3 Steps to 2018 Painting Business Success

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Hey, it’s Brandon Lewis with Painters Weekly, and if you’re heading into 2018, it’s likely you want some things to change. I have never spoken with an owner of a painting business who said, “Brandon, you know, I would really like for 2018 to be worse than 2017. I would really love it, if at all possible if I can make less money and work more,” never, not once in my career of working with owners have I heard this.

But when it comes to looking at 2018, often all people have is this kind of baseless optimism about what’s going to be new and different, so I’m gonna give you three steps to having a wonderful 2018, and it’s a very logical way to look at accomplishing at you hope to achieve.

Step number one is that you must have specific, measurable goals. You’ve heard this, it’s nothing new, but let me break this down for you. The other two parts are very new, but this first part probably sounds familiar. How much do you want to earn in personal income? Is it 100,000? 250,000? 500,000? What is it specifically? What does it look like? You need to write that metric down.

Could it be that you’re currently working 60 hours a week but you only want to work 40? Could it be that you do not want oftentimes work on Saturdays? Could it be that you want to feel less anxiety and stress in your life? That third one’s a little harder to measure.

But you can come up with some specific, measurable ways to describe how you would feel, and visualize it if that were the case, and so even if you are going after something intangible, I’m going to ask you to put that number down, and with your income, divide it by monthly and weekly earnings, okay? Get very specific.

Now, here’s where the good stuff starts happening. Number two, major controlling inputs. Most people, number one, don’t even know what these are, and number two, never take account for them when they plan their year. So for income, your major controlling inputs are things like your closing rate on transactions. That’s something you can control. It is the profitability per project. The average transaction size, the number of leads that you get that turn into estimates. The percentage of times you come in on budget in a project.

Those are things that control your personal income, okay? So we’ve identified those metrics. In the case of how often you work, it could be the amount of time it takes you to set up a job, the number of callbacks that occur on each project as a percentage. It could be the amount of time you spend bookkeeping, the amount of time you spend answering the phone.

There are inputs that will tell us how much time you’re going to spend at the office, and when it comes to things like controlling anxiety or stress, it’s gonna be things like customer satisfaction, you can track that specifically with a survey. Number of callbacks, you can track that on a report. Percentage of projects coming in on budget, you can track that, those are major controlling inputs, okay?

If you measured this thing, what feeds into income? Number of hours worked, anxiety, stress, and then finally, here’s the big deal, we talked about what wewanna do, we talked about the inputs that control it, but guess what? There are systems that control the inputs.

And so when you get these things identified, then you want to look at system improvement projects. Definable things that you can do to change the metrics that feed into your specific measurable goal. So system improvement projects, if you wanna raise your closing rate and raise the average profitability per project, that is controlled largely by, but not exclusively by, your sales system.

So revamping your sales system with strong pre-positioning, presenting, post-positioning and follow up, like we use in our PowerPaint Presentation Process. Or reducing the number of hours that you work, that could be related toidentifying a bookkeeping service, identifying an answering service that also books appointments. That could be putting together a strong dual column checklist process at the end of every project with a customer satisfaction survey that reduces callbacks for stress and anxiety.

It could be a saved labor bonus program that causes your guys to come in on budget and recognizes and rewards those who do, and penalizes and eventually gets rid of those who don’t. And when it comes to things like the average transaction size, that is also controlled by the percentage of, up here, repeat and referral business, and if you’re sitting at 20% or 30%, that’s not very good, and so getting that to 60% or 70% is going to increase your closing rate and your transaction size, and the system that controls that is your customer reactivation and your customer retention systems.

So to recap here, you’ve got to, in 2018, identify the specific measurable goal you wish to reach, make it very clear, and if it’s not something that’s hard to put a number on, you need to clearly define it in a paragraph that’s very succinct, okay? And visualize it. Once you visualize, you can achieve.

Major controlling inputs, what numbers are associated with this thing coming true? And then finally, what systems control these inputs, and how can you tackle projects and build systems to make sure that these inputs improve so that you can reach your specific measurable goal?

So we start with a goal but then we back our way into it, does that make sense? Most people barely do this, they leave these two steps out. If you do all three, you’ve got a great shot at reaching your goals in 2018. If you’re unclear about this process, how it works, if you’ve got a moderately successful painting business and you just need a little help, by all means, feel free to reach out to me at support@paintersacademy.com, that’s support@paintersacademy.com.

Or just call the office during this slow season, and that’s 423-800-0520. 423-800-0520, there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel on this stuff, unless you really just love reinventing the wheel, and some people do. I’m Brandon Lewis with Painters Weekly wishing you a great and wonderful 2018. I hope you achieve your specific, measurable goals. Take care.