THE MAGAZINE FOR PROFESSIONALS

5 Things you can do right now to improve your business in 2019

by Brian Sodoma

The year is young and when it comes to running your business, it’s important to not let the New Year’s excitement wear off too soon. We’ve all heard about how most of us break our New Year’s resolutions before February, but that doesn’t have to be the case for those who have committed to growing your painting business or making it more efficient. It’s a great time of year to set processes in motion that can make 2019 a revenue-topping year. Here are five things you can do right now to improve business in 2019:

#1: DELEGATE SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON BIGGER THINGS

 It’s easier said than done, particularly if you’re a small operator who has worn many hats through the years, but 2019 may be the year you let go of some control. Empowering others to take charge of some segments of your business will allow you to focus on higher-level, business-building work.

Bill Silverman, owner of Springboard Business Coaching, says those painting professionals who wish to grow their business should avoid being an ‘I do everything’ owner.

“Run your business through trusted crew members who own responsibility for running different parts of your business,” he said. “Focus your time on ‘owner-worthy’ activities like developing your team, managing high-value customers and high-value projects that contribute to creating a smooth-running business with consistent growth and profit.”

#2: EMBRACE THE RIGHT MARKETING TECHNOLOGY

Aaron Hockel—partner and VP of digital marketing for AltaVista Strategic Partners, integrated marketing experts that work specifically with contractors—says 2019 is the year for painters to embrace the Nextdoor app. The app is now in more than 180,000 U.S. neighborhoods and about 30% of its chatter revolves around service requests and recommendations.

“It opens directly to a feed of local posts specific to a user’s selected neighborhoods. The posts are made by other users … and cover everything from selling a kitchen sink to asking if anyone knows a great local piano teacher, dry cleaner—or painter,” he said.

Painters can scroll the feeds to see if ‘neighbors’ are looking for painting professionals. Also, Painters shouldn’t be reluctant to post about their business (photos of jobs completed, testimonials from happy customers, etc.) to increase awareness.

“While these types of apps are here today, gone tomorrow, Nextdoor appears poised to make it in the long run,” Hockel said.

#3 SIMPLIFY SYSTEMS

Administrative systems can become complicated and costly as a business grows. For Nick Slavik, founder of Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co., in Minnesota, the motto is: simplest is best.

For example, Slavik likes to simplify his supply room by minimizing the number and types of supplies available for crews. He has four types of brushes and has them categorized: interior, exterior, restoration/enamel, wood finishing/decks. He has one type of roller cover, one spackle and two tape options.

“This allows my apprentices to focus on the task and not the things around the task,” he said.

#4: STUDY YOUR CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNICATE MORE WITH THEM

Slavik also suggests doing research to find out who your typical customers are. Look at traits like age, gender, location, interests, income. Once you know your typical audience, commit to communicating more with this target group. “Daily updates are not overkill, especially in the age of email and text,” he added.

#5: CREATE PROCESSES AND SYSTEMS TO TRACK NUMBERS FOR THE YEAR

The early part of the year is a good time to implement accounting processes and production tracking systems, Slavik added. “Track material and labor precisely to give you actionable data,” he said. And make sure the accounting side is tended to regularly. “Either do your own financial statements or have your accountant review them with you weekly,” he recommended.

For other insights to help you run your painting business, visit inpaintmag.com

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