inPAINT Magazine - May/June 2022

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inPAINT TH E M AGA Z I N E FO R PRO FESSI O NAL S

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®

TRENDS

M AY/J U N 2 0 2 2

RESULTS OF OUR

2022 READERS SURVEY

+

Pros on their trusted deck coatings Two pros compare onboarding strategies Project snapshots: Challenges and coating choices

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

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Up to 50% easier breathing

*

FOR When comfort matters. The 3M™ Cool Flow™ Valve Particulate Respirator 8511 is designed with the pro in mind to help bring you protection and comfort. The Cool Flow™ Exhalation Valve helps release warm and moist exhaled breath from inside the respirator. *Compared to non-valved 3M™ 8200 testing

DIY/Home Use: Use ONLY in NON-HARMFUL environments.

built to perform

Occupational/Hazardous Use: Use under a regulated government (e.g. OSHA) respiratory protection program. WARNING: Limitations apply; Misuse may result in sickness or death. See product packaging and insert, or call 3M in USA at 1-800-243-4630. In Canada, call 1-800-267-4414. © 3M 2022. All rights reserved. 3M and Cool Flow are trademarks of 3M.

3M.com/8511

8511

N95



CUTTING IN PUBLISHER

Edward McAdams

“ Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t have to.”

MANAGING EDITOR

Amanda Haar

DESIGNER

Carl Bezuidenhout

—Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur and business magnate

CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR

N

o matter the size or scope of your company, one thing holds true: Talent is the backbone of every business. Which is why—and especially now when simply finding talent is a struggle unto itself—onboarding is so critical. In this issue of inPAINT we talk to two pros about their onboarding processes (page 12). While their company sizes and approaches vary, they’ve each managed to craft a process that supports their company culture, and thoughtfully develops skills and builds connection across their teams. We’re grateful to both pros—Sean Kennedy of Kennedy Painting and Stacey Spear of S&S Painting—for sharing the specifics of their strategies. We’re also grateful to all the readers who participated in our 2022 inPAINT Survey (page 16). For me, two things stood out in this year’s survey. First—and not surprisingly—62% of our readers report they are struggling with getting product. This is a big jump over the 22% reported in last year’s survey. In addition, reader response to a question about how pros are tackling staffing shortages got my attention. With solutions ranging from methodical to rather shotgun, there are some interesting ideas in the mix. And you’ll be happy to know that the answer isn’t always about more money. That said, if you missed the survey and feel you’re doing something right on the hiring front, please reach out. There’s always room to share more success stories. Cheers,

Cindy Puskar

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Brian Sodoma

CONTRIBUTING EXPERTS

Jaime Burkhard Murfreesboro Painting

Dan Johnson Graco

C-Sharpe

Sean Kennedy Kennedy Painting

Marlin Coatings

Jade Mailloux Mailloux and Sons

Cole DeRousse Major Painting

Justen Meneses Making All Things New Deck and Fence Care

Steven Eastep Easy Stain Brenda Farley Deck Escapes Staining & Beyond/ Clear Water Prowash

Tom Mickinell Mailloux and Sons

Shawn Hill NiceJob Jake Hubbard Painting the Northwest

Jamie Pitman BrightLocal Stacy Spear S&S Painting

EDITORIAL

Amanda Haar, Managing Editor, inPAINT

amanda@inPAINTmag.com ADVERTISE

602-296-5391 ed@inPAINTmag.com SUBSCRIBE

inPAINTmag.com/subscribe

2022 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Bryce Benfield Owner, South-East Painting & Protective Coatings Co. Brooke Cambridge Owner, BLC Painting

Jeremy Fyfe Owner, GLS Painters

Ray Rahni Owner, Paint Track Painting Services

Larry Marler Owner, The Works Remodeling and Finishing

Steve Spinelli Owner, Uni Pro Painting

Rich Purnell Owner, BASE Painters

©2022 REM Publishing Group LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of content in any manner without written permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in signed columns and articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Publisher assumes no liability for any damages or loss of any kind that might arise from the use, misuse or inability to use the materials or information contained in this publication. All material and information appearing in this publication is distributed and transmitted ‘as is,’ without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, and is subject to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer. 4

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

inPAINTmag.com

publishing group REM Publishing Group LLC 8924 E Pinnacle Peak Rd, Suite G5 #575 Scottsdale, AZ 85255


CONTENTS

Two Pros Compare Onboarding Strategies

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Pro Picks

22

Four pros on the coatings they use to restore, beautify and protect decks from the harsh weather of their locales

Project Snapshots

Challenges, coatings and color choices on two projects

22

May/Jun 2022

Courtesy of Making All Things New Deck and Fence Care

FEATURES

inPAINT®

DEPARTMENTS

26

16

inPAINT Survey Results Readers’ preferred brands —both nationally and regionally—plus their practices and projections

6 The News Industry ins and outs

28 Tools of the Trade What’s in today’s professional toolbox?

8 5 Good Questions Sprayer manufacturer on recent innovations and training opportunities to benefit the pro

30 Upcoming Events The what, where and when of the industry’s leading events

10 Trends A fast look at the forces at work in our industry

31 Bottom Line Building long-term residual-revenue relationships

11 Trend in Focus Making the most of online reviews

Cover Photo Courtesy of Graco

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

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THE NEWS

Houzz Pro simplifies email marketing

Roofing School is now in session T SprayWorks Equipment recently launched Roofing School to help business owners and their employees learn how to install, repair and renew commercial roofs with polyurethane spray foam and protective coating systems. The two-day hands-on training covers: ■ ■ ■ ■

Safety Code compliance Estimating Identifying and preparing substrates

■ ■ ■ ■

T Houzz recently expanded the features of Houzz Pro to include a tool to help pros promote their businesses quickly and easily via email. Dubbed Email Marketing, the tool lets you create, send and track analytics for e-newsletters, company updates and other emails. Integrated into Houzz Pro, Email Marketing comes loaded with customizable templates that make it easy to drag and drop in images and logos and add text. A preview feature lets you double-check your message before sending and, once you hit send, you can track open, click and unsubscribed rates to help you optimize future sends. Houzz.com/pro

Marketing Operating equipment Applying various coatings Spray foam roofing

Classes are offered monthly in Ohio with on-site options available. SprayWorksEquipment.com/roofing-school

Lowe’s introduces pro rewards program

Coatings Decoded is live T Tnemec Company recently launched a podcast for commercial and industrial coatings contractors. Each biweekly episode features industry leaders offering tips and up-to-date insight into critical topics from certifications and inspection status to sustainable building regulations and understanding the needs of food and beverage facilities. Episodes with video are available at Tnemec.com/search?query=podcast and audio is available through Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher and TuneIn. 6

