- Working too many hours
‘Up the Sunday workers!’ you cry…or ’12 hour days for me this week’ you proudly state on social media.
If you genuinely love working long hours and 7 days a week then go for it. Congratulations in fact.
If, however, you wish you didn’t have to do it. If, you wish you had more time to spend with your friends and family then it is time to make a change.
I understand that when you are building a business you must put in the work.
I mean, who am I to talk? As I write this, it is 15:30 on a Sunday. The difference is, I want to sit here working. I don’t have to do it. I’m choosing to do it.
If you’re working long hours because you feel you have to…because you don’t know when your next job will come in….or because if you take any longer there is no profit left in the project then you need to address this.
2. You end up on jobs you don’t really want to do
Hands up if you’re a decorator who sits in your van every summer whilst the rain pours down, and you think to yourself:
‘I’m not doing exterior work anymore. The weather is just too unpredictable’
And hands up if every year you end up taking on exterior jobs because you ‘can’t afford to turn the work down’ ???
3. You make a wage, but not a profit
Profit is not a dirty word. All businesses need to make a profit. If you don’t make a profit you’re a charity.
Just because you are self-employed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to have nice holidays and time off. After all, isn’t the extra freedom and money one of the reasons you started the business?
If you ‘can’t afford to take a week off’ then you’re making a wage and not a profit.
Making a profit pays for the time off, it pays for when you are sick, it pays for new equipment, clothing and vans.
When you work for a business you are not expected to pay for everything out of your wages. And you still get paid when you go on holiday or when you are sick.
All this is provided by the profit the company makes.
Don’t think that just because you are the only employee that your company shouldn’t be providing these benefits.
4. You attract poor quality customers that don’t value you
Fed up with quoting for Karens and time wasters who don’t value a professional decorator?
Frustrated that all your customers try to save money by providing cheap paint or ‘trying’ to do the prep themselves?
Do you keep getting asked to do jobs that you don’t really want to do?
Are you a kitchen specialist, but you spend half your time doing HSL’s because you can’t find enough kitchen work to fill your diary?
It doesn’t need to be like that!
5. You sometimes don’t know where your next customer is coming from
Ever had an empty space in your diary and you don’t know where your next job is going to come from? Stressful isn’t it?
You just sit and ‘hope’ the phone will ring.
You can start to panic quite quickly in this position. Even one day without the phone ringing can be a nightmare.
So, if any of these points resonated with you, what can you do?
Well, there are many ways to tackle each of these problems, but for me, the key is improving your sales and marketing.
Imagine you had a system that generated good quality new customers every week.
A system you could rely on. No more ‘hoping’ the phone will ring, no more worrying about where your next job is coming from.
What would that mean for you and your business?
It would mean you can pick and choose the jobs you want to do.
It would mean you can pick and choose the type of customer you work for.
There would be so much demand for your services that you could increase your prices.
Suddenly, you’re making a profit, you’re working for customers who value you more, and you’re only doing the jobs you want to do…jobs that fit YOUR plans.
There is a reason all successful companies have sales and marketing departments.
It is because good sales and marketing can help every area of your business.
Whether you choose to listen to my advice on sales and marketing or not is up to you.
I don’t mind.
In fact, even if you do listen to my advice, I’d recommend you listen to other people too.
Either way, if you struggle with any of the 5 points mentioned in this article, then I recommend you do look to learn more about this side of business.
There are thousands of books, articles and courses that can help you so seek some out.
If you do want to get started, I offer loads of free advice on my website.
And if you enter your email below, I’ll send you a FREE 60-page eBook I’ve written specifically for decorators, called:
‘7 marketing secrets GUARANTEED to grow your painting & decorating business’.