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Cinderella Trade - from NZ Painters and Decorators 1958, reprinted with permission Master Painters New Zealand. View article.
Click on an article/s below for information of interest to professional painters or use the search tool to find specific topics.
Everybody knows the usual methods of boosting a business, from advertising on the radio to handing out business cards. But what about some out-of-the-box ideas that you haven't tried yet? Here are seven ways you may be able to boost your trade business with a little creative thinking:
Are you looking for ways to improve your bottom line? Try these six ideas for strategies that can work across just about any industry:
One of the hardest challenges a business can face is expanding a client list. At the end of the day, without clients, a business cannot succeed, so it's vital you keep generating leads and work hard to retain what existing customers you do have in order to grow but most of us don't have the luxury to allocate a lot of time to this task. So, how do you fit it in with all the other work that needs to get done?
Here's some tips to get you started... more
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of business and busy-ness, that it’s often hard to lift your head away from all the urgent things now to work towards the future.
However, it’s important to make time for it, as marketing will help to keep your pipeline topped up with work for the months and years ahead... more
Most successful painting businesses are acutely aware of how productive their business is and will target ways or look for opportunities to improve productivity. Once a professional painter moves away from being a sole trader (aka one-man-band) operating on their own or with a mate undertaking smallish painting contracts to a larger enterprise that employs other painters, the business model needs to change to be successful and remain so.
Productivity improvements are always possible and the people and businesses that chase and keep chasing improvements are generally the most successful... more
Most of us have had to work in less than perfect ‘home office’ spaces for at least parts of this year, ranging from perching at the breakfast bar, hunched over the dinner table or perhaps lounging on the couch trying to get admin stuff done. It’s surprising what you can put up working wise when you literally don’t have a choice.
One of the keys to it working well though is have things neat and orderly... doing so will help your business to operate smoothly, saving both time and money. Here’s how.. more
Wouldn't it be wonderful if everything just went perfectly all the time – perfect weather, perfect timing and perfect clients? Unfortunately the chances of that happening all the time isn't likely to happen any time soon. You will always encounter a mixed bag of clients. Some will be a pleasure to work with, many will simply be your standard client, and a select few will fall into the ‘difficult client’ group.
It’s inevitable that you will encounter them at some point, so the best you can do is be prepared to handle them so you can minimise frustration and the loss of time. Remember these tips next time one of your customers turns out to be more demanding than most... more
We know it’s only autumn, but those winter months are just around the corner so it pays to start thinking ahead. With winter on its way, you’ll likely notice a drop in projects as homeowners take a break from renovating and updating their houses.
While a break from the hectic summer months can often be a welcome reprieve, you still want to make sure you have enough work to provide a good income over the cooler months. If you’re looking for ways to boost your work over the cooler months and maintain a steady income, try a few of these marketing tips and tricks... more
As a small business, staying financially afloat can be a tricky task for many. Looking to Australian stats, small businesses have the lowest survival rate (56 per cent), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with experts blaming poor cash flow management as an overriding issue...
If you’re experiencing cash flow problems as a small business, there’s no need to let them weigh you down. Instead check you’re on top of these three common problems... more
Standing out in the painting and decorating industry is crucial for success, but how can it be done?
In an industry where every other business claims to be the best at what they do, it can seem difficult to set yourself apart from the competition. While a lot of small businesses understand that standing out is key to success, many fail to put this theory into practice – however, it’s easier to do than you think. Here are some ways to help you stand out:.. more
Why don't customers return for repeat business? Here are three common reasons why you might not see them again and how you can ensure you will.
In any business, one of the best sources of new income is from old clients. This is because these past customers are already familiar with you, your services and your professional integrity. So, what could stop those old customers from coming back and using your services for a second, third or fourth time? Here are some of the most common reasons customers won't ask you for work again and what you can do to ensure that doesn't happen... more
With the summer months nearly upon us, chances are you’re starting to book in more and more jobs as customers hurry to get their jobs done ready for the holidays. The warmer weather provides better working conditions, and longer and lighter days means more work can get done. However, if you’re struggling to juggle clients and projects, it might be time to assess your time management.
