Here at Ace Hardware Pro Painters, we’re proud to share with you our Vivid Vision for the year 2022. Ace Hardware Pro Painters has our sights on becoming the premier residential repaint company in Lakewood, as well as one of the larger companies in the Denver Metro Area. As a company, we will produce roughly 400 houses a year, earning anywhere between 45% and 47% gross profit. We’ll be painting up to 8-10 houses a week and we plan to awe our customers with our exceptional service from end to end as the result of tirelessly improving the mechanics of our business.
Our company will be all about delivering outstanding customer service. In our mission to achieve 100% customer satisfaction with every project, we plan to execute our 5 core values of Honesty, Integrity, Service, Quality, and Beauty to the detail. In nearly everything that we do, we will strive to uphold these principles and allow them to guide us throughout every customer interaction.
Honesty: Treating our customers with respect and giving them the details that they need to make informed decisions is of the utmost importance to our team. In addition, we will strive to bid on jobs properly, communicating all necessary details to the appropriate person. However, honesty also means that we need to be honest with ourselves. Not every project is a fit for us, and we must choose our customers and projects wisely to ensure success.
Integrity: Following through with promises made in our contract and owning up to mistakes when necessary is essential to our success. We will never be perfect, but if we act with integrity, we’ll move the needle forward and continue to produce referrals and generate leads for new projects.
Service: Treating our business like a customer service business that happens to paint instead of vice versa is the mindset that we must adopt. Instead of being painted “experts,” we will learn enough about painting to make it work, knowing that we’re in the customer service business. Many painting companies don’t take service seriously enough. We will always choose people over profit, in the sense of doing what is right so the customer is happy.
Quality: We will use the best quality materials that we can, knowing that quality is always a top priority for our customers in this market. We will offer multiple options, but will always plan to go with the best option that not only meets the needs of each individual customer but exceeds them too. We will provide a quality warranty and will do an hour of touchups free of charge to satisfy the warranty for the right customer.
Beauty: We care about how the finished product looks. We will try hard to help guide our customers throughout the color selection process with comprehensive color consulting and test trials with different shades and hues.
As a company, we will strive to be proactive. When a problem arises, we won’t simply find a solution – we’ll work to implement preventative solutions that protect against the problem recurring again in the future. Our goal is always to stay “above the line;” meaning that we will focus on taking full responsibility for our actions instead of assigning blame when something goes wrong. We will strive for win-win outcomes. As Stephen Covey says in his book, 7 Habits, a win-win situation is type of culture where we devise solutions that work for each homeowner and contractor individually. This will be our central aim as we pursue growth. We will build our company culture by establishing quarterly events that foster a healthy workplace culture like bowling, pizza nights, and other activities that bring our people together. We will have a holiday party at the end of each year to celebrate our successes. As a team, we will operate with a positive, “can do” energy, and we will be active problem solvers, rather than passive complainers. We will not market ourselves as perfect, but we will use our 5 core values of Honesty, Integrity, Service, Quality, and Beauty to be authentic to our customer base.
We will continue to be a referral-based company and will focus our marketing efforts on gaining new customers while engaging the old ones. We will reach out to past customers via send-out cards on a quarterly basis, we’ll call them to check-in on the quality of our work, and we’ll email newsletters that go out bi-weekly. At the end of jobs, we will request that happy customers mention us on Nextdoor, and we will also ask the right customers for a video testimonial whenever possible. We will also send a link for Google Reviews through email. We will aim to do 50% pure referral work and will do some paid advertising as needed through Google and Home Advisor to help us generate more leads and to grow our brand on the web. In addition, our sales reps will be expected to generate leads by introducing themselves to potential customers near job sites, handing out our business cards, and presenting themselves as active members within the community. One area of huge opportunity is to consistently market around job sites by handing out business cards to neighbors.
We will use a website funnel to attract high-quality leads that we can work to convert. These customers will be willing to pay a moderate to premium price for a comprehensive painting experience in line with clear core values. There will be the occasional difficult customer, and we will use kindness to fix any problems in this situation. If a customer is not the right fit for our company, we will move on and send a referral to another painting company who might be a better fit. We will be extremely kind and try to help customers that are not ideal fits. We will continue to put our pricing on our website knowing that the pros of transparency outweigh any negative aspects from hiding our price points.
Our sales department will have two or three sales reps who are responsible for 95% of sales. Our owner will continue to conduct estimates for friends and family, as well as past customers. Our sales reps will be paid on commission to start, and will need to be self-motivated and goal oriented. All sales staff will have a membership to a BNI to continue to build the business through referrals through their standing as a member. BNI is a networking group that meets in the morning, sends referrals to other members, and meets for 1 on 1’s. In addition, BNI training will be a part of overall sales training. The owner will support our sales staff in learning how to sell our services, how to align with our process, and how to leverage our technology to connect with customers on a deeper level.
Our owner will train everyone on our system, which includes software called PEP-cloud, and we will focus on the process. The ideal MSP sales rep will be excited to sell jobs, but more importantly they will believe in our vision and will embrace our core values. We may introduce bonus incentives in certain cases to align their goals with a monetary value. However, we will strongly discourage underbidding any projects for the sake of taking poorly fit customers who are price shoppers. Our ideal sales reps will possess the desire to continue to grow into better performers, and they will be interested in reading books about sales and growing their own abilities on their time outside of the office.
Most of our painters will be people who have worked with us for years, and our production team will work hand in hand with our painters to ensure that each job is completed on time and on budget. We will also ensure to continuously interview and hire at least one new crew member twice a month. This will ensure that we interview 24 crews a year to keep our pipeline fresh. Our production team itself will have one full-time member, as well as a part-time helper who will assist the crews. The main job of the Production Manager will be to ensure that things continue to move in an efficient manner during our busy season. The production team will work closely with the office staff to ensure that we’re in lockstep.