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

T In an effort to forge stronger business relationships with pros, the company recently launched the Lowe’s MVPs Pro Rewards and Partnership Program. Available in select markets nationwide, the program offers new and current loyalty customers numerous benefits including Lowe’s e-gift cards, earned when pros spend in-store and online on eligible purchases; access to business resources for tackling back-of-house operations; exclusive offers for rewards on eligible paint purchases; free select snacks or drinks at Lowe’s stores; and mobile and online options to track and claim rewards—even when sending a crew member into the store. Minimum purchase requirements and exclusions may apply to some benefits. Lowes.com/pro



5

ood GQUESTIONS

WITH A SPRAYER MANUFACTURER

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DAN JOHNSON serves as the Global Total Markets manager for Graco’s Pro Paint segment, where he is responsible for developing and implementing market development plans across the professional paint industry. Graco.com

What sprayer innovations should pros be aware of? Many innovations have recently launched to drive higher productivity. The first is the handheld cordless airless sprayers. These are perfect for spraying small jobs faster with a professional finish. The set-up and cleanup time is much less than a traditional sprayer. They’re a great way to improve productivity and profit on small jobs. Next are low-pressure spray tips, like Graco’s RAC X low-pressure SwitchTips. These allow you to spray at up to 50% lower pressure, which doubles the life of the tip, reduces overspray by up to 50%, and delivers a better finish. They’re an easy upgrade that can quickly have a big impact to your bottom line. For customers looking for portability with more capacity, high-pressure cordless airless sprayers allow you to spray faster. These are a significant productivity boost for any professional who regularly competes with other trades for power or is spraying in remote locations.

2

How do you know it’s time to upgrade your rig? One indicator is when your sprayer requires more frequent servicing. Downtime reduces profit and if you’re experiencing a lot of it, it’s time to think about upgrading. Another indication is when you have more jobs to do and have to complete them faster. Productivity is about more than just the time to spray. There’s also the time it takes to set up, clean up and transport. Even simple upgrades, such as a hose reel, can increase efficiency and boost productivity on the job. Finally, for contractors expanding into new applications, a new sprayer with additional application capability can help secure more jobs. Adding new applications to jobs you’re already on, such as finishing cabinets on-site, or applying decorative and smooth textures, can boost profits.

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

INSIGHTS FROM DAN JOHNSON

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What’s the most expensive spray mistake pros make? Pros often try to extend more life out of a spray tip, but it actually costs them more because when a tip gets worn, the flow increases and the fan width decreases. Contractors end up putting too much paint on the wall, and it actually takes more time to apply it because your fan width is narrow. Regularly changing out your spray tip will deliver the best finish, extend coating usage, and maximize your profits.

4

What are the best training options for sprayers? For learning to apply coatings, there are a lot of good online resources that cover everything from components and safety to application and cleanup. It’s the perfect intro for anyone new to using a sprayer. Graco has a world-class contractor product training center in Rogers, MN, where contractors can come for a four-day program on servicing and repairing sprayers. The classes are free and are aimed at those who want to learn how to tackle their own service and repairs. Also, our distribution partners and salesforce regularly host local pro-focused educational events on new equipment and best practices with hands-on demonstrations.

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What’s the best way to operate when you need service? Obviously, it’s best to maintain your equipment so you don’t need last-minute service. To eliminate costly downtime, Graco developed ProConnect—a one-part pump replacement system for quickly servicing the piston pump on the jobsite. With it, you can swap the pump in minutes with no tools, keeping you up and running and maximizing productivity.


PaintCare offers free pickups for recycling! In addition, painting contractors and businesses can recycle smaller quantities of leftover house paint, stain, and varnish for free at more than 1,800 PaintCare drop-off locations in nine states and the District of Columbia. To find a drop-off location near you or request a large volume pickup, visit paintcare.org or call (855) PAINT09.

CALIFORNIA | CONNECTICUT | COLORADO | DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA | MAINE MINNESOTA | OREGON | RHODE ISLAND | VERMONT | WASHINGTON


TRENDS

What’s cooking in kitchen colors

The reviews are in

According to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, here are the colors consumers are gravitating to for kitchen renovations.

In their Local Consumer Review Survey 2022, BrightLocal determined which review sites consumers are using with more or less frequency.

Walls

Cabinetry

White

32%

41%

Gray

27%

10%

Beige

19%

3%

Blue

5%

5%

Green

5%

3%

Yellow

3%

0%

63%

2020

2021

2020

2021

by the end of the third quarter.

Older Generations (Gen X/Boomers/Silent Gen.)

46% 41%

24%

26%

23% 8%

Better communication Stronger references Virtual/online quotes

Digital project rendering

Virtual online customer service

11%

Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 2022

Virtual online scheduling

8%

Interactive project trackers

SOURCE: Lowe’s State of the Pro 2022 Annual Report

In good company Membership in professional organizations for the paint industry is on the rise. Here’s how growth for two prominent organizations tracked between January 2020 and February 2022: Painting Contractors Association (established in 1884) +13% Commercial Painting Industry Association (established in 2016) +800%

SOURCE: Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint

20%

18%

18%

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

2020

53% 32%

$430 billion

65% Younger Generations (Gen Z/Millennials)

10

2021

48%

Spending for home improvements and repairs is expected to expand in 2022, potentially reaching

If deciding between two final quotes, with all else equal, these are the factors that influence customer decisions.

