6 Ways to Grow a Painting Business

Business growth for painting businesses doesn’t come overnight: it is the result of consistent, hard work and a relentless commitment to both the craft of painting and customer service.

Hear tips and insights from painting business owner Glenn Williamson.

Any entrepreneur will tell you that growing a business can be a big challenge. That certainly holds true for painting contractors who juggle clients, teams, and business development—in addition to tackling daily tasks.

There are many business growth strategies that can help a painting business thrive. Here, one hard-working contractor shares how teamwork, technology and trust keep his painting business growing.

1. Use Virtual Estimates

There are several virtual solutions that painting contractors can use to set a job up for success. Virtual estimating saves painting contractors time and helps sell their services.

“Virtual estimating is great. It saves you a lot of time from driving all over the place for estimates,” says Williamson. In addition to virtual estimates, he suggests getting on the phone with prospects, because selling yourself and your company’s values are equally important.

There are countless digital tools that can help you increase profitability for your business. Consider the following, from Benjamin Moore:

  • ColorReader device: This tool helps you match any colour (think rugs and wallpaper) to the Benjamin Moore paint colour equivalent—with over 90% accuracy.
  • Calculator: Use this tool to estimate how much paint you will need for interior painting jobs.
  • Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio® app: Show clients real-time paint colours using video and camera visualizers, see fan decks, and more.

2. Get Started on Projects Early

According to Williamson, one key to painting business growth is to get started early on a project to make sure you’re truly prepared for the job.

“Try to go to the job before the start date—you really want to be prepared,” Williamson says.

Taking the time to bring your crew and assess a project’s distinct details in advance will pay off in the end.

3. Support Your Painters with Site Visits

Getting out in the field and making sure painting teams have everything they need is core to Williamson’s approach to building a successful painting business.

“Site visits really give you a chance to connect with the guys,” Williamson says. He suggests getting out of the office, getting up on a ladder, and focusing on details like discerning whether a piece of rotted wood needs to be changed, or if it could be filled.

When he’s out in the field, Williamson says making sure his team is happy and supported is his top priority.

“If your guys aren’t happy, they’re not going to make the customer happy.” Whether he is checking on whether his crew need more cans of paint or simply some bottled water, his team is always a top priority.

Williamson also makes sure his customers are happy as each job progresses. He touts friendly check-ins: A simple knock on the door to ask the customer how everything is goes a long way.

4. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

Building a painting business from the ground up has taught Williamson a few lessons. One key learning is to strive for quality over quantity.

“Something I learned from starting a business from scratch: Don’t spread yourself too thin,” Williamson says. “If you have one customer that’s happy, they’ll tell three friends. If you have three customers that are okay with your work, they’re not telling any of their friends.”

5. Use Technology as a Marketing Tool

Technology plays a big role in Williamson’s business development strategy. In addition to virtual estimating, Williamson and his team use an app called Company Cam to measure their progress on a job and attract new customers.

“[The painting team] will make a before and after photo for [the client]. Customers can download it to their phone and show their family and friends. We actually see leads come in from that.”

Sharing before and after paint projects on social media is also a smart marketing tactic.

6. Use Products You Trust to Get Results You Can Trust

Like many contractors, Williamson and his team at New Haven Painting stand by their work, making sure clients are totally satisfied before closing out a job.

Using high-quality, trusted products enables Williamson to show his customers he is truly committed to their success.

“Using Benjamin Moore products 100 percent gives us confidence on the job site,” Williamson says. “They cover better. They don’t fade on the exteriors.”

Independently owned Benjamin Moore retailers are also important to Williamson. “They have awesome local stores, where you can be friends with the guy behind the counter. You can call him and ask any questions. We give a guarantee, and we feel that guarantee with Benjamin Moore.”

About the Video Series
Benjamin Moore teamed up with Fine Homebuilding® for a video series exploring how real-life painting contractors achieve success. Watch more videos here.

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Help homeowners select a paint colour they’ll love.

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