’ve done now, if you do the exact same thing, it may not be as effective if it’s not a downturn, great, it’s still gonna be better. If you improve your business, you’re still going to do better. So let’s say a downturn happens.

How do you win in a downturn? What’s important to do? Well, I think, I think despite the economy, like no matter what happens, uh something that’s been ingrained in me since I was little is winners. Find a way and losers will make excuses and that’s just plain and simple. Like you can make excuses about anything like no matter what it is. Uh You know, I’m too old, I’m too young, I’m too rich. I’m too poor. Like no matter what it is, you can make excuses, but winners will always find a way no matter what the circumstance.

So like it’s, it’s really the, the economy should be pretty much irrelevant. Like you can, you can figure it out and you can find a way. I love it. There is a comment here. It’s the one comment that Mag Maggie gave me, uh Maggie Ker, owner of Harpeth Paint. She’s not gonna make it who Maggie. So she was supposed to be on the panel, she’s not going to make it. She said owning a business is hard work. We’ll put this in the comment section as well. I just wanna make sure her input is heard owning a business is hard work.

Keep your shoulders up. Get a good team behind you either. Cheerleaders, support staff, professional consultants, employees, et cetera and bootstrap. So again, similar to, to the concepts that you’re hearing now, uh from everyone on the panel, which is, it’s, it’s your world, it’s your business, it’s your, it’s your success and don’t make excuses essentially. Uh Will I think you had had a comment here? Uh I mean, I think I’m with everybody on here, you know, especially the Jasons, they’re of the school of, you know, it’s best to be, you know, prepared for the worst and hope for the best kind of situation.

So, you know, I know us, us on our end, we’ve made our preparations to go into a situation of if it gets like we could do this and if this happens, this is what, what we’re gonna be doing, but we always have a positive outlook. So whenever, you know, I’m with Jason Paris, when someone’s like, oh, next economy is gonna be a downturn, I’ve been hearing that since 1999 that every year is gonna be the worst and you always hear something different, you know, COVID happened and then that was like, you know, our best years ever.

So, like when COVID is supposed to wipe us all out, that’s when we all, you know, held. So it’s really just about being prepared, uh, for the worst and being prepared to do what you absolutely need to do to make sure you, you’re still around, um, who knows what’s gonna happen in the future, you know, like, you know, what was the 275 basis points is gonna drop for next year? Cool. And then everyone thinks, well, that’s gonna spur this and that’s gonna spur that. Well, that’d be great too.

But if it doesn’t, you better have a plan and action for when it doesn’t go that well. And so I think it’s, it’s like Corey said, if you, if you’re ready, you know, if you, if you’re always ready, then you never have to get ready. But if you’re, you know, you’re reactive as support, active and you’re gonna find yourself in a sticky situation and, you know, we’ve seen plenty of painting companies in the area. I’m at go away in the last couple of years because they weren’t ready.

You know, whether there be, uh, financially, whether it be, they didn’t have enough help, they couldn’t handle the workload, they just went away and, you know, new companies sprout up and take their positions and a lot of these guys and I’m sure you guys have them in your area, just like I do aren’t prepared to run a business like a business is supposed to be ran and they’ll come and go and we’ll still be around as long as we, you know, you have your plan, plan set up for yourselves.

Yeah, I love it guys. We are um as a thank you to everyone who’s coming. So we have at least 90 people watching right now. Appreciate you guys making the time. Painter. Marketing pros is willing to give you a complete 2024 marketing road map. So we’re gonna put a link up there. Uh If you book a strategy session for us with 2024 we have a, a complete marketing road map over 10 pages of content. Most holistic thing we ever put together aside from the book. So check that out, we’ll put a link there.

Um Moving on. So 2024 economy, we’re unsure. I really like will’s thoughts there. Hope for the best plan for the worst. We should be versatile. We able to adapt as entrepreneurs. Um Again, staying on this topic, I know we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen but are certain painting companies, let’s say again, focus on the possibility of a downturn. I still wanna wanna address this. Well, certain painting companies likely be more affected than others in terms of rural versus maybe metro or ultra high end versus middle of the road versus budget.

How do you guys see that playing out in all spheres of the industry, Chris Elliott. Yeah, I mean, when you ask the question that my uh first thought was like new construction would be a space I’d be concerned to be in from a repaint standpoint. Um I, I don’t see it being overly impactful, interesting. So new construction pad in a downturn, res repaint kind of all, all uh I guess areas of the market, high end, low end, do you think those will be? Ok. Yeah, with the, with the right plan and execution, I believe.

So. Anyone else have thoughts here? No, I just uh what do you like a downturn? Like is this, what does that mean to you? That can be a lot of things a little bit. So the, I guess an economic drawback, right? So commodities continue to rise, the housing market that pent up demand does not get released, right? So the the three interest rate cuts that are projected or have been announced within the last 20243 hours, maybe they materialize or they don’t materialize but the intended effect uh isn’t produced, right?

So ultimately a a uh a lesser demand for painting companies. That’s essentially what I’m referring to as a counter. I think it’s pretty so like the affluent market is always a lager in that effect, right? So those that are like hand to mouth, you feel that right away people that are more like equity minded or there’s generational wealth. It takes like 6 to 12 months to kind of have those downstream effects. So that’s gonna be safer. I think that’s pretty obvious. That’s not a prediction. That’s more observational. And I think it’s uh one of the things I like to think about is like, what would a lazy person do?

Right. And that is what most of the kind, that’s what most of uh painting companies are going to do because most painting companies are, they’re not actually entrepreneurs, what I call entrepreneur and they’re very lazy and they’re not good at solving problems because entrepreneurs are what they’re gritty and good at problem solving. Right. And so everybody who’s watching this, obviously that’s you, you’re a real entrepreneur, not talking about you. Uh Entrepreneurs are gritty. They’re good at problem solving. But what are all the entrepreneurs going to do when the economy softens?

Right. Well, I’ll tell you what I’ve always always seen them do is complain and say it’s impossible to find good people. Oh, it’s impossible to find good people. Right. My network, my network and cousins don’t want to work for me anymore. Right now. Now there’s a headwind. So it was like, oh, it’s impossible to find leads. It’s impossible. Nobody wants, you’re hitting home, you’re just coming in. But what do the, what, what would I do if I were lazy first? I just, I hope the problem solve itself. Right.

My network, my word of mouth. My reputation, just the leads just come to me, that’s probably the Laziest thing I could do. The second Laziest thing I could do is say, who can I give money? That’s just going to solve this problem right away. If I give you money, I don’t have to put effort or thought or strategy or uh ongoing tactics or like good content or good social proof, right? Or analyze them. Like who can I just pay? That’s, that’s the lead aggregators. So my prediction is if there continues to be a headwind with consumer demand in 2024 is you will see a skyrocket of the lead aggregation, right?

Or like organic or non organic seo, right? So, so that’s like, and, and what’s gonna happen is all the lazy entrepreneurs are gonna go there, they’re gonna flock there. It’s gonna drive up the price, the cost on margin and suddenly you get kind of what you deserve, which is no profits but all the liabilities and risk, right? And all the profits are going into the people are saying I’ll help you fill the gaps because you’re not actually an entrepreneur, right? This is like the predatory coy marketing companies, those marketing companies.

I’m just kidding. Brandon granted is actually hold on. Uh Mr Pers, I gotta remove you real fast. I’m muted there for a second. No, this is, this is just what I think will happen. If there, if there is a headwind, the people there’s gonna be service companies that will solve the problems for the entrepreneurs at a big markup. So there are very, and they’re already operating a low profit because they don’t like accountability. That’s why they can’t work for anybody. That’s part of the reason. Right. So they don’t have accountability in their own business.

There’s not good profit margins, but they do carry all the risk and liability. You roll that dice over and over again. Eventually you go out of business. So that’d be like the prediction. If there continues to be a headwind now, it could turn into a tailwind, right? That’s kind of the thing of and, and there is like, this is me playing contrarian and I’ll stop ranting so I stop monopolizing this thing. Uh But there is an op real opportunity cost to planning too conservatively. And I’ve seen that since 2018 people come in 20 to say, you know what?

It’s 2018, it’s been 10 years since the last recession we’re due for a cycle. Look at these charts, I’m gonna stash the cash and be conservative like cool, you did that and you missed out on all opportunity. A lot of opportunity, right? You actually lost $200,000 of opportunity cost and profit because you plan to be too conservative, right? And there is, you can get your, you can get over your skis, you can over commit to the overhead and not realize the revenue. So you have to make calls and what’s the cost on culture for that.

But I just want to call out that. As we look into 20243 there is an, uh for like a mature business. There’s an opportunity cost of playing too conservative. I want to be careful of that. Yeah, I love that. I think the opportunity cost is overlooked by so many entrepreneurs. You know, they, they’re just looking directly at what, what they did, what happened, what didn’t happen from that? There is the possibility of being taken advantage of that either. Don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t have your best interests in mind over promising, undelivered under whatever that is.

Uh But opportunity cost is also a real thing. I hear from these painting companies, you know, in some of these Facebook groups, uh I, I haven’t spent a dollar on marketing or sales or advertising in 20 plus years. Don’t give them a, a cent. You, how, how much farther could you be if you weren’t, you know, part of my French, an idiot. I, I’ve got a good friend of mine who would say we’re entering 2024 with a crossfit methodology. Work as hard and efficiently as possible and trust our efforts will result in continued incremental improvements.

We’ll adjust to economic factors, scale some of our efforts as needed, but ultimately come out the end of the year as fit as we’ve ever been. I wouldn’t say crossfit does that. Yeah, I wouldn’t agree with that. Or he would, he would. Yeah. Your friend, I said my friend says this. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, Mr Harris, you were, you were quick to back up on that one. Maybe I just need to get like £100 heavier with muscle and maybe not pushing me around too. Uh, it depends what your definition of fit is. Yeah.