27%

54%

Remodeling to peak in 2022

Deciding factors 66%

81%

Good pros are hard to find According to The Farnsworth Group’s PRO Research Insights, 58% of home improvement professionals reported labor challenges in January 2022. Here’s a look at the top four trades they’re having the hardest time finding: Painters Electricians Carpenters Plumbers

24.5% 24.5% 20.7% 18.4%


TREND IN FOCUS

A five-star approach to review management

G

iven that 99% of consumers reported using the internet to find information about a local business in the last year,* there’s no denying the importance of reviews. But as Jamie Pitman of BrightLocal, a dedicated local SEO platform notes, “Consumer habits and preferences are changing. If you want to make the most of reviews, you need to stay on top of where consumers are going and have a presence there.” Facebook falling out of favor According to Pitman, there’s been a diminishing trust in Facebook over the past few years. “Between bad actors and congressional hearings, people are losing faith in the platform. For the first time in the company’s history, its user base is shrinking. On top of that, how it handles reviews is a bit confusing. They had reviews, then they had recommendations, now they have some sort of hybrid. The system isn’t clear to consumers or to businesses. As a result, consumers aren’t leaving reviews like they used to and also aren’t valuing them as much.” Google seizes the moment As anyone who uses Google knows, the company is actively looking to build trust and help businesses leverage reviews. “Recently,” Pitman says, “Google introduced a new feature on its local pack. When you’re presented with a map showing businesses that match your search, if you roll over a business, a little snippet of a review for that business appears. It might include a key word from your search, which serves to boost your confidence in the business and in Google to deliver what you need.” Making the ask For 84% of consumers, reviews play an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ part in their decision when searching service businesses or tradespeople. “You could offer the best service in the world,” says Shawn Hill, community director at the reputation marketing software company NiceJob, “but if you don’t have reviews that say that, no one is ever going to know.” Hill notes pros may be hesitant to ask for reviews, and may not know what to do with them once they have them. “If you set expectations with the customer early that you’ll be looking for feedback throughout the project on how well your team is performing, it becomes a partnership aimed at helping you improve the customer experience. Plus, if an issue emerges, you have a chance to show how responsive you are.”

Hill says that makes it easy to ask for the review when the job closes. Try something like: ‘You’ve said so many nice things; I’d like to share them on Google,’” he says. “And you want to make is super easy for the customer to provide the review. Tell them you’ll send a link, and thank them for sharing their experience.” New biz leverages reviews to great success Jaime Burkhard started Murfreesboro Painting in May of 2021 and has already earned 39 5-star Google reviews. “As a new business, we felt the quickest and best way to grow was to prioritize reviews PRO TIPS and the customer Finding the review link provided by Google is ‘clunky,’ Burkard created a experience,” he custom link (murfreesboropainting.com/review) that drives customers to says. “The best way the same review screen. to get potential customers to NiceJob software includes a smart code that presents clients with all trust us was to let connected review sites for a business. other people tell BrightLocal provides a free Google Review Link & Place ID Generator: our story. We put brightlocal.com/free-local-seo-tools/google-id-and-review-link-generator reviews in front of prospects every chance we get. They’re on the front page on our website and we include reviews of similar projects, including photos, in every proposal.” Throughout the job, Burkhard and his team are focused on creating the best possible customer experience. “That makes it easy to ask for a review as soon as the invoice is paid. I never ask for five stars; I just send a link and ask them to take 30 seconds to share their experience.” If someone is slow to respond, he’ll send a follow-up note a few days later, informing them of his referral program or asking if they’d be willing to take some photos of the finished space. “I don’t ask for the review but that’s usually sufficient to get one.” Murfreesboro Painting responds to every review immediately, often peppering their response with a project location or some details to boost SEO rankings. *Local Consumer Review Survey 2022, BrightLocal

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

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Two pros talk

ONBOARDING

Hands-on skills training is an integral part of Kennedy Painting’s onboarding program and is provided on a biweekly basis to all crew.

As talent becomes increasingly tougher to come by, the onboarding experience grows more important. When done well, it indoctrinates new hires to your company values and processes, makes them feel like a valued member of the team, and increases the likelihood they’ll stick around. Here, two pros share what they’re doing to get new team members off to a strong start.

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

<

SOURCE: Brandon Hall Group, The True Cost of a Bad Hire


Operating in the St. Louis market since 1998 as the owner and operator of Kennedy Painting, Sean Kennedy has a lot of employee hiring and retention experience. In fact, in 2021 he received nearly 700 employment queries, which he successfully whittled down to 35 full-time team members.

The Kennedy Painting onboarding experience For Kennedy, the onboarding experience begins at the interview stage. He says, “When we bring someone in for a conversation, we spend a lot of time discussing our company values and asking questions to see if their values are aligned with ours. It doesn’t matter if someone’s the best painter in the world. If their values and goals aren’t aligned with ours, it’s never going to work.” Assuming he finds a fit, he’ll extend an offer contingent upon an individual passing an occupational health screening. Conducted at a local hospital, the screening ensures the individual can complete the task necessary to do the job and that they have no preexisting conditions that would inhibit their ability to perform. For candidates moving forward, the next step in the Kennedy Painting onboarding experience is Boot Camp. “We hold Boot Camps at our shop once a month,” says Kennedy. “All new hires attend the first day, which covers expectations for painters, safety protocols, the structure of the company, and most importantly, our interior and exterior set up and breakdown processes. That way, there’s no ‘I didn’t know’ excuses later. I also spend a lot of time sharing our company values and what makes us different. It’s important they appreciate who we are and how we present ourselves to the customer and community. If they’re not feeling it on day one, they probably never will. I think it’s best to figure that out early.” For individuals new to the trade, a second day of Boot Camp covers basic skills including how to set up a ladder, how to roll out a wall, basic tools, what goes in a tool bucket, how to cut a tube of caulk and how to caulk, etc. “The real skills training will come on the job

in the days and weeks that follow. We assign apprentices to a field supervisor and project leader who have them work through a set of skills over 90 days.” During the first week, apprentice time is not billed to jobs, as they’re just there to learn. The crew leader checks in regularly and evaluates them for punctuality, attitude, and their ability to follow directions and learn. During the second week, the crew leader decides whether or not an apprentice will be moving on with the company or not. If so, a formal review is slated for 30 days and again at 90 days when the employee becomes fully vested, receiving insurance, PTO, and a 50% tool stipend. From that point forward, employees are reviewed every six months, with their salary being adjusted based on where they fall on the company’s skill pyramid.

© Courtesy of Nolan Consulting Group, NolanCG.com

“Our best and longest-tenured employees are all products of our onboarding/apprenticeship program,” says Kennedy. “I think it’s because they come in without any bad habits, learn our ways, grow steadily with us, and recognize that there is a clearly defined path to advancement. Their success and ours really begins on day one.”

The S&S Painting onboarding experience

Woman owned and operated since 2004, S&S Painting has earned a solid reputation for itself in the Richmond, VA market. Focused exclusively on interior residential painting and color consulting, the company has grown from the original staff of two founders to a team of nine including owner and founder Stacey Spear, who shaped and honed the company’s onboarding process into something she now loves and trusts.

