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Discussion Starter #1
I`m a small painting contractor who is going full time do to job loss,what suggestions do you have on getting my name,or how to get a larger contractor to give you a shot,out.Ihave always done Quality work and i do have a few references.Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Join the PDCA or NAPP, do a lot of networking.

Print up some good looking brochures, maybe with some pics of your work, and send them to every decorator, designer, builder, architect, etc. in your town. Give it a week and follow up with phone calls introducing yourself.

Get signs for your truck, jobsite (yard signs), cards, shirts, etc. Make people notice your company. The first 2 years I was in business, I wore whites and my jacket with co. logo on it everywhere. Pissed off my wife, but people knew I was painting. A good logo goes along way.

There are several ways to approach marketing and advertising, you need to test drive the methods, keep records of the ones that work for you, and capitalize on those resources.

Good luck.
 

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Forget contractors... that's my advice. Have some post cards professionally printed and send them out to your target audience. Use www.infousa.com to determine your target audience and buy a list of their names and addresses.

To obtain your name either incorporate www.legalzoom.com or go to your county and assume a business name. There is a huge difference between a DBA and an Inc. Either one is legal.
 

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ProWall got it right but forgot the Chamber of Commerce and your local builders assoc.
I have to disagree with Grumpy about working for other contractors. I was picked up by Arthur Rutenberg Homes last year and everything with them has been pretty sweet. Check them out. http://www.arhomes.com/
The key to sucess is to do your best work all of the time and network. Business is not a 9-5 job. I'm on a number of commitees, my favorite is the Treasure Coast Builders Assoc. annual fishing tournament where I am also the weighmaster, it kills Memorial Day weekend but pays off by contacts made and is fun. I make a showing at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. I'm involved with Jesus House of Hope and their food drives. I know that it seems hard but you can get your family involved and turn it into fun. When my kids were little, they helped to introduce me to people that I might not of met otherwise. Kind of like having a cute puppy around. It also teaches your kids values.
I'll step off of the soapbox now.
 

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I agree. Grumpy, you are half right. When I joined the PDCA years ago, I met a lot of big company owners. Doing mainly wallpaper, I finally, after a couple months, talked them into letting me do a small job at their own house. Usually I'd paper a powder room for pretty cheap, something I wouldnt take a beating on by charging low. After they got to know me and saw the quality of my work, They started sending me smaller jobs that their large company didn't want to deal with. That will snowball as you meet more people at meetings, discussing these jobs, always thanking them for sending it to you, etc. Now I have over 30 contractors in my database that regularly send me jobs, large and small, and the list is growing. I would never had the opportunity to even meet these people if it hadn't been for the assoc. meetings. Same goes for the NGPP. Its not what you know, its who you know. You meet people from the industry in a friendly, out-of-the-office atmosphere, even competitors will grow to like and respect you.

You will also meet losers, scheisters, and crooks. So goes the life of a contractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
How about charging, from what i`ve been hearing it goes residential by the job,new construction by the square foot,does this sound right and if so what are some of the averages per square foot.Before the money i made from painting was for luxuries now it has to pay the BILL`S.I`m just not too sure ,i`m hearing all different prices, from other painters,salesmen/women at the paint stores i deal with,some guy`s i know who paint for other contractors ,i just want to make sure i`m competitive in my pricing.
 

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Grumpy, they found me. I was referred by another statewide developer that I had done some limited work for.
I'm not fast or cheap but I am always on schedule and on or under budget. That is what the big guys look for. Screw up their schedule and your name is mud. I always add a few extra days for weather or late material shipments. When they happen you're still on time, when they don't, you make a few extra bucks. My specialty is quality, perfection, first time & every time. No call backs, flybacks to you Southerners.
I'm not cheap, don't use budget materials and encourage my guys to take the time to make sure everything is right. My Dad used to say "Never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over." I take the time to do it right. It took a while to get the rep but it is one that I am proud of.
Teetorbilt started as a joke, today it is a reality.
 

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Johnny, pricing is the hardest thing in contracting. Want to make money, but you don't want to bid yourself right out of the job either. You might want to check out the National Painting Cost Estimator book. The figures here might not be exact for your area, but it will give you a place to start.

Click this link for the book.

And also check out the Markup & Profit, A Contractor's Guide. Informative book on pricing jobs. Click this link for the book.
 

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Grumpy, I apoligize for not answering your question properly. I was hungry and thinking about food.
The lead came from a salesrep for Gulfcoast American out of Naples. We became aquainted through seminars that his company hosted and the Chamber of Commerce. We hit it off and he managed to pitch me a few jobs. He was the one that recommended me to Rutenberg. Hope that this clears things up.
You never know where one contact will lead. I'm currently working 3 jobs for Rutenberg and had 5 phone calls from them this morning. I'm going to have to buy some more trucks if this keeps up.
 

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Johnny, I suggest that you join your local builders assoc. The pros are established and not threatened by competition. They may throw you some jobs as well.
I have a number of other guys that I pitch work to for various reasons, mainly because I don't have the time or price is an issue. I do yacht quality work at yacht prices, most people are not willing to pay for this so I pass it on.
 
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