Courtesy New Life Painting
Skill and talent are critical skills in your commercial painting business, but they can’t keep you afloat if you’re constantly running over time and over budget. Staying within your budget and time are crucial components of running a successful commercial painting business. Follow these five tips to keep your painting company on time and on budget.
1. Involve the Right Employees
Don’t make the mistake of bidding on a project by yourself. Take your field manager, lead painter, or foreman with you to get the scope of the job. This will allow you to think together about the best approach for the job, while making sure everyone understands the project in the same way. You won’t have any confusion once the job begins, because all the key players will know what is expected.
2. Plan. And then Plan Again
Make a detailed plan, and involve every necessary person in this process. That doesn’t mean you need to ask for input at every step of the planning, but do make sure everyone involved is on the same page for the project. Let everyone see the big picture, as well as the important details. When planning, think of scheduling between teams, potential interruptions, and more. Get the owner or manager of the building involved so you don’t come up against any scheduling surprises.
3. Stay on Top of Management
It takes time for your team to get into a good groove, but you can expedite this process by managing the project well. Break your jobs down in ways that make sense to the project — by building, by section, by task, etc. Then stay on top of each step and watch where things are slowing down or hitting snags. Iron those out so that things can run smoothly as you progress through the project. You’ll save time — and cost — as you keep on top of the details.
4. Think About the Costs of Materials
Include your materials in your price upfront, and remember that they are going to make up about 15 to 20 percent of your job. Choose top-quality materials, not only for their lasting qualities, but because they will work better as you apply them. This will help your project run smoother — and faster.
But don’t stop there. Make sure you stay on top of material costs as you move through the project. Keep track of what is being ordered and how much is being spent as you go. It’s surprisingly easy for these costs to get out of control if you aren’t watching what you’re doing.
5. Remember the Final Walk-Through
This step is non-negotiable. Conduct a final walk-through with your team leaders and the manager or owner of the building. This ensures the manager is aware of everything that was done and is satisfied with the project. And when the right leaders are there, the manager can get answers to any questions that come up. Make sure the project is complete and in compliance.
Give your client a project completion form that includes before-and-after pictures, lists your guarantee, and instructs on maintenance items.
When you take these careful and thorough steps, you avoid potential problems — and keep your commercial painting project on time and on budget.
About the Author
Noah Winkles is the vice president of New Life Painting. For over 35 years, New Life Painting has provided commercial and residential painting services to residents and business owners living in California’s Central Coast.