What is going on, everybody? Welcome back to the Service Legends podcast. I am here with an absolute painting legend, home service legend, and I am this is another selfish one, I have to say. I’ve been I’ve been looking forward to digging into what you have to mention and say and share. But we have none other than Brian, is it Reece? Brian Reece?
Yup. It’s Reece like the candy.
I love that candy, by the way. So, yeah, we have Brian Reece here. And if you’re a painting contractor that’s alive in the year of 2022, you probably know who Brian is. You might also know his consulting company, which is called Painting Systems Blueprint, and then also better known is his actual painting company, Bella’s Army. And you guys do residential commercial painting?
Yep, we do residential commercial painting.
So we have a house painting company, extremely successful, created a consulting company. And I will give you a bio, although most of our listeners probably don’t need one from you. But for those of our listeners that don’t know who you are or haven’t heard of you just yet. Brian he’s from Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He actually got into the industry through a program called College Works Painting. I actually have heard a lot about that. There’s also some other programs in Dallas that I’ve heard about, and that’s where you started. That’s where you learned the business, learn to sell effectively and transition into actually owning your own business, which is Pela Bella Ami’s painting. And you guys have to have something completely unique over there in terms of the team, the culture, the communication. And I’m going to dive into that here shortly. But so you’re the CEO of that company and then also the CEO of Painting Systems Blueprint, is that right?
And so day to day with Bella’s army, you are kind of like CEO, GM, kind of just as the visionary there or do you have any other duties there?
So actively we did a pretty good job, but kind of like building out the buckets and system or the processes for like other departments. But I’m like actively like leading the operations now. So just really just looking at developing leadership like not only like at like a management level but like in the actual field, so heavily involved in the day to day operation, kind of like talking with people a lot more.
One on one.
It’s, it’s a pretty interesting.
Be in. And I think it’s actually the pivotal ingredient that like we were like not optimizing basically.
Yeah, 100%. It’s such a big need right now in the painting and concrete coding industry. Specifically, these industries like Jason Parrish always says, it’s like the painting industry. And I’ve also added the coding industry are are in such a massive need of a renaissance of professionalism, which is that leadership, you know, the documentation of our processes, which something that you are an expert on and just so everyone else knows. Brian Super, super humble dude and, but he’s an absolute genius with this stuff. And so we’re going to dive into that here today and just to kind of set some, some some groundwork here, you guys are on track to do about 1.6 this year over at Bella’s Army, is that right?
So very successful painting company, Sustainable. How many employees do you guys have over.
In the field right now? We have about 18.
Very cool, man. Okay. So we have a couple of things here and a couple of avenues we can go down here. There’s a house painting company. There’s also a consulting company. Obviously, the house painting company came first. I’m just curious, how how how long did it take for you to from from from from kind of like starting Bellas to starting the consulting company. Like, how long was that? Was that gap there before you kind of figure things out and started helping others?
It’s about three and a half years roughly.
Okay. So pretty quickly, are you two and I mean, you’re in your late twenties just like I am. And so you’ve you’ve been able to learn a lot very quickly. There’s a lot of guys in our industry that are in this thing 20, 30, 40 years deep and probably hire you, you know. So age is not a factor here. I think it’s more disciplined and in and knowledge, information, etc.. Could you kind of just break down like just from a high level, like you started the painting company and we’re going to dive into that. But like, why did you think of helping others? Like, why wouldn’t you just keep it all to yourself? Grow? Bella’s like, why would you even think about helping somebody else?
Because, I mean, like, very quickly, I realized if if an individual has, like, literally all of the information to do something, of course they’re going to do it at some rate, at some proficiency, whether it’s like crushing it or like kind of just like, you know, doing it in their own version that they’re like a growth or like a size point that like is just happy and contentful with them. But what I realize is like if somebody has all the information, the odds of them executing everything without having like a hiccup or like having it not being.
Seamless, it’s not that high.
So, like, if, like, my goal is to like, just have all the information pushed out just so like there’s a higher chance of people actually like level or upping the standard of the game that we’re all playing because there’s always going to be just like different like execution outputs and that just really based off of the individual that’s actually starting their company and running it. There’s tons of different performance outputs.