Historically, we could go through that. I mean, if we wanna deep dive about it, that’s another, that’s another podcast I think. Yeah. II, I would just say Phillips was kind of cheering me on. So I appreciate that. Thanks for cheering me on Phillips. He does that a lot when I get on my rants, I’ve done podcasts with them and he, most podcasts are like, oh, somehow you got muted. I don’t know how that happened. Uh Jason cheers me on. So I appreciate that. I was just over here taking notes, you know, one of the things guys that, that, I mean, I, I agree 100% with Paris.

You know, when leads are down the easy, the lazy thing to do and maybe it’s not always the lazy thing. It’s maybe because you don’t know what to do, but you start shelling out that credit card to the lead aggregators and all they’re doing is building their name between you and your audience and that is, that is hurtful to you. And what we should be doing is spending time developing the relationship directly with our audience and try to keep all these middle men out of there. No men are the worst.

I just, they make me sick. I get so mad every time I see them. And, uh, I’m just kidding Brandon. But, but again, but Jason, when, when Brandon, when Brandon or, or another marketing company is, is marketing in your name, they’re not, they’re just, they’re, they’re coming alongside, not necessarily getting in between like the lead aggregators though. Yeah, I think, I think there’s like a, there’s like a a way to think of this is, is your middleman siphoning away all your profit and solving the problem of you not being an entrepreneur or are you leveraging their unique specialization to scale beyond your own abilities?

Right? Because that’s what I mean, business is ultimately we’re all middleman, right? That is like target is not out there, you know, putting Children in slave camps to make their shirts, they’re outsourcing that to China, right? And it’s like no one is doing the entire entire like beginning to end cycle on their own, right? Sherwin is not making their own paint pails, cans, whatever they are that’s made somewhere else. They’re not mining the materials, they’re buying the materials from somebody else, then they’re doing a value add composition.

They’re probably paying someone to do a fair amount of their shipping here and there. And ultimately they have this storefront, right? And that’s that’s kind of like there is a difference. And I think that’s where you have to be a sophisticated entrepreneur, sophisticated business owner. And those who are sophisticated always do better than those who are not in every industry, in every economy where you say is this solution a middle man that is siphoning away my profit and I’m left holding the bag when it comes to risk and liability or is this the middle man that is helping me leverage their specialization and allowing me to scale beyond my independent abilities, right?

That’s what ultimately limits most businesses is the bandwidth and capacity of whoever is at the top, right? Typically a founder. Yeah. So following up on both the Jason’s comments, anytime there’s an easy button. In this case, the easy button being referred to as the lead aggregators, but there’s also a smart campaigns with Google ads, there’s boosted posts with Facebook ads anytime anyone can do it. So, hey, all you gotta do is boom, put your credit card in and hit the button. It is a failure. It is not something you should do.

It’s something that’s designed to take your money. The the easy button does not work because everybody in the world can do it and everybody in the world is not succeeding. So if you want to beyond the average person, you can’t do what the average person is doing in terms of a marketing agency or really any vendor, any relationship you have from that perspective, it is the same or very similar to an employee. Would you hire a marketing employee, a head of marketing, someone to run that for you and pay them to do it as a, as a specialty?

Probably a lot of you guys use subcontractors. Does it not count or are they robbing you because they’re not employees? So, thinking about business from that perspective, from the stakeholders in relationships like Jason Parris is talking uh is really helpful and then I would also say, but don’t always test it, right. That’s something our our marketing guy always tested because then enough people listen to this webinar thing, whatever, right? Like, oh I heard I shouldn’t run to lead aggregators. So now no one’s running to lead aggregators and suddenly it’s a sneaky thing.

It’s kind of like everyone was like the paper is dead, move to digital, right? Enough people did that and then paper became the best, the highest ro I, right? And then enough people said, oh, shoot, paper is a sneaky thing. And now everyone moves back to paper. I’m talking about like postcards, flyers, right? And eventually that gets over saturated. It’s like, oh no one’s doing this. And so the cheese is always moving and so I don’t just take like this blanket. That’s like I probably just a lesson here is that she’s always moving.

There’s no easy answer. You have to be an entrepreneur and a business owner who’s analyzing the results, you know, if not week after week, month after month. Yeah. Yeah. Big contra market don’t just follow the market and back to what Jason Phillips was saying, he says they’re stealing your leads. Lead aggregators are doing the traditional marketing that you should be doing. That’s how they get the leads. So they are doing seo, so when you search for painting, painting company, they’re the ones that are showing up at the top.

If you run some searches in your area, you’re gonna see Angie, you’re gonna see uh things like that thumb tack because they’re doing the work that you should be doing, then they’re taking the lead and then they’re selling it to you. So if you were above them or near them, you wouldn’t have had to buy it from them. You get the exact same lead. They’re also running paper click. I don’t recommend me when you want me to Brandon because I get, I get pretty hyped about this stuff.

That is not inherently bad. My prediction in 2024 is that the entrepreneurs, which is 99 95% of the painting industry because it’s a low barrier entry and there’s no good companies to work for. So people who want to realize their managerial talent combined with their domain expertise in painting, really don’t have an option except to start their own business, are going to flock to that because it’s easy, which would reduce the return that you’re gonna see. That’s my hypothesis. It’s not inherently bad. Yep. Yep. Yeah. I, um, I was one of those type of people who took a badge of honor for, you know, never having to pay for marketing or advertising.

Like we, I was talking about everyone else when I said that, you know, and that could only take me so so far, you know, like, because we, we did do our business through word of mouth and we did it well, but we, it, it could only take us so, so far and we had to expand and we had to, to broaden our horizons and we had to learn how to track our marketing. Like that’s something that um Nate with Olive taught us so well is like tracking your marketing and, and like knowing, you know, when you need more leads, like you’ve got to be able to adjust it and not put all your eggs into one basket and not put it all into Facebook or not put it all into, you know, whatever you may be doing.

Um But having those multiple avenues and like finding the right fit for your business because it’s not gonna be the same for everybody. Like what works for me and for our business isn’t gonna work for everybody, you know. So, so to tell you like this is, you’ve got to do A B and C, it’s just not gonna work because you’ve got to figure out what is going to be best for you and to enhance your business. And we’ve done, like, we’ve done that, you know, Angie List and like those lead generators and it didn’t work for us.

You know, we’ve done like the, the Google, you know, we’ve done a lot of different things but we had to find the right fit for our company and for our business to take us to the next level and it’s a process and it does take work. Um But like you’re saying, you know, if it, if it comes easy, like it, it, they saying it’s too good to be true, it’s because it’s usually too good to be good to be true. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve seen some ads. I saw one recently and I’m not gonna start ripping apart other, other marketing agencies, but I saw an ad recently.

I was like, oh my, oh my God, that’s incredible. How do they do that? And I dug in to the point where I could figure out how they did it and it didn’t make sense but boy did that offer look unbelievable. So, yeah, if you see something that seems good, too good to be true, then it, then it is. Um I think there’s something to be said about when you are doing your marketing, like Corey was talking about when you’re, you know, because that was once just like Corey too, you know, we did our first um I think million on word of mouth just showing the leads king more leads.

You know, I didn’t spend a dollar in any of the other shit. And so you’re like, you have this sense of pride of like, well, look what I did with nothing and then you get into this position where you’re like, well, in order to grow, there’s something has to give. And so I think to be said about that is, is like, well, there’s the right growth too. You know, there’s a guy that used to work for me that I helped start his own painting company and he calls me, you know, periodically for advice.

Um And he’s kind of one of these assholes, you know, he asks for advice and then does the opposite or he knows more, which is understandable because this is the guy I apprenticed under that taught me how to paint. And his answer was to buy 100 5 star reviews, um 20243 and 55 star reviews and then um post uh uh boost the post 183 5 star reviews. And then it showed his Google page front, which to me just as a, as a, as a, as a consumer, I would look at that and go, this is the absolute worst thing I’ve ever witnessed in my planet of, of advertising.

So there is to be said something about like, sure there’s all these other ways. But then there’s a way of doing it yourself. But if you are gonna do it yourself, take some lessons, you know, pick up, you know, a book, um, take some courses online, find a mentor to help you with it because that’s just as bad as throwing their money to an aggravator. Yeah. Yeah. If you’re gonna do it yourself, do it the right way, don’t just guess. And that’s what a lot of companies they boost post, They say I’m doing this, I’m doing that.

But at the end of the day, they, they have no idea what they’re doing. So they’re just wasting money. At least, I guess, at least they’re doing something. So this is kind of the next natural step for us since we’re talking about aggregators and other business acquisition methods. What channels do you guys foresee uh in 2024 providing the best ro I for painting companies based on your experience, Jason Phillips. I know you, you’ve got a ton of different channels you’re operating with what, what’s working for you right now?

What are you leaning into for next year? Well, everything uh changes. What’s hot today may not be hot tomorrow. And that’s why we’ve got constantly, gotta be, gotta be watching it. And, you know, we, we get a lot from our offline print but it’s not all the same, some, some print, for instance, you know, we may be in this, you know, a book or magazine or whatever and we get great ro I and this other one over here, which looks like it would be the exact same.

It’s a terrible ro I and measuring those is uh you know, critical to, to success. So, but year over year, the, the very best leads that we get are the leads we already have. It is uh reengaging with our existing happy clients and even uh reengaging with the people who we gave a quote to, but they didn’t purchase both of those are our very highest ro I and then below that is, you know, fresh leads that we get from other spots and then way down at the bottom is the lead aggregators and we, and we uh use the lead some of the lead aggregators as well.

Anyone else I thought to. Mm Yeah. II I think it’s been touched on several times already. But I think this comes down to uh understanding your business, understanding uh the goals and objectives you have for, for the year um building the best marketing strategy you can for your business and for your budget and then uh measuring it and monitoring it like we what we have found works for us. And then like as the, as it’s been mentioned, we’ve had we make adjustments. Uh I wouldn’t even say every year more frequently that on than that just based on results.

