Page 1

Issue #3, December 2011

Instant access to our TWO pricing and estimating guides

Quotation guide to assist you when quoting

Work Method Statement and Risk Assessment Guide

Personal service and phone advice

Web Listing for prospective customers to find you easily

Free targeted online marketing & advertising

Back-links to assist you in SEO rankings

Your own page on

Painters’ Help section if you are looking for work or looking staff

If now is not the right time to subscribe we can still offer you a complimentary 1 page listing in our 'Find a Painter' section. Supply your details to obtain your complimentary page NOW! Make sure you include your address, phone number and current web site if you have one, if you don’t, use ours!

$49.97 is all you pay for a 1 year subscription



Nigel Gorman

From the Editor 4 A Must for Movember 4 Deputy Editor Caroline Miall

Members Consultant 5 Business Principles series Part 3: Always meet company obligations 6 PROSPECTING Vs NETWORKING – business networking for the future 8


How To Find Work 9

Belinda Ross

Systems for a Successful Business 10

Caroline Miall

Member Profile 12

Jennie Gorman

James W Decorating 12

Jim Baker

Home Painters Info – Online Painters Forum 14

Leanne Staff

Protect your greatest asset – your income 15

Nigel Gorman Shannon Michell Sharon Vollmer

What does an RBA interest rate change mean for me? 16 Independent contracting – What does it mean to be your own boss? 18 How To Become A Really Successful Painter 20 Why invest in a good company image? 21

Stephanie Gadd Tamara Simon

Overview of Occupational Stress 22 FACTS ABOUT SUICIDE and MATES in Construction 24 The Zero Harm at Work Leadership Program 25 Colour Matching 26 Whites and Neutrals 27 Wallpapering– What to look for when you buy. 28 The Industry Idiot 30 Important Contacts 31

Home Painters Info 0430399800

The opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Home Painter Info.

From the Editor Welcome to the December issue of Aussie Painting Contractor, Well, with Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to reflect on what has been an amazing year. Beginning a new venture and launching Home Painters has been an incredible learning experience, and an opportunity to work with the industry from a different point of view. It’s been great to talk with so many people across the industry and other businesses on the periphery, to find out what we can do to make a difference in people’s business success, and help out a little with their relationship with the online world. I’ve really valued being able to support painters in tough times. I have been getting mixed reports as to the state of work in the industry; some Members have enough to see them out the rest of the year and work already booked for 2012, while others are struggling to find enough work to keep them going up to Christmas. While there will always be those out there under-cutting the professionals who adhere to regulations and have the proper insurances to run a professional business, as business owners you have to sell quality work, maintain professionalism, and explain to the client what they are really getting for their money. If you have a proven record that demonstrates you are here to, you can build a good relationship with your client. Should difficulties arise, and they always do, be honest with your customer. Ensure that they know whilst sometimes things do go wrong, you will be here to fix an issue; the important thing is to act quickly. You can turn a problem into a selling point for your business if you get back to the client within 48-72 hours to inspect the problem, then have it remedied within a couple of weeks. Rather than a complaint and bad word of mouth, this is more likely to result in repeat custom and they could become some of your best referrers.

In the current economic climate it is crucial to maintain your good name in the minds of your clients, and in turn your client will become an asset to your business, sending leads your way. It is amazing what a little bit of PR can achieve.

A Must for Movember During the month of November each year, the “Movember” movement triggers the sprouting of the ‘mo’ on thousands of Australian men’s faces in the name of Men’s health; particularly highlighting prostate cancer and depression. It’s a fun way to involve men in a difficult conversation about issues that have long gone undiscussed, and to raise awareness and money for the worthiest of causes. Proceeds go towards crucial programs run by organisations such as Beyond Blue and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Sadly, there aren’t many of us these days who haven’t been touched by some sort of cancer, or depression, whether it be yourself, family or friends. Do you know someone who is suffering? If so, this is a simple way you can support them. Home Painters Info has been supporting their very own ‘Mo Bro’, Nigel, for Movember. Progress has been tracked on our site, and for every person that joins Home Painters Info in the month of November we are going to forward $5 to the Movember cause. So if it’s still November when you read this, get on board; join Home Painters Info or just donate to Nigel at or go to to learn more. You can continue to donate throughout December, too, so give whatever you can!

Members Consultant What a great response we have had this past month! Home Painters Info is rocketing ahead and we are receiving terrific feedback from contractors, and manufacturers alike. As Christmas approaches we appreciate that people will be busier and budgets will be a bit tighter, however, by investing in Home Painters Info for just $49.95, you will receive invaluable information relating to our industry, a truly worthwhile investment, saving yourselves a lot of random web searching for answers to your questions.

