Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

In case you have not noticed, there are more small professional paint and coating application companies than medium or large. Also, the statistics indicate that more of the moderate sales volume contractors focus on the residential marketplace. This pattern seems to be reinforced from many a craftsman’s idea to captain their own ship or maybe sometimes just to stick it to the man. But the most practical reason appears to be the easy, quick entry to gaining homeowner work.

Early projects often come from family and friends, while the insurance requirements and other overhead/business costs may be implemented after a fledging outfit is already operating. The commercial and industrial sectors mostly require insurance verification. For new-build, commercial work, blueprint comprehension, along with task production knowledge and unit estimating skills are often needed. Also, depending on the project type, commercial and industrial scopes may require specialized equipment for access or to complete tasks.

In addition, contract awards and payments often go through a middle-man, general contractors/construction managers, which may be a source for slow payments (killing cash flow) and proposal submission challenges (low price pressure). Some of these aspects obscure the hang the shingle path in the commercial and industrial segments.

Nonetheless, every year there seems to be a fresh batch jumping in to test the waters in each paint application marketplace. We have an article to consider if you fit the smaller sized company metric or are thinking about pushing volume upwards. It is titled: Handle More Projects. Note that the first thing addressed is money; cash flow…essentially the main challenge to growth for any business.

Many small outfits think that they are below the radar for internet intrusion and even associate information breaches. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), that is what criminals want you to think. Read Improve Your Small Business Security to learn the basics of protecting the countless hours invested in living the dream.

Our friends at the Bureau of Labor keep records about scaffolding accidents. It may be instructive to know that three circumstances cause most of these unfortunate incidents. Check out Strategic Scaffolding: Challenges and Solutions to learn more. Even if you are not looking at projects like The Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, and the U.S. Capitol, it is better to know industry standards before stepping onto a plank.

In the News, a Bloomberg piece states that AkzoNobel is exploring a combination with the biggest maker of car coatings, almost doubling the size of its paint business in a bid to create a takeover deterrent should PPG come back around. There may be a wrinkle for Akzo:  the planned separation of its 5 billion-euro revenue specialty chemicals business, a transaction pledged earlier this year by the Dutch company as it battled off PPG’s offer. PPT will monitor and report.

If you a regular here, it is well known that we love video News. For a small slice of Americana, check out the clip from Benjamin Moore about community Murals. Mary Lacy, a young artist and talented muralist, goes home to make a splash.

If you are one to skip News items, please do not miss this one: take a look at Dunn-Edwards’ Playing with Fire. Maybe just skim the text in favor of the pictures. The colors are brilliant, spectacular and fun!

PPG has produced their annual car color preference guide. What is the most popular hue for 2017? What colors are fading in popularity in America? The least favorite may be a surprise considering all ballyhoo that the shade represents.

Pro customers at Sherwin-Williams have gained a new benefit: online ordering. “The launch of the Sherwin-Williams e-commerce platform is an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to provide professionals with best-in-class products and services. We’re excited to offer customers a fast and efficient way to order our paint and supplies online using their computer, tablet or mobile phone.” said Pam Gillikin, e-business senior director at Sherwin-Williams. Click the News link for details.

According the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) skilled construction workers are a rare breed even though $1 billion a year has been spent by its members to train the next generation. ABC notes that the industry currently has 500,000 unfilled jobs! The paint and coating application business parallels the worker shortage in construction. The demographics make it a good time to be an authentic craftsman.

Before taking that big project on or hanging the open for business shingle, consider what you or the company is objectively good at. Planned, targeted growth is the path. Avoid the bravado buckshot approach that implies you can do everything…especially if the   move is based on cheaper and faster. The primary aim should be long term, well compensated careers (get/stay with a well run outfit) or conduct a business based on earning a fair and reasonable profit for those who decide to toe test the water (big or small companies) – do not focus on hell-bent sales, getting more projects and/or tooling up to get more.

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Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Mark Casale, Editor

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