Sometimes the greatest part of owning a business is the adrenaline rush you get from being “on the hustle”, especially in the beginning. Hustling makes the day go faster and you feel like so much was accomplished. Occasionally the fast pace of contracting can get the best of you when communication between homeowners or other contractors is overlooked.
I feel a strong connection to the painting industry because our company is a hardwood flooring company and there is a huge interaction between our trades. At the core of both businesses we all know that the final finished product is so critical for both trades. The combination of a sharp paint job and a well-finished wood floor can really make the craftsmanship of a remodel project come together. Sometimes this can be the source of rivalry and time loss when communication between our trades isn’t clear enough.
One of my competitors refinished a very custom wood floor and had a serious finish failure during the remodel. During finishing, the wood floor contractor applied a finish system that ended up having a very poor adhesion to the floor. Afterwards, the painters applied blue tape to the floor, did their work, and pulled up the finish around the perimeter. The flooring contractor ended up re-doing the floor over the course of a year and a half, which inevitably lead to a very irritated homeowner.
Who was to blame? It’s really hard to say, but I blame the problem on the wood-flooring contractor. The flooring contractor did not discuss with the painters how they were going to proceed after his floor was finished. This overlooked detail cost the flooring contractor thousands of dollars and countless hours of lost productivity. Despite coming to a conclusion over who is at fault, all parties involved looked bad to the homeowner, which is a big part of maintaining a reputation.
In our industry people often use time as the measure for experience and reputation. Despite how much you have learned over the years it takes confidence to focus and discuss the fine details of a project to be a real professional. Confidence is built when you’re in control of your business, employees, and especially communication.
I encourage you to invest your time in constantly improving your communication by writing blog posts, articles, and giving regular educational presentations in your field where possible. You will be investing heavily in your marketing, allowing you to control your business and work only with the people you like because the phone is ringing.
When your plate is full with gravy business it will give you peace of mind you’ve never thought was possible. Your profits will be at their best and you will own your time. Nothing is more important than time for your family and time for yourself and it should be the reward for running a well-focused company.