But we have a very balanced approach. So um digital marketing, traditional print uh organic, obviously uh as Jason mentioned, uh previous customers reen engagement campaigns, referral campaigns. Um We do uh yards, yard sign deployment campaigns, we do trade shows. Um And that’s all on our residential side. On the commercial side, it’s a, obviously a much different uh strategy, much more relationship based than um marketing driven. Um But again, like it, it takes constant evaluation and, and strategy and planning and, and uh pivots and adjustments and, and it’s just like, so I think, you know, not to go backwards but to like what Jason was saying is like either sophisticated fares, well, then the unsophisticated and that’s true.

It’s like, I think the bigger issues is like, how do the, the 85% that find theirselves stuck in and whether they’re operating out of fear to use the lead generation. So the uh whatever, you know, home advisors or whatever, um or uh what’s easy, you know, typically it’s because they’re in a position where they have to go, what’s, what’s quick and easy because, you know, they’re still doing the thing. So I think it’s the biggest issue I see is people don’t look further enough ahead, they just are reacting and they’re not, they really don’t know where they want to take their company, what they wanna be, who they wanna be.

Uh what, what an exit would look like. Um And then reverse engineering it backwards to today and I think that’s a bigger issue. So Chris, I know you and Jason Phillips, you both are very invested in this idea of diversification of your efforts because you know that certain channels go up, certain channels go down. So you want to have a lot of fishing lines in the water, uh different, different various ways of acquiring business. Mr Paris. I know, I know you do something similar, but I’m interested in hearing from Mr Paris from Corey from, will your thoughts on this idea diversification?

And maybe at what size are, are really from anyone for this second part, what size of a company you, you need to be to start doing this because you really only have so much of a marketing budget, especially when you’re a smaller company. Mhm. So diversification is the opposite of special specializing, right? And when, when is the right time to specialize the right time to specialize is when you have more demand than you have capacity, right? If you have, if you have unused capacity, you know, you should be walking people’s dogs for money, right?

But until you have more of a demand to paint houses, you can’t cut off those ancillary services, right? And then you have more demand to paint just, you know, not just houses but interiors. And so I’m gonna specialize in interiors and now you have more demand to paint interior walls than you do to like enamel trim and everything right? Then it’s just like I just want to do paint white walls, you get hyper specialized and why do you want to specialize, defines efficiencies, right? Efficiencies in your process and your type of labor, right.

Marketing, all those type of synergies, why would you diversify? Right to, to shed risk? There can be synergies, right? So that’s where you get, you can leverage the existing infrastructure to take advantage of a new venture. But as far as when, I mean, those are like, this is like the strategy part of these decisions because it’s, I can’t tell you like at 3 million, you should diversify into a different market, right? It’s hard to like you have to think strategically because every environment, every, every situation is a little bit different.

But I had a conversation with Jason Phillips six years ago, five years ago, he was one of the very few people I ask a question to and he answers it. Most people ask questions and I can tell pretty quick that they’re uh not good at answering questions. I don’t know how to say it. Phillips is actually pretty smart. He’s really smart. I asked him uh for some advice around diversifying and you remember what you told me, what would you tell somebody today? Number one piece of advice to diversify.

Well, well, it depends on the exact, I mean, the exact question it was Senator question wasn’t about necessarily diversifying in general. It is about adding on a service and you told me, don’t take your management team off of, off of home base. You need a new quarterback, I think you called it. So you need a new quarterback to start the new venture. And that was some of the best advice that rings true today. Right. Don’t, don’t lose track of home base. Right. If you can put energy and inputs into home base and get a greater return, never stop doing that unless it’s a passion of yours or you have some kind of spiritual calling to do something else. Right?

And that I think what we see are far too often. I’ll speak for own observations and they even live the experience. You are getting a five X return for every unit of input you put into home base. Boy, it sounds a lot of fun to do this other thing where I get two units of output that seems like you’re losing three units, three, output, 33 output, a new location in another city, Jason. That’s a good, a good fun to say that’s what it and that don’t discount how fun it is to say things.

That’s one of the reasons why we live in this amazing industry is because it’s not fun to go to the Christmas party and talk to your cousins and say that you’re in a painting company. That’s one of the reasons that we all do so well. Right. So like, oh it’s just social pressure, who cares about social pressure? Social pressure drives weird decisions, like wanting to be a pixel pusher instead of starting a painting company. It’s like, well, one has a lot of opportunity. The other is pretty sad.

Like, yeah, but there’s that social pressure involved. So that’s part of what drives diversification in, in my observations. What do you think about diversification from a sense of marketing? So whether it’s offline online, you know, door hangers, what, what do you feel about that? Because my, my, my um question that was really good for the services. My question is really on ok. If you’re a company, let’s say you’re at 300,000, 20243,000, your marketing budget is not gonna gonna be that high. If you try to run paper click and Facebook ads and do Direct Mail, you’re just not going to have money to do that.

You’re probably gonna fail at all of them and you might go bankrupt. So what do you feel about specializing? Like let’s say you just become the best at Direct Mail for your painting company and you go all in on that channel versus diversification. Hey, I want to do all these different methods for bringing in business and how should a company be thinking about that as they get bigger? And I’ll hand it off to somebody else. There’s a difference between start up scaling and sustainability and when you’re looking to sustain, you don’t want anything to be greater than 15%.

I don’t care if it’s labor. I don’t care if it’s marketing, that is a, that is a risk factor for the longevity of your company. Now, when you’re in start up mode and even high growth mode, it’s like, let’s go. I don’t care where the rocket fuel comes from. Uh, let’s take off. And I think those are just different stages of a business life cycle. Right. So, it’s like, I love to tell you, like, never have any labor source or any marketing source be greater than 15% of, of your inputs.

And I think when you’re in start up, it’s just you gotta do what you gotta do. But if you want to sustain, there’s a difference. Uh Jason Phillips, you know, I agree with what I agree with what Paris said. The, if you try to do, if you try to get leads from too many channels at one time, you’re not going to do well at any of them. And there’s a risk if you get really good at one and you stick with that one forever because something can change.

And I, I love to remind people of this uh back in again, I guess some of you guys were in diapers, but this still holds true back in the nineties. Fax machine marketing was, was a real thing. And like today we get junk mail, junk email and junk mail in our box used to get junk faxes all the time and there were entire industries and companies that, that was their single source of leads was faxes. Well, the FTC came out and outlawed uh all these this junk faxes marketing via fax machine and instantly companies went belly up and Google changes their algorithm.

Facebook changes their algorithm. Instagram changes their algorithm and I even had one year. We, we spent thousands of dollars on magazines uh and the magazines didn’t get delivered, we got zero leads that entire month. And during that time, that was a significant portion of our marketing mix because this was in our early years and I learned a lesson the hard way. So I think as you, as you grow your company, uh get good at certain channels, but be thinking, OK, we’re, we’ve got this channel, where’s an additional channel that we can get some good leads and good business from and slowly start adding those on so that you are slowly diversifying, not quickly diversifying.

That would be my recommendation. Yeah, I’m in complete agreement with that. I think it’s the same thing um like within your business as well, like we specialize in cabinet refinishing. And I think that there’s something to be said about specializing and like knowing what you’re doing and knowing how to do it well and at a high level um but then there’s also there, there’s a lot of money on the table. So like picking up like we do countertops and we do backslash and we do interior painting and we do floors and we, we started to diversify as well um because there’s so much money on the table.

Um but our bread and butter and like our main focus is cabinet refinishing and just being able to offer all of our customers all of those other services. And the same thing with marketing, like knowing um what works and how to do it well, but also kind of keeping your eye open for other opportunities is working. But like Corey, like what, what exactly what you’re saying? I agree. You know, Jason said certain other divers, certain uh expansions of offerings can synergize. And if you’re doing cabinets, why not do, why not do the countertops as well?

You’re solving what is the, the, the, the customer so many of your customers, they don’t just want their cabinets refinished, they want a new kitchen, right? You’re solving a big problem for them. And I, and if you can do that, it’s, it’s the countertop. Yeah, it’s a different tradesperson. Ok. But it’s the same business process, the same sales process, same client. It’s those to me, those synergize. Yeah, it synergize and it makes a ton of money. I mean, like the countertops are super easy for us. Like had we known about that at the early earth stages?

Like we have, we have a, a countertop person who works just with contractors. Chad just goes in, does a rough measurement, sends it over and they give us an estimate and we can, we can usually make about 30 to 35% on countertops for very little work. So it just makes sense to find those opportunities where we can create that. It’s, it’s pretty much passive income that’s coming into our business. Yeah. And Corey, one thing I, I do wanna add on here for people listening is you’ve done a phenomenal job of having essentially a flagship offering.

So you’re known for your cabinetry and then essentially this other stuff you’re talking about, you might not be as actively marketing it, but you’re basically having the ability to cross them because you not have trust with your client base. They, they, they like you, it’s, it’s tangential related services. So, hey, can you do this? You, you were basically leaving money on the table because you didn’t have to compete for those, those services. They were yours if you offered them. So I just want to make sure people are recognizing unless I’m wrong on that.

But I think that’s correct. I always start from the premise that brand is wrong. Like they’re, they’re just offered like when this is why I wasn’t sure if Mr Paris was a good fit for this panel. But I also start from a premise that usually Corey is right. So now I’m conflicted. Nothing to be conflicted about. No, you’re, you’re, you’re doubling. It would also say like brand, you say you’re leaving money on the table like, why not start a lawn mowing company and just mow all of your clients lawns, like you’re leaving money on the table.

There’s like this idea that this is America, not Canada, this is America. America is the land of opportunity. And if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re somewhat intelligent, there is an infinite amount of ways to make money. And ultimately, you find what are you passionate about that’s gonna drive what you’re really good at. And that’s, that, that’s like a good lens to start honing in on like, why am I not doing radon mitigation for all of my clients? Why am I not doing like selling them gumball machines to put in their front entryway?

I’m already in the house. I might as well put on a leaving money on the table if you don’t, right. So it’s kind of like, what are you passionate about what synergize as well? Uh Because there’s also like, there’s, there’s opportunity cost, uh there’s, and then what do you want your company to ultimately be? Um There’s a lot of factors going on that you want to start with the end of mind? I guess what I’m trying to say, well, I think you had, you had something to add here, will and Chris, you guys have any thoughts before we move on.