Can we help you Mind Your Own Business!? -MYOB-! We are really keen to hear from both members and non-members alike whether you feel that an affordable MYOB course run by Home Painters Info would benefit your business. MYOB has proven to be somewhat challenging for many bookkeepers in small business and we would like to hear from you via our forum if your own bookkeeper feels that they would benefit from a professional MYOB Trainer, and affordable MYOB course to make bookkeeping more manageable.

We also welcome suggestions from you as Painting Contractors on ways you feel we may improve our services to suit your business needs. Let’s get painting contractors talking and working together to keep our industry and skills at a high standard by learning from each other. Finally, to improve our service to you, we would appreciate it if you could fill out our 5 tips section on This will give you valuable tips for your business and give us your details to enable us to personalise our service to you. Hope to talk with you soon, Stephanie Gadd 0433 724 794

Here at Home Painters Info we are endeavouring to contact you individually to invite you to try us out and give us your feedback on our services. We recognise that there are a lot of contractors out there who are uncertain of where to ask their pending questions, and here is where our Home Painters Info Forum may help as well; Connecting you with other painters who may have had some experience with your current issues.

Page | 5

Business Principles Series Part 3: Always meet company obligations Number three in our Seven Part Series on Business Principles

Doesn’t it sound just so obvious? Your customer is paying for goods or a service that is your expertise or main provision in business. But most of us, probably too often, will have been left bewildered by the number of times a company has failed in providing the very basics in what is actually the core of their operation. I am always left wondering how these businesses even stay afloat. In fact this may explain why many don’t. How does this happen? Well, obviously some people are just better at what they do than others; which is where things like trust and reliability come in (see previous articles in this series), and why reputation and word of mouth is so important. Sometimes, however, it is as simple as returning a phone message, providing professional quotes as promised, or turning up on time. Dozens of jobs are won or lost on the basis of meeting some of these very, very basic obligations. These are sometimes expectations based purely on exercising respect for your customer, and the professionalism of you and your staff. Be clear with your clients before a problem can arise. As a Painter, you will have probably been in a position where your customer, and yourself, had different views of what the job included. This can be avoided by having a specific, written guide, signed by both parties, of what IS and what is NOT included in the job, and why Home Painters Info has produced a Quotation Guide for their Members so as not to fall into this trap. Also, if the job requires it, make sure you have a contract in place, which refers to this quote. You will be covered for any misunderstandings, and be sure that you won’t lose money on the job trying to finalise it. Communicate effectively with your client. Don’t leave your customer wondering when you are going to be there for a quote; why you’re not on site getting on with the job; or when you’re going to fix up defects you’ve already discussed. In this environment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) mobiles, smart phones, emails etc., there are absolutely no excuses for not keeping someone informed. Ask your client up front how they’d like to be kept up to date on the job – it may be that you both prefer to text or email, or they might be happy for you to leave a voicemail as often as you need to, if they are hard to pin down. But do not leave anybody wondering what you are doing if you are expecting them to part with their hard earned.

If it all sounds so simple, that’s because it is. But so often these are the little things that make a huge difference. •

Return calls/messages, always

Provide professional quotes, signed off quotation guide, contracts

Turn up when you say you will, or phone to explain why not

Agree how you will communicate best with your client

Never leave a customer wondering what’s going on

So, if you’re good at what you do and you and your staff remember these things as part of the core of your business, you are well on your way to ensuring success in your relationships with your past present and future clients, and subsequently, the stability of your business.

Page | 7

PROSPECTING Vs NETWORKING – business networking for the future Frequently, when attending networking events, I find that people are prospecting rather than networking, even though they have gone to a networking event. It appears that most people are unaware that there is a difference between the two. So, do you prospect or network when you go to events? Prospecting is when people go out to claim as many clients or contacts as they can so that they build their own business without any thought of what they have to offer the people they are meeting. Usually there is no getting to know or understand the person they are meeting, let alone relationship building, to see if there is a synergy between them and their businesses. When networking it is important that you build your relationship, firstly by listening and seeing where you can help or support them with what they are looking to achieve in their business. If you are really listening properly, it is not important to even talk about YOU and what YOU DO! All relationships need to be win-win and if you help others to achieve their outcomes yours will be achieved in the long run without any effort on your part. People tend to feel that they need to support those who support them, so you will win in the end anyway. Of course this goes back to understanding why you are business networking in the first place and what you are wanting to achieve from attending events. Networking is something we need to be doing all the time … a seven day a week ‘thing’ that we automatically do with everyone we meet. It is not about pushing your product, service or company onto another, it is about developing a relationship so that the person gets to know you, who you are

and what you stand for as a person. People buy people they like and trust firstly, so don’t expect that they will automatically take what you are offering anyway. Good solid business relationships take time and effort to attain just as personal relationships do. It is a bit like dating … you don’t expect on a first date to have a full blown relationship the first time you are together, so think of your networking in a similar way. Firstly, get to know the person, who they are, what they stand for whilst understanding what they do and how you can support them. Not everyone you meet has a business that you need their services or products. By developing the relationship you will be able to learn about them and maybe support them with friends and clients that you know who may want or need what they offer. This is true business networking. If you want to learn more skills, do my 21 Days to Become a Networker at or attend my next workshop on “Turning YOUR Networking into PROFITS”. ********************* Jennie Gorman 0414 278 344