Per per person.
That’s incredible. Yeah, I really like your servant kind of foundation. We love to serve. And I see that in so many different leaders within our spaces and outside of our spaces. But it’s it’s it’s something that that I’ve noticed. So I wanted to ask kind of why you were helping others. So also, if you guys are listening live, if you guys could just type in the comments, hashtag live. Let us know who’s who’s listening live. Who’s tuning in live. Also, if you could like and share this post, whether you’re listening in in the Facebook group or on my personal page or or different page, share the post. Let’s, let’s, let’s try to reach more people together. And I see. Russell. What’s up, Russell? So let’s take all the way back to Bella’s. So kind of went through that program and then started Bella’s like, could you take us, like, just maybe not before the, like, the college program, but maybe like towards the end of the college program and then before Bella’s like, just walk us through that process kind of what happened and kind of how you led up to starting Bella’s.
So I was approaching the latter half of that experience with that other company.
I was at.
A pivotal point. I didn’t really, like know which direction I wanted to go in. I was in my last year of college, so I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial just because like there’s just excitement in that. And I’ve kind of dabbled into a couple other things previously, my wife, that kind of fostered that entrepreneurial spirit. So I just didn’t know what. And I think the pivotal thing that made us like push the envelope on the decision to get into painting.
It’s interesting because I didn’t really.
I didn’t want to do it.
Like to be very honest and started painting company. Yeah, there was just no like spark of passion for the specific niche.
But it was in.
The summer of that year. My girlfriend at the time, I painted her parents cottage, so it was me and my girlfriend. We painted their summer cottage and it was everything.
So that was your first.
Apprentice, it sounds like.
So starting trim doors, decks. Honestly, it’s pretty decent sized thing. And by the end of it, because they knew what I wanted to do entrepreneurial wise and just some format, but they’re like, This looks actually pretty good. Like you should go into that because we actually had an own some equipment from whenever I was working with the prior company. So from a practicality standpoint, it made sense, very little barrier of entry, very low sort of. Ust so it was actually me, my girlfriend and her parents. We kind of all came together and we just made a decision to kind of like, lean into it and then fast forward here to today. It’s I realize it’s not really about the niche of what you’re doing. It’s about the concept and the ideology of what you’re doing and use that niche as a vehicle just to play business, basically.
So I love that it’s the same thing for us at Kardinal. Like, yes, we’re a coding company. Yes, we we have grinders and we’re we’re getting after it in terms of construction or labor or things like that out in the field is hot or using equipment. But we really feel like we’re a marketing company that happens to do coatings, and that’s more of a buzz kind of phrase nowadays. But it sounds like it’s true for you to wear where it doesn’t sound like you painted or had a father that was a painter or or maybe you did. So the painting thing probably was like, which was the same for me with the coding. It was like, I mean, I had never had any home service entrepreneurs or installers or technicians or my dad was a teacher. My mom was, was, was, was in the education industry as well. I just kind of fell into it myself. So how did the the whole painting thing come out like? So it was like college thing like like how did that come about? Like how did the word painting or just anything come into your to your your your ecosystem?
That in that company, college works painting the way that they structured it, they would just go into a.
Usually at the beginning of a semester and they would just kind of like openly pitch, hey, we have the leadership opportunity for like management experience related purposes, school credit. All of the above highlights were mentioned and just fill the form, had some interest. And then I was just in their screening process and just it just happened to be painting. But I was attracted to just the concept of just like you felt the leadership, whoever was talking to me on the phone, they had a leadership aspect to them which made it seem like really attractive and appealing.