While Spear launched S&S Painting with a partner in 2004, it took four years until they made their first hire. “At that point, our onboarding and training consisted of learning at my side on the job. That was fine for one or two people but as we grew, we realized that approach wasn’t going to work.” Spear’s first attempt at formalizing the process was to create a checklist of ‘must-teach’ items. “It was better than what we had been doing,” she says, “but it didn’t take long to realize we needed more than a checklist; we needed a program. And, as I got busier as an owner, I realized I shouldn’t be the one doing training.” Today, when new employees report for their first day at S&S, they are embarking on a three-month training program, are provided a training binder, and assigned a dedicated trainer. May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

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New employees at S&S Painting work alongside a dedicated trainer for the first month, learning the basic skills and company processes.

Points & counterpoints on onboarding process w

In compiling this article, we shared each pro’s approach with the other and invited them to comment on what they liked about the other’s approach and what wouldn’t work for them. Here’s what they had to say:

Sean on Stacey’s approach:

Spear explains, “The binder includes all the information they need to get started—how to download time card, calendar and work order apps, our policies and procedures, PCA’s Craftsmanship Operating Procedures, all the training materials and completion forms, and a copy of their year-end review so they’re clear on their goals. That binder goes with them everywhere.” For the first month, the trainee works side by side with a dedicated trainer on jobsites. They review procedures and guide them through the necessary training, initialing their binder when different levels of training are completed. At month two, the trainee is assigned to a team that doesn’t include their trainer. “The goal of month two is to work on their precision, teach them how to work within a team, and lessen their dependence on their trainer,” says Spear. “Throughout this month, they’re still completing any necessary training.” At the three-month mark, they are once again paired with their trainer, who spends the next month pushing their production rate.

“The hardest part about onboarding and training is knowing if a new hire is really ready to be turned loose on a job.” —STACEY SPEAR, S&S PAINTING At the end of month three, they get a ‘room test.’ We assign them a room on a jobsite and it’s up to them to do it all—find the paint, read the work order, prep, paint, clean and inspect. The trainer then comes in for a final inspection with the goal of five fixes or less. Spear says, “The hardest part about onboarding and training is knowing if a new hire is really ready to be turned loose on a job. With this approach, it becomes really clear how someone is doing. I like that I can walk on a jobsite and ask to see someone’s binder and see how they’re doing. The responsibility for their progress falls to the individual and the trainer. Plus, I can now see really early on if someone’s not getting it. Instead of hanging on to someone for months, hoping they’ll make it, I can turn them loose and the conversation is a lot easier because they can see they’re not where we need them to be. That works for me, the individual, and the team who, otherwise, might have had to carry the nonperformer for a while.”

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

I think Stacey’s approach is great and I really like the ‘test’ portion. My main takeaway is that training and onboarding—well, all HR actually—changes as you grow. What works well for a 10-person shop needs to change as you grow into a 50-person shop. It has to become more detailed, and you need to involve more people than just the owner in the training and onboarding. One challenge that owners face as they grow beyond what they can directly oversee is ensuring there’s consistency in the training. You want to be sure that everyone is learning the same things related to systems and processes so that one crew isn’t doing things differently than another. Plus, you want to maintain the same customer experience across crews. It’s critically important that your trainers or job leaders are on the same page with management and that there’s a system for making sure everyone is aware of any changes that may be taking place or are planned.

Stacey on Sean’s approach: I 100% agree with Sean’s approach to emphasize goals and values up front. He’s absolutely right that even the best painter is a poor fit if you can’t align on those items. I really like the concept of Boot Camps. We do a version of this ‘on the job’ as we don’t have a space set up for training in our shop. And I really love his thoughts on being thorough with training so as to eliminate the ‘didn’t know’ situation. That’s the phrase our training eliminates as well. It’s interesting that he’s having success assigning apprentices to a field supervisor and project leader. We tried using the crew leader as the trainer but found that it was stressful and not always the best experience for the trainee. We have found that our team really likes having the immediate on-the-job training. It allows them to get right into the mix and see how things run at the job. I also like that he offers a 50% tool stipend at 90 days. That’s something to consider. And I agree completely with his notion that a trainee’s success —and ours—begin on day one. -


May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

15


®

RESULTS OF OUR 2022 SURVEY

TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED IN OUR SURVEY

At inPAINT, we appreciate that your time is valuable and thank all participants for their insights. The following Survey participants were randomly selected from all respondents to each receive a prize valued at $200 or more from our generous 2022 Survey sponsors: Dunn-Edwards Store Gift Card Gary Rosyski, California Ames Research Store Credit Colin O’Grady, Ohio

Purdy Painter’s Backpack & Roller, Brush, Frame Bundle Dan Doroshuk, New Jersey

Mr. Speed’s Painting Tools 12 Pairs of Door Deckers Jarrett Cronan, Massachusetts

Datacolor – Benjamin Moore ColorReader Pro Marci Kugler, Nebraska

Tower Sealants – Caulk Thomas Lusardi, Iowa

Tower Sealants – Caulk Nick Vinsick, Pennsylvania

FrogTape Tape Bundle Aaron Moore, Illinois

WE THANK OUR 2022 SURVEY SPONSORS

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2022


L

ast month, we again reached out to 35,000 online readers of inPAINT magazine and asked pros which brands they’re finding the most success with in a dozen product categories. This information is of interest to other pros who might be considering new options, and serves as a valuable resource for manufacturers, consultants and other industry service providers who are also looking to stay abreast of the ever-evolving needs of the pro.

ABOUT THE SURVEY RESULTS

In our survey, we asked participants to answer questions about their businesses. For some questions, respondents could select more than a single answer, thus some percentage totals exceed 100%. WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

35 and under............................................................................................4% 36–50........................................................................................................25% 51+.............................................................................................................71% IN WHICH BUSINESS SEGMENTS DO YOU WORK THE MOST?

Residential: Single Family.......................................................................87% Residential: Multifamily..........................................................................24% Commercial: Office..................................................................................22% Commercial: Retail..................................................................................14% Other.........................................................................................................25% NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES?

5 or less.....................................................................................................67% 6–10..........................................................................................................12% 11–20.........................................................................................................9% 21–50........................................................................................................7% 51 or more................................................................................................5% YEARS YOU’VE OWNED YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS?

5 or less....................................................................................................9% 6–10..........................................................................................................14% 11–15..........................................................................................................15% 16–25.........................................................................................................25% 26 or more................................................................................................33% I do not own a business..........................................................................3%

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USA

with Globally Sourced Components

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2022 SURVEY

SURVEY RESULTS: RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS WHICH MARKETING CHANNELS DO YOU CURRENTLY USE?