Since we will be producing close to 400 houses a year at an average job size of $4,500, it will be extremely busy year ‘round, with 8-10 houses being produced a week during our busy season and about half of that during our down season. That said even though we’ll be busy we will move in a deliberate, calm matter fixing one problem at a time and not rushing jobs. We will require a genuine team effort to ensure that contracts are processed correctly.
We will be highly communicative and will take the extra step to talk to customers when either we/or they have questions. These questions will be answered in a polite/friendly manner and the customer will have a feeling that we have their backs through the whole process. We will continue to work with Intelligent Office our virtual office team, and this will be the backbone of our communication as they will help streamline communication throughout the company and help screen calls for sales and production staff.
Our owner will work in a staff support role, where he is available to answer questions, and to play a role in pushing our vision forward. We will develop a supportive culture that lends expertise and assistance to our team members whenever and wherever it is needed. Employees will also be expected to self-motivate and to empower themselves to solve problems on their own as they become more indoctrinated into our culture. Our owner will spend time managing big-picture activities like managing QuickBooks and supporting sales and production teams, while occasionally doing an estimate 1-2 times a week for past customers and members/friends/family. Our owner will also still be involved in two to three community groups such as BNI, Rotary, or Chamber, where he can continue to get the word out about our company and assist in the community. His main goal is to work on the business and not in it to ensure that he can help staff. 2022 will be our 8th year in business. [MU2]
Getting to this level will be challenging and it will certainly require a new level of trust and hard work, in addition to faith in my team and myself. It will require us to be uncomfortable at times, and we may have to sacrifice comfort for growth. Scaling in this manner with this many repaints, means that customer service will need to be the focal point of our business with everything else coming second. When a customer has a problem, it will be addressed quickly and efficiently by our team under the new mindset of seeing ourselves as a customer service company first. When there is a warranty claim, we will need to address it quickly to ensure that we follow through and provide that excellent level of customer service that we will always strive for. As we grow, we will need to be extremely systems-oriented and cognizant of pain points to make tweaks as needed. Our non-painter staff will be a team of about 5 people who will work closely together to ensure that our 5 core principles of Honesty, Integrity, Service, Quality, and Beauty. Our team of professional painters will consist of up to 30 painters during our busiest season. Most of our staff will be on-the-go, thus a full-time office space will not be required and we will use Intelligent Office to schedule meetings.
Financial projections will include a comprehensive Financial monitoring Excel sheet that will document and detail job profitability, as well as our financial reporting, which will showcase both project and year to date financials. These records will be kept and monitored closely to ensure that we’re hitting our targets. Sales reps and Production Managers will be kept up to date on our growth as we move forward, and we’ll do monthly meetings to go over goals.
We will continue to leverage new technology to benefit our customers, and we will also automate our processes whenever possible. We will continue to use Acuity Scheduling in tandem with Google Calendar for all of our scheduling. We will use Pipeline Deals to track old and new leads and PEP-Cloud for estimating. For invoicing, we will use QuickBooks and will allow our customers to leave deposits or submit payments using ACH or credit card through email. We will continue to exclusively Apple products for our business, and over time, we’ll buy more of these machines due to their ease of use.
Our hiring will take place through this Vivid Vision statement, which will serve as the foundation for our ideal employees. Our applicants will read our vision statement prior to filling out any application forms on our website. From there, we will only focus on hiring potential employees whose interests, skills, and experience seamlessly align with our core values. We will not be looking for a standard “salesperson” who does the hard close. Instead, we will look for someone who cares about living for a deeper purpose. To find our candidates, we will put the word out in our networking groups and ask family/friends for referrals. We will also upload job postings to various platforms like Indeed.com, Facebook, and Craigslist to find best-fit candidates.
We will have a team of roughly 30 painters during our busy season who will only work with us on an as-needed basis during the Summer leaving a certain amount of fiscal flexibility in the business during the quieter months. The people on payroll with be myself, Oriane, and possibly a third Production Manager. Instead of having a full-time office, we will use a virtual office with virtual assistants, and will only rent out a space when we need to hold team meetings. Our crews will be committed to excellent prep work with a particular eye for caulking cracks, gaps, and areas that keep moisture from damaging the property. We will continue to use excellent, high-quality paint, with our flagship brand of Sherwin Williams Duration. This paint is specifically designed to be applied in one coat and it offers incredible durability. Service-wise, we will continue to include 1 hour of touchups to our best customers. We will be selective in offering this to our best clientele who won’t take advantage. Color consulting will be a huge addition to our overall experience and it will differentiate us from the competition.
We will strive to film video testimonials at the end of successful projects that feature customers who are willing to be on camera and help us build our reputation through social media and in other areas on the web. We will aim to have over 200 Google Reviews by 2020, along with 65 video testimonials. We will send a link out to get a review after each job is completed. This will put us in the top-5 reviewed painting companies in Colorado. We will send out a Google Review link by email to accumulate reviews at the responsibility of our office staff.
Processes & Documents:
Our core processes will continue to be documented and I will create video training modules for our sales reps that will be filmed and stored in our drive for easy access.
We will continue to use new technologies that can help us reduce the cost of doing business and enhance our systems, particularly in the winter time.
As Tim Ferriss says in 4 Hour Work Week, we will strive to automate and eliminate before we delegate. If something can be eliminated through technology, we will try it.
We will strive to adopt giving attitude and we will deliver cookies in paint cans to select customers when we want to express our gratitude. We will also send out gift cards and will use other tactics to surprise our customers. All employees will be required to read “The Go Giver,” which is a book about how important giving back is. During our slow season, we will do this most frequently.