That’s pretty cool, man, for me. Like, too, like my first experience. Well, I was a commercial estimated first and then I went and I was a sales and marketing kind of manager at a, at a multimillion dollar painting company. And they had just started concrete coatings. And I remember the same thing, actually, the same feeling. I was like, I done sales my whole life, marketing, but I never had that, that like true experience of, like, leadership and, like, sense of purpose and fulfillment and. Painting and coding came along and I was like, Man, this is it, you know? And I just, you know, so I share that with you for sure. And the painting industry is is is amazing. I love the industry. I love the coding industry. I love the leadership aspect that home service is really starting to take on and just the professionalism of systems and processes, documentation, the team, culture, things like this. And I know and I know you’re huge on all of these things. So let’s go back to the beginning of Bella’s. So that’s how you came to Bella’s. Let’s let’s talk through maybe the first like I don’t know. Yea like you said there was not a huge startup cost. Could you maybe mention like what that startup cost might have been and how you guys kind of got the ball rolling in terms of marketing and kind of like in production.
So I would say equipment related purposes, we probably had like $1,000 worth. It wasn’t.
Okay. So it could have been like a sprayer. Miscellaneous ladders and stuff like that. But it was enough to like sort of basic crew. And in terms of the other costs, it’s just cost of like starting an LC, opening up certain various things, fronting some basic fees and premiums and stuff like that. But I would say anywhere from like 1000 to 2000 max in terms of like total value.
So if you guys are new or if you’re just starting out and you’re worried about anything, just know that Bella and Brian are doing, you know, on track to do multimillions here. And they started their business with 1000 bucks. 2000 bucks. So the only barrier between us and success in this home service journey is just starting. It sounds like, you know, because it doesn’t sound like it required a whole lot of finances and or tons of painting. Experience required a vision and I imagine just hit the go button, you know.
But like that’s the beautiful thing about like business in general. Like the concept, at least in my opinion. Like you grow it not with your own money, but with other people’s money. There are certain ways to finesse that and kind of like the art of it is. It’s interesting because once you realize that that’s the way you can approach things, obviously in a strategic manner, you can just expedite and compound your growth pretty quickly.
I love that. I love that Dave Ramsey might not want to hear that. No, I’m just kidding. You know, income producing debt is good debt, right? I saw that you went to the Cardinal Cardone University. So I imagine you share probably that that.
Kind of yeah, it’s I’ve.
Balanced it a little.
But yeah, it just it creates discipline basically. So if you’re smart about it, I think that’s just the biggest thing to drill across that if you’re not smart about that, you’re going to like lose your.
Shit and just.
Like be underwater very quickly. So it’s there’s some truth to that aspect for sure.
Yeah. I don’t go by Louis bags with your with your company credit card. Okay. Okay. So started Bella’s. I love the organic part about it. Could you talk through the like the first year in terms of developing the team? Did you use subcontractors? Did you use in-house? Walk us through some of those kind of first, I guess, foundational stages of the business there.
So first year, no subs because the company I came from, they they taught me how to sell it, but they didn’t teach me how to like, really.
Be on top of production and teaching.
People and all.
All of that stuff.
But I wanted to learn it.
So it was, it was very humble. Yeah. We only did 145 K in revenue. That’s like not even enough to keep a team too busy the entire time. The main focal point was like like let me just learn the operations process so I know enough to, like, teach and document and just like let that spill over to other people.
Lot of very like organic stuff. Our pricing really wasn’t that great, but that was intentional because we were just trying to dabble in certain things. We, we leaned into residential repaint because that was a familiarity, but there was a little bit of commercial repaint peppered in there.
Yeah. The second year we only did like 250. So like similar concept.
It was just kind of like, okay, now like 2 to 3 people.
The field, let’s just like perfect this model and find somebody who would lean into four.
Then everything after that we can kind of dive into more detail. But that was the first two years in a.
General simple aspect.
Well, I mean, so you went from 1/41 here and then you you almost doubled. And then year three, which is. Which is is 2022 year three for you guys.
2018 was our first year technically.
Okay. Got it.
For 2020 was second, 20, 21/3, 20, 22/4.
Wow. Incredible. That’s incredible. So you guys had a big growth period here. And so I imagine is that where the love of systems came in place, where you’re like, okay, holy moly, there’s all these employees. There’s all these things to do, all these bills to pay, all these shirts to buy and branding and whatever it is, right? Office food and equipment goes down. Maintenance systems. Is that kind of where the like or the love for systems kind of came in, in place? Or have you just always been like a systems geek?