I mean, the same thing we were talking about diversifying services. It’s the same thing with the marketing. So you’re gonna find synergy like, so it again. So say, hey, I’m gonna invest in a digital marketing and that’s gonna be the thing that we’re going to uh start to understand better, perform better at uh until I reach a point of diminishing return. Then I’m gonna stack traditional mail. And then, so what we, what we will hear is our, you know, someone’s in the cr lil pieces and CRL pieces and CRL pieces and then they’re like, you know what I need painting and they don’t immediately think of the mail piece, but they search, you know, residential painter near me and they’re like, oh, that’s the, that’s the company because they’ve seen that 13 times in their mailbox, right?

So that’s where they start to, to work together. So, yeah, I mean, I, I definitely agree with the idea of like stacking. So it’s like, hey, we’re gonna pick one and we’re gonna maximize our efforts or results with that and then we’re gonna stack another and say, oh, maybe this one doesn’t work and then we’ll find another and until we find the right combination and we’re gonna re evaluate that. But um the same thing with services is like the dangerous thing about when you become an entrepreneur, you do have that freedom.

So then all of a sudden it’s like I could do a lawn care company and I could do a roofing company and I could do a gutter company and it’s like, and, and it could work, but it’s like we got like, build off it. Painting is what you do. It’s what you love and it’s what you’re good at. Do that for a really long time and, and evaluate opportunities as they come. And if you’re Will Reyes and a, a gutter company makes and, and you make that decision and you again, like, you have to believe it like this is right.

And I’m gonna stick to this and I’m gonna do it a long time and I’m gonna stack it on to this other thing I’ve been doing a long time. The problem is, is like people start to like just have this vast amount of opportunity and they lose focus on the thing that got them to there in the first place. So it’s like focus, make that painting business really, really work and then stack these other things. But you gotta do it over a long period of time. You got to stay focused and dedicated.

Hey, Brandon, can I just uh clarify the question? I think your question was, hey, at what point? Uh a number of a painting company doesn’t revenue. Um Can you ask the question again? I just want to clarify. Yeah. No, it’s I’m basically asking when you start, for example, you have zero money. People ask, hey, what do I do? I don’t have any money to invest in marketing. I always say, do things like, you know, Mr Perris did door knock, right? Sweat equity do stuff that doesn’t cost money, then you start to get a little bit bigger.

It’s like, ok, I can start to invest in the paid marketing. What should I do? Maybe you should do strategic Facebook ads, but you better actually know what you’re doing. Maybe you should, but you can’t all of a sudden roll out six different services. So my, my question is, how should a company as they’re growing, be thinking about their marketing mix? You know, at what point should they maybe be doing multiple channels of marketing? Or would you say, hey, if you find a channel that’s working, don’t ever even worry about that.

That’s the question. So I, all right. So just to clarify, that was your question and I think you asked it like, what level is that gonna be something? Uh appli so, um I’ve always had this kind of number in my head. And for me, I think your question earlier was like, at what point is it, you know, kind of critical uh to be a painting company? Is that correct? What was your question like at what point should you, you know, not be going all in on one channel but say, OK, we’re big enough now.

We need to diversify our marketing, right? So that number for us was around a million dollars. We looked um and at the time, I don’t remember that was um at the time we had looked around and we’re like, Oh, we’re in a position where, like, we’re too big that we could lose real quick if we start doing all these traditional means of advertising. And we’re not small enough to where we can keep it small and keep it all kind of mentality. Like a lot of painters do, which is nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what our ultimate goal was.

So, for us, that dollar was around a million dollars where we looked at our numbers and like, man, I’m big enough where I could lose everything real quick. So that’s where we figured out, like we had to scale. And then, you know, our big source of income was, you know, word of mouth and Sherwin Williams, you know, we were in the store every day and basically everybody that walks to that store that wanted a um a paint job, they got our number and so our close ratio is really high with them.

Um So that’s, that’s that answers that question. But to answer your second part, like, where do you start advertising for us? We hired somebody part time, you know, we didn’t use an aggregate company or we didn’t hire a painting marketer. We had somebody that I knew that did it for us part time. And then as we saw traction with every step that she um made for us, we eventually brought her in full time. And that’s how we got that, that, that marketing in house at full steam ahead.

So that’s how it works for us. I love that. Yeah. So uh uh a couple of points here. So uh with Chris Chris Elliott, what you said? So the the kind of a long tail marketing. So using a variety of different channels when your marketing is really good, it actually starts to become kind of confusing where it came from. So that’s something to be aware of what we do. You should be tracking your marketing. We always just do the most recent touch point. But brand awareness, they’ve gotten the the mail times and then they want to Google and because you’re doing organic, you showed up, you already have planted that seed of trust uh in their mind will’s point about OK, when you, when you reach a million dollars diversifying, I like the focus on the size of the business.

I don’t think people think about this the right way when you’re a small company, you don’t really have anything to lose, right? You, you have kind of what you’re doing to lose, but you haven’t really built anything of value. So you can afford to be more aggressive. You can afford to be more targeted. Hey, this, this channel, I’m gonna go all in, I’m gonna be the best at it and I’m gonna make it work. When you start getting to a million and up, you have a real asset to lose.

If you’re all in on, let’s say paper click in 12 months, 18 months ago, that became a lot more difficult for painting companies. It goes through the door. Jason Phillips said, you know, fax machine marketing, boy, what I wouldn’t give to, to have a marketing channel as an aside, just, just show up in the middle of someone’s house. But that’s an aside, fax machine marketing. You don’t want to be all in on something because now you have, you have real skin in the game. You’re not a start up, you have a company, you have to start padding the downside more.

Whereas the beginning you could just be ruthlessly aggressive because the reality is you don’t actually have anything yet. Well, I’m, I’m gonna, I’m, my approach would be a little different than, than will’s not taking anything away from his experience. But, but when we were, when our company was smaller, the first thing I did was I plastered the yards and neighborhoods with yard signs. If, if I was working in the neighborhood, everybody was gonna know. Not only did they see my yard sign in the front of the house, in the back of the house.

And, uh, I had door hangers put on their door multiple times during a week or two week period. And in a, in addition to that, um, I would, I would begin, uh, door hanging, you know, entire neighborhoods or, or, you know, 5000, 20243,000 at a time and then I would be in certain magazines. This, this was before digital marketing. So I was d had some diversity, diversity in my marketing honestly from day one. And uh so I mean, I would recommend that I was, look, my business is now putting food on the table for my family.

I’ve got a lot at risk right now. I may not have a bi a big business asset, but you know what I have, I have a lot of responsibilities and I have people counting on me. And so I, I was immediately, you know, at at least two significant lead sources with door hangers and, uh, and magazines at that time. So I, I just, I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I did not, I did not want to do that. And, and, and for instance, if, if I was getting a lot from the paint stores, which I did get some leads from the paint stores, but what’s to say that a new manager doesn’t pop in and take over that store and all of a sudden he doesn’t like you or Sharon Williams just implements a new corporate policy that they can’t recommend anyone in particular because that’s gonna offend the other clients of theirs, you know, corporate does this kind of stuff.

So why would we, you know, let’s take it while it’s good, but let’s not count on that for our, for, for putting food on the table, for our families. Sure. And yeah, some of a lot of this stuff will be personality and business dependent. You know, there’s not one path to success. We’ve all succeeded in different ways. Uh If you want to see what the pain marketing pros, what we recommend for 2024. Again, we do have that uh marketing road map. Uh We’re gonna put the link in there again, you can get that for free for attending.

Thank you for attending. Uh I do want to introduce Juan. So Juan Vasquez, he has been at a Sherwin Williams event speaking. Uh He goes and does frequent speaking engagements for Sherwin Williams. He is the owner of Aleutians painting out in California. He’s on the road all the time. So it was a little bit late but really honored that you joined us. What’s going on, Juan? Hey, what’s going on guys? Yeah. No, I’m in Denver, Colorado, man. It’s cold out here different than California, but I am so excited to finally get in here.

Uh I keep saying I’m a painter, not a technician, so I couldn’t get into this group, but thank you so much for having me, man. I’m just listening to what you guys have so, so happy to be here, man. What’s up guys? Nice to see you all. What’s up, man on we launched. Uh You know, we’ve been planning promoting this for two weeks out of her 200 registrants launched and then uh it, it didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t in Facebook. We had two people in. So the, the technical difficulties are not limited to just, you don’t worry.

Ok. Ok. Ok. That’s good. Ok. That’s perfect. No. Hey, you know, we’re good. That’s what matters, right? Yeah, we’re here now. Um So someone did put, put in a question, I want to start feeling a couple of these questions uh since I’ve been kind of neglecting them so far and I encourage them. So John Ray asked, this was back when we were talking more about the economy, whether there’s going to be downturn, upturn whatever interior painting is more of a luxury, but exterior painting is maintenance and not as affected by a down economy, right?

What do you guys think about interior versus exterior? Hm. Mm You got it, man. I think again, this comes back that this comes back to behaviors based on perception. So if the if buyers, consumers perceive uh a down economy and they need to tighten down on their spending, I think that the people aren’t going to just start painting their houses, right? What they’ll do is they’ll extend the timelines of when they paint, so they’ll extend their maintenance cycles. You’ll see this from property management groups as well.

So, so yes, I think that you may see so the the homes need uh protected through these architectural codings, but I think people will extend them and let it go a little further and I think that again, you have different emotional drivers for interior or versus exterior. It’s just, again that depending on what type of strategy you want to deploy. Hey, Chris, what happens when they, when they wait a little too long to get their painting done, it becomes more expensive because now they’re doing repairs, especially in Indiana.

So again, and that’s one thing if I’m on a market and I’m gonna, I could choose that. That’s my strategy is on the market is like, do not delay the maintenance of the, of these coatings. Make sure you’re painting every, you know, 5 to 7 to 10 years or you’re going to have a more expensive painting job when we have to come out and repair the wood or you could decide, hey, we’re going to focus on interiors because pe people are going out less, spending less in restaurants, spending less at the movies, shopping, whatever.