How To Find Work Are you managing to keep busy till Christmas and into the New Year? If so, you obviously have some good systems in place to keep the work flowing. If not then now is the time to try something a bit different. After all, as Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result! As a business owner, you need to start looking outside the box and think what you can do a little different to stand out. What is it that your business is really good at, and how can you capitalise on it? Do you spend more on advertising and vary your approach? Do you drop your prices just to get some work in? Or can you offer something as an incentive to get to quote on the job? Consider collaborating with another service like house washing. You can offer a free house wash one year after you complete the job.

clients and let them know where you’re at. It’s quite simple to do up a flyer or personalised letter to your past clients asking for assistance or a referral to anyone that may be looking at getting their home or business painted. For successful referrals, you might be able to offer them a discount or deal for future contracts. You might also offer specials in the flyer like 10% discount off your next paint job; paint a room for free for jobs over a certain amount, or with the painting of the exterior of the house. Whatever you decide to try, remember to monitor the progress of your methods – evaluate expenditure and success and try different things to see what is most effective.

Some of these things will work effectively, even if they can cost you in the short term, hopefully they pay off in the long run. You might like to consider a more targeted method of marketing; by contacting the people that know your work, to help you find work. Based on the likelihood that your best chance of getting a job is a referral, contact your data base of past, satisfied

Systems for a Successful Business

For the few people still reading, here are ten tips for an even better business.

Ten tips for a simpler and more profitable business

1. Check your hourly rates – make sure they cover all business costs, professional indemnity (including run-off) and profit! If you’re not sure, go to and look at the Feepro for Service Businesses information.

If I had a dollar for every time a business owner or staff member said to me, “I wish things were simpler”, I would be a multi-millionaire. Unfortunately I’m not, but it amazes me how many businesses are so complicated these days with policies and procedures that are pages long, using very few flowcharts, and letters to clients with so many unnecessary and complicated words and phrases. And we wonder why clients and staff are so confused, interpret things differently, aren’t sure of their roles and responsibilities, and, in the end, may even choose to go with a competitor. So why is this? When all we want is to do things simply and quickly. And by simple I don’t mean ‘dumbing it down’, because it actually takes a lot of time and effort to write instructions or information for clients and staff that can be quickly and easily understood. Usually businesses don’t spend the time or effort developing a simple, yet profitable business. Why? The most common excuses are: “I don’t have time”, “We’re doing fine without all that stuff”, or “Why spend time training staff… they only leave.” So do you really want a more profitable business? Because to get it, you have to invest time, money, effort and be willing to make some changes. If you don’t want to do this, stop reading now.

2. Track and compare jobs – you should track actual hours on every job and compare budget hours versus actual hours to ensure each job makes a profit. 3. Develop a ‘what if’ strategy – prepare a ‘what if’ strategy to determine who will do the work, answer the phones, respond to emails, process the staff pays, meet clients and prepare quotes if you get sick or go on holidays (yes, business owners also need four weeks holiday per year to recharge); or there’s no staff or no clients for x amount of weeks or no work. During this process, you need to assess the sustainability of your business. For example, what if your best employee left, you got sick, your administration/payroll officer resigned or you lost your best client? Prepare for the worst! 4. Put your policies and procedures in writing – if you don’t already have your policies and procedures in writing, take the time to write them – if the knowledge is all in your head, then your business is at risk and will be very difficult to sell when and if the need arises. Write them simply using flowcharts, and develop forms and checklists to minimise rework and maintain quality standards. Once your policies and procedures are written down, you should review them regularly to ensure they are up-to-date and correct. 5. Communicate with your clients – develop a ‘what happens now’ letter or brochure so your clients know what to expect at each stage of the project and write it in clear, concise language with little or no building jargon or acronyms. 6. Improve your time management – block out time in your diary each week for meetings with clients, meetings with staff, marketing, finances, business improvement and innovation, and quotes and gaining new clients. If you make yourself available 24/7, then everyone except you is running your business!

7. Improve your cash flow – invoice clients as soon as the work is completed, don’t work for clients with outstanding accounts, and develop and enforce an overdue account procedure. 8. Plan regular training for you and your staff – and support the training with written manuals/notes.

For more information or help simplifying your business, call Tamara Simon from Take Another Look on 0438 262 727, email or go to

9. Review your physical files – review and shred old/unnecessary info, scan paperwork instead of keeping it (unless required by legislation) and archive old files in plastic containers and store securely. 10. Clean out your electronic files – delete old emails and documents, and archive previous client information and store back-ups off site. So will you follow The Procrastinator’s Creed? Or will you implement the above tips, and clear your clutter and deadwood for a simpler and more profitable business?