It’s just it shows me like, that’s just how I’m wired personality wise. Like, if I don’t have a checklist or a way of operating, I’m like ignoring it. I’m like, I only want to touch her to look at or think about it. So it’s it’s a fault, but it’s a blessing. So, yeah, it just the second I got to like a nice breakpoint in our company to where like we can like focus on it. I just leaned in and just flourishing, and I think it just makes it more fun. Yeah, because it’s more efficient. You buy back your time, you learn that process. It forces you to learn more about leadership and people, and that’s where it just you just affect more people.
And there’s there’s one thing, though, is like that like that feeling that you said like like it’s an it’s ingrained in me, too. I am. It’s so true because most painting owners as as as you know, being in the PCA and being around kind of our our cultures, most I mean, most guys do it for ten, 20, 30 years and then don’t don’t realize what we’re talking about. And not that we have achieved any, any, like any, any finish line here, you know, just like we’re talking before we got live here, just remaining student leaders or student leaders. Student learners is so mission critical to this journey because. You know, there’s always something around the corner that we’ve got to learn. But most people that I’ve you know, that I’ve seen, that I’ve interviewed here or I’ve spoken to whether they’re doing six figures, seven, eight or nine figures, most of them kind of go through a period of the business where the systems is like it’s like becomes a breaking point. Like what you said, it’s a breaking point. System needs to be built, redefined, etc. But most people feel that feeling like what you said, Hey, it’s time to build systems, it’s time to kind of learn leadership or whatever. But they don’t do it for some reason, you know, and ten, 20, 30 years go by and then they, you know, they probably buy the painting system blueprint. Right. And no fault to them at all. But could you walk through that just a little bit like when you kind of felt the feeling or noticed that you needed some systems built or kind of like all those things need to be put together. How did you start that process and kind of just walk us through what that looked like for you guys?
Okay. Well, my first way of operating is like nothing else in the world. Literally mattered until I can just, like, sell enough work and generate enough revenue to make enough money to pay bills where, like the money wasn’t lingering.
Over my head.
So I got rid of that pressure. So the second you got rid of that pressure, it doesn’t matter what the revenue is because you can operate very like strict you can operate like it automatically depends. But just getting to that point of not having focus on that and then I just started to kind of like look at what I was good at and start there. So I was really good at the sales side of it. That’s what I was taught. So like I just zoned in on making the sales process. So like the way that you just start the company growth, you work a role full time, you systemize it, you document it enough to where like if you bring somebody else in, it’s easy to train and implement that and then use rinse and repeat. So I just kind of did that and then got to a certain sale point to where I didn’t have to like focus a lot of my actual time on selling because the backlog.
Was so long.
So on sales, the sales system first, which Mark Cuban says it all the time on Shark Tank and other interviews, he goes, Sales cures all. You know, whenever people would have 50 pits or whatever on Shark Tank, Mark would say, Well, just sell some more stuff. So it sounded like sales was the first thing you guys worked on 100%.
And like it does the reason that worked for us because we weren’t always efficient or as efficient on the operations side because we didn’t like perfect the operation model. So there’s a lot of being over budget, a lot of like putting the wrong people in the wrong seat and like obviously the money wasn’t a result. So the fact that we had enough work sold.
It was doing it, going about it the wrong way. But we had enough deposit money to float the company. So like financially, like we weren’t like great the first year or two, but like it just kind of bought us time. So that’s not the only way to do it. But like, I know it works.
That’s incredible. Like, I want to pause just real quick because that’s incredible. Like a lot of companies I think would still be here today and would probably be happier today if they would just sell more stuff, sell more paint and sell more, really repaint some more cabinet, painting jobs, sell more stain decking jobs. And a lot of times I think a lot of us get really in the weeds and we get and we we overcomplicate things where, oh, my gosh, like this person just quit on me or oh, my gosh, like, you know, this project went overbudget, whatever, whatever, whatever. And yes, those are all very important things to work on and and care about. But sales cures all I believe without a doubt. And I love that you opened up with that. So sales build a sales system first because that’s the lifeblood of the business, right? I mean, you can’t really figure out operational stuff or hire painters or whatever, higher admin staff if you if you don’t have work to start with. So that’s that’s that’s incredible.
