How to avoid financial plateaus

by Brian Sodoma

As your painting business grows, it’s common to experience revenue plateaus. Oftentimes owners find they’re stretched thin and can’t get to the next level of growth without altering strategies and hiring people. These plateaus usually occur around the $350,000 and $1 million marks, says Bill Silverman, owner of Springboard Business Coaching, a firm that helps contractors grow seven-figure businesses that can operate without them.

“As you grow beyond $350,000 and add more crews, you simply can’t do everything yourself anymore,” Silverman said. “By continuing to use your old ‘I do everything’ management approach, you’ve become the bottleneck that’s holding your business back.”


To get beyond the $350,000 plateau, Silverman suggests developing self-sufficient crew leaders, so that you can manage the work in the field through them. This move will hopefully allow you to dedicate more time to selling work and improving other business functions, and push you past that first plateau.

Once you hit $1 million in revenues, you should have enough self-sufficient teams that you feel confident in their productivity and ability to get the job done right. Usually by this point, however, your plateau arises for other reasons beyond merely delegating work tasks. You now need help with actually managing the business.

“Your success will depend on gradually putting key managers in place. For example, someone running operations, someone running sales and marketing and someone running the office. … You’ll need to run your business through those managers just like a CEO does,” Silverman added.


For painting business owners, adding managers is a change that’s often more difficult to tackle than making sure crews run well. The key to succeeding with growing your management team lies in “gradually letting go,” Silverman adds, and by implementing training procedures to build manager skill sets while also developing a management system to keep the team focused and accountable for meeting or exceeding goals.

“If you evolve your management approach as you grow, you can minimize the time you spend on the plateau and sometimes eliminate it completely,” he offered.

In the January/February issue of inPAINT magazine, Bill Silverman highlights five early warning signs of a business plateau and how to head them off. Bill can be reached at

For more practical insights on how to run your painting business, visit

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