Page | 11

Member Profile James W Decorating I began my apprenticeship in 1969 in my fathers’ painting business in Perth, Western Australia when ‘rollers’ and ‘no-more-gaps’ were inventions of the future. I was one of three apprentices in W.A. nominated for a Bursary Award in 1974. James W Decorating was registered as a painting business in Queensland in 1986. I have trained six apprentices in that time and are all now, fully qualified tradesmen. I have recently employed my first female apprentice, who is showing exceptional skills in the art of painting and decorating. The company itself has built up an excellent reputation for quality and efficiency and my clients are always commenting on how pleased they are with my staff. We believe a persons’ house is two things: their most valuable asset; and, their family’s home. Painting and decorating plays an important role in this. It increases the value of the asset and creates a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment in which to live. It is my objective to give a client this and by meeting all their expectations and standards.

When we paint and when we conduct the business, we do so in active compliance with the following: •

We respect a schedule by working punctually and efficiently;

We provide a complete written report detailing exactly the materials and products to be used;

We thoroughly prepare a surface before applying any paint;

We take effective measures to protect furnishing and personal belongings;

We use the premium range of Dulux paint;

We give a 5 year written warranty to provide extra peace of mind;

We train our staff in Occupational Health and Safety practices;

We reassure our customers we have full public liability insurance coverage;

We only request final payment upon completion.

Our business values are: Customer satisfaction; Quality workmanship; Reliability; Internal reliance; Environmental awareness and Safety. •

A customer is seeking a tradesperson who they can trust to be on their property, in most cases without supervision and someone they can rely on to start and finish the project without any hassles.

Quality of workmanship is reliant on our work practices and the premium materials used.

Reliability means, turning up on time.

Internal reliance means that I only ever use my own workers. The advantage of this is that I can personally and directly account for all the work produced.

Our environmental awareness extends to the environmentally sensitive materials and the paints we use and our innovative methods of waste disposal.

Safety of course is a major concern, and James W Decorating holds a AAA rating with its Workers Compensation Cover.

My long-term objective is to take a step back from the physical painting side of the business. I will concentrate on the quoting, bookwork and helping other painters to start up a business of their own. Three of my exemployees are now working for themselves and I have always been available to give them advice. I do not see them as competition but colleagues in business. If ‘good’ painters band together it will help the industry to rid of the ‘shonky’ characters that sometimes give our trade a poor reputation. Go and have a look at our site

Page | 13

Home Painters Info – Online Painters Forum Painters talking to other painters and sharing ideas… What a strange concept! We believe the time has come that painters need to start talking to each other. You see the sparkies, chippies, plumbers and most other trades talking to each other and helping each other out, so why don’t painters? It’s time to make a change. Have you ever had a problem on a job that you just can’t work out? Who do you talk to? The guy in the paint shop? Your paint rep?.. Or do you talk to other painters to find a solution? On the forum we have developed, you have the opportunity to ask questions of fellow painters, share some opinions, as well as help others with your knowledge. Joining is simple; all you have to do is give yourself a username and choose a password. You can call yourself anything you like, so you can remain anonymous if you wish. We just ask to please keep it clean! We have had great feedback from the people who have already got involved and shared their experiences. The Forum deals with all facets of the industry; surface preparation, lead paint issues, wall coverings, business ideas, technology, and many other areas that have already had people asking questions, and others coming up with answers. We went live with the Forum on the 27th September 2011, and it is rapidly moving ahead, exceeding our initial expectations. We have over 30 topics already being discussed with over 100 posts in less than 2 weeks. So go and check out Home Painters Info’s Forum and see what it is all about.

Page | 14

Protect your greatest asset – your income If you’re employed or self-employed, you should consider Income Protection insurance. What are the benefits? By using this strategy, you could: • Receive up to 75% of your pre-tax income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury, and • Meet your living expenses while you recover. How does this strategy work? Many people insure their home and contents, even their life. Yet, all too often, they don’t adequately protect what is potentially their greatest asset – their ability to earn an income. Think about it this way. If you are unable to work for an extended period due to illness or injury, how will you meet your mortgage repayments and other bills and expenses? Without an income, you could run down on your savings very quickly and face financial difficulty. Rather than putting your family’s lifestyle at risk, by taking out Income Protection insurance, you could receive a monthly benefit of up to 75% of your income to replace your lost earnings while you recover. Most Income Protection policies offer a range of waiting periods before you start receiving your insurance benefit (with options normally between 14 days and two years). You can also choose from a range of benefit payments periods, with maximum cover generally available up to age 65. A financial adviser can help you determine whether you need Income Protection insurance. They can also review your insurance needs over time to make sure you remain suitably covered. What is future earning capacity? If you’re in any doubt about the importance of protecting your income, the table below shows how much you could earn by the time you reach 65. For example, if you are currently 35 and earn $80,000pa, you could earn around $3.8 million before you turn 65. Isn’t that worth protecting? How much will you earn by age 65? Current income (pa) Age now 25 35 45 55 $40,000 $3,020,000 $1,900,000 $1,070,000 $460,000 $60,000 $4,520,000 $2,850,000 $1,610,000 $690,000 $80,000 $6,030,000 $3,810,000 $2,150,000 $920,000 $100,000 $7,540,000 $4,760,000 $2,690,000 $1,150,000 Assumptions: Income increases by 3%pa. No employment breaks. Figures rounded to nearest $10,000.

