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Cinderella Trade - from NZ Painters and Decorators 1958, reprinted with permission Master Painters New Zealand. View article.
Click on an article/s below for information of interest to professional painters or use the search tool to find specific topics.
Everybody knows the usual methods of boosting a business, from advertising on the radio to handing out business cards. But what about some out-of-the-box ideas that you haven't tried yet? Here are seven ways you may be able to boost your trade business with a little creative thinking:
Are you looking for ways to improve your bottom line? Try these six ideas for strategies that can work across just about any industry:
One of the hardest challenges a business can face is expanding a client list. At the end of the day, without clients, a business cannot succeed, so it's vital you keep generating leads and work hard to retain what existing customers you do have in order to grow but most of us don't have the luxury to allocate a lot of time to this task. So, how do you fit it in with all the other work that needs to get done?
Here's some tips to get you started... more
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of business and busy-ness, that it’s often hard to lift your head away from all the urgent things now to work towards the future.
However, it’s important to make time for it, as marketing will help to keep your pipeline topped up with work for the months and years ahead... more
Most successful painting businesses are acutely aware of how productive their business is and will target ways or look for opportunities to improve productivity. Once a professional painter moves away from being a sole trader (aka one-man-band) operating on their own or with a mate undertaking smallish painting contracts to a larger enterprise that employs other painters, the business model needs to change to be successful and remain so.
Productivity improvements are always possible and the people and businesses that chase and keep chasing improvements are generally the most successful... more
Most of us have had to work in less than perfect ‘home office’ spaces for at least parts of this year, ranging from perching at the breakfast bar, hunched over the dinner table or perhaps lounging on the couch trying to get admin stuff done. It’s surprising what you can put up working wise when you literally don’t have a choice.
One of the keys to it working well though is have things neat and orderly... doing so will help your business to operate smoothly, saving both time and money. Here’s how.. more
Wouldn't it be wonderful if everything just went perfectly all the time – perfect weather, perfect timing and perfect clients? Unfortunately the chances of that happening all the time isn't likely to happen any time soon. You will always encounter a mixed bag of clients. Some will be a pleasure to work with, many will simply be your standard client, and a select few will fall into the ‘difficult client’ group.
It’s inevitable that you will encounter them at some point, so the best you can do is be prepared to handle them so you can minimise frustration and the loss of time. Remember these tips next time one of your customers turns out to be more demanding than most... more
We know it’s only autumn, but those winter months are just around the corner so it pays to start thinking ahead. With winter on its way, you’ll likely notice a drop in projects as homeowners take a break from renovating and updating their houses.
While a break from the hectic summer months can often be a welcome reprieve, you still want to make sure you have enough work to provide a good income over the cooler months. If you’re looking for ways to boost your work over the cooler months and maintain a steady income, try a few of these marketing tips and tricks... more
As a small business, staying financially afloat can be a tricky task for many. Looking to Australian stats, small businesses have the lowest survival rate (56 per cent), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with experts blaming poor cash flow management as an overriding issue...
If you’re experiencing cash flow problems as a small business, there’s no need to let them weigh you down. Instead check you’re on top of these three common problems... more
Standing out in the painting and decorating industry is crucial for success, but how can it be done?
In an industry where every other business claims to be the best at what they do, it can seem difficult to set yourself apart from the competition. While a lot of small businesses understand that standing out is key to success, many fail to put this theory into practice – however, it’s easier to do than you think. Here are some ways to help you stand out:.. more
Why don't customers return for repeat business? Here are three common reasons why you might not see them again and how you can ensure you will.
In any business, one of the best sources of new income is from old clients. This is because these past customers are already familiar with you, your services and your professional integrity. So, what could stop those old customers from coming back and using your services for a second, third or fourth time? Here are some of the most common reasons customers won't ask you for work again and what you can do to ensure that doesn't happen... more
With the summer months nearly upon us, chances are you’re starting to book in more and more jobs as customers hurry to get their jobs done ready for the holidays. The warmer weather provides better working conditions, and longer and lighter days means more work can get done. However, if you’re struggling to juggle clients and projects, it might be time to assess your time management.
Time management is a crucial skill to nail. When utilised properly, it can increase efficiency and productivity – allowing you to successfully juggle various things at once... more
A tag line can be a helpful way to promote your business and ensure your clients know what your brand and company is about. You don’t need an expert to come up with one for your business. Why not have a go yourself? Here are the top tips for finding the right one that works as hard as you do... more
Now you might be thinking, my job is a painter or decorator and I’m applying the paint and colour the customer requested – why do I need to be creative? Creativity can help in all sorts of ways, big and small. It might be the answer to fixing a problem on one of your projects, it may be a new idea for attracting new business or even just the way you want to lay out your web page and the signwriting for your van... more
The Boston Matrix, otherwise known as the BCG (Boston Consulting Group) Model, was created in 1968 to help businesses segment and assess their products. Despite the tool’s half century in use, it is still widely regarded as a handy way to quickly and effectively divide offerings into useful groups... more
As one of the most important factors of your business, keeping clients happy is an integral 'must-do' for all painters and decorators. However nice you may be, sometimes, customers don’t always reciprocate. If you’re looking to improve client relations, it pays to understand the different types of people you’ll deal with.