And for a low cost, they can enhance the space that they’re going to be in a lot. It all just depends again on your company and what you want to focus on if I, if I can add to these guys. Um So as you guys know my niche and where we are in our company, it’s more of a high end residential and most of these high end, like most of my clients don’t even live in the house. So they’ll come and visit this house once or twice a year.

Ok. And you’re talking about a few million dollar home. So our approach is different. So, like he says, is, um, yeah, it’s, it’s a luxury. But at the end of the day, can we promote maintenance? So little maintenance is gonna keep us afloat as opposed to just having to do a whole repaint. And for our business, we really focus on really educating our clients on maintenance. Why we do maintenance when you talk to your regular homeowner about maintenance and like, why it’s not a car, but just like Jason said, you know, there is maintenance especially now in days, we, we really emphasize on like some of our new coatings.

They don’t last as much as they used to in the past. Why? Because all the regulations, I mean, we’re in California. So it’s, it’s how you sell your business as well too. So it’s just not the market, but it’s how can we strategize to, to do that, won’t you guys agree? Absolutely completely. So, another question we have is my life goal is to be one of your customers want, please. Well, I’m gonna be giving you my money pretty soon. I, I just want a $2 million house that I casually visit twice a year.

Juan, what is the, uh, what’s the highest ticket paint project you’ve ever conducted? Ouch. Uh, we’re just talking about that, um, last year, uh, residential home, about 8000 square feet, uh, full repa 1.1 mil, just the house that someone just comes and visits, uh, probably once or twice a year. So, um, we’re in the wrong business, guys. Are they running a painting company or are they something? I don’t think we’re wrong. Not at all. Not at all. It must be, must be a marketing company, a marketing company. Right.

Oh, yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s where the money’s at. Not the same. Right. Yeah. So, so for us, but it’s, it’s the same thing as commercial, you know, I mean, if you guys get a, a $20243 million project for commercial, you know, big commercial, same thing too. I mean, but we were there for about a year and a half. Uh The skill of our labor has to be higher. It’s, there’s a lot more to it. So it’s, it’s, it, it gets a little complicated. It took us a few years to get to this point and it’s very hard to maintain the quality, especially when you start growing.

So we have uh another question, you know, some people experienced a little bit of a downturn this year. It was definitely a bit harder, I think across the board than last year. What percentage are you guys? I think they’re saying down from last year at this time, we are about 15% down in gross revenue. Have you guys noticed uh a little bit of an uphill battle this year at all? We’re actually up about 40 that will make this person feel very good. Well, no, it’s not that, I mean, we hear all that.

I, I keep, I, I’m starting to hear more on the, uh, the new construction that it is slowing down but, uh, it hasn’t happened for us. Hm. Ok. This is a kind of an interesting question. I’m just going to read this, uh, for the commercial guys. I have seen many asking about getting into residential lately. Is there a concern when physical office locations become more and more obsolete in the years ahead with COVID. Fast forwarding the non commute, work workforce and companies like Amazon shutting down the town malls.

No, sure. I entirely understand that. So. No, no. Ok. Do you understand the question? I’m not sure. I fully understand it. Yeah, you’re saying what? Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know if the person asking the question understands the question, right? So what happens to this real estate? Does it just disappear? No, it gets repurposed, right? You still have acres and acres and acres of substrates in each, each metro area which require a coding to be maintained. Now, who is going to apply that coding and who is going to facilitate that transaction?

It’s very tough. No one, no one here has grown an entity that can handle, you know, a small fraction of it yet, right? And that’s like the the answer is, I don’t know who’s gonna do it right now. It’s chucking the trucks right now is anyone that could pick up a paintbrush because the professionalized companies cannot service that demand. There’s too much of it, right? So that’s the kind of that. The answer is no, that’s not an issue. Uh And it’s also like, and that is actually I’m a big, not grumpy.

I’m just gonna say it was a good question. Thank you, Mr P. What I, what I’ve learned from you guys and honestly, um and keep in listening is I’ve learned that if you put all your eggs in one basket, you’re gonna have issues. So I’ve learned from, you know, from Jason uh from all of you guys diversify. So one department of our industry is slowing down, you have another one that’s gonna help you. So, you know, we gotta be smart, the market is gonna do what it’s gonna do.

But how do we prepare ourselves for that? I think that’s the most important part. That’s what I’ve learned or I think, I think Brandon, what I like to do is just be contrarian. I don’t care what people say. I just like to argue with it. You could fully agree with it. Diversifying the there’s so much about presidential repaint, things have to go pretty bad, pretty being bad to actually affect. I mean, your worst case scenario right now, it’s like, oh no, there’s a headwind. Interest rates are an all time high.

Inflation is at an all time high, right? Consumer confidence is at an all time low, relatively within the last time period window, it costs more for lead acquisition. Oh, no. Right now, if you’re, but then you also have this push. So it’s not just the pull, you get to push labor down because it’s harder for everybody. So it doesn’t really matter. Your profits are the same. That’s what it’s like. I don’t know. Now, if one had said you should specialize, I would say, you know, what’s better than specialization diversifying.

So don’t take anything. I say too seriously. I think I’d want Chris. You have some thoughts here. Yeah, I was just gonna go back to that question as far as, I mean, there’s so many different verticals within commercial painting. So like, obviously, like, I wouldn’t focus your efforts uh around office painting. Um But because, but like what Jason said, they’re going to repurpose those spaces. So somebody’s gonna end up painting them and even if they sit, eventually they’re going to be painted. But um there’s a lot more uh verticals and areas to focus than just offices.

So, um that is just, you know, we’re in the commercial space, that’s not a focus of ours. Yeah. So Janelle from the PC A headquarters is here, what’s going on, Janelle? She asked, I think this was related to the opportunity cost that Mr Perris was speaking about. Does anyone else think they’ve planned too conservatively in the past? Is that any anything you guys have, have ever done, kicked yourself for? Or, or have you guys not experienced that? I usually get in trouble because I don’t know my limits.

So, no, it’s not, one is a renegade. It’s not my. Well, I mean, you know, we’re, we’re entrepreneurs, you know, we don’t, we don’t try to be conservative. We go for it. Yeah. I currently had years where we’ve had to re cut the budget to take advantage of the opportunity that we didn’t foresee. Right? So maybe you plan for X amount of growth, but then you’re kind of in the middle of Q two and you’re like, wow, we are gonna blow, we’re trending to blow that out of the water.

We should actually up the ante and you say, well, what if I had dumped the ante up back in January? Right? So I’d say that certainly happened now. It’s hard to look back and say that our growth plans weren’t as aggressive when you look at the results. Yeah, I think that’s the real thing that’s underappreciated is that you can be too conservative and you lose out on that opportunity cost, especially when there’s a, a strong tail wind that doesn’t sustain itself for the long term. Those are the moments when you pounce. Yeah. Yeah.

It’s a great painting. Something very similar here, made a comment. We don’t market and have stayed plenty busy, but I think it’s about time to start. Yeah, if you, if you’re staying really busy or you’re scheduled, way out and you don’t market, it’s probably about time to increase your workforce and start marketing if you want to scale your business. So that’s what ends up happening here and up your prices and charge more. Yeah, reduce your close rate, increase your profit margin revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity.

So we made another comment. Word of more. Word of mouth. Excuse me, Mr Paris, leave it alone and return work are our bread and butter every winter? I think this idea of is underutilized. You know, Brandon Lewis talks a lot about it about it’s called database reactivation but reaching out to past customers getting repeat referral. One of you guys mentioned referral, Chris Chris, it might have been you which of you has a an active referral program? Like something very intentional. And would you be willing to share the details, Chris you, you said we change, we change ours.

So again, just like any of our other marketing efforts, um we test it, put it out there, see see how the uh response or the result is. And then um and so just like the the way we consume content, right? Like we consume, we read it, we hear it through a podcast, we engage each other through groups like whatever uh it’s the same thing it’s like. So we we may send out a referral program, we may leave something so like we may finish the job. Leave a coffee cup inside the coffee is a referral card.

Refer a friend and you get a friend or family member, you get what X amount gift card, whatever. Then we may use our hatch campaigns like a text campaign to send out referral offers through text and then we may incorporate it into our email marketing campaign. So we’re constantly uh putting it out in different methods through, through different method methods and through different offers and then measuring the results and making adjustments accordingly. Does that? Does that answer the question? Yeah, that’s great man. Iiii I don’t like to have an ass without a gift.

So like even like like we like to give a coffee cup or a tumbler and, and then tie in the ass with that. That’s so good and something physical too just for you guys. Even though we run a digital marketing company, I know the idea of direct mail door hangers is brought up. We got uh Mr Will Reyes showing it that Tumblr the only thing I have to ask there will is your friendship. There you go, Chris. It’s, there’s a lot of power because we all get hit with direct mail.

We all, we all get hit with all this digital stuff and ads. There’s a lot of power and something that people can hold. So something physical. So don’t sleep on that. Jason you had a comment. Well, I’m Yeah. Can we back up one subject for a second. You said something and, and, um, I’m gonna, I’m gonna let Paris be the contrarian and, uh, he’s, he’s got some pent up anger. I think he needs to get out and I’m enjoying watching that. But listen to Rocky before you, you said you said something that, that is a trigger of mine and you said raise your prices and reduce your closing rate, those two things. Ok?

Your closing rate does, does not have to be inversely proportional to your price. You can raise both or you could raise your one without changing the other. It’s all right here. Well, it’s, it’s significantly right here. It’s not all right there, but you can raise both of those. And if you think, well, if I raise my prices, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get less jobs. I won’t sell anything. Well, if that’s the way you believe, well, guess what? That’s what you’re gonna get. But I’m telling you, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Jason, how much did I just let you down? You know, you addressed this exact thing in contractor Freedom Summit. Joe, your, your sales trainer got up there trained everybody how to do it and then I just come on and say the exact opposite. I am to disappointment. Sorry, that was there will know. I’m disappointed for you, Jason. I mean, brand is making me feel like a failure here. Ok. Yeah, I dare you do that. To dad. How dare you put that nerve? I love, I love that point and, and, and they obviously are not mutually exclusive, but uh can you give a couple points on how you would do that?

