A Guide to having the right mindset, to make £100,000 in your decorating business
Think back to the beginning, when you decided to go it alone and start a decorating business. Armed with a paintbrush, roller, tray and some business cards, off you went. You probably worked out that to make it work; you needed to earn £100 per day (or equivalent to the time). That would pay for the paint, consumables, and your wage to cover the rent, food and some of life’s perks. What could go wrong?
At the academy, we speak to many people who all have these stories. Most talk about their first jobs, going in cheap to get experience, coincidently undercutting more experienced decorators on price to win jobs and make ends meet. It happened, and now those new to decorating are doing it too. But just like those bigger businesses that out-marketed and sold you then, you need to do the same today; otherwise, you’ll forever be that cheap decorator that can only win jobs when undercutting. Do you want to always survive, or do you want to thrive?
If you’re not going forwards, you’re going backwards.
Your decorating business is probably ticking over. It’s working well, paying the wage, which helps you pay the mortgage. However, many small decorators who are also business owners find themselves stuck at a certain point, unable to take their business to the next level. Most will justify it, saying it’s just the way business is, with the current market conditions or competition, but the real reason for your decorating business getting stuck is YOU.
Fear of Success
As business owners, we’re the masterminds behind our businesses, but sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies. We hold ourselves back with limiting beliefs and actions that prevent us from reaching our full potential. But instead of owning up to these, we use excuses, blame others, or just stick our heads in the sand.
Let’s take a closer look at just two of these roadblocks, the excuses you use that are going to give your competitors the upper hand and cause you to fail:
Fear of failure: It’s natural to be afraid of failing, but if we let this fear control us, we’ll never take the risks necessary for growth and success. We run a series of courses that can be fully funded by CITB. Yes, there are some things CITB ask you to do. Yes, you might need to change your wage structure, but it’s not a reason not to do it. The real reason you’re not applying for CITB is your excuses, ‘what if I do this course and it doesn’t work. ‘What if I don’t earn more’, ‘what if I don’t grow my business’, ‘what if I waste time’. Again, these are excuses based on an imagery situation that you’ve not experienced yet. It’s like not going to work in case you have a car crash. A what-if moment that probably will never happen.
Yes, there is a chance that it can fail, but without taking the course, you’ll never experience the opportunity to know or grow.
Resistance to change: Change is inevitable, and if we’re not adapting to move forward, we’re only going backwards. I covered ‘failure to change is succeeding to fail’ in our last blog, an amazing article discussing the demise of Blockbuster and seeing the signs in your decorating business if you haven’t yet read it.
As a decorating business owner, you need to embrace new ideas, technologies, and ways of doing things, such as spray painting. But although we can prove proof that learning to spray will increase your business, some decorators are still resistant to it. Those who refuse to change and openly want to hold you back from changing too. They are the leaders in their old-school decorating world, but with modern technology, traditional decorating is getting harder to compete with the fast-paced, high-earning spray painting world. Spraying gives you a faster and more efficient turnaround, a higher quality finish, and increased profit. By overcoming the resistance to change and embracing new methods, such as spray painting, decorators can stay ahead of the curve and continue to grow their businesses.
Not what you thought
I appreciate that the above might not be what you were expecting when I told you this blog would help you achieve a £100,000 decorating business. Still, while wannabe YouTube stars will tell you that you can do it by following a few simple steps, I’m here, a professional decorator, to tell you that before you can market your way to success, you need to have the right mindset for change. Mindset is the one thing that you can’t outsource. It’s the one thing that will hold you back and what’s needed to make real success.
Changing your mindset
- What services do I currently offer?
- How much am I charging for these services?
- How many clients do I currently have?
- What is my current profit margin?
Now, think! What can you do to make a change? Get creative and think about how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors. For us, getting decorators to that £100,000 year turnover mark, we know it’s learning to spray paint, understanding or redeveloping your estimating, being able to project management effectively, and marketing. We’re not saying that to push you on our courses. We built the courses to help decorators get to that six-figure number and beyond.
I wanted to finish this blog a little differently from the others, with a FAQ. Over the last few months, the team have been putting together some of the most common questions that tie into this blog title.
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Q: How can I differentiate my decorating business from my competitors?
A: Consider offering either services or systems to deliver those services, such as spray painting, that are different to your customers. Spray painting is quicker, more efficient, gives a greater finish, gets better reviews, is innovative to the customer and drives a better profit margin.
Q: What are the benefits of increasing my prices?
A: Raising your prices can quickly increase your profits, but only if you can offer more than other decorators that are undercutting you. They come with a roller. You come with a spray gun. They complete a job in 7 days. You do it in 3 days with a greater finish. Stop thinking that you should be charging for time. You are charging for the finish.
Q: How do I create a strong brand identity?
A: Invest in creating a professional logo, website, and social media presence that accurately reflects your brand and appeals to your target audience. But your equipment reflects your marketing. When someone is looking at fast cars, they don’t want to see a 1990s Skoda. They want to Ferraris and Aston Martins, so for decorating, show them a spray gun, not a roller and tray that anyone could pick up from B&Q.
In 2023, do something different. Commit to your continued professional development. Take those courses that will allow you to develop and learn new skills. Change your mindset from a closed to an open state of mind that will see you take on new challenges in 2023. You can make 2023 your best year ever, but you need to commit to change.
To find out more about the courses you should take. Head over to our booking page.
Here are some resources you might find helpful
There are many resources that could help you, but here are some of the best we could find for you.