Here are some of the more challenging clients you may encounter and how to best deal with them... more
Market segmentation is a classic principle that can be used by any business in the world – including tradies. Take a look at what it is, how it works and how it might benefit your marketing strategy... more
While a professional marketer can certainly add a depth of knowledge to any small business, there are still a number of skills you probably already have that can help boost your trade. The trick is to remind yourself that they are in fact marketing assets, and to ensure you use them as much as possible.
Here are a few skills you can use to market yourself and your business, even if you didn't know you already had them!... more
As a small business, staying financially afloat can be a tricky task for many. In Australia alone, small businesses have the lowest survival rate (56 per cent), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with experts blaming poor cashflow management as an overriding issue.
And while many sole traders go through cashflow problems at some stage, if money issues continuously rear their head, it may be a sign that cashflow is a weakness in your business that needs fixing... more
Great customer service is the cornerstone of any company. So how can you ensure that's what you're offering your clients? Here's a quick list of some of the main factors that will leave customers satisfied with your service and will encourage them to pass your name onto their friends and family... more
A business continuity plan (BCP) pinpoints the most important parts of your business, identifies potential risks to these critical pieces and prepares you to recover as quick and easy as possible. Contingency planning is a crucial part of continuity planning – it means having a backup if your original plan no longer works. It's your plan B... more
One of the key inputs to workforce development planning is information about total employment in a sector and how this is forecast to change in the future. In 2016 BCITO produced a Workforce Development Plan for Painting & Decorating. This was updated in 2017 with new forecast information.In March 2018 Infometrics has done their annual forecast update... more
So you've set up your business, built up a great reputation, and have steady work coming in. The question usually comes down to: What's next?
Growing your business even further is the next natural step, and there are plenty of ways you can go about it. Here are four different strategies you can take your trade business to the next level... more
As much as any trade is all about physical skills and tools, a lot of your branding and marketing is locked behind a digital screen.
For a long time, a well-designed, helpful and appealing desktop website was the key ingredient to marketing yourself online. While it’s certainly still important, the relevance of a mobile site has grown exponentially, to the point where it has even surpassed that of a desktop site... more
New to social media marketing? Discover some of the top do’s and don’ts for small businesses in the tradie or painting trades.
Social media marketing allows businesses to connect with their audience, build brand awareness and grow a customer base. In New Zealand alone, 93.6 per cent of businesses use some form of social media... more
We live in a world ruled by social media. From Facebook to Snapchat, there are so many platforms a business can utilise. One of the most popular is Instagram. This photo-sharing app focuses on all things beautiful – just like that of a painter/decorator... more
While you can’t stop a customer leaving bad feedback, the way you deal with it can massively influence the way they and others see your business. How should you handle a bad review?... more
This Act provides a guarantee of performance for customers and there are plenty of grey areas in establishing just how well your painting work performs and for how long customers may take actions against painters either real or imagined, for problems that arise with work... more
Taking on and training an Apprentice is a way for you to invest in our Industry’s future, give back to your trade and improve the skill set of your employees. For information on Apprenticeships and how to get involved in workplace training... more
View detail drawings with dimensions for: badminton courts, tennis courts, netball courts, basketball courts and a guide for working out object areas... more
When you're looking for your next work project, put yourself in your clients' shoes. Think about what they want from a tradesperson, then show them exactly how you tick all the boxes... more
The paint manufacturing industry shares data regarding market share, material trends and overall yields among other bits and bobs – some for their own interests and for others such as Government Trade and Commerce data... more
These are the costs used to run your business that are separated from the costs of the function of painting (paint and accessories) and are recovered (hopefully) by including an average for the overheads in prices you give customers for work... more
Estimating and preparing quotations for work is critical to the success of any painting business and a proper understanding of all the costings is essential... more
When an account becomes 'overdue' always contact your customer and ask for payment. If there is a problem with your workmanship or other matters at least you will know and (by law) you have the opportunity to put it right... more
Because the essential elements of a house are all pretty simple the idea of a rate for each square metre of the floorplan became common with housing developments, particularly in Australia, and the idea spread into the painting trade, producing some very unfortunate consequences for painters because the rate tends to decrease with time and competition rather than increase... more