Time management is a crucial skill to nail. When utilised properly, it can increase efficiency and productivity – allowing you to successfully juggle various things at once... more
A tag line can be a helpful way to promote your business and ensure your clients know what your brand and company is about. You don’t need an expert to come up with one for your business. Why not have a go yourself? Here are the top tips for finding the right one that works as hard as you do... more
Now you might be thinking, my job is a painter or decorator and I’m applying the paint and colour the customer requested – why do I need to be creative? Creativity can help in all sorts of ways, big and small. It might be the answer to fixing a problem on one of your projects, it may be a new idea for attracting new business or even just the way you want to lay out your web page and the signwriting for your van... more
The Boston Matrix, otherwise known as the BCG (Boston Consulting Group) Model, was created in 1968 to help businesses segment and assess their products. Despite the tool’s half century in use, it is still widely regarded as a handy way to quickly and effectively divide offerings into useful groups... more
As one of the most important factors of your business, keeping clients happy is an integral 'must-do' for all painters and decorators. However nice you may be, sometimes, customers don’t always reciprocate. If you’re looking to improve client relations, it pays to understand the different types of people you’ll deal with.
Here are some of the more challenging clients you may encounter and how to best deal with them... more
Market segmentation is a classic principle that can be used by any business in the world – including tradies. Take a look at what it is, how it works and how it might benefit your marketing strategy... more
While a professional marketer can certainly add a depth of knowledge to any small business, there are still a number of skills you probably already have that can help boost your trade. The trick is to remind yourself that they are in fact marketing assets, and to ensure you use them as much as possible.
Here are a few skills you can use to market yourself and your business, even if you didn't know you already had them!... more
As a small business, staying financially afloat can be a tricky task for many. In Australia alone, small businesses have the lowest survival rate (56 per cent), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with experts blaming poor cashflow management as an overriding issue.
And while many sole traders go through cashflow problems at some stage, if money issues continuously rear their head, it may be a sign that cashflow is a weakness in your business that needs fixing... more
Great customer service is the cornerstone of any company. So how can you ensure that's what you're offering your clients? Here's a quick list of some of the main factors that will leave customers satisfied with your service and will encourage them to pass your name onto their friends and family... more
A business continuity plan (BCP) pinpoints the most important parts of your business, identifies potential risks to these critical pieces and prepares you to recover as quick and easy as possible. Contingency planning is a crucial part of continuity planning – it means having a backup if your original plan no longer works. It's your plan B... more
One of the key inputs to workforce development planning is information about total employment in a sector and how this is forecast to change in the future. In 2016 BCITO produced a Workforce Development Plan for Painting & Decorating. This was updated in 2017 with new forecast information.In March 2018 Infometrics has done their annual forecast update... more
So you've set up your business, built up a great reputation, and have steady work coming in. The question usually comes down to: What's next?
Growing your business even further is the next natural step, and there are plenty of ways you can go about it. Here are four different strategies you can take your trade business to the next level... more
As much as any trade is all about physical skills and tools, a lot of your branding and marketing is locked behind a digital screen.
For a long time, a well-designed, helpful and appealing desktop website was the key ingredient to marketing yourself online. While it’s certainly still important, the relevance of a mobile site has grown exponentially, to the point where it has even surpassed that of a desktop site... more
New to social media marketing? Discover some of the top do’s and don’ts for small businesses in the tradie or painting trades.