Referrals................................................................................................................................. 80% Website................................................................................................................................... 42% Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)............................................................ 36% Print advertising (newspaper, magazines)........................................................................ 14% Networking events................................................................................................................ 13% Online service companies (Angi, Houzz, HomeAdvisor, etc.)........................................... 12% Brochures/Flyers................................................................................................................... 10% Other....................................................................................................................................... 17% HOW IS YOUR USE OF GREEN PRODUCTS TRENDING?

Increasing............................................................................................................................... 22% Holding steady...................................................................................................................... 51% Decreasing............................................................................................................................. 8% Never use them..................................................................................................................... 19% HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS? (ESTIMATING, BILLING, SCHEDULING, ETC.)

Exclusively through digital tools/apps/software.............................................................. 11% Mostly through digital tools/apps/software...................................................................... 10% An equal mix of digital tools/apps/software and manual/paper................................... 47% Mostly through manual/paper............................................................................................ 26% Exclusively through manual/paper..................................................................................... 8% OVER THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT ARE YOU PROJECTING IN TERMS OF GROWTH?

< 10%....................................................................................................................................... 35% 10% – 15%............................................................................................................................... 49% 16% – 20%.............................................................................................................................. 9% > 20%...................................................................................................................................... 7%

SOURCES YOU LOOK TO MOST FOR TRADE INFORMATION?

Websites................................................................................................................................. 82% Trade magazines/books....................................................................................................... 69% Videos (e.g., YouTube).......................................................................................................... 45% Professional associations (e.g., PCA)................................................................................... 37% Online forums........................................................................................................................ 29% On the jobsite........................................................................................................................ 29% Coworkers.............................................................................................................................. 26% Family and friends................................................................................................................ 20% Online training classes ......................................................................................................... 20% Podcasts................................................................................................................................. 16% Trade school........................................................................................................................... 7% OBSTACLES TO YOUR BUSINESS? (OTHER THAN STAFFING)

Getting products and supplies............................................................................................ 62% Time management/scheduling........................................................................................... 45% Customer demands............................................................................................................... 29% Estimating.............................................................................................................................. 23% Winning business/not enough leads.................................................................................. 23% Business management/financial worries.......................................................................... 13% Training................................................................................................................................... 12% Estimate-to-close rate.......................................................................................................... 12% Lack of access to industry information............................................................................... 7% Regional business permitting/licensing requirements.................................................... 6% Unreliable equipment........................................................................................................... 5%

What has been your best strategy to tackle the staffing shortage? ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

18

Work smarter: improve planning and scheduling Recruit workers who speak Spanish only and can’t find their own work Raised daily rate to keep demand under control Work closer to home Pay more for quality people Pay good employees well Offer training and advancement. Encourage pride and family. Newspaper, employment office, word of mouth Hire everyone I can, and weed out those that don’t perform

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Selectively bid jobs requiring the least amount of personnel, and utilizing the collective experience of those in our employment Complete rethinking of attraction and retention efforts Facebook, Indeed, trade schools, service industry Scale back and spread out jobs Use subcontractors Stick with local painters union Work together with other companies


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2022 SURVEY

PRO READERS’ GO-TO BRANDS NATIONAL RESULTS EDITOR’S NOTE: For the purpose of this survey, product lines and brands such as Glidden, FrogTape, Sikkens, etc. are included under their manufacturer’s name, with a few exceptions. The ‘Other’ category includes all brands receiving a response of less than 5%.

INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................41% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................29% Behr..........................................................................................................15% PPG Paints................................................................................................6% Other.........................................................................................................9% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................41% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................22% Behr..........................................................................................................17% PPG Paints................................................................................................8% Dunn-Edwards.........................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................7% PRIMER

Zinsser......................................................................................................25% Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................24% KILZ...........................................................................................................24% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................11% PPG Paints................................................................................................6% Other.........................................................................................................10% STAIN

Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................30% Minwax.....................................................................................................14% Old Masters..............................................................................................13% Cabot.........................................................................................................12% PPG Paints................................................................................................10% Benjamin Moore......................................................................................6% Other.........................................................................................................15% TAPE

3M..............................................................................................................55% ShurTech...................................................................................................34% Other.........................................................................................................11% CAULK

DAP ...........................................................................................................37% Sherwin-Williams ...................................................................................21% Tower .......................................................................................................8% ALLPRO .....................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................29%

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

BRUSH

Purdy........................................................................................................60% Wooster....................................................................................................15% Corona......................................................................................................12% Other.........................................................................................................13% ROLLER

Purdy........................................................................................................42% Wooster....................................................................................................27% Sherwin-Williams....................................................................................10% Other.........................................................................................................21% PAINT SPRAYER

Graco.........................................................................................................69% Titan..........................................................................................................28% Other.........................................................................................................3% PRESSURE WASHER

Mi-T-M.......................................................................................................30% Honda.......................................................................................................17% DEWALT.....................................................................................................11% Simpson....................................................................................................9% Graco.........................................................................................................6% Other.........................................................................................................27% POWER TOOLS

DEWALT.....................................................................................................36% Milwaukee ...............................................................................................17% RYOBI........................................................................................................13% Makita.......................................................................................................10% Festool......................................................................................................10% Bosch........................................................................................................6% Ridgid.......................................................................................................5% Other.........................................................................................................3% WORK VEHICLE

Ford...........................................................................................................44% GMC...........................................................................................................28% Dodge.......................................................................................................11% Toyota.......................................................................................................8% Other.........................................................................................................9%


REGIONAL BREAKDOWN EDITOR’S NOTE: For the purpose of this survey, product lines and brands such as Glidden, FrogTape, Sikkens, etc. are included under their manufacturer’s name, with a few exceptions. The ‘Other’ category includes all brands receiving a response of less than 5%.