Page | 15

What does an RBA interest rate change mean for me? The RBA meet every month except January (unless necessary) where they set the official interest rate. In economic terms, this is called ‘monetary policy’. The RBA have in the past set a “goal” to have official interest rates at 5.25%. The purpose of monetary policy is to: • Increase rates – this slows the economy primarily by reducing the demand for loans. If we all borrow less, we have less to spend. • Decrease rates – conversely lower rates encourage more borrowings Of course while the RBA does move to shift rates it remains to be seen if the Banks will pass on any drop. This is dependent on the Banks net interest margin. The major banks net interest margin is currently 2.4%, which is the same as it was in 2004 but still lower than the 3% they enjoyed in 2002. At RFS we certainly hope the Banks pass any drop Australian Companies that are dependent on consumer spending traditionally do better with lower interest rates some examples of these are Billabong, Harvey Norman etc. This can impact on Super values. Of course this is not a recommendation to buy any of these!

Page | 16

The RBA official interest rates for the last decade are shown in the following chart:

Top 5 Tips for Mortgage Holders 1. When rates drop don’t take up the option of reducing your repayments. Based on a $300,000 mortgage at 8% over 25 years the repayments are $2315pm. If rates drop to 7.75% the new repayments will be $2,266pm a saving of $49pm. However if there is no adjustment to repayments & rates don’t move again the loan will be cleared 18 months early & save $27,600 in interest. 2. Consider a fixed rate for all or part of your mortgage. This is one way of “Hedging” against possible rate increases in the future. E.g. Bill and Jill have a Mortgage of $500,000 and want the certainty of knowing that their repayments won’t rise too much. They leave $250,000 on a variable rate @ 8% and fix the remaining $250,000 for 3 years at 6.5%. Their overall average interest rate is 7.25%. If variable rates go up by 1% to 9% then their average rate has only increased to 7.75%. 3. Consider converting any tax deductible lending to interest only and making extra repayments on your mortgage. 4. Review your Mortgage with your RFS Broker every 2 years to ensure you have the right mortgage for your current circumstances 5. Consider an offset account. Most lenders now offer offset accounts. This means that you deposit any surplus cash you have in the offset account and this reduces the interest charges on your loan. Shannon Michell Finance Manager Australian Credit Licence: RFS Finance Pty Ltd No 388022

M 0408 759 030 | F (07) 3112 5058 | E | W

Page | 17

Independent contracting – What does it mean to be your own boss? The building industry has the highest percentage of independent contractors of all Australian industries. Many workers like the freedom of running their own business and being their own boss. Others enjoy the security of working for a company. Before you make a decision about how you perform your work it is important that you know what you are entitled to. What your employer pays for Contractors are often paid a higher hourly rate of pay than employees. However, this does not take into account the additional entitlements that employees are provided and the extra responsibilities that rest with the contractor. This comparison table lists what an employer must provide to each category of worker: Full time employee Paid Annual Leave

Paid Sick Leave


Guaranteed minimum hours of paid work


Paid Public Holiday

Worker’s Compensation

Casual employee




Long Service Leave levy

Public liability insurance

Notice of termination

Income protection

 (in the form of sick leave)

Superannuation If you are a contractor under a contract that is principally for labour, the person who hires you may have to pay your superannuation. Even if you quote an ABN, you may still be considered an employee for superannuation guarantee purposes. The ATO website has information and tools to help you make this assessment: Worker’s compensation Some people working as contractors are also treated as workers for worker’s compensation purposes, depending on the individual circumstances. The laws covering worker’s compensation vary from state to state. Information can be obtained from your state or territory’s OHS and worker’s compensation agency.

