How to Choose the Right Training for Your Business
You’re ready to take your business to the next level and are wondering where to find the training you need to get there. Here are some general guidelines for getting started.
Begin with an evaluation of your business. Sit down with pen and paper and write down the goals you would like to accomplish in the coming year. Goals might include increasing sales by 20%, increasing net profit, or adopting a more accurate and efficient system of estimating.
Next, you need to put on your thinking cap and write down the steps it will take to achieve each goal. For example, to increase sales, you might need to increase your advertising budget by $200 per month to pay for fliers to hand to customers. Or you may want to look at providing other services, such as power washing, window washing, or snowplowing.
Once this list is complete for all goals, you can begin searching for the right type of training for your business and your budget.
Many training options are free and can be found on the web and YouTube. Low-budget options include buying a book or finding a low-cost course locally or online. Others options are comparatively expensive but cover a specific topic in a timely and systematic manner and, often, are backed up by years of proven success.
When deciding whether to go it alone in your learning or to work with a professional organization or trainer, you need to consider a few things. First, what kind of time do you really have to devote to self-training? DIY training can be time-consuming and, if you don’t do a good job vetting what you’re getting into, can lead to very little reward in the end. The second is cost. Yes, free is free and free is good. Except when it’s not.
In my opinion, some of the best and most affordable training can be found through the PDCA Contractor College, which offers more than 140 video training classes lasting an average of one hour each. The topics are specific to painting contractors and all of these courses are free to Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) members.
For more customized training on your own time frame, you may want to look to a professional business consultant (full disclosure: I am such a consultant). While this is the more expensive approach to training, it provides the fastest means for setting up the systems and practices needed to accomplish your specific goals.
Because the aim of hiring a consultant is for consultants to teach you what to do, you’ll find it’s beneficial to hire someone with experience specific to the paint industry. That way, you won’t waste time or dollars getting them up to speed on the ins and outs of your business.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to improve employee morale and productivity, or looking to expand your business; the right kind of training can be found. Just be clear on your goals and take time to research your options before diving in.
Lynn Fife is the founder, president and CEO of Evergreen Technology, and is the PDCA national membership director. He has worked in the residential and commercial painting industry since 1970 and has provided private consulting services to painting contractors for more than 22 years with a 98% success ratio.
He is a regular presenter for PDCA, speaking at their trade shows and conventions since 1991. He was the winner of the 2011 National Associate of the Year award; the 2012 Recruiter of the Year for PDCA; and has authored a dozen books specific to the painting industry.
Lynn Fife can be reached at (817) 223-3520.