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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Awhile back I thought I might start writing some basic handouts we could send out the door with our customers that could help with their projects and offer some form of education without being to technical. Before printing these up I want to toss them out for your opinions and see if I am missing anything. I hope the attached file thing works and you can open it. Keep in mind these are intended for DIY'ers and not painters sentenced for life. Tks.
 

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Im sorry Mark, but I never usually care to help DIY's.
Not to be rude, but everyone acts as if any contracting profession takes no skill. At least according to your Home Depot customer classes.

Yet if you or I would try to do our own legal paper work or our business taxes, we're told that "you have an idiot for a client, let the professionals do the work, thats what their trained for"

I only say this because I think everyone should help keep everyone employed.
I believe a lawyer shouldn't paint his house, he should call a painter.
A painter shouldn't replace his starter, he should call a mechanic.
A mechanis shouldn't do his home electrical, he should call an electrician.
 

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Im sorry Mark, but I never usually care to help DIY's.
Not to be rude, but everyone acts as if any contracting profession takes no skill. At least according to your Home Depot customer classes.

Yet if you or I would try to do our own legal paper work or our business taxes, we're told that "you have an idiot for a client, let the professionals do the work, thats what their trained for"

I only say this because I think everyone should help keep everyone employed.
I believe a lawyer shouldn't paint his house, he should call a painter.
A painter shouldn't replace his starter, he should call a mechanic.
A mechanis shouldn't do his home electrical, he should call an electrician.
 

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Im sorry Mark, but I never usually care to help DIY's.
Not to be rude, but everyone acts as if any contracting profession takes no skill. At least according to your Home Depot customer classes.

Yet if you or I would try to do our own legal paper work or our business taxes, we're told that "you have an idiot for a client, let the professionals do the work, thats what their trained for"

I only say this because I think everyone should help keep everyone employed.
I believe a lawyer shouldn't paint his house, he should call a painter.
A painter shouldn't replace his starter, he should call a mechanic.
A mechanic shouldn't do his home electrical, he should call an electrician.
 

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whoops
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The fact of the matter is that the DIY market in the home improvement segment has burst its seems in the last few years, a paint store such as mine would have had 75% of its sales from painting contractors, now its about 25% and the DIY'ers and responsible for 75% of sales and I see that number climbing in the next few years. If you want to blame someone then start throwing rocks at your TV because this is all driven by the DIY shows on TV and Big Box all the way. It is my responsibility to help my customers.... not to get on a box and rant about the merits of hiring a painter, I painted for many years and have seen the market change from the other side of the counter too. Painters must tailor their business to accept the changes such as I have had to do, recognize the change and adapt to survive.
 

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I think painting is the most common DIY activity. I know I'd never dream of hiring another painter for my own home unless I didn't have the time to do it myself. No offense to you painters but it is something I am capable of doing. Then again I've helped my father paint and remodel homes since I was 5 years old so I may have an unfair advantage. :)

I've nothing against people trying to do things themselves. I really get miffed when people say how easy roofing is, but in some cases they are right.
 

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Actaully Mark, I didn't mean it the way I said it..
I just wish all contracting fields, painting included, was actually treated as a skilled profession. But your right, with all the tv shows and home improvement stores, its hard to keep the customers' griddy little hands out of the paint bucket or off their roofs. lol
 

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Josh, if you appear to be a professional you are a professional. Perception is reality. However if you look and act like a professional chances are very likley that you are a professional. A professional knows more than just what to do, he knows how and why.

I hold MANY, but no all contractors in as high a regard as doctors and lawyers. I know some roofers that would never take advantage of anyone, do excellent work, really know their trade, and make as much as doctors or lawyers. These men are truly professional and NO DIYer could ever compete with their level of skill or knowledge.
 

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Very True
 

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appear pro you are pro? hmmmmmm don't know about that. Some fella's can talk, and look, a good line of %#@* but when it comes to getting thier hands dirty, well thats another story.

Bob
 

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Idea

Mark-
I personally think this will be good for your customers. Every day I would have people ask the same questions and it would have been great if I had done something like this. Every little tidbit of help to a DIY'ers is so useful for them. I have seen so many people get frustrated, especially doing a ceiling. But every time we would give a few pointers, those people truly appreciated the help and in return would refer their friends & neighbors to the store.

The reality of the phenomenon we have with so many people doing it themselves has a lot to do with just wanting to try new things (and oh yeah those huge tv shows). Over the years the painters I know personally survive this new age of DIY'ers by carving into a niche market. A lot of speciallty painting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Lynn.... I have added yet another and am slowly going to get them all done as time permits, busy season you know. LOL I think I will post them over at the DIY site so they are free for grabbing, hopefully they will save some fustration for a few folks. They seem to be popular here as handouts at the counter.

Tks,
Mark
 

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Mark you are wiley as a fox doing those hand outs. That is exactly the way to build your business. In your field it is also a matter of survival. Specialty retailers have to do something to define themselves from the big boxes like Lowes and Home Depot. While you probably know that some of your products are superior to a lot of what people find in the big boxes, the consumers don't. For so many people paint is just paint. Giving your customers a reason to come to you other than the price of your paint is smart business. I buy tons of stuff from the big boxes, but when I need a special product or information I go right to a store like yours. Ask grandpa at Home Depot a question other than something generic like where are the drop cloths, and you have about a 80% chance of a blank stare. Becoming the source for answers and great service is a great way to build your clientelle.
 

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I just got done reading your 3 DIY pieces; I think your idea is great; the execution has a lot of room for improvement. The is a lot missing from them, the one on ceilings for instance, I thought there would be information in regard to getting clean lines between the ceiling and wall, information on painting pop corn vs. other ceilings, stuff about drop cloths, the proper tools, extension pieces vs. a step ladder, how to paint around the lights, ect...

One word of warning is that consumers are very smart and very savvy today. If they pick up your DIY piece and have expectations going into reading it that you don't meet and actually exceed they are going to see right through it. Lowes has their own pamphlets on subjects just like your idea, they are extremely well done, I would strive to get yours to that level. To be honest with you I would pick yours up and within 30 seconds I would be thinking just another mediocre DIY pamphlet, it would color my entire perception of what your store is going to have to offer me.

I hope that isn't too harsh. I like the idea, I think you just need to really polish the execution, I would give it about a C- right now. You need to get it to an A+. Pick a level of customer you want to reach and write it in a way that a 9 year old could understand it.

Good luck.
 

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In the floor biz, laminate flooring is the most DIY friendly floor out there.
We in fact, have a laminate DIY install course once a month that packs the back warehouse and we do not charge for it.
Are we missing a few install jobs because we promote DIY? maybe a couple
Do some of the customers never buy from us? yes I am sure of it.

But, these people would have DIY'd their floor anyway, and it brings people into my store to possibly earn their business for laminate material only.
We still have TONS of wealthy clients who purchase lam AND labor from us...and this DIY course has brought MORE business in, it has not hurt us at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Mike... Thank you for the honesty and your opinion, its very much appreciated. One of the things I kept in mind when writing these handouts is to make sure I keep it simple. I know I could have went on and on with steps and procedures, technical info and such but the fact of the matter is its very hard to get someone to read anything too long. I will continually review and update as the need arises but these are specifically designed to be a suppliment to their visit to the store and not a replacement for talking with the in-store staff regarding the project.

We pride ourselves in spending time with the customer and explaining the process of the work involved and what products we recommend. As for people who want study a topic on a higher level we also offer an extensive lending library with volumes of information.
 
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