Social media marketing allows businesses to connect with their audience, build brand awareness and grow a customer base. In New Zealand alone, 93.6 per cent of businesses use some form of social media... more
We live in a world ruled by social media. From Facebook to Snapchat, there are so many platforms a business can utilise. One of the most popular is Instagram. This photo-sharing app focuses on all things beautiful – just like that of a painter/decorator... more
While you can’t stop a customer leaving bad feedback, the way you deal with it can massively influence the way they and others see your business. How should you handle a bad review?... more
This Act provides a guarantee of performance for customers and there are plenty of grey areas in establishing just how well your painting work performs and for how long customers may take actions against painters either real or imagined, for problems that arise with work... more
Taking on and training an Apprentice is a way for you to invest in our Industry’s future, give back to your trade and improve the skill set of your employees. For information on Apprenticeships and how to get involved in workplace training... more
View detail drawings with dimensions for: badminton courts, tennis courts, netball courts, basketball courts and a guide for working out object areas... more
When you're looking for your next work project, put yourself in your clients' shoes. Think about what they want from a tradesperson, then show them exactly how you tick all the boxes... more
The paint manufacturing industry shares data regarding market share, material trends and overall yields among other bits and bobs – some for their own interests and for others such as Government Trade and Commerce data... more
These are the costs used to run your business that are separated from the costs of the function of painting (paint and accessories) and are recovered (hopefully) by including an average for the overheads in prices you give customers for work... more
Estimating and preparing quotations for work is critical to the success of any painting business and a proper understanding of all the costings is essential... more
When an account becomes 'overdue' always contact your customer and ask for payment. If there is a problem with your workmanship or other matters at least you will know and (by law) you have the opportunity to put it right... more
Because the essential elements of a house are all pretty simple the idea of a rate for each square metre of the floorplan became common with housing developments, particularly in Australia, and the idea spread into the painting trade, producing some very unfortunate consequences for painters because the rate tends to decrease with time and competition rather than increase... more
Television, newspaper and radio advertising methods do not have a use-by date, and even though there are now new methods of marketing to invest in as well, these tried and tested methods still hold an important place... more
Radio advertising is just one of many forms of marketing available to you as a tradie. While they might not be able to see the awesome work you do with Resene paints, you can at least tell everyone all about it... more
April 18, 2017
Product, price, place and promotion. Any brand can make the most of this famous marketing mix by focusing on each 'P' to help reach your target audience... more
February 18, 2017
When it comes to marketing your business, there are always going to be new and trending platforms, ideas and styles. But then, there will always be a number of truths that will never change... more
February 14, 2017
If you're not already making the most of this free marketing tool, today is the day to create a company account and get sharing... more
February 9, 2017
A business card is a staple of modern day marketing, and it's easily one of the smallest and simplest tools in your advertising arsenal as a tradie... more
January 18, 2017
In 2017, it might be time to think about boosting your marketing efforts and reaching new clients to further promote your brand and business... more
January 15, 2017
There are a few common cases where you may be doing more harm than good, despite all those efforts! Here are five examples of things you might be doing that may hurt your business in the long run... more
January 11, 2017
Since anyone can use Instagram for free, that's a huge amount of potential new clients at your fingertips that won't cost you a cent... more
January 5, 2017
Even though you might not think of yourself as a marketing savant, tradies are certainly capable of coming up with their own tag lines. You have every reason to put down that hard hat for a few hours to wear your marketing hat and come up with a new tag line... more
December 7, 2016
While those tens of thousands of painters, at all levels of their careers, are spread around the country working on all types of projects, there are five things they all have in common – what they should never do while on the job... more
May 15, 2016
Should a tradie wish to use their break for something a little more productive, check out these quick ways to make the most of even short breaks to boost business... more
May 9, 2016
You can never predict what you may encounter when you enter a customer's home. Not all clients will hire a professional painter for an empty house – some may just want to change up the interior design of a room or two... more
April 23, 2016
For painting professionals who are overseeing two, three or many more different projects at the same time, project management become a key skill to master. It is vital to keep track of payment for work completed... more
April 22, 2016
There are lots of different types of clients and they all act in different ways. Thankfully though, there seem to be stereotypes that still hold true of real life... more
November 18, 2014
When you're in the business of painting houses, keeping existing customers happy as well as expanding your client pool is a fine balance to strike... more
October 30, 2014
It's wise to consider ways to keep customers happy. Here are some ways you can impress your clients, without spending too much... more
September 25, 2014
Sometimes, your clients will have truly awful home decorating ideas. Here are some approaches that will help reiterate to clients that they might not be making the best decision!... more
July 11, 2014
If you're aware of a few tricks to manage your clients' expectations when completing renovations or interior design work, you may find that running a trade business is a lot more streamlined and manageable... more
July 9, 2014
