The COVID-19 crisis has hit painting contractors in a variety of ways, and many of you likely have more time on your hands than you did before.
So what to do? Here are some ideas to help maximize your future productivity and ensure you hit the ground running when you’re able to work at full throttle again.
1. Take time to learn
There are many opportunities to up your game right now. Paint PRO Training courses offer free online skill development opportunities that will paint your path to further career growth.
Courses currently available for pros in English and Spanish include:
- Paint Color Basics
- Quality Ingredients = Quality Paints
- Paint Selection
- Brush and Roller Basics
- Care and Maintenance
- Repair and Touchup
- Spray Application
- Climber Pro – Ladder Safety Training Course
Sherwin-Williams offers hundreds of additional online opportunities to add to your collection of skills that will result in being a more versatile contractor when you return to work. You’ll find great topics such as:
- How to specify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
- Trends in restaurant paint color palettes.
- Your guide to gloss and sheen.
- Tips for applying a concrete coating.
- How to get touchups to match up.
These and many more are available on the Sherwin-Williams PRO website.
Additionally, look over the curriculum at your local education institutions, including the community colleges that can offer custom online learning and certification opportunities, particularly as they apply to business education.
2. Stay in “painter shape”
No one has to tell you about the physical toll being a painter can take on your body. Consider an exercise program that can keep you in “painter shape” so your body doesn’t scream for mercy once you put it back to work.
You’ll find all kinds of stretches, yoga exercises and workouts online and in a variety of magazines. Don’t own equipment? No worries. As the old saying goes, “All you need is sticks and bricks,” and you don’t even need those to do a pushup. And remember, a gallon of paint weighs just over seven pounds, and could be just what you need to get started with some biceps curls.
To see how one contractor does it, check out the Fitness for Painters site.
3. Shine up your billboards
Whether you own one pickup or a fleet of vehicles, your vehicle makes a statement, much like a billboard does, on the road and in the driveways and parking lots of the places you work. And that statement is particularly relevant in your line of work.
So now’s the time to do the minor body repairs, detail your vehicles, wax them up, and be sure they send a positive message about your company out in public.
Additionally, how about creating a logo for your door panel, or upgrading your current logo? Consider getting the input of a professional graphic designer, many of whom, like you, have some free time on their hands these days.
And while marketing is on your mind, check out the customizable marketing materials available in mySW.com.
4. Catch up on maintenance
While you’re considering how to use your vehicles as billboards, use this time to make sure they stay in peak operational shape. Check tires, change the oil and do the preventive maintenance things you otherwise don’t have time for when you’re busy painting.
Your spray equipment could be in line for some attention, too. If you’ve noticed a leak in the paint pump fluid section, take it in to a Sherwin-Williams Spray Equipment Maintenance and Repair Center now before it creates problems for other, more expensive parts, such as rods and cylinders. Additionally, be sure to keep pump fluid section seals wetted as necessary, and ensure that idle pumps are not storing any water that could cause rust.
Contact your nearest Spray Equipment Maintenance and Repair Center for more information on procedure advisements and services presently being offered.
5. Assess your website, social media presence
It’s time to reach out to your markets. Let’s start with your website. Is it working as hard as it could be? It might be five years old or more by now — is it representative of you and your business today? It may look functional to you, but try to see it through the eyes of a prospect who’s checking you out for the first time. Is it painting a picture of your business that you want a prospect to see?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn — get out there, make friends and show off your capabilities. Now is the time to make a video or simply post photos and show some of the room and building transformations that you have authored.
For further information, the content page from the Sherwin-Williams Business Builders guide will help guide your social media marketing strategy.
6. Clean up your lists
Your databases are like that drawer in the kitchen. There are things you put in there 10 years ago and haven’t thought about since. Use this time to perform database hygiene and weed out information that is obsolete.
And while you’re in there, make a note of which past customers could be due for a repaint. Once you’ve identified a target list, consider what might be the most effective means of reaching out and reminding them that you are “their painter.”
7. Check out some new tools
Communication tools such as Zoom and CompanyCam are game changers for contractors who are juggling multiple projects at once and are often faced with the need to share photos or videos as quickly as possible.
Additionally, take time to bring yourself up to speed on some of the tools available to make building estimates easier. The Sherwin-Williams PRO app features a paint calculator to help build estimates, in addition to access to data sheets and product information.
Get more business building and management tips in the PPC Digital Archive.