How a contractor would raise your price and uh maintain or increase their closing percentage or success rate? Well, if you have a, if you, ok, practically if you actually have a system that, that your guy, if you have sales people, you simply go in there and say I’m gonna change this price and now all of a sudden the price is going up. Now, if you’re, if you’re just bidding stuff out of your head, you’re gonna have to do it a little different and, and to clarify for everyone just to make sure this is crystal clear because I might not have caught that.

What Jason’s saying is you would go in and adjust the price and the people selling it don’t even know it’s not, it’s not in their head or whether you tell them or you don’t tell them. But, but no, that’s, that’s true. I’ve, I’ve done that before many times, Brandon. Uh but most people in this business think they’re selling, they were just estimating and they were just order takers, they’re not students of sales or understand the, the psychology of selling or any of that stuff and they even fewer have, have a systematic approach to selling so you can raise your price and your closing rate and still have that probably even have happier customers than you have.

Now, how about that? Who wins? Everybody wins. I think that Jason’s point, a lot of these estimators think they’re really, really good when they promise the world and charge a little. I could give my nine year old daughter with her Dora Explorer backpack bunch of proposals. And if she did that, she’d close 35%. The skill of sales that Jason is trying to differentiate is when you promise a little and you charge a lot for it. That is a talented sales rep, right? That is where you prove your worth.

You can have a high sr you’re not charging very much and you’re promising the world. Congratulations on one metric that if you’re in an unsophisticated business, people pack it on the back, I guess. Right. What ultimately matters is the profit, right? So I, I have some thoughts here but I want to dig into this because probably a lot of people are wondering about this. So how would you, how could you go in just a couple examples? We’re gonna do a whole sales tutorial here but promise a little charge above market rates and expect to have a high close rate.

What are some, some ways or maneuvers or, or strategies trying to employ to make that work? I mean, I think that to, to, to promise a little and sell a lot, I think it comes back to that understanding your value proposition and be able to deliver on it. Like we do these three things really, really well and we consistently deliver on those three things. Um I think is one great strategy that I think a lot of people pay a premium for trust. Actually, this goes all the way up to like the investor level mindset, right?

People will pay a premium for an asset when it has a stability and there’s trust that is a stable stream of income, it is a high multiple. If you want to buy the land, that is under a CV S why there’s a lot of trust that will deliver a return. If you’re gonna buy uh a painting company that’s run by an owner operator, you’re not gonna pay a whole lot for that because it’s very unstable, right? The odds that as an investor, it’s gonna deliver return to you year after year is very, very low.

And so as a homeowner, you know, how do you increase that multiple or how do you increase that rate of charge for your promises? You ultimately, they will need to pay a multiple on the trust. So if it’s a high likelihood that you’re going to deliver this contract that I would pay a premium for, I’ll just speak to myself as a buyer, I own a house. If somebody comes to me and I’m like, you know, I have two options. One of them, I feel very secure that I’m going to be delivered, what they promised they’re going to deliver the other 5050.

How much of an upcharge I’m willing to pay is a little bit preference. But that upcharge is there. That’s the skill I think. Ultimately, if you’re gonna try and boil it down of sales of business. Yeah. And that’s just not gonna be just your sales person. Right. It’s gonna be the company. It’s as a unit. So that’s what we are experiencing right now because, you know, in the past we had to be competitive, we had to be competitive. It’s come to the point where like it’s not that we’re not competitive, but we’re setting our price and we’re setting, you know, illusions is gonna come and paint this and then now we turn around and we’re given the same uh not the same uh treatment, but the way we present it, the way we present ourselves to the job and everything, but we’re still painting the same walls that someone else would charge probably half of that price, you know, but it’s because we built that, you know, I guess it’s, it’s just in the backside where you build, you know, that value to the company.

So then you’re just selling that value at the end. Is that, I mean, I mean, am I getting that right or? Yeah, I would absolutely agree. I, I think it’s, it’s building that trust but I think it’s also building that experience. Like when you can provide an experience for your customers, I think that that’s adding a lot of value too. I’m, I’m with you Juan too. Like we, we get um jobs where we’re bidding. You know, we’ve, we’ve done one as much as $7000 more than our competitors and people are willing to, to pay that price because we provide a good experience and our company is like we’re reputable, like we build that trust.

But I think that both of those when you have those combined with the sales, I think that that adds that value. Yeah, I think uh there’s this tendency, there’s this compulsion, especially for younger um entrepreneurs who are earlier in their journey to feel like they need to promise the moon to close the deal. And it goes back to what we were talking about at the beginning. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is you actually lose trust. You actually hurt your sales effort.

We pay market grows a lot of our sales process is actually expectation settings and actually reducing expectations saying here’s what we do. Well, if you’re looking for a bazillion leaves next month, don’t move forward with us because it’s gonna be a disappointment for you, right? We’re competing against companies that are saying, you know, they’ll change everything for you. But those companies aren’t believed because it’s probably not real when you’re working with a homeowner that might be a normal 4000, 16,000 project for you. That might be normal for the homeowner is probably a pretty big ticket item for them.

They’re not spending 5000 plus every day on their home. What do they care about? They care about knowing you’re going to behind the work. The experience is gonna be good. You’re not gonna steal their stuff, you’re gonna be respectful of their family. If they have kids, you’re gonna not mess up the nap time. If there’s an issue, you’re gonna make it right. So go in, don’t, don’t promise the world but just show you’re gonna have a super solid experience and you can charge more and still close high.

Now, I don’t run a painting company. So that might be wrong. But that’s my understanding of it. Yeah, we’re not selling a paint job. We’re selling experience. Remember that I’ve learned that. That’s so true. Jose is the one that really helped me. You know, my bro. Uh my business partner, Jose is the one that really, really set those things on me. I, I’m too soft. I’m like, I wanna do this more and more. It’s like you don’t have to, they’re paying us for a service. So do the minimum and you just, you very specific and it works in the beginning.

I didn’t, I didn’t trust them, but it really, really works setting those low expectations a, a couple of things I might might my notes. I might make one is when we talk about customer experience, it’s not like we’re taking them to a carnival and we’re gonna entertain our customer. Our customer really doesn’t even want us at their house. They want their, or they, or their, or their business, they want their home renewed and restored. They want this beautiful new kitchen or bedroom or their exterior repair and they want us out of there.

So the more frictionless we can make it and almost in a way become invisible is gonna be the best experience for them. And it’s really not that hard to stand out in our industry, at least in my part of the world because because the service the the experience is is remarkable in a negative way. Most of the time, I want it to be remarkable in a positive way m most of the time, all every time is what I really want, right? And so I think we need to, you know, what is customer experience?

I think we need to go. We we need to wrap our minds around that only Grayson can somehow make, make saying a train wreck, sound positive is remarkable in a negative way. This is a good, a good related question uh from John, what’s going on, John, what is one of the limiting beliefs or personal hurdles that each of you are currently working on? I love to hear from a couple of you guys on that. Well, I mean, if I start, uh for me as like, II, I feel that we, we, we, we are appointed in our business on, on that side of the business where we feel accomplished.

Now, my hurdle is how can I grow and how can I add more to my business? You know? And my limiting belief is that, well, I just don’t know how, you know, and this is my limiting belief and I don’t think that it’s, I know it’s possible. I just don’t know how, but basically that’s what we’re working on. How do we learn us, how do we educate ourselves to make our business grow because the business is not gonna grow itself. That’s where I’m at personally right now.

I think there’s a lot of guys where you’re at, Juan, maybe, maybe not dealing with the type of pro the amazing projects that you do the same. But we get in there and, and our hard work gets us to this level of success, but, but that’s not scalable and, and most guys don’t know how to take it to the next level. And so it really comes down to learning new skills and learning how to reach out and how to get out of your comfort zone. I think that’s the biggest limiting belief is, is your comfort zone.

Get out of there and greater things will come on the others. You can always come back to your comfort zone. People skills business skills are absolutely vital. And so many people that get into this industry, start with widget skills or craftsman skills. And I’m not downplaying those by any means, those are vital. But to take it to the next level, it’s gonna come down to really, it’s gonna come down to personal growth and leadership. And excuse me, Paris said this earlier and you know, John Maxwell says this, it’s the law of the lid, The, the lid on our businesses.

Every one of us is us is us. We are the lid on our businesses. There’s no, there’s no limit to the amount of painting work that needs to be done out there. That’s true. We could 20243 X our companies, we could, I think um go ahead. Good. No, I’m good. I think with a group of people like this, the, the term limiting belief doesn’t pertain to people like this. But I think personal hurdles really pertain to a group like this because I think if any of us had any real limiting beliefs, we wouldn’t be where we’re at today.

You know, I think I look everybody on this panel here and go. None of these got limiting beliefs. They just have hurdles, they got to get over and my personal hurdle is, you know, getting out of my own way because like I was, you know, like you said, a grafts and I started out as a painter. I wasn’t a business person. I had no clues about budgets or, you know, I knew to pick up the paint, go to the house, put the pa the paint in the house, collect the money, pay everybody and keep the rest.

That’s all I knew. And it took time. Go ahead. Jason. Ok. So will. But here’s maybe you didn’t deal with this one in particular. But I know there’s a lot of guys that do, you start your company and you’re a craftsman like you. Well, gosh, I can’t let anybody else do this painting. They can’t paint as good as me. That is a limiting belief. Nobody can do it as good as me. Nobody can manage these projects. Nobody can run the schedule, nobody can do the sales and you and those limiting beliefs, build a prison right around you.