WEST INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 29% Benjamin Moore................................... 25% Dunn-Edwards...................................... 14% Behr....................................................... 11% Kelly-Moore Paints............................... 11% Other...................................................... 10% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 25% Behr....................................................... 19% Benjamin Moore................................... 19% Dunn-Edwards...................................... 13% PPG Paints............................................. 9% Kelley-Moore Paints............................. 6% Other...................................................... 9%

MIDWEST INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 44% Benjamin Moore................................... 24% Behr....................................................... 16% PPG Paints............................................. 8% Other...................................................... 8% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 37% Benjamin Moore................................... 33% Behr....................................................... 19% PPG Paints............................................. 7% Other...................................................... 4%

SOUTH INTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 46% Behr....................................................... 23% Benjamin Moore................................... 19% Other...................................................... 12% EXTERIOR PAINT

Sherwin-Williams................................. 56% Behr....................................................... 20% Benjamin Moore................................... 12% Other...................................................... 12%

NORTHEAST INTERIOR PAINT

Benjamin Moore................................... 56% Sherwin-Williams................................. 31% Behr....................................................... 6% Other...................................................... 7% EXTERIOR PAINT

Benjamin Moore................................... 47% Sherwin-Williams................................. 33% Behr....................................................... 13% Other...................................................... 7%

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

21


PRO PICKS

4 Pros share which deck coatings make their projects stand out BY BRIAN SODOMA

AFTER

BEFORE

OUR PROS

1 22

BRENDA FARLEY Deck Escapes Staining & Beyond/Clear Water Prowash ClearWaterProwash.com

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

2

JUSTEN MENESES Making All Things New Deck and Fence Care Facebook.com/Making-All-Things-New-102987074638277

3

STEVEN EASTEP Easy Stain Facebook.com/EasyStain16

4

JAKE HUBBARD Painting the Northwest PaintingTheNorthwest.com


Depending on its age, wood type, exposures and level of use, a deck can look great with a fresh stain on it, but deteriorate quickly after the job is done. For pros, it’s a balancing act between beautifying for today and, in many cases, enduring as many harsh winters and brutal summers as possible. Pros operating in this niche have tried many products and found their preferred formulas for their job types and environment. Here, four deck experts around the country tell us which deck coatings they depend on and why.

1 BRENDA FARLEY

This Columbus, OH-based pro has been in the deck-restoration business for more than two decades. Several years ago, she came across Baker’s Gray-Away Wood Seal, and has found the product gives her the best oil-stain results she’s ever seen on fresh new decks and older ones too. The stain even offers lasting protection after the color fades, as it does over time. “I tell my clients, ‘It’s a true oil,’ Farley explained. “It fortifies the wood and won’t peel once the color fades. You can even put water on the faded areas and it’s still going to bead in many cases.” Farley also educates customers on how the coating works well as wood ages. As the pressure-treated pine or cedar decks she commonly works with get older, the wood cells expand so they absorb even more of the oil-based stain. Follow-up maintenance coats keep it looking great even years later. If the deck has been painted with a solid stain in the past and requires another one now, Farley turns to Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Solid Color Waterborne Exterior Deck Stain. On rare occasions, she encounters ipe, a dense, exotic South American hardwood that naturally resists stain. For that, she turns to Messmer’s UV Plus for Hardwood Decks, a product endorsed by her mentor, Everett Abrams, also known as the ‘Wizard of Wood.’ “I don’t work with ipe often, but it shows up sometimes. I’ve seen him do a lot of testing with Messmer’s and I’ve found it really makes the wood’s color pop,” Farley noted.

2 JUSTEN MENESES

As the name of his company—Making All Things New Deck and Fence Care—suggests, deck and fence staining and restoration work make up about 80% of this Plattsmouth, NE-based pro’s portfolio. For Meneses, having confidence in a coating is absolutely critical to his livelihood. He primarily deals with cedar, but also works with pressuretreated pine decks. His preference is to use a semi-transparent oilbased stain, if possible, to show off the wood’s natural grain. A few years ago, he came across Stain & Seal Experts Semi-Transparent Wood Stain & Sealer, and it has been his go-to for decks ever since. He occasionally uses the company’s semi-solid formula for a deeper, darker appearance that still shows off the wood’s natural characteristics with added UV resistance. “It’s one of the best products out there on the market,” he said. “It’s an oil stain, not a solvent, so you get more pigment and better performance. I’ve used many other products and nothing stands up to what Stain & Seal Experts produces.” If he’s working on a previously painted deck, Meneses turns to Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Solid Color Waterborne Exterior Deck Stain, which he has found to be a durable option for his customers for years. On all jobs, he preps with a wood cleaner (preferably sodium metasilicate), pressure washes at the proper PSI, then applies an oxalic acid wood brightener for best results.

“ [Stain & Seal Experts Semi-Transparent Wood Stain & Sealer] is an oil stain, not a solvent, so you get more pigment and better performance. I’ve used many other products and nothing stands up to what Stain & Seal Experts produces.” —JUSTEN MENESES, MAKING ALL THINGS NEW DECK AND FENCE CARE

Baker’s Gray-Away Wood Seal is a deep-penetrating oil that repels water without film buildup.

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

Courtesy of Deck Escapes Staining & Beyond/Clear Water Prowash

Deck Escapes Staining & Beyond/Clear Water Prowash trusts Baker’s Gray-Away Wood Seal to protect both old and new decks from UV light damage and the elements. Plus, it is available in 29 color options to suit a range of tastes.

23


3 STEVEN EASTEP

Eastep is known in the Memphis, TN area for his ability to make all kinds of wood structures look new again. Today, he works with numerous deck, fence and wood product builders who hire him to give their creations their first stain. From there, he’s often used for maintenance recoats every two to three years. For new decks, Eastep’s go-to formulation is Stain & Seal Experts Semi-Transparent Fence Stain & Sealer. He loves how the pigments still allow you to see the natural grain while providing excellent protection. “With this product, you’re conditioning the wood. It’s an oilbased stain that’s not just going on the wood where it will chip, peel and fray, it’s going into the wood,” he explained. “We always suggest to customers, if you’re looking for longevity, go with a darker color, too; it has more pigments and more UV protection.” Usually working with treated pine and cedar, Eastep also trusts Stain & Seal Experts for follow-up recoats as decks age, and he appreciates that it’s a low-VOC formulation that doesn’t have a strong smell and is safe to work with. For older decks that require restoration, he turns to Flood Pro Series Solid Color Stain. Distributed by PPG Paints, the product helps him achieve the color preference and performance goals specific to each job. “What’s unique about it is that it’s a stain strictly for wood, but you mix it like paint, so you can get any color you want,” he said. “And as it sits on the wood, its molecular structure allows it to expand and contract with the wood. It’s amazing how much it can stretch and expand without cracking.”

Easy Stain used Flood Pro Series Solid Color Stain, an advanced stain and sealant in one, to add a rich color to this deck and protect it from moisture and sun damage.

“ What’s unique about [Flood Pro Series Solid Color Stain] is that it’s a stain strictly for wood, but you mix it like paint, so you can get any color you want.”—STEVEN EASTEP, EASY STAIN

4 JAKE HUBBARD

Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Semi-Solid Waterborne Exterior Deck Stain protects against weathering, while allowing the natural wood grain to show through.