What about tax? Contractors are required to complete their own Business Activity Statement and pay their own tax. Contractors may be able to claim more expenses as tax deductions than an employee. However, the onus is on the individual to ensure that their tax records and payments are correct, and that they comply with all tax laws. As an employee your employer will deduct tax from your pay and send these payments to the ATO on your behalf. More information on your tax requirements is available on the ATO website. If I am offered a job as an employee, can I choose to be an Independent Contractor? There are a number of factors that will determine if you are an employee or an independent contractor. How you perform your job and how you are paid are two significant factors in this determination. The ABCC fact sheet “Am I an Independent Contractor?” provides more information on the common law test, which will assist you in assessing your status. If an employer hires you as an independent contractor but it is later shown that you are actually an employee, the employer may be breaching sham contracting laws. A sham contracting arrangement is where an employer disguises a genuine employment arrangement as independent contracting. It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you are correctly hired as either a contractor or an employee. The ABCC will investigate any complaints about sham contracting in the industry, including complaints from employers that have been approached by workers wanting to be engaged as contractors. The ABCC may choose to refer workers’ details to the ATO if it believes they may be claiming to be a contractor to avoid paying tax. The information contained in this fact sheet is correct as at 15 September 2011. This material is for general information only. You should seek legal advice in relation to your particular circumstances. The Australian Government, its employees and agents do not accept any liability for action taken in reliance on this document and disclaim all liability arising from any error or omission. ABN 68 003 725 098 V2.00 © Commonwealth of Australia 2011

Page | 19

How To Become A Really Successful Painter My name is Jim Baker. I have been a painter for 42 years and have run my own successful painting business in Brisbane for 27 years under the name of James W Decorating. At the Dulux National Conference in 2004 and 2006, I won the title of Dulux Accredited Painter of the Year for Queensland. I have also been a finalist in the Action Coach My Business Awards for Best Small Business in 2008, the Dulux Accredited Business Professional finalist in 2011 and the Micro Business Queensland Telstra Business Awards finalist also in 2011. When I was first in business, my main concern was to be cheaper than my competitors’ price. Experience has taught me that this is not what a client is looking for, which is the reason I wrote a book, “How To Become A Really Successful Painter”. If you are in business, or one day want to start up a business, then my book can help you. I can show you how, using a series of 8 easy steps, your business will be one jump ahead of your competitors and more profitable. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a one man operator or have 50 people working for you. The outcome is the same. Success for your business! What I have learnt through trial and error, attending seminars, observing how others run their business and being in the trade myself for 42 years, will be of huge benefit to you. I will show you how to:         

Advertise efficiently without spending a fortune. Get more exposure. Increase the number of your potential clients. Win the job even though you are the highest quote. Improve quote acceptances. Be more of a business person rather than ‘just a painter’. Make your quotes more appealing. Design graphs to help keep track of calls and clients. Get and keep that competitive edge over other painters. Just one small detail could mean either a Yes or a No on a job acceptance. By following even a few of my proven ideas, I assure you that you will have more success in winning a job over your competition. This is not done by lowering your prices. From feedback I receive from my clients, I am often the most expensive and I am usually booked 3 to 4 months in advance. My book has been thoroughly approved by Dulux, Master Painters, Be Constructive Qld. and TAFE teachers from various colleges around Australia. 1200 books are being given out by Dulux to every final stage painting apprentice and Post Trade graduates in Australia each year. It is also being used as a reference book by Dulux in New Zealand and a TAFE College in Fiji. If you are looking for improvements in your business, then “How To Become A Really Successful Painter” can really help you. A copy of my book is available by emailing your name and address to Regular retail price: $25.50 (inclusive of GST and postage).

Why invest in a good company image? Your first contact with a potential customer might be through your letterhead, business card or website. We all know that a person’s first impression is vital. Even your existing clients need to feel that your business is a quality business providing quality service. The look and feel of your corporate image, your logo, stationary and promotional material can have a huge impact on the image your business portrays. Having a smart and professionally designed company logo can actually increase your business potential by retaining clients and generating referrals. It’s a smart investment. If a client has to choose between a business with no branding and a business with a really smart logo, they will feel more secure about spending their money with a more professional outfit. This is why companies invest in creating a professional company logo that will impress their client base. Professional designers can give you useful advice on how best to use your logo and how it can best represent you. You may feel that this is a huge and unnecessary expense, but surprisingly it’s not as expensive as you think. Engaging the services of an online professional designer will help your business to project a smarter more consistent image. It will build awareness for your brand and for your services and start building a strong reputation for your brand. Your logo can spread across all areas of your business from stationery, business cards and promotional material to website and car signage. It’s a smart investment.

Overview of Occupational Stress

FACTS ABOUT SUICIDE and MATES in Construction  Suicide rates amongst Queensland Construction workers have been assessed as being 1.75 times higher than Australian men generally1. In 2008, more than 2,000 Australian’s died from suicide and more than 78% of them were men2.  The suicide rate for young workers in the Queensland construction industry is more than TWO times higher than the national average for men. This means a construction worker is up to six times more likely to die from suicide than from an accident at work.  More than 15,000 Queensland workers are now trained in suicide prevention and awareness Construction workers are 6 times more likely to suicide than to die from an industrial accident.  Up to 1 in 20 Queensland construction workers will contemplate suicide during one year.  More than 22% of BERT death claims could be attributed to suicide. BERT stands for: Building Employee Redundancy Trust.  It is rarely a single event or situation that causes a person to suicide, more likely a culmination of major life events where several things pile up finally causing them to reach a tipping point. There may be problems either at home or at work, but usually it is a combination of both.  Symptoms of suicidal behavior and thoughts include; drug and alcohol abuse, lack of concentration and sleep, risk taking behaviours and carelessness. Improving mental health and wellbeing on site therefore not only saves lives, but also improves workplace health and safety and production.  Suicidal persons often display warning signs.  People who suicide generally do not really want to die, but the pain of living simply becomes too great. If you, your mate or a family member are having suicidal thoughts or doing it tough and want to be hooked up to counseling, please call MIC’s 24/7 helpline 1300 MIC 111 (1300 642 111).


Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention 2006 ‘Suicide in Queensland Commercial Building and Construction Industry – An investigation of factors associated with suicide and recommendations for the prevention of suicide’ Griffith University, Brisbane (The AISRAP Report) 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2010 ‘3303.0 – Causes of Death, Australia 2008’ ABS Canberra

Page | 24

The Zero Harm at Work Leadership Program

Page | 25

Colour Matching Some people put off painting repairs because they worry about matching an existing colour. Others go ahead and repaint a wall or panel and are then disappointed because it comes out a slightly different shade to the rest of the paint work. The best way to ensure a perfect colour match is the most obvious and most easily overlooked. Simply write down the brand of paint used and the colour, and store the information in a safe place – some people have even been known to write the information, in small print, just below the cornice in one corner of the room. Colour matching is then easy because all good paint manufacturers maintain records of paint formulations going back for more years than the average home owner will need. If you have to resort to visual colour matching then there are some tips: Clean the surrounding areas before attempting a colour match. A fine layer of dust or grime will give you a false impression of the colour to be matched. Match finish for finish, ie, match matt to matt and gloss to gloss. Gloss paint will generally look darker than the same colour in matt. Compare the colour cards both in the shop and at home and make comparisons under both natural light and artificial light. This is important because the emission characteristics (eg, colour and intensity) of individual fluorescent sources may product different effects with different brands of paint. Check the area to be painted for any base colour which might show through and distort the true colour. Finally, bear in mind that colour can also be affected by the number of coats of paint applied. If you apply only one coat to a new surface, whereas the adjacent surface had an undercoat and two top coats, you will find that the newly painted area appears lighter because the base, usually a light colour, will Page | 26

be showing through. Even different application techniques can affect colour. Brush applied paints may appear fractionally lighter than the same applied by roller or spray. This is because light reflected from a gloss surface is more concentrated than that from a matt or uneven surface. Generally, the safest thing to do is to paint sections or panels at a time so that fine variations will not be seen.

Thanks to the Australian Paint Manufactures’ Federation

Whites and Neutrals When looking at paint internally, most people will go for a neutral shade or a shade of white, same throughout the house. This is great, easy, and efficient for the painter, and can look very stylish, if done well and the right shade is chosen. There are a few options 1. Light walls and darker trim (trim= doors, architraves, skirting) 2. Darker walls and light trim 3. Same colour walls and trim

There are literally 1000’s of whites and neutrals in paint, so it makes sense that it is the last colour to be chosen. Use the paint to ‘blend’ the other items together, consider whether the colours fall into the cool, or warm whites and neutrals, then make a selection based on that. Have you ever walked into a home and your eyes have told you something just isn’t quite right! Chances are there is an imbalance of colour and therefore harmony in the room or throughout the home. Mixing cool and warm shades, will often cause this. There are some colour combinations that are just beautiful together in paint for example Dulux Hog Bristle and Dulux Antique White USA or Dulux Ecru and Dulux Fair Bianca, BUT BE WARNED using the right combination in the wrong place, spells disaster, and often a very expensive repaint.

Really, this boils down to personal preference, however, there are a couple of notes I make when asking this question. Who lives here? –If there are children, I will often tend toward a darker trim, if not I will often paint trim the same as the walls. The gloss level will often make it look a little different anyway. These days a semi-gloss trim on doors, architraves and skirting is very popular. That super shiny “fridge door” finish of the super gloss seems to be a ‘thing of the past’, at least in modern homes. Finding the right white or neutral can be a real trick. It is always vital to see whatever else is going in the room before selecting the paint colour.

Some Painters offer colour advice, others prefer to leave it to the customer to choose, other Painters employ a Colour Consultant, and offer us as a ‘free’ service to their clients once they have signed up on the quote – food for thought there. p.s. I always suggest people get test pots of colours and apply minimum 2 coats to cardboard (not the walls). That way they can take them all over the house, morning, noon and night, and also in small rooms, larger rooms, and all aspects to see what it will look like in shade, bright sunlight and so on. Happy painting Belinda Ross Colour Transformations 07 3886 4488 0413 464 289

Often there are about 6 options in flooring (tiles, carpet and timber) that the client likes and is within the budget. Kitchen bench and cupboard colours are also limited.