Nobody will be able to close the way that I close, right? Sales will dive off a cliff. That’s very true. Uh Someone asked, they said, trying to wrap my head around what Juan said, 1 million plus on a project. Did he say that was residential? Yes, Juan is a, a bad behind. We’ve just been, we’ve just been busting our behind for, for a couple of years and we had a target. You know, that’s something that um that we, you know, we’ve learned from sitting in, in some of these uh conferences and sitting around with, you know, people like you guys uh to just understand that you, you have to, like, be the one, like you have to, like, be the one that everybody wants to hire.

And more than anything we really focus on one of the, of the business and we really had to be very, uh, like, focused because it’s so easy to get out of it and be like, oh, I’m just gonna try this. Oh, I’m just gonna try that because that was me. But then I understood that if I didn’t focus and I did not stay just, just center on what I wanted, then we will never get to where we wanna be, you know, and that concentration that put in everything.

But you really don’t understand that behind that. There’s a lot of people making this happen. It wasn’t just me. It’s from my crew leaders to a project manager to the person who answers the phone. It’s just, it’s everybody has to be in the same page to get there and it doesn’t have, it doesn’t have to be a million dollar home. It doesn’t have to be anything. It just has to be reaching your goal. I think that was the hardest part to do. Yeah. Land that kind of a project.

You really do have to be a specialist and respected as one. John Ray asked what percentage of revenue spent on marketing is healthy? I always say 3 to 5% for conservative uh 7 to 10 for sustainability. 12 to 15 for aggressive growth. Do you guys have different numbers that you want to share. I think it’s so, it’s so hard to silo in on that number. I think we should be looking at is your cost on margin because you can have a really sexy marketing spend number and it just tanks your sr and you spend a lot on sales, right?

Because you’re getting low quality leads with small average job sizes or you may have a really disgusting looking marketing number that’s so high. But guess what their high average job size is and you’re selling them at a very high clip. So you’re not paying as much on the sales end. So you combine those together, it’s ultimately what does it cost for you to acquire margin? And, and are you selling profitable jobs? That’s the other part of it? Like are you marketing and getting profitable jobs or jobs that don’t fit your niche?

I think 35% cost on margin margin. That’s one of the pillars of stability that we focus on when we, when we work with companies, what is the cost on margin? And can you have that at 35% below to build a sustainable future? So I think, I think marketing is a fun thing to look at. I just, I feel like you can juice that number to the detriment of the rest of the business. Yeah. Look, looking at the business as a whole, someone said can reactivation campaigns be sent out too much via text or email, be harmful.

Yeah, you just want to keep ranting at you, Brandon. I’d also say it depends on if you’re in growth mode or sustaining mode, if you want to buy a market share, that’s going to cost more than if you’re looking to sustain. Right. We’ve got a company that we’re talking to today. They’ve been in the Chicago market for 202024 years. They spent $10,000 to sell 2.2 million last year, right? But now we’re saying, trying to build a business model. Well, if we want to go from 22024 to 22024 in the next two years, that’s going to cost money to acquire market share.

Your marketing spend is not going to be in the in the decimal places anymore. So there’s a lot that we start talking percentages that you got to wrap your head around. What was that Brendan? They should not spend any more than 22024,22024. So that would be flawed thinking per capita. Yeah. Hmm. See, I’m so new to all this uh advertisement like just like you guys did, our has been so organic and it’s just the type of clients we deal with. Um they don’t really go after advertisement, they go more of value and and knowing that you are the right person and the right connections that that’s how my market runs.

But now we are trying to make a jump into the residential repaint. And now that’s where I see that we are definitely gonna have to, that’s why I’m learning now how I can use that market dollars and where I need to use them and, and what I’m gonna get in return. So this is all new to us. But it is, you know, even though Spain and it is just a whole different aspect that we have to learn now. So it’s just gonna change depending on where you are either on the market or on the or on your business.

And the like Jason said, so if this reactivation campaign question that was asked, uh my feedback would be yes, you can spam people but that in general, painters are far too hesitant, give up far too quickly. Uh And they, they think they didn’t hear back in a day or two. So, OK, the homeowner doesn’t want to complete the project where actually maybe they didn’t select anybody. What are your thoughts on, on this? I mean, is the question, can it ever be sent out too much? Yes, of course, you send 22024 texts a day.

You are going to have some. The question is, can it be sent out too much? I think so. I think like if you text someone every 22024 minutes but saying like if I start texting and emailing people, is it gonna be harmful? No, I mean, you can find it harmful if, if one person gets upset in your 202024 person client list is that harmful when it generates $22024,290 of revenue? I probably shouldn’t be an entrepreneur if that’s harmful for you and most people aren’t. That’s, that’s the, that’s like the thing of why this question comes up.

It’s like, well, shoot, I can’t stomach that and like, maybe you shouldn’t be running a company. That is such a good point. Like uh Mr Paris, you said you were making jokes, but there are jokes based on truth that sometimes people would, would send you mean emails or something, you know, because it’s something you said on the podcast. We all get that right. I, I sent out to everyone on our list. I sent a text and an email an hour before they started. Hey, you know, we’re about to start, you think I don’t get any pushback from that at all?

No, I’ve gotten some messages that weren’t very nice, but then I get a whole lot of messages like, hey, thanks for the heads up, looking forward to it. Hey, that was a great panel. You are going to get people who get mad at you or who say bad things to you and if you can’t handle that, yeah, this entrepreneurship game may not be for you. No, it’s a fair, it’s a fair question. The part of the question is probably saying, hey, someone who’s done this before, what can I expect, you know, going around the corner?

Trying to see through the fog and the general ethos would be, yes, the juice is worth the squeeze, but you have to have the stomach for it. Very true. This was a, a question here for, I’d say Corey. Uh I’d like to hear about the kitchen cabinet. Whereas the future without my experience is the margins are the best in that category. And following up, uh, someone else asked interior exterior kitchen cabinet. What, what do you guys really think is the best to go into? I’d like to hear about kitchen cabinets.

Where, where is the future with that? My experience. Um, ok, so we’re, we’re working on, you know, the future of it because I, I was talking with Denny Jones about that. Um, actually not too long ago and he said, you know, history is, it, it always tends to repeat itself. And the same thing happened in the seventies, you know, where kitchen cabinet was all the rage. Like it’s really ramped up the last, especially the last five years where everybody wants their kitchen cabinets painted. Same thing happened in the seventies and then the, the quality of the paint jobs was really bad and then it got to a point where like the paint was deteriorating and it needed to be repainted again.

And, um, and, you know, we’re starting to see that trend now too, like where we’re having to go in and redo a lot of kitchen cabinet, uh, jobs that were just done so horrifically. Um, and so when they’re not done, well, uh, you know, the trend is, you know, people probably it’s gonna get a bad name. Uh, down, down the road. So how do we combat that? Well, you know, we’re looking into refacing and, and, you know, how, how can we face kitchen cabinets and how can we give them a new look and, and, um, you know, what, what’s gonna be the newest trend?

Um So, you know, our, our objective for, for our kitchen cabinet, refinishing business is just to make the high quality so that when people do need their cabinets done well or redone, they’re calling us, um and also giving them that alternative with the option and just, you know, putting new on and, and replacing those boxes and giving them a more cost effective option than completely uh regretting their whole kitchen. So, uh you know, we’re, we’re looking to the future in that, um you know, we’re starting to see that trend, you know, where people are needing, we’re, we’re, we actually just have a kitchen in our shop that, you know, their, their kitchen was done four years ago and it has to be all redone.

Um So, you know, we’re starting to see that trend Corey. I, I have a question uh for you that may tie in well with the uh economy, uh questions that we’ve had is so like uh looking into the future with kitchen cabinets. And so every, you know, history repeats itself. So the trend will change, wood finishes will come back. I think on the manufacturing side, they’ve already started the show, which is typically like a predictive indicator of what’s to come, you know. So in 290 to 10 years, like the uh trend will be wood finishes.

How are you planning that? And is it a similar approach? Like what we, what has been the theme of this conversation is just like, hey, like even in a downturn, like there, the, the market is still gonna be there because it’s such an underserved, you know, market. Do you, how, how are you taking that into account with your business since you’re uh specialized in, in the kitchen cabinets? Yeah. So, so we’ve actually just talked, we, we work with the Keystone wood wood specialties. Uh They’re based in Lancaster.

And so we’re, we’re looking at the refacing option so we can actually do wood finishes like new wood finishes. We can change maple kitchens into white oak. You know, we can order new doors, we can order new white oak doors and then we can order a new white oak, um, like it’s all like a, a laminate peel um that we just, we cut and we can reface those kitchens to look just like white oak. So we’re, we’re on, uh we, we understand that trend and we’re already doing that research and, and, you know, we’ve already implemented the new doors uh into our kitchens.

Um So we’re well on our way there and now we’re just uh in that refacing, you know, we’re putting new end channels on things like that. So now we can just adjust and move with the trends. Like, uh I think as entrepreneurs, we’ve always got to be thinking about, OK, where’s this trend heading? How are we preparing for it? How are we moving forward and how our business gonna thrive through these changes? And so that’s, that’s what we’ve been looking into this year. Uh launching 2024. That’s Yeah, great, great answer.

And it, it is, it’s a, it’s a challenge as an entrepreneur or business owner, we are cast with the uh uh having to, you know, be able to see the future right to some regard. And I think that’s so awesome that you’re already ahead of that curve and, and looking into the future and making the appropriate adjustments which I think ties in really well to this conversation. So good with you, Corey. That’s awesome. Can, can, can I plug in a little bit on that c is cabinet is something that I sorry, something that I I’ve done for quite some time like that.

Um What we see in our, in our area is that it is extremely expensive to redo your kitchen to buy new cabinets and, and so on, right. I can, I can refinish your cabinets for a fraction of the price of you. Um uh changing them, we usually had oak uh cherry and those types of wood. So they just want to go away from those textures, they want to go away from the reds and those colors. So it’s really great what Corey says here because now the fact that you can just go by cabinet doors for cheaper than that and you put a new cabinet in front of it and the structure is well and stuff.

