3 Ways to Win More Commercial and Residential Painting Contracts
There are three basic rules to follow that can help you create a successful commercial painting company. They are easy to follow and if you keep them in mind, you will improve your chances of winning contracts and building your business.
1. Know your Clients
There are two types of clients you will be attracting: commercial and residential.
Residential clients are homeowners who may want either interior or exteriors painted. These contracts can include not just their homes but fencing and detached structures such as garages and sheds.
Finding these jobs is often through “word of mouth” advertising. One neighbor tells another and the next thing you know, you’re painting the neighborhood.
Great attention to detail must be paid to these types of contracts. People can be very picky when it comes to their homes and any variation from the paint colors they choose can be problematic. They demand top-notch work and accept nothing less. Disappointing a homeowner can result in time spent returning to a job site to remedy work they deem unsatisfactory. Worse than that, it can generate bad “word of mouth” and hurt your reputation.
Commercial clients are also interior or exterior. They include condo buildings, retail properties, community centers, and more. These can be good long-term customers who can stabilize your cashflow but be aware, you will often be forced to work with tight deadlines.
Winning a commercial contract can be lucrative in the long run but competition is high and your margins will be thinner. You will see this type of work come in mostly through network connections.
As you can see, there are important differences to understand with residential and commercial jobs. Each client has differing needs and must to be treated accordingly. When talking with each client type, take notes and compare so that in the future you are able to have ready-made talking points for each.
2. Build Your Reputation
Your reputation is your most important marketing tool. Professional references are important. No one will bring you into their home if you don’t have a spotless reputation. Business will not tolerate an unreliable vender.
If you want to build a great reputation, make these promises to your customer:
- You'll do quality work
- You'll complete your job on time
- You'll guarantee their satisfaction
When you’re first starting out, accept all the jobs you can, provided you can fulfill the three promises above. Once you have built your reputation, you can be a little pickier in choosing what work you’ll take. Always focus on work you do best.
3. Be Professional
Professionalism is the most important aspect of winning new clients. Consumers and businesses alike appreciate a contractor who respects their time. They will happily talk about good experiences they have had with you. Beware, people love to talk about bad experiences even more, don’t give them the chance.
- Always be on time
- Be easily reached and communicate well
- Submit estimates quickly
As we’ve outlined here, following these three basic ways to win more commercial and residential painting contracts, will enable you to build your painting business.
TIP: When you’ve finished a residential job, hand over to your customer a document that includes paint brands and colors and where they were used. This wraps up a job neatly and is another layer of professionalism people appreciate.