Winning as a Paint Company by Delivering on a Better Business Model
Initially, I began painting homes in college to pay for my education. I realized quickly that there was a legitimate need in the market for a high-end painter and I was doing a good job of fulfilling that need. When I recognized this need for a reliable custom home painter, my focus shifted to creating a business model that would stand out in the marketplace—in particular, within the high-end paint market where customers want consistency and quality.
That business model would be built with the intent to scale nationally with a focus on giving customers maximum value. After all, the company that brings the most value within any sector wins. With this new focus to win in the marketplace, I became fixated on maximizing the value that we as a paint company could provide to the high-end paint market.
A Fragmented Industry Dominated by the Superman Model
The major issue within the paint world is that the industry is very fragmented, so the variations in service and expertise vary greatly. In most cases, the company’s success lies heavily on the owner, who not only takes on the responsibilities of ownership, but who also does the actual painting, the scheduling, sales, estimating, and more. I call this model the Superman Model, as it is one person running around doing all things at all times. The issue is that the season is long and that this overwhelming workload takes its toll as unexpected variables arise. Furthermore, this model lacks the resourcefulness and leverage that a defined team has.
The Advisor Model Defines Roles and Processes to Ensure Consistency
By simply creating a defined business model, a paint company drastically stands out in the crowded arena. From there, the value only increases for the customer. The Advisor Model consists of two main roles: the account manager and the production coordinator. In tandem, these two roles assess for scope recommendations, advise per solutions to needs assessed, and audit to ensure that recommended scopes are completed satisfactorily. The ultimate objective is to create a streamlined experience for the consumer that ensures consistency and reliability as well as quality controls. Doing this in a sector that is known for unresponsiveness and unethical business practices provides a unique solution for consumers.
A Standard of Quality Drives Solutions Requiring More Than Just Paint
Initially, I began by vetting the best topcoat paints and prep products. My objective was to leave a lasting impression for customers who wanted a quality result for their custom home. I quickly realized that the surfaces that the products were being applied to also needed to be restored prior to painting—if I wanted to do the job right. This would require carpentry for siding and trim boards.
Once carpentry became an aspect of the preparation to ensure that paint and prep products were being applied to surfaces with integrity, it became apparent that some homes would need much more than just a handful of boards replaced. In fact, entire sides of homes wouldn’t have integrity and would therefore require full replacement. This eye for quality led to replacing a handful of boards, sections of homes, and eventually to siding entire homes in order to ensure a job well done.
Custom Homes Consist of Substrates Requiring Many Different Coatings
As my eye for quality around a custom home continued to evolve, it was apparent that simply painting the paintable surfaces wasn’t sufficient. On a custom home, there are many different substrates that require unique coatings instead of paint. This was clear whenever we’d finish a home and the remaining non-paintable surfaces were still weathered. In an effort to maximize customer value and to do the job right, we began coating these substrates as well.
Some of these substrates consist of:
Metal items like manufactured windows and doors, iron fences, railings, and security doors
Masonry items such as accent stone, stamped concrete, paver sealers, and flagstone
Decking items like lattice, pergolas, and railings
Cabinets - Sealing, painting, glazing, distressing, and crackling
Bare concrete - painting, acid decorative sealing, and epoxy systems
Door - Entry door and garage door sealing and restoration
Additional Coatings Warrant Additional Restoration
Once again, my standard for quality was challenged as I began coating substrates that required products beyond paint. I found that these substrates had to be restored in order to establish integrity in the substrate before applying any prep or topcoat products. For instance, prior to sealing a flagstone patio and sidewalk, the mortar between each stone would need to be tuck pointed. Again, the objective was to bring maximum value to the consumer as well as to do the job right, so restoring the substrate before sealing it was vital.
Some of the additional restoration contracting services consist of:
Tuck pointing brick siding, stamped concrete, stone walkways, and patios
Stucco patching, skim coating, and installation
Eifs patching, skim coating, and installation
Drywall patches, texture removal, skim coating and texturing, and installation
Sanding decking surfaces
Gutter sealing, replacement and installation
A Paint Company Built for Custom Properties
In today’s context, LIME is a high-end residential and commercial interior and exterior painting and contracting provider. As you’ve read the progression of LIME’s growth, which sets the tone for quality, you’ve seen the progression from paint to coatings and contracting. LIME is a paint company that does much more than paint. At its core, LIME is designed to do the job right as well as to provide the customer with maximum value in a consistent and reliable fashion. This process is made turnkey via the Advisor Model.
Wouldn’t you rather pay more to get more for a service that was intended to improve one of your highest-valued assets?