I mean, my margins have been more than 50 55% you know, profit on those. And you know, cabinets are just a very good. If you want to get into a in the painting, I suggest refinish cabinets is it’s a very, very lucrative uh part of the business. We do that too. And to me, I see most of my gains is in that. So there’s many ways there’s so many different things out there that you can do now. So, um and one thing that I do recommend for anyone who’s getting into this, look into a cabinet finish product, don’t use paint, don’t use wall paint because that’s gonna really diminish your value and your expertise.

So that is for me, use the best product you can because that is going to give you more money in the future. Yeah, I was absolutely going to piggyback on that because that’s like if you’re looking for sustainability in a cabinet refinishing business, you’ve got to use great products. Like, because like I said, we’re going back and we’re redoing all of these hack jobs that people just, they’re not educated, they don’t know what products to use. Um You know, I think that it’s so, so important that if you’re looking for the sustainability of a cabinet refinishing business that you’re using quality products and then I, I just, I think that that’s so essential.

So we have uh about 10 minutes left. We, we launched a little bit late in the Facebook group. So we might go a couple minutes over if you guys are ok with that. I do want to make sure we cover at least all the main points that I listed in the event description. We did cover marketing channels 2024 economic uh predictions, how to offset inflationary costs, how to, how to improve your margin with a better sales process, things like that. Well, we haven’t covered at all. Uh So if I could just quickly get some thoughts from you guys, is it effective hiring techniques?

So, you know, how should people be thinking about hiring and building their team both from a painter and from an overhead perspective or from a project manager? You know how however big their company is? How should they be thinking about talent acquisition in 903? Can I, my, my uh thoughts on hiring is always like it, it, it needs to be a high level of consistency. So maybe you’re not always hiring, but you should always be doing hiring activities. Um and you know, maintaining your reputation like we, so not only do we need to be attractive for our customers, we need to be attractive for the people we are seeking to uh potentially hire and then have uh great, great systems, great uh hiring on boarding um in, you know, retention systems.

So the greatest way to build your culture if you have a great culture is all the people in your culture. So, um you know, that ties well into like the referral conversation that we are having. So just like we’re looking for referral. If we have a lot of great customers, it’d be great. If we could build off those customers. If they have really great people, it’d be great if we could build off of those people. See, for us, I understood that um in order to hire great help or, or to do that, you have to bring value as well.

So don’t expect to be a mediocre company and attract great talent, you know, you gotta set that platform and then the good ones are gonna follow that really. That model really has helped us because uh we wanna lay down a path for success for them. You have to. And those are the good guys we wanna have and understand that these guys are not gonna be, you know, they’re gonna be with you maybe for four or five years. And if you don’t build something more for them, they’re gonna go somewhere else.

But we want those guys and just like Chris said, we’ve learned to be, you know, uh, we’re not hiring all the time, but our ads are there every single day. So we’re scouting. If we, we always see new guys, we always see new people. If we like someone, we keep the records and we say, you know, we don’t have anything right now. But let me give you a call in a week and, uh, 10 times out of 10 in a week, I have something, I’ll call this person. I’m like, I am so glad I have you here because I’m not gonna go find you when I need you.

You’re already there. Yeah, I would absolutely agree too. Like I, I feel like good people know good people. And if in our, in our business, we build a culture of excellence and I think that if, if you don’t have good people around you, then the first place to look is in the mirror, you know, and, and take a look at who you are and who you’re attracting to because I think that like I said, good people attract good people. And then when you have that core group of people, then we, we do, uh, you know, but my Tuesday crew, they’ve all been best friends since high school.

Uh, you know, so it was just like, you know, hey, do you know anybody who would love work, working with, who has, you know, your work ethic and, and of course, so they all wanted to come and work with us and, and so, you know, just using your resources um and your network and if you’ve got good people ask them if they know other good people. Yep. So that it’s uh same, same concept as customers referring you, right? Just building up a solid network. So we’re gonna put the, the link to the painter Marin Pros 2024 marketing road map in there one time, one more time in the chat.

Make sure you check that out. Uh We’re also gonna put a link to PC A expo 2024. So if you haven’t registered for that, everyone here is going to be there. Uh A lot of other people are gonna be there. It’s gonna be really phenomenal. It’s actually being done even differently. So I think it’s gonna be the best Expo yet. There’s gonna be tracks. It is, it’s really gonna be a great experience. So make sure you’re coming if you are having an abundance mindset trying to grow your company.

Also, I’m seeing a lot of comments and questions that we’re just not going to be able to get to because we do need to respect everyone’s time to wrap this up. So if you want to tag any individual with questions, I’m seeing a lot of specific people being called out. You can do it on the Facebook group. So we’ll put that up as well. If you’re not a member of that group, you can tag them and ask them. Will. Reyes here has switched hats, I believe about three or four times.

And now I got to give him my hat. I send you my hat. He has my hat and yet I have yet to put on his head. So I was just gonna comment on that. I, I, I’m not, I don’t have the, it was in your swag bag for Expo of this year. So you have that the one you’re throwing the garbage. Come on, man, I didn’t, I didn’t take a swag bag. So that’s why. OK. All right. Well, I’ll get you a swag bag. I mean, I was gonna, I was trying to, you know, uh Perez, I’d love a hat.

Uh You have one on the way, man. I’m, I’m, I’m sending one. I’m sending two on the, on the way to you right now and I’m expecting a picture too. Yeah, I’d like to thank everyone and allow me to be a part of this panel. That was a fun one that there was a lot of education that came through. I thought everybody here had absolute value to every second that they spoke. So it was really impressive and thank you all for having me. Yeah, I appreciate you guys coming.

Thank you so much. Uh Let, let’s give, I want to give each of you an opportunity if you want to provide an ending ending comments. Um Sorry, Mr Perris, I don’t speak that good. Uh But I appreciate your guys’ time really value you. You are titans of the industry. Thank you for sharing it with us. Thank you for all your attendees for coming. Uh Carving out time. Does anyone have any comments before we wrap up Phillips? Come on, Jason. Well, you know the, the the title of this event was a 2024 game plan, right?

So what is your game plan? Is your game plan written? Are, are you, do you have it written down? What do you want to accomplish? But more importantly, consider not just what you want to accomplish in 2024 but consider what you want to become as a company and as a business owner in 2024 and regardless of what the 2024 top line results are, if you come out of that being a better, smarter, more educated uh entrepreneur, you’re gonna be better for it. Long term. I like that. That’s very good.

Yeah, see for us is we are laying down a future. So 2024 is another stepping stone that we are shooting for. Uh There’s so many things that are still unknown for us, but we have a couple of things that we are going to work on and like I said, they’re not going to define a year. They’re just gonna make sure that we set the next step for our growth. So that’s what we’re shooting for. So if you want to grow, just remember, just step at a time, you know, we’re not going to conquer the world in 2024.

We’re just gonna be one step closer. That’s, that’s what I’m, that’s what we’re shooting for us in our company. Awesome. Yeah. And uh our, our uh Pan American Pro coo sent me a little meme today, which I think is valuable and it follows up with what Juan just said, make 2024 a big year for you. It’s not, it’s not the year. It doesn’t dictate your success. Hopefully, it’s a good year. Hopefully you grow. It’s a bad year. Then it’s a bad year, right? Your success. This is a very long game.

Entrepreneurship is a long game. So keep that in mind as you grow and as you go through the challenges and the successes guys, thank you so much. Really excited to see everyone in Orlando. Really appreciate your time. Thank you, everybody. Thanks Brandon. You’re welcome for having me. Welcome guys. Hey, thank you, everyone. I took two pages of notes. That was awesome. There you go. Oh, shoot Braden did not give me a chance to, to close, but that’s ok. We’re done. We’re not done yet. We’re not done yet.

Chris, it’s you brother. Oh No, no, no, I just wanted to give you a hard time and mainly I’d like to hear something from you. OK? I got something. So I, I wanted to thank you all because I literally took two pages of notes. Uh I will be uh revisiting this and reflecting on, on the conversation so much good stuff. Uh One thing I really love is surrounding yourself with good people and, and that camaraderie and that, you know, being able to engage with your peers and, and grow from one another and the, the touch on the PC A Expo, every single person in, in this meeting I’ve met at the Expo and have be generated some of the greatest relationships that I have.

Like, it’s such a powerful event and highly recommend uh participating. Uh You may even get two more than two pages of notes. Uh And then finally, as far as planning, put together uh a good annual plan, but revisited of often, you know, if you run an E OS platform 90 day, create a 90 day world for your, for your company, you know, it’s easy to make a plan one year in, in uh in the future and then just lose sight of it. So plan execute, measure, make adjustments. Um But, you know, I think the economy matters to some, to some degree, but what matters most is, is us and our ability to execute.

I think the last thing I’d like to leave off with is, is um it’s gonna suck, things get shitty and you’re gonna fucking hate your life. But there’s resources and there’s help out there and um anybody on this panel is always willing to help everybody else. So if it does get shitty reach out there’s people to help. So, you know, there, there’s resources available. I really love that. That’s the one risk of something like this is, you know, I think we can live without Mr Jason Perry uh saying a joke because I could just keep hearing all these comments and all I hear is like a joke, a joke, a joke.

Come on, Jason, hold us up, Jason. He’s been putting the whole time, not you guys. There you go. What did the sorry? Ok. I was, we’ll see if we’ll see if this goes live or not. If I get cut off. Why did the transgender man Brandon always order a salad? I I’m gonna punt. I don’t know because he was a herbivore. It’s, it’s affirming. It’s acknowledging in that case actually, very in pushing the envelope. Jason that that’s what everybody was asking for it. We gave them what they wanted.

This will probably get you, this will probably get you a strike on youtube. Actually. Amazing. Yeah. And this is how the Painter Market Mass. My podcast goes offline forever. Yes, sir. One more thing, the journey is the destination. Ok. The journey is the destination. I think Jason touched on a little bit. That doesn’t mean anything. I just like to say those words, put it on a T shirt. All right before Jason burns it all down guys. Thank you. Thanks ever for attending and thank you guys. Thank you.

Have a great one. Good one.

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 paintermarketingpros.com/podcast.

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

Keep growing.

Brandon Pierpont

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