24

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

This Arlington, WA-based pro relies on Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Solid and Semi-Solid Waterborne Exterior Deck Stains for his customers. Hubbard says he has used the oil-based SuperDeck formulations in the past, but finds the waterborne’s performance is just as good. “I can get five to seven years on a job without a problem,” he said. The decks in his region are primarily built with cedar, and with the heavy moisture they typically endure, Hubbard often has to do some restoration work, including board replacement, as part of job prep. SuperDeck allows for an even look with older and newer boards side by side. “I roll two coats and after the first one is on, the second goes down super smooth. The absorption is very good and it looks great on all surfaces,” he added. If a homeowner has a previously painted deck, he advises they use the solid stain. He also finds his younger customers tend to prefer the solid stain color variety, while older ones prefer the semitransparent look with more visible wood grain. “It’s interesting to see those different tastes, but that product gives us plenty of flexibility, so I can let them choose what they want.” -


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1


PROJECT SNAPSHOTS

PROJECT No.

1

Pro comment: This historic restoration required full removal and replacement of all sealants around all windows, expansions joints and 90° intersections. The buildings were pressure washed and stucco repairs were performed along walkway ceilings and exterior walls, and finally everything was painted. Pull tests from our sealant partners at Pecora were also conducted to ensure products performed as designed in all construction joints.

HISTORIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL RESTORATION AND REPAINT Location: Sarasota, FL Paint contractor: Jade Mailloux, president of Mailloux and Sons Time frame: 3 months Crew size: 8 people Equipment used: Lifts, pressure washers, paint sprayers Challenges: ■ Maintain and honor the historic integrity of the building while ensuring optimal paint system performance ■ Required five-year product performance guarantee ■ Coating must withstand the environmental challenges of the coastal location

“ It was an honor to be a part of preserving this piece of architectural history in the community. We knew the science and craftsmanship in Florida Paints products was exactly what the job needed.” —TOM MICKINELL, PROJECT MANAGER, MAILLOUX AND SONS

FLORIDA PAINTS COATINGS AND COLORS: Stucco, concrete, soffits and fascia: AquaSeal Concrete & Masonry Primer/Sealer 3692 Ultra Exterior Supercoat Satin 8220 in: White (no colorant added) Metal overhangs and doors: Aquatra DTM Acrylic Primer 5350 Scott-Thane Interior/Exterior Acrylic Urethane Gloss Enamel 7740 in: White (no colorant added)

Steel stair railings: Ironman Alkyd Metal Primer 5450 Induzi Industrial Polyurethane Enamel High Gloss 5940 in: White (no colorant added) Wooden classroom doors: Scott-Thane Interior/Exterior Acrylic Urethane Gloss Enamel 7740 in:

0619 Honky Tonk Blue

RUST-OLEUM COATING AND COLOR: Iron gates and decorative steel: High Performance DTM Alkyd Enamel 7400 in:

26

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

High Gloss Black

0849 Lemon Peel


PROJECT

2

No.

FSU DOAK CAMPBELL STADIUM REPAINT Location: Tallahassee, FL Paint contractor: C-Sharpe CSharpe.com Marlin Coatings Facebook.com/Marlin-CoatingsInc-1653587761543496

Time frame: Winter through spring Crew size: 10–15 people Equipment used: Hydro demolition to remove previous coating Challenges: ■ Required a 10-year coating system that could address the pedestrian traffic needs of the steel bowl while also protecting the exposed underside and supports from corrosion ■ Needed a coating light in color to ease the possible heat island effect, where Tallahassee’s summers can create surface temperatures in excess of 130° F

HEMPEL COATINGS AND COLORS: Underside of bowl: NEOGARD 8500 BioDegradable Cleaner Hempadur Mastic epoxy paint in:

Topside of bowl: Jones-Blair Chem-O-Gard DTS Primer in: Gray NEOGARD Peda-Gard System in: Light Gray (no colorant added) Safety markings and railings: Jones-Blair Acrylithane HS2 Three-Coat System in:

FSU Gray

Project background: In late 2015, Florida State University began the stadium’s largest renovation project of the last decade with a goal for completion prior to the 2016 football season. The expansion project included the addition of 5,000 outdoor seats, 70,000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned Champions Club space, and 34,000 sq. ft. of covered rooftop terraces. Renovations included adding coatings to the top and underside of the stadium’s steel seating bowl.

FSU Gold

FSU Garnet

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

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Courtesy of 3M

3M™ Cool Flow™ Valve Respirator 8511 Paint Prep Part of our Pro Series, the 3M™ Cool Flow™ Valve Particulate Respirator 8511 is designed with the pro in mind to help bring you protection and comfort. The 3M™ Cool Flow™ valve helps direct exhaled air downward and allows for easy breathing. This N95 respirator features Advanced Electrostatic Media that enhances the capture of airborne particles and is designed for easy breathing. Adjustable m-noseclip helps provide a custom and secure seal. 3M.com/RespiratorsDisposable

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inPAINT | May/Jun 2022


What’s in today’s professional toolbox?

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

3M™ Quick Latch Respirator with Cool Flow™ Valve Designed for the professional painter, the 3M™ Quick Latch Respirator with Cool Flow™ Valve—Paint Project helps give you convenience and protection on the job. Equipped with our proprietary Quick Latch system, this reusable respirator is easy to take on and off in non-contaminated areas, and there’s no need to adjust straps as you’re raising and lowering your respirator. When you’re outside the hazardous area, this respirator lets you take a quick break or have a conversation with a simple flip of the lever. 3M.com/RespiratorsReusable

3M™ Pro Grade Precision™ Faster Sanding Sheets #1 Sanding Performance. 3M™ Pro Grade Precision™ Faster Sanding Sheets with enhanced mineral technology resist clogging and sand faster. Fold once and the NO-SLIP GRIP™ durable backing grips together to prevent slipping so you can sand longer with less hand fatigue. Superior cut durability—from start to finish. For when endurance matters. 3M.com/Sanding

3M™ Hand-Masker™ M3000 Dispenser The 3M™ Hand-Masker™ M3000 Dispenser applies painter’s tape to masking film, plastic or paper in one continuous application, saving you valuable prep time. Use when preparing for painting, ceiling texturing, exterior wall finishing or floor sanding. For all the basics in one kit, choose the 3M™ Hand-Masker™ M3000 Starter Pack. Learn more about 3M™ Hand-Masker™ Masking Products at 3M.com/Handmasker

