According to the Small Business Administration, roughly 80% of businesses make it through their first year. I was surprised to see the number this high, as I was expecting the number to reflect much lower. However, after the first year the success rate falls drastically. Only about half of small businesses make it past the five year mark (45.4%-51%) and only about 1 in 3 small business owners sustain long enough to make it to the ten year mark. Ouch!
I have identified 3 areas of focus that I believe can help a painting business get to the ten year mark successfully.
The most important piece of any business has to do with the relationships being built. I believe the way in which you approach these relationships is key in your ultimate success. In the painting world, the relationships to be carefully cultivated are with clients, painters and vendors. Focusing intently on these relationships has been instrumental in our company’s sustainable growth. Here is how we do it.
- Our Clients: We go above and beyond for our clients. This begins by setting proper expectations from the beginning and then living up to those expectations. Too often in this line of business it is the follow through that seems to distinguish the great painters from the not so great.
- Our Painters: Establishing a trusting relationship with your painters is really what makes your painting world go ’round. Painters are on the front line and have the ability to create a great experience for your customer or ruin the experience for them. When your painters know that you are working just as hard for them (if not harder) then they will be there when you need them.
- Our Vendors: We think of our vendors or suppliers as an extension of our team. They really are helping us build our business and can be an excellent resource to call upon, when needed.
You might be familiar with the phase “Its not who you know, but its who knows you”. With this in mind, each acquaintance you make could potentially turn into a referral. As a business owner, you are always a representative of your company. This means everything you do, even on social media, is a reflection of your business and has the power to help or hurt your business’ growth.
Networking groups have proven to be most valuable in the growth of No Drip Painting. Because we put relationships first, we have found it to be very easy to develop these relationships by being in the right networking group. If you can find a BNI chapter near you, or support in starting one, it can likely be a game changer for your business. I encourage anyone in the painting business to seek out this type of networking group because of the ongoing and consistent dedication of chapter members in helping you acquire leads.
Social Media Content
When it comes to social media you do not have to be an expert to get started. For a long time I did nothing with social media because it was like a foreign language to me. It turns out, you just have to start! Start by posting pictures of your current work. Once you get that down work to make the pictures a bit more interesting by playing with angles and filters. Add descriptions. Then begin displaying before and after photos for increased visual impact. For No Drip Painting, our painters are often good at taking these pictures because they are young and hip to what makes a cool pic and they love to be featured on the company Facebook page.
Your social media platform is also a great way to recognize your painters for their hard work. This goes back to building that strong relationship and you wouldn’t believe how a picture on Facebook or Instagram can brighten their day. We now have painters asking us to take their picture or video.
Out Live the Statistics
We have just scratched the top of the iceberg with these 3 strategies, but we hope you find them to be a great starting point in finding sustainable growth for your business. Get out there, network, share your mission and don’t be afraid to let the world see it through social media.