Basic Essentials for Running a Painting Business


Hey guys. It’s Brandon Lewis. I just got packed up from a long camping trip. We drank a few cold beers, played some music around the campfire, had a good hike, went on some off-road trails. It was a good weekend. I’m the last one here because I bring everything and the kitchen sink every time I camp, but I am one of the more prepared campers that you could camp with. I’ve got everything required to make a cobbler, to crank up the chain saw, to take a shower, you name it. I’ve usually got something extra if somebody forgot something. I’m well-equipped. As a painting business owner, I’m gonna talk about something that sounds very elementary, and for many of you, you’ll say, “Brandon, I already know all this.” For some of you, it’s a big deal. I’m gonna talk about what you really need to master, unrelated to painting strategies: tools so that you can run your painting business more effectively.

Let me ask you a question. If a painter came to you and said, “I’m a perfect painter. I’m a fantastic painter, but there are three things that I can’t do. I can’t brush, I can’t roll, and I can’t spray, but I’m a great painter.” What would you do? You wouldn’t hire that guy. When people say that they’re a business owner, and I ask them, “How comfortable are you in Microsoft Word? How comfortable are you in Excel? Can you send an email to all of your clients? Do you have a database?” They say, “No.” Then I say, “Well, then you’re not a business owner. You’re just a technician limping from job to job.”

If you’re a painting contractor, an owner of a business, and you want to really be able to communicate, there are three tools you’ve gotta master: Microsoft Excel, spreadsheets, simple reports so that you know what’s going on, the ability to organize and account for your investments. Number two, you need to learn how to use Microsoft Word so that you can communicate with your clients effectively, to draft communications, to create manuals, to create standard operation procedures, to come up with paperwork for crew leader packets. Then, finally, you need to master sending mass email. Okay. You can do it through Mail Chimp. Three simple tools.

Now, with those tools, you could also use the phone, you could use texting. There’s a hundred other apps that really make it possible for you to communicate immediately with your lifeline, which is your customer list in your business, unconverted leads, B2B referral sources and also commercial contacts. If you are an owner of a business and you cannot send … I’m being set upon by gnats here. I apologize. If you can’t create a spreadsheet, if you can’t do a mail merge, if you can’t send an email to your list, you’re really missing the tools of a business owner. Remember, if a painter can’t brush, can’t spray, can’t roll, he’s not really a painter. If a business owner can’t use Microsoft Excel, Word, send a mass email, he is really hampered.

Let me make a plug here at the end. There’s a little tool called Professor Teaches Excel and Word. Look it up on Google. Buy it on Amazon. Professor Teaches Excel and Word. I’ve taught estimators out of the field with absolutely zero computer experience how to become masters in those programs in about eight hours. Crack open a beer, pour a cup of coffee, sit in front of that thing. It’ll teach you exactly what you need to know. If you’re gonna be an owner, make sure that you have the fundamental, simple tools that you need to run your business, stay informed, and communicate clearly with both your staff and your clients. I’m Brandon Lewis with Painters Weekly. I’m gonna get out of here, guys. Take care.