Page | 27

Wallpapering– What to look for when you buy. While wallpaper is back in vogue, before you buy, there are a few considerations to be taken into account. For practical reasons, you should give some thought to the type of room the paper is going into; Bathrooms and Kitchens are usually done with plastic coated wallpapers. (Although these are still vulnerable to moisture through the seam joins and the top and bottom). There are ‘scrubable’ wallpapers that are good for children’s spaces and high traffic areas and they will give you years of service. The paper wallpapers are generally a bit more fragile and the flocks need to be gently vacuumed to keep the dust off them so save these papers for where they won’t be damaged.

Dye lots will be familiar to those who sew, paint, work with colour or install wallpaper. It is important that you get all of your wall coverings in the same dye lot number. The manufacturers try to be as consistent as possible but there will still be variations between the different dye lots. This difference can be very slight, but will show up when two strips of wallpaper from different dye lots are installed side by side on the same wall. If you are in a situation where you have to use a different dye lot there are still tricks of the trade. Dye lots are close enough that you can cover an individual space, like an isolated wall with the odd dye lot. This works best if you can get from one inside corner to the next. Since the lighting changes from one wall to the next wall, inside corners are natural breaks that mask the difference in colours very effectively. The important thing is to avoid putting two different dye lots together on the same visual plane.

It’s important to have enough of the wallpaper print you are using, to complete the job. When Wallpapers are printed, large amounts of ink are made up and all the wallpaper that is run through the press with that batch of ink is labelled as a dye lot. When the next batch of ink is prepared, it will likely not be exactly the same as the previous batch.

Page | 28

1179 Sandgate Road Nundah Ph: 07 3256 9388 Mon - Fri 9 - 5 / Sat 9 – 2

LEAD TEST KITS Even low levels of lead are harmful Paint contractors, parents, renovators, child-care centre operators, teachers, landlords, agents, pet-owners: Find out if paint, dust, soil, drinking water, toy paint, plastics, ceramics, jewellery, and other items are safe for humans and pets. Buy a DIY-sampling / lab analysis lead kit The LEAD Group’s lead test kits are the only ones available in Australia for testing a wide variety of samples at a lab (which charges us a charity rate so you pay less). You take the samples, and send them to Sydney Analytical Labs. The lab analyses the samples, and we explain the results. See the factsheet for ideas about items and locations to test, and read why purchasers are so impressed with the kit and follow-up advice. Order online at OR print form at for mail order or fax OR phone 1800 626 086 with your credit card details.

Comprehensive Kit $250

Water Kit $85* Basic Kit $100

*The water test kit requires less lab work and a lot less interpretation that is why it costs less Prices include postage within Australia, handling, lab charge, results, interpretation & GST.

Four videos showing how to use the sampling kits are available on You Tube: Search for Lead Poisoning DIY Lead (Heavy Metal) by global lead group

The LEAD Group is a charity (ABN 25819463114 ) which aims to create a lead-safe world. Check out The LEAD Group’s website or donate at

The Industry Idiot Welcome to our newest regular feature The Industry Idiot. For your bemusement we’ll be featuring extreme examples of workplace health and safety at its worst! If you have an example of bad practice you’d like to share, send it in! (hopefully not your own!!)

What was he thinking??? Well, we’d like to know what you think.

If you can come up with an amusing caption for either of these buffoons, email it to us and we’ll feature it on our website.

Page | 30

Important Contacts Home Painters Info Ph. 0430 399 800

Australian Tax Office Business Ph. 13 72 26 / Personal Ph. 13 28 65

Award Rates Ph. 13 13 94

The Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner Ph. 1800 003 338

Mates In Construction 1300 642 111

Workplace Health and Safety contacts State Website





13 10 50


1800 019 115


1300 369 915


1300 365 255


1800 136 089


1300 307 877

Cancer Council Australia State


13 11 20


(02) 6257 9999 (02) 9334 1900 (08) 8927 4888 (07) 3634 5100 (08) 8291 4111 (03) 9635 5000 (08) 9212 4333

Instant access to our TWO pricing and estimating guides

Quotation guide to assist you when quoting

Work Method Statement and Risk Assessment Guide

Personal service and phone advice

Web Listing for prospective customers to find you easily

Free targeted online marketing & advertising

Back-links to assist you in SEO rankings

Your own page on

Painter Help section if you are looking for work or looking for painters to help

If now is not the right time to subscribe we can still offer you a complimentary 1 page listing in our 'Find a Painter' section. Supply your details to obtain your complimentary page NOW! Make sure you include your address, phone number and current web site if you have one, if you don’t, use ours!

$49.97 is all you pay for a 1 year subscription

Aussie Painting Contractor  

The Aussie Painting Contractor magazine is here to share industry and business knowledge with Painters and Decorators, small business owners...