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Posted by Cameron Tora on 2014-02-23 23:35:43
Title: My name is Cameron, I am 18, and I am going to be owning and operating my own paint company (with St...
Category: Leadership

My name is Cameron, I am 18, and I am going to be owning and operating my own paint company (with Student Works Painting) this coming summer in Muskoka, Canada. I have been President of councils before, but never had to manage a crew or finances. I am excited, but anxious, as I feel the training I have been receiving has not prepared me for success (yet). If there is any advice, anyone has for me, I am all ears. My goal for this summer to book over $100,000 worth of work, which is a fairly large goal. Thanks!!

Answer:

Fix My Biz
2014-02-28 15:57:23

Congratulations on your first entrepreneurial venture, Cameron! We’ve met more than a few successful entrepreneurs who started out with a student painting business, so you’re in good company.

For starters, we love that you have a sales target in mind. That will give you a benchmark to work towards in your sales program. You’ll want to think about how you are going to get there. How many jobs will you need to sell in order to reach your goal? How many can you manage?  We’d advise starting with a clear idea of your capacity and an idea of what the work flow could look like before you even start selling.

Next, hone your pitch. In our experience, selling takes a little practice, even for the most outgoing of us. Test out your pitch on friends and family until you’ve got it down. The summer painting season is a short one, so you’ll want to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as the weather breaks. This means you’ll need to queue up the work early. How soon can you start selling? Our guess is that you’ll have competition, so by being first out of the gate you may find you get some great momentum that will carry you through the summer.

Once you start reaching out to potential clients, be compulsive in your customer service and attention to detail. If you say you’ll call at 7:00, call at 7:00. (Check out our ‘Top 3 Rules To Live By For Entrepreneurs’ for more on that.) Your age and inexperience could be a deterrent to prospective clients, so you’ll need to make sure you appear professional and responsible at every turn.

With respect to managing your staff, consider hiring experienced painters where possible. This will free up some training time and let you focus on sales and management. All employees need clear and consistent communication of your expectations, so you might consider regular check-ins with staff.

You can manage your books with inexpensive accounting software or even just in Excel, but do set aside time every week to keep track of the finances. Giving yourself a 30 minute window once a week will make sure you stay on top of the money at all times.

Finally, pray for good weather!  Good luck and please let us know how it works out.

Danielle Botterell & Amy Ballonsparkconsulting.ca