- You’ll know, as a decorator, that our job is not just about making a customer’s house look fantastic; it’s about changing how they feel. But what most don’t realise is that it’s not just for the customer; it should be for you too. For many decorators, every day can feel like a hustle to make ends meet. Charging £175 a day might seem like a fair day rate, but often, it becomes a ceiling price that’s hard to break through. With every lost job, the cash flow suffers, causing a knock on effect of issues. It’s the classic cat and mouse game. But it really doesn’t have to be. Whether you earn £3,000 a month, £5,000, or £20,000+, you can still scale things up to the next level without breaking the bank or overcommitting the time to do so.
The Struggle of Stagnation
For decorators charging a daily rate, and I take £175 as an example of the average day rate for a decorator across the country, the struggle is real. Despite your skill and dedication to the trade, many find themselves stuck in a rut, unable to break the barrier to the next income level and become a £200 or £225 a day decorator. We know through experience that working on a day rate it not going to enable you to grow your business and give you all the things you strive so hard for.
The low paid circle.
We’ve been there, we’ve seen it firsthand. It’s a paradox. You charge cheap with the aspirations of upping your prices as the work comes in but then the sector dips, you lose a few bookings for the upcoming months, and as you haven’t taken a deposit panic sets in, and so to get more work in you cut your prices. This is the vicious cycle you continue to struggle to get out of which then makes it impossible to grow. You need to be working every day on the tools to earn money but of course that leaves no time to ever work ON the business. There is no time for growth.
Embracing Growth and Learning
The key to unlocking better profits lies in embracing growth and learning. Yep that highly overly used social media post caption you’ve heard hundreds of times that we’re going to reiterate.
‘greater profitability lies in embracing growth and learning’
I know you’re currently short of time and think that learning something new is going to take forever and a day, and time you just don’t have. But by taking 2 days away from the tools, and it could even be a weekend, by expanding your skill set and gaining confidence in specialised techniques such as spraying, wallpapering or Venetian plastering, decorators such as yourself can position themselves as experts in their field and charge more. This means no more competing with DIY Decorators “having a go”!
Investing in education and training is not just an expense; it’s an investment in your future success.
Breaking Free from Time-Based Pricing (the day rate)
I just want to pick back up again on this day rate payment model that so many decorators work to, as it’s one of the most significant barriers to increasing profits. The issue it has is that if you tell ‘Mrs B’ that it’s going to take 4 days and you finish it in 3, she’s going to pay you a day less. It makes sense and I would, if that were the proposal set out at the start. With a day rate pricing model there’s no incentive to finish quickly, and the only loser is you.
The pricing shift.
But instead of focusing solely on the number of hours worked, decorators should shift their mindset towards pricing based on the value they provide and the results they deliver. By emphasising the quality of your work, the unique solutions you offer and the results your customers get, you’ll command higher rates, based on the overall project that reflect the true worth of your skills. If you get it completely right, pitching a desire for your customer to want to get it done and be back in their room enjoying the space, you’ll be able to charge extra for finishing early. It’s the whole reason express delivery costs more.
Imagine charging the same amount you previously did for 6 days and doing it in 4. That means you can complete 3 jobs in the same time as you previously did 2 projects in; and now you’re charging more.
Empowering Decorators to Upskill
We believe in empowering decorators to upskill and unlock their full potential. We know what it takes to get your business set up for success, what it takes to go from a day rate decorator to a business owner with staff. We’ve seen and trained many people, including a vast number of decorators, achieve this.
PaintTech Training Academy.
We have lots of courses including our popular spraying, airless plastering, wallpapering, project management and estimating that are designed to equip you with the knowledge and confidence you need to elevate your businesses. However, the journey to increased profitability goes beyond simply acquiring new skills; it requires a fundamental shift in mindset, one that starts with training. Our courses are not just about gaining practical skills but creating a mindset that’s keen to learn, to change, to take your business to the next level.
Leveraging Specialised Services
I appreciate that this blog has been theatrical. Although we have hundreds, if not thousands, of successful people who have developed and grown their businesses since doing our courses, I know that what we’re saying is a log of ‘you can. So, let’s bring it back to what you must have seen for yourself.
Decorative services such as spraying and Venetian plastering are in high demand, and more customers are asking for people to spray and achieve a finish we struggle to get with a brush and roller. Yet, with this growing demand, few decorators possess the expertise to offer them.
Because of the heightened demand learning how to spray and offering such a service you have ready-made marketing. For years, those who have learnt to spray have been marketing these services hard creating a huge desire for customers to want these services, a desire that’s spreading. Not only that, we are now seeing customers requesting spray finishes themselves as they see the benefits.
They’ve done the hard work.
I remember reading about why Highstreet stores always set up next each other, and for decades the easiest thing to do was to just set up next to, or as close as you could to a McDonald’s. Businesses who realised that their target audience was exactly the same as McDonald’s, knew McDonald’s had the money to research areas before breaking ground on a new store. So, many stores with lesser research budget just built they own close by. You’ll notice that this still happens with petrol stations and why so many are placed within a few miles of each other.
As I said in the last paragraph, others have done the research and spend money marketing their services to make people aware. So now you can jump onto the back of that and find your ready-made audience. Yes, more people will jump on your hard work, but start now and become a market leader.
Unlocking Your Full Potential
In the world of decorating, there’s always room for growth and improvement. By embracing training and expanding your skill set, shifting your mindset towards value-based pricing, you can break free from the limitations of day rates and unlock your full earning potential. At PaintTech Training Academy we’re committed to supporting decorators on their journey to success. Take the leap, invest in yourself, and watch as your profits soar to new heights.
We offer a range of courses designed to help decorators upskill and thrive in today’s hugely competitive market. From spraying to wallpaper hanging, project management to estimating, we have the resources and expertise to support you every step of the way.