Bringing clients' homes up to a shining standard first requires you to win over their business. There are plenty of ways to add value to your service... more
May 24, 2014
In order to grow your margins and improve your trade business' brand, it's important to call your clients. Whether you offer full home renovations or a more nuanced service, it's essential to understand the tactics for ensuring your business' ongoing success... more
May 8, 2014
One brand strategy that's employed by agencies that world over is that which taps into emotions. While it's not appropriate for all business types, there are some interesting lessons renovation specialists can take from such an approach... more
April 17, 2014
In order to make your business succeed, there are a few things to keep on top of. Here are three tips to help... more
April 12, 2014
Making sure your business has a competitive edge to stand out from other businesses is essential to keep your bottom line looking good and your clients happy... more
April 8, 2014
While competition can help bring people's work up to scratch so they don't lose business, it can be tough to stand out from the rest. Here are three ways you can make your home building, plumbing or painting business stand out as the best... more
April 3, 2014
Positive recommendations can go a long way when it comes to securing jobs as a tradesperson. If you want to get people talking about your business for the better, here are six ways you can make this happen... more
March 29, 2014
Chances are you've come across more than your fair share of water stains. So, what's the best way to deal with this persistent problem?... more
March 25, 2014
The ability to utilise social media can help your marketing activities, whether you're offering painting services or otherwise... more
March 24, 2014
The NZ Wood Resene Timber Design Awards 2014 have highlighted innovation in the building industry that both New Zealand and Australian tradespeople can gain inspiration from... more
March 24, 2014
Even the most seasoned painters can appreciate a handy hint or two from their peers. Whether you've been in the renovations business for years or you've just started thinking of decorating ideas, read through the following advice before you start planning to paint... more
March 17, 2014
There are a number of things you can do to limit the chance of a spill occurring, or at least make sure that nothing in your client's house is irreparably damaged if you have one... more
March 14, 2014
Whether you're a professional painter or a DIY enthusiast, having the right tools for the job can make all the difference... more
March 14, 2014
We may never know exactly why some people feel the need to write their names all over other people's property, but at least there are ways to deal with this form of painting... more
March 14, 2014
Once you've finished painting, it's important to give your paint brushes and rollers a good clean. As a professional painter, you will no doubt have developed your own routine for doing this; however, this routine may not be as eco-friendly as it could be... more
March 5, 2014
Find out how to make your building or paint site a safer place for yourself and your fellow workers with these helpful hints... more
March 3, 2014
Just when you think you have the difference between white, off-white, and cloud colours figured out, there's still the gloss levels to consider... more
March 3, 2014
Lime burn is a real condition for paint, caused by the breakdown of paint binder from the alkalinity levels in fresh masonry, leaving colour loss and deterioration of the paint... more
March 3, 2014
Sometimes you turn up to a job and it's not as straight forward as you would have hoped. Luckily, there are also ways to work around them... more
March 3, 2014
Under the scheme, star-rated office, industrial and educational buildings are assigned stars that signify the environmental friendliness and responsibility of each building... more
February 23, 2014
It can be difficult for tradespeople to market their skills and differentiate themselves from competitors in a saturated market... more
February 19, 2014
Tradespeople, such as painters and those who hang wallpaper professionally, often find they don't follow the traditional 9am-5pm workday. Follow these tips to help achieve a more healthy work/life balance... more
February 11, 2014
Promoting your personal brand can be tough, but luckily modern technology means there are many different ways you can go about this... more
November 27, 2013
Here's a rundown on some of the things you should consider before you start painting... more
November 22, 2013
Whether you're embarking on a new business venture of looking for a way to add to your existing clientele, it's time to talk marketing... more
October 26, 2013
No matter how carefully you do your work, there’s always a chance that something may go wrong, so before you start working it’s best to make sure you’re well protected... more
September 21, 2013
The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) 2013 Report has just been released, and it reveals that Australia and New Zealand are leading the way when it comes to eco-friendly building practices... more
September 19, 2013
If you're looking for some sign-painting inspiration, you might want to check out which businesses won the NZ Sign & Display Awards (NZSDA) 2013... more
September 11, 2013
"Building up a network" is a bit of jargon you often hear among business people working in concrete jungles, but it should be considered in the home renovation trades as well... more
July 9, 2013
Resene has devised a tool that may help professional painters to better organise their working day around their timetable, their paint and their charged hours... more
July 3, 2013
Professional marketers are always on hand to tell you how to run your business, and they might even come with advice that translates into costly advertising programs. But is it worth it?... more
June 20, 2013
If you put your mark on just about everything you do, you'll be building up your brand, which is vital to stand apart in a busy marketplace... more
June 14, 2013
Internationally, construction disputes are taking longer to resolve, according to UK-based consultancy company EC Harris... more
June 11, 2013
80 per cent of your business will be generated from 20 per cent of your clients. So what does this suggest for your marketing plans?... more
June 4, 2013
Ensuring your business has an online presence is becoming a necessity for anyone wanting to make the most of web marketing platforms... more
May 30, 2013
Working with paint all day, every day can easily cause safety and health hazards without adequate precautions. Proper ventilation during painting will benefit everyone... more
May 27, 2013