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

29


UPCOMING EVENTS 1

5

7

ADVERTISER INDEX 3M 3M.com Pages 2, 28 & 29 FrogTape FrogTape.com Page 15

2

What, Where & When 3

Mi-T-M MiTM.com Page 17 PaintCare PaintCare.org Page 9 Tower TowerSealants.com Page 7

6

JU NE 1

2

3

4

SEPTEMBER

13–16: AIC 2022: Sensing Colour, Toronto, Canada aic-color.org/events

5

14–16: Mile High Profit Summit, Westminster, CO thecontractorfight.com/mile-high-profit-summit

16: What If: Fast-Formulas for Profit Forecasting in Hiring, Pricing, Labor, Material, Marketing/Advertising and Technology thecpia.com/cpia-webinars-now-available

6

15–17: 2022 Wallcovering Installers Association Convention, New Orleans, LA convention.wallcoveringinstallers.org

16–19: PCA Commercial Forum Summer Networking Conference, Branson, MO pdcacommercialforum.org/conferences 22–24: Apartmentalize, San Diego, CA naahq.org/meetings-events/upcoming-meetings

O C TO B E R 7

10–13: The 2022 CPIA Leadership Conference and Commercial Contractor Connect, Henderson, NV events.thecpia.com/cpia2022

8

12–15: PowerClean Convention, Orlando, FL pwna.org/events

25–28: 2022 BOMA International Conference & Expo, Nashville, TN boma.org

LEADERSHIP

CONFERENCE

CONTRACTOR

CONNECT

October 10–13, Henderson, NV

The second CPIA Leadership Conference will be co-located with Technology Publishing Company’s hosted buyer event, Commercial Contractor Connect. For three days, leadership teams of some of the most successful commercial painting businesses in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia and the U.K., industry partners and experts, along with CPIA membership and leadership will gather for inspiring business keynotes, educational tracks, awesome networking activities and plenty of fun. Commercial Contractor Connect sponsors (suppliers) are guaranteed private, one-on-one time with a curated selection of the leading commercial painting contractors (buyers). Whether you are a successful commercial painting contractor looking to expand or simply run a more efficient business, a residential painter looking to get into the commercial space, or a painting industry supplier seeking access to this epic gathering, this event offers something for everyone.

events.thecpia.com/cpia2022 30

inPAINT | May/Jun 2022

8

Due to the pandemic, some events may be cancelled or rescheduled. Visit the event websites listed below for the latest information.

Graco Graco.com Back Cover KILZ KILZ.com Page 3

4


BOTTOM LINE

Change your goals, change your business Turning one-and-done projects into recurring customers

M

any companies report to the job with goals of simply completing the work, making a good impression, and collecting a check. They pack up their tools, leave the site, and hope the customer calls when it’s time for a repaint in five to 10 years. If this is your approach, you’re missing opportunities for interim revenue from those customers. If you’re truly interested in collecting some of that revenue, you need to change your goals by viewing every job as an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with customers. Build relationships to build your business Investing in your company’s ability to create long-term relationships with every customer can pay for itself many times over. If you’re thinking ‘I already have a CRM, I’m all set,’ think again. While CRMs (customer relationship management technologies) are great for managing contact info and calendars, they can’t provide the insight needed to help you create a customer experience that not only wins business, but wins long-term fans. To do that, you need to take an objective look at your processes and figure out what’s not working and what should be capitalized on to build better relationships and create and a pipeline of recurring work. Conducting a customer satisfaction and retention audit There is a 3-step audit process you can conduct to ensure your company is investing in the right areas to capitalize on turning completed projects into: a) customers with future project opportunities, b) referrals to prospective customers, c) verified testimonials for marketing purposes, and last but not least, d) recurring revenue. The 3-step audit is simple, yet effective The first step is to create a ‘customer journey map’ by imagining yourself as the customer looking for a company for a big project. This process will help you visualize your sales process and call out those areas to invest in making improvements where you find customer pain points, and lack of professionalism or general dissatisfaction on the part of your company. You want to build long-term residual revenue relationships right? Small details are key here. Ask yourself: Is your appointment scheduling system efficient for both parties? Do you give customers the convenience of requesting

an estimate—and viewing it—through your website? Is your website well-designed and professional? Are your company vehicles clean and decaled? Is your employee attire branded? Every business can make small investments to improve in these areas, which work to increase your likelihood of beating out competitors and winning projects. Start by listing your sales process and noting where you could make improvements. The second step happens after the job is complete. It’s of the utmost importance that you have a strategy to turn that customer into a walking advertisement for your company. Invest in software, such as Review Reminder, to ensure you get a testimonial that will help give your company more credibility. Similarly, consider investing in designing a referral program for when past customers recommend you. For example if a referred customer awards you the job, maybe you give the referring customer 5% or 10% off on their next project. Boom— you just gained one new customer plus future work from the original customer who referred. The third step happens after the testimonial is completed. How can you build a long-lasting relationship with a customer without being pushy? Invest in social media content, articles, videos and blogs on your website to help keep customers engaged and educated while not directly working for them. Monthly email newsletters are also a subtle way to keep them engaged with your company and also of making them aware of current industry trends. The goal here is to provide value to them via your content so that they will remember your company as the one that kept them informed and educated. Added to the memory they have of you as the expert they had a past experience with is why they’ll consider you for future projects.

COLE DEROUSSE is the business development lead at Major Painting. He holds a degree in marketing from Creighton University and has received notoriety for leadership and excellence in Small Business Marketing and B2B Service Marketing on LinkedIn.

May/Jun 2022 | inPAINT

31


390 PC CORDLESS Airless Paint Sprayer

HIGHEST PERFORMANCE CORDLESS SPRAYER EVER BUILT

PATENT PENDING

3300 psi / 0.47 gpm /.021 Max Tip

ALL DAY SPRAYING POWER WITH PROVEN RELIABILITY

UNMATCHED PORTABILITY DELIVERS THE FREEDOM TO SPRAY EVERYWHERE

SPRAY UP TO 6 GALLONS BEFORE CHARGING + 3 3 GALLONS PER CHARGE!

GALLONS PER CHARGE!

2 BATTERIES INCLUDED ALL DAY SPRAYING

RECHARGES BATTERY IN UNDER 60 MINUTES WITH FAN COOLED FAST CHARGER

Learn more at graco.com/390Cordless ©2021 Graco Inc. 344444E 5/21 Printed in U.S.A. Product covered by issued and pending patents, see graco.com/patents. DEWALT® and the DEWALT Logo are trademarks of DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. and are used under license. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

MADE IN THE USA WITH GLOBAL COMPONENTS


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