Reputation matters: making the most of your online image

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If there’s anyone that understands the power of online reviews, it’s the folks at Yelp.com Emily Washcovick, a manager of local business outreach at Yelp.com, says that 78% of consumers turn to online review sites when choosing a local business. LOOK BEYOND THE STARS According to Washcovick, review sites have evolved dramatically over the past few years from being a … More

PRO PICKS: Five pros weigh in on their top exterior paints

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Homeowners take pride in their homes, and when they hire you for an exterior painting job, they’re looking for a painter who understands that—and uses high-quality products. Exterior paints need to stand up to the elements; resist mildew and dirt; retain color; and last for years without blistering, flaking and peeling. We asked five pros about their favorite exteriors … More

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Background Checks and Drug Screenings

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Finding the right employees can be a challenge— and laws, rules and regulations make the process even more complex. Pre-hire background checks and drug testing are highly regulated areas, with oversight from federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), not to mention what’s required by your local, county and … More

The Paint Store Experience. Big Boxes. Independent Stores. Manufacturer Stores.

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It doesn’t matter if you’re painting a powder room or all 100 floors of a high-rise, no job gets started before the paint and supplies are purchased. And while most paint stores—brand manufacturers, independents, and big boxes—carry the basics, many pros prefer to give their business to just one type. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why: MANUFACTURED SOLUTIONS A … More

When less is more

Experts talk economy coatings: when and where to use them―and why

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We all understand how critical it is to maintain your professional reputation, and using an economy coating might seem counter-productive to that objective. After all, explained Debbie Zimmer, director of the Paint Quality Institute (PQI), these are typically a lower-quality, inexpensive paint that doesn’t provide quite the performance or application benefits one might see … More

Hire-ology: How and where to find the best talent

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The shortage of qualified, dependable tradesmen in the U.S. is not a new story, but it is still a concerning one for many contractors. While many workforce-related headlines point to a need for computer scientists, engineers and health care workers, the National Association of Home Builders reported in 2016 that there are roughly 200,000 unfilled construction jobs in the U.S., … More

PRO PICKS: Six pros on their adhesive picks for a variety of job types

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When you’re working on a renovation or construction project, adhesives matter. Whether you’re gluing wood, setting tile, laying floors, attaching crown molding … the adhesive you pick is an important choice. We asked six pros about their favorite adhesives—and what they like about them. Here’s what they had to say 1 ALAN FINNEY: Residential renovations and construction … More

Your ride, your way:

Upfit to get the most out of your work vehicle

Over time, every paint pro develops his or her own unique habits. Maybe it’s an affinity for a particular brush or roller, or perhaps a demand to put tools and materials in certain easy-to- reach spots on a work vehicle. That said, it helps when a vehicle is built out to anticipate a pro’s natural tendencies. That well-placed, functional ladder rack could help employees … More

Equipment leasing 101: Important considerations

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Whether you’re a small residential contractor or a large commercial painting business, purchasing new equipment such as ladders, lifts, sprayers or compressors—or capital assets for your office including copiers, software, furniture and computers—can bring with it a confusing array of financing options … along with several potential pitfalls. The first choice you’ll need to … More

Fixing to get ready

What’s new in the world of prep tools

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The old adage, ‘Proper planning prevents poor performance’ should be every painter’s mantra when it comes to getting ready for a job. In the past few years, manufacturers have developed a number of new products to help pro painters accomplish necessary prep more accurately and efficiently. Better outcomes lead to satisfied customers and an improved bottom … More