Going From One to Five

As a business owner, keeping all the balls in the air with everyone pleased and your painters busy is difficult – especially when starting out. You’ll have ups and downs, and maybe it’ll seem like there will never be steadiness. One moment you’re swamped with calls and projects, then soon after, the phone lines are silent, and the calendar is blank.

You don’t always have to be scrambling to find your feet to get a project on the books. As a business owner going into my 19th year with my painting company, I want to help you find sanity amid the chaos when starting out.

We’ve all been in that place of wanting to grow but struggled to find stability. One of the hardest things in the painting business is hiring your first 5 painters and keeping them on board. In an ideal world, we’d have two or three crews, projects finishing on time, and no worries. Getting to the point of consistency is possible, but requires systems to be in place and a strong team.

Early in the business, you’ll have maybe one or two painters, then experience a boom and need to hire new people. Appointments are booked farther and farther out because you don’t have the crews, yet. It’s a worrisome time, but somehow, you’ll make it work.

Knowing you’ve overpromised and can’t deliver on time, you send calls for help to friends, cousins, brothers, or anyone that could be a helping hand to hold a brush. Business flows in, and you keep making promises you can’t keep. But no worries! You’ll figure it out. Post a Craigslist ad, hope to find good painters to stay on board, and get complaining customers instead.

You find yourself going back to fix the problems you never intended to happen that the Craigslist panter made. The phone rings less and less frequently, but all will be well, right?

Projects drop off, allowing you to complete booked projects on time. No calls are coming in, so you think promotional deals will make all the difference, so you offer 5 to maybe even 20% off. Soon, your last scheduled project is finished, and there is nowhere to go. Here you are, back at the beginning: you’re questioning why you even got into this, why can’t you have your lines ringing off the hook, and where in the world can good painters be found?

Just when you think all hope has is lost, here come the calls and you’re scrambling once again. Does this all sound familiar?

After nearly two decades in the paint contracting business, I’ve built a strong team of 16 painters, two project managers, and three working in the office. At Walls By Design, we have no intentions of slowing down. After growing about 25% yearly since 2013, we plan to keep on!

Stay tuned over the next few blogs to learn more about finally putting down the brush and getting to a place of consistency where you don’t have to worry so much. It is possible to have a profitable painting business that runs smoothly!