4 Principles of Clear Communication with Customers

The core of all problems in business is poor communication. From finding and attracting talent, to marketing and selling your services, communication is at the foundation of making any of part of business succeed. The problem with communication is that its very hard but hard things in life are ok, because they are opportunities to grow.

In our business we really try to make communication plain and simple. Instead of having a long list of procedural scripts that aim to problem solve for every little hiccup we have four basic principles that we try to help each craftsman and consultant live so they know exactly how to respond when things get tricky.

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The Ladder: Career Path for Color Consultants and Becoming a Project Owner (Part 3)

Social Connectors or just "Connectors" are people who love to build relationships with people and use those relationships to solve problems. Sociability is a big factor in this architype. These people get a lot of energy by being around people and they find satisfaction in making those connections. Being social helps. It may not be entirely necessary to be a good sales person but it matters when you want your career to be invigorating.

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My 5 Best Administrative Principles for Painting Companies

I’d like to introduce a new idea to the discussion of working “on” your business versus “in” your business.  For most of the industrialization period “systems” is the key word when it comes to building your business. Systems are a positive when it comes to getting predictable results, especially when the systems are performed by workers for hire doing mechanical tasks. However, systems fail miserably when it comes to getting creative or innovative results. In fact, studies show that people who have jobs with even a small amount of cognitive function start to underperform when pay for performance and over systematized practices are implemented.

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The Ladder: Career Path For the Production Track & Becoming a Scrum Master (Part 2)

Understanding who you are and what you want your life to look like is key to your happiness and success. All too often in our professional lives, we look at the career paths that are clumsily lade in front of us and we follow the one we think we are supposed to follow and sometimes fail to look at what's really going to make us happy.

In service based businesses like painting, there are two components. Selling the work and doing the work. Today we are going to dive into what it looks like to focus exclusively on doing the work.

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The Ladder: Building a Career Path for Painters and Consultants (Part 1)

10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day. Currently these seasoned workers represent around 1/3rd of the workforce in the US. As their retirement makes an impact over the course of the next ten years, companies who are used to employing them will be finding themselves without workers and fast.

Replacing these outgoing stalwarts wouldn't necessarily be an issue if it weren't for the fact that the rising generation just isn't entering into the trade labor market and federal policies seem to be squeezing down on immigration, which would provide a relief valve for the labor shortage.

So, what can we do? We can either vote for more open borders or we can look to that rising generation and see what we can do to show them that a career in the trades is worthwhile. 

But in order for them to believe it's worthwhile, it actually has to be worthwhile.

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Looking For Scrum Painters

Scrum painting is a system of productivity management that puts a large emphasis on independent crews working autonomously and according to their own preferences for getting the job completed. This is a positive thing. You know that a crew who carries the proper insurance and invests in their own equipment has a level of seriousness about their own work that people just looking for a job don't. There is a certain level of autonomy in how the job is completed however, the customers and stakeholders get to dictate how satisfied they are with the final product and they can certainly let you know if they are unhappy with the experience.

The Scrum Painter, takes full responsibility of their work and craftsmanship. They work together with their team to execute both a positive experience for the customer and a great final product. Working together and not being micromanaged by the crew leader is huge. When every scrum painter on a team takes ownership over the jobsite, not only are the stakeholders happy in the end but also, the team feels accomplished and takes joy in their work.

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Daily Budgeting on an Irregular Income

When you're in a field like painting houses, your income fluctuates throughout the different seasons. Winter being the tough months and spring through fall being really great. Notwithstanding the seasonal peaks and valleys, when you perform contract work, your checks typically don't come until after the job is complete.

For small jobs, it's a quick check, but for longer projects, you may have to wait for a big pay out. For this reason, having an irregular income budget will be your safe guard as you live your routine.

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Your 2018 Marketing Plan Doesn't Have To Be So Painful

As a contractor or subcontractor something on your mind is how do I keep my crew busy. Contract work comes with its opportunities and challenges for sure. The nice thing about it, compared to hourly labor is that you have the opportunity to make more based on your own productivity. You also get to build your own team and you aren't stuck with co-works that you don't like and who you don't feel like you can get rid of.

The downside is you don't always know where the next job is coming from or how long it's going to last. But there is a way to remedy that and it is through marketing.

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How To Deal with Tough Customers

Tough customers. How do you deal? We do hundreds of jobs a year and more often than not a very simple kind approach to the project with a personal attention to detail is enough to make a happy customer. But ever so often you get someone who just can't be pleased no matter what you've done.

This consistent approach to customer service will help you overcome the hurdle and progress the customer toward happiness.

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How to create a Holiday Deal for Painters

Beginning on Labor Day the entire country starts going crazy for deals. But discounts are very difficult for a service company because you risk devaluing your service right? Why should we get paid less as contractors just because we want to sell more jobs? Especially when the market is already saturated with underbidding competition.  

You shouldn't under value your time. You shouldn't discount your time. In this article I'll show you how you can create special offers without burning yourself.

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Scrum For Paint Contractors

Before you start to get all rowdy, I'm not actually talking about Rugby today. The Scrum I'm referring to is an agile methodology used in software development to help faciliate the development process. I learned about this method on HBO's Silicone Valley which is about a rag tag group of programmers that start a software company.

When the idea is presented in the show, it's a punchline that does its job at digging into the dorky startup/corporate culture in silicone valley. But when I saw the scrum board on tv a light bulb went off and I decided to do a little reading...

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The Power of Customer Service

Customer service has a powerful way of making your work life easier and more fulfilling. Everything can go your way when every action is motivated by serving the customer. In this article I explore both external and internal motivators of customer service and how good vs bad service effects everything.  

At the end you'll have the opportunity to share what you've done to improve the customer service experience in the comment section.  

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The History of Painters and Decorators

Origins of Master Level Painting

The earliest guilds were formed in England in the 11th century. These were very small guilds based in towns where trade secrets were passed on to apprentices. By the early 1500's the Worshipers Company of Painter-Stainers formed as a guild to protect trade secrets, set journeyman wages and prevent competition from moving in on their craft. For example, legislation instigated by the Painter-Stainers Company prevented plasterers from applying paint to their plaster work or carpenters from finishing their wood work.

In order to become a master painter, craftsmen would begin as a young man in an apprenticeship, become a journeyman and eventually a master.

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