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Primer Spring 2010

Primer Spring 2010

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Published by Jarred Alexandrov

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Published by: Jarred Alexandrov on May 18, 2012
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Spring 2010
The PRIMER 
Hello fellow NEC Members,Well it seems as though we are turning the corner ever so slowly, but turning. I believe, as others I have spoken with, that many of the things I have gained from PDCA membership are responsible for us still being in business. NEC is setting up pro-grams to help keep our members in the forefront with the economy turning around. As these opportunities become avail-able, please take advantage of them.We came back from the National PDCA Convention in Phoenix invigorated though tired from spending the night in the Dallasairport due to 12.5 in. of snow. A lot of good information was provided and some new product and equipment was displayed.Much of that will also be available to you at our
Educational Conference and Vendor Expo
in Newport RI this November, sogive your best effort to make it. Newport is also a great family destination and we are working on activities for spouses andfamilies to do to have fun as well. Why not take time to walk the beach on Ocean Drive?PDCA has for many years championed a great organization which is always strapped for cash,
The Boy Scouts of America
. NewEngland Council, as well as all councils and chapters, has been asked to make this a priority as well when planning charityprojects. The Painting Merit Badge Book was just rewritten and Paul Corey brought up the fact that many of their Camps
need upkeep. These are fantastic ideas for charity projects in your chapter’s area. Each chapter could contact their local B
oyScout Council office and talk with the Council Executive and see what work they could use done at their Summer Camps. If anyone would like help with this, give me a call and I will get you contact information for your local Council. I am sure oursuppliers will be happy to donate the material.
With the weather finally turning toward spring, it’s time to think about golf and, of course, the
NEC, PDCA Golf Tournament 
on
Wednesday, June 2
nd
. This a great opportunity to bring your customers for a day of appreciation, your accountant as athank you for all the money he saved you, your employees for a job well done, or maybe treat a supplier or just enjoy a roundof golf with friends. Whatever the reason, shine up your clubs and come out for a day of fun and relaxation. Further informa-tion and a registration form are available on our website at www.newenglandcouncilpdca.org.
As always don’t forget to thank our vendors for their continued support.
 Mark Adams,Southington Painting Co., LLC 860-628-8923 markthebrush@sbcglobal.net 
President’s Message
 
Mark Adams, 2010 President
 
Mission:
New England Council, Inc., PDCA
exists to serve the coating and wall covering applications industry with stan-dards, education, training, advocacy and best business practices essential to member success.
Vision
:
To continue to be New England’s recognized voice of the industry, the contractor’s source for standards andeducation and the customer’s choice for painting, wall covering and decorating services.
 
Membership affords the following
education, education, education, and a healthy dose of friendship. I joined thePDCA reluctantly, 10 years ago, convinced no one could teach me anything about running a painting business. I waswrong.Here are some questions designed to provoke thought, confusion, and defensiveness. My goal is not to accentuate thenegative, only to show you how membership in an association like PDCA is an opportunity to make your business eas-ier, more profitable, and ultimately, more enjoyable.
DO YOUR KNOW YOUR #s?
what’s your average wage? How much do you mark up your labor costs?
 
what’s your average gross profit per job? What is gross profit?
what was your net profit last year? What is net profit?
what’s a healthy net profit for any size business?
 
ESTIMATING
 
IT’S A
SCIENCE AND AN ART
Estimating is the single most critical activity influencing a company’s profitability –
t/f?Do you choose a bid rate based on what the competition charges?Are you estimating based on fear - do you work up an estimate, look at the total and say to
yourself ‘that’s too high –they’ll never go for that so I’ll knock off 10%/$1000?
 Are your production rates realistic? How do you know?
Do you compensate for working over 8’?
 Do you compensate for the reduced productivity of overtime?Do you mark up your materials or are you running to the paint store and back for your customer, for free?Do you know if you are estimating enough for paint, sundries, etc?
LEADERSHIP:
Can you define leadership? “Leadership is a winning combination of personal traits and the ability to
think and act as a leader, a person who directs the activities of others for the good of all. Anyone can be a leader, even
if the only person they’re leading is themselves."
 What kind of leader are you?Do you wonder if the limitations of your company are related to your own personal limitations?Do you have employees? Do you trust them? Do you delegate to them? What is delegation?How do you delegate? Do you give direction or do you micromanage?If you are off the job, does your team know what is expected of them? If you are sick for a week,does your business grind to a halt or continue, successfully, in your absence?Can your team write a work order if the client asks for new work in your absence?How do you stay sharp? Do you think you know everything there is to know? If so, prove it.Are you a member of any trade associations?
CULTURE
Who is in charge of your projects
the customer, or you? Are you afraid of your customer, of being afraidto say no?Do you give in to pricing pushback?
What does membership in the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America mean?
Page 2
 
Page 3Volume 1, Issue 1
Who and how do you hire? Anyone who says they can paint? (No interview processes/no backgroundchecks;are you hiring pedophiles and are your employees getting high on the weekends?)Do you treat your employees like mushrooms? How long do you typically retain an employee?When they leave, why do they?Do you ever raise your voice or swear at your employees?How do you answer the phone?
How’s your business doing? Whose fault is it?
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
MARKETING
Waiting for the phone to ring is not a marketing strategy.Where does your business come from?Which season is your slowest? What do you do to try to increase business then?
If all your business is word to mouth, how do you keep yourself in your customer’s minds?
 Are you afraid of losing your customers to your competition? Why would they leave you? Would you leaveyou?What can you do differently to increase customer retention?
When’s the last time you read a book about marketing?
 Branding includes clean uniforms and well-mannered employees - t/f?So this just gives you a taste of the topics we discuss at local chapter meetings, at regional and national conferences.Honesty, transparency are valued above all. Company size is not important, net profit is not important. Integrity, cus-tomer service, ethics and craftsmanship are held in the highest regard in our association. If you think you might benefit 
from membership, please let me know, and we’ll be happy to give you a membership application. If you’re already a
member and not finding value in your membership, I encourage you to reach out to others in this council
you can al-ways reach me, nigel@catchlightpainting.com.
Here’s to a busy and profitable spring,
Nigel Costolloe, Catchlight Painting
Membership Value Highlight from National - Using the
PDCA Logo
 
Marketing your company is absolutely necessary if you expect to succeed. Adding the "member of"PDCA logo to your marketing and advertising materials helps potential customers to connect yourcompany with the industry leading efforts of your Association. Get the logo in the members-only sec-tion of PDCA.org and add it to your marketing materials today.
 
For more information on the value of Membership visit www.pdca.org

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