And here we are, writing the final blog of 2023 on the last day of work before Christmas. As I said in our previous blog, 2023 has been a blast. We’ve gone through some massive highs, such as winning the ‘Trades Education Specialist of the Year, by the Innovation & Excellence Awards’, once again cementing us as the leading academy for trades within the UK; to the lows, which, as a business owner you’ll know only too well the issues we all have to face and deal with in everyday business life.
We had a plan.
I mention highs and lows, but it’s worth remembering that because we had a plan, because we have a strong core team back at HQ, and because we have, day in day out, amazing students coming through those doors that we know we make a difference to, the lows were nothing that we couldn’t deal with, and those that we could and did turn into massive positives. And it will be the same with your business, too. There is always a way to make something positive, and just like us, that should be your focus for next year: focus on the positives.
For us, our overriding resolution for 2024 is to spread the word of our student’s success more and, most importantly, to change the gloom that sometimes lingers over our industry.
Making a positive difference in 2024
In 2024 not only do we want to be the leading academy for courses, but also the place you come to get direction and clarity and you know that speaking to us can and will make a positive difference.
What are your plans for 2024? What will you do with your business to make it more successful than this year?
- If you struggled and business was hard to get, what did you learn, and how can you increase the leads coming through the door? Join The Decorators Growth Club and speak to those who made a difference in 2023 because they were where you are in 2022.
- Perhaps you had back-to-back nightmare jobs, and if so, how can you change that for 2024? Was it the people, location, value of the job or the size of the job?
You don’t need to pick up a sprayer during the break, but that doesn’t stop you thinking about next year.
Over the years, we’ve spent thousands of pounds on business coaches before taking the training needed to run our business coaching courses. See the Decorators Growth Club for more information.
We know that saying it out loud is the first step, but putting it into action is a whole different thing. So, make yourself accountable. Tell someone, and if necessary, tell us.
Fill out the form below. Just give your name, email, and the change you want to make in 2024, and each month, we’ll remind you via email. We’ll even look at the changes people want to make and tailor our future blogs to give some advice and guidance on how to make that change.
That age-old metaphor,
‘A bad workman blames his tools’.
We’re not calling you a bad workman. You’re here reading this and actively trying to make a difference, but the quote has some merit when you break it down. You may not blame your sprayer but the environment, such as politics or the economy. Perhaps it’s the client’s fault or the way your business has become.
If that’s the way, take a step back and consider:
- Is it the business, or is it you?
- Do you run the business, or does the business run you?
Over the break and into 2024, try reshaping your attitude toward business and learning more about things within your control. Read a book; there are some fantastic business books out there, such as
- ‘Boundaries’ by Dr Henry Cloud, to help you build a better relationship between you and your business.
- Or maybe ‘E-myth’ by Michael E Gerber, which is every business coach’s go-to guide when they take on a busy business. E-myth helps you, as the reader, understand whether you’re an employee of your own business, a manager of that business or an entrepreneur. We can’t be all three, even though many of us think we can.
But if you want something more fun to read, try
- ‘Shoe Dog’ by Phil Knight. This goes through Phil’s journey of creating the Nike brand that we know today. An amazing story.
But as we know, learning isn’t just about reading; it’s also about attending courses and learning the practical skills to do more with your business, and if you haven’t been on one of our courses yet, you really need to ask why. Not for us, but for you. What’s stopping you, what’s holding you back?
- Lack of money? Then, speak to us about CITB.
- Haven’t got time? None of us have. We’re all busy trying to make money.
Learn about your worth. Our worth determines what money we can earn, and to grow that worth, you need more knowledge and skills to offer. The better the skills, the more someone will pay. As a sector we really need to come away from charging for time and instead charge for result. We’re one of the only sectors that still does that.
It’s knowing which bolt to turn.
I remember hearing a story once of how a printing press went down, costing the factory around £10,000 per hour for the time they couldn’t print, so they called an engineer. That engineer came, got out a spanner and turned one bolt, which got the press back up and working and billed the company £1000. When the company asked why he charged so much for a 5-minute job, he explained about the time it took him to learn which bolt to turn and the money he saved the business by having those skills. The courses he took and the experience he had.
People no longer buy time; they buy results. We pay more for a faster delivery, we pay more for a more secure service, we pay more for a better finish. No one pays more for extra time when they can get someone else to do the same job quicker. And it’s time our sector caught up. We are one of the only industries where people expect to pay less for speed, which I get if it’s a lousy job, but when we can prove our ability through testimonials and references, it shouldn’t be that way.
Hear from our tutors.
If you follow us on social media, you would have heard a lot from our tutors, probably more Ian than Pete, but they’ve both been there providing you with endless amounts of information on spraying and how to run your business better. These weekly blogs are made with their input and guidance. Now, as there is a course at Preston, Pete is busy teaching, but Ian had a few free minutes, so we asked him to write something personal from him to you. Some advice for 2024.
Ian. Lead Tutor at Edenbridge Academy
As a decorator, you might be interested to know that 2024 is expected to be a good year for the industry. There is a growing demand for spraying, and it’s expanding into different niche sectors. One area that is predicted to see a significant increase is Upvc spraying. However, it’s important to note that Upvc is a specialised system that requires the right products for a liquid polymer binding process. Unfortunately, some people use MSP paints, which isn’t the correct approach.
Kitchen re-sprays are becoming a mini-industry of its own, growing every month. There’s a wide range of products available, and social media is helping to raise awareness of the options for repainting your kitchen. This creates more opportunities for decorators to enter the market and gain significant profits.
It’s recommended that decorators focus on niche sectors that complement their current business model. Kitchen worktop refurbishment is an area that has seen a lot of interest. Customers often ask about options for their worktops and tiles, and there are now fantastic decorative resin coatings and sprayed granite and stone finish options available. Combining kitchen and worktop interest is expected to grow in 2024.
One of the biggest challenges for decorators in 2024 is to focus on their business growth. The industry is becoming more competitive, and marketing and business development must be a major focus for SMEs to stay ahead of their competitors. The Decorators Growth Club (DGC) is available to provide additional help and support to make changes to ensure businesses are growing in the right direction.
The good news is that funding opportunities are available through the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Hundreds of decorators have taken advantage of these funding opportunities to train themselves and their workforce to master new skills and break into the high-profit niche sectors within the industry.
If you have any questions about any of the topics mentioned, feel free to get in touch. We’d love to help you build the ultimate business.
Coming to the end of 2023
This year has been a massive transition year for us. Creating two key hubs for training and aligning ourselves with CITB to help support decorators to get 100% funding for our courses. But however great this year has been, we’re expecting next year to blow it out of the water. We already have our goals plotted. We have our direction set. We have allowed for distractions and bumps, and we’re ready.
If you still need to get there and still need support setting business goals and making 2024 better than 2023, please join us on the Decorators Growth Club, an online Facebook community. If you need more support with jobs, consider the Project Management Course and the Estimating Course. Both will help you become a better business and set some goals going forward. For those who are new to us and want to learn to spray, please book on our upcoming Intensive courses.
If you need more accountability for your goals, drop them in the form. We’ll remind you throughout 2024 with some additional support information.
As we close for 2023, we want to wish everyone an amazing Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in 2024. Remember, you can always reach out to us in the Spraying Makes Sense and The Decorators Growth Club.