Right. And like doing that, you’re essentially buying yourself time because like in one month, if you can sell 200 can one month and like that’s your max for the year, you literally just bought yourself, what, like six more, seven or seven more months of focus now on your operations team and recruiting and hiring people.
So smart man.
But yeah, that’s I mean, we still use that approach today. It’s just in different frequencies and quantities.
That’s, that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. I love that I’m a sales guy too, and marketing and I like to infuse them together. But okay, so you started with sales systems and there’s a guy named Brandon Vaughn. You might you might have heard of him, owns a company called Wise Coatings and Conquer. The guy’s amazing, taught me so much, but he always talks about maps, marketing, admin, production and sales. And so it sounds like you built the sales system first. What what kind of department or category did you guys go into next? In terms of systems.
Part. So yeah.
Sales and then admin. But that was just to gain clarity and organization on what we were doing on the sales end to make sure there was an accurate output because again, that’s what was buying us time.
Yeah. So the sales, so we make sales, they come in to admin and we have to kind of manage them a little bit and schedule and communicate with everything. So that’s that makes sense. So admin.
I’m going to interject.
If I did it today, again, I would not do it that.
Okay, maybe that’s a better way to angle this is how would you do it? So there’s there’s so many companies listening here, whether it’s on live or replay and that are probably doing between 500 to $1000000 a year. And they’ve been doing it for years, you know, and then there’s there’s another layer where they’re doing between 1,000,003 million and there’s a big chunk there as well. And obviously, 1 million to 3 million is where those systems like are. There’s a lot of bragging points. I mean, just it’s just every other week, it seems like, whereas 500 to 1000000, I think a lot of those things are just overlooked and don’t even really know what. And most of those guys just think, hey, I need I need more sales or I need better leads or whatever it is, right? Or I need better people working for me that know everything. So let’s talk to those people and that kind of category. How would how would you set up systems from from from the start if you knew what you knew now?
Okay. So you actually just touch on it. So there’s two things. One, it’s just a lead flow system in general. So there’s painting customers and there’s painters. You need to figure out lead flow systems for both. So I already kind of like went down this in like a couple of threads the other day actually. You get an Excel sheet just kind of like go through every single thing you can think of, talk to people, look through threads online and chats, find as many flow ideas for both of those. And then like I was compared to fishing, you want to toss a fishing line out into the sea? You’re just looking for nibbles and leads. And as long as you’re getting a positive ROI and it’s nibbling every now and then, as long as you’re not losing money, keep it out there. And like, your goal should be to like, pick one at a time, go down the.
And like, you just optimize that system to where like, okay, I know that this is on repeat per week or per month with a little bit of management. And then from there, once you confidently have that organized and your routine, you pick number two, number three, number four. Eventually you have 20 to 25 different things and like, you know, you don’t have as much issue whenever you have lead flow there because you can pick and pull from those two things and you have activity to focus on to get you to that breakpoint. Because if you just do those two things, nothing else really matters because leads for paying clients gets you money if you’re taking deposit money and it leads for painters, it gives you leverage to not back yourself into a corner because you’re not going to make money if you don’t have a select group of people.
And I know now the right.
People are out there. Like once you find the right person, you’re going to beat yourself up for focusing on really dumb stuff because it’s just all about your delivery, your.
What you’re offering them. Because good people are addicted to structure and like they love growth opportunity and they can sense that everything is at an energetic level. And frequency and speed with both of those, the quicker you can do it, the more you can get rolling in. You’re just going to get results much quicker. And it’s inevitable to get results.
If you do that.
Yeah, I love the good people love structure and I love how you said when you find good people, you start to realize all the things you need to work on because those people are picking up the slack and they’re. And they’re doing the things that you were probably doing. So. Yeah, I love all of that, man. Now the lead flow. I saw that post. I think that was in the in Tanner’s group and it talked about grabbing 25 different channels potentially. And I love that idea because, you know, at Service Legend, we have a lot of clients that come in and they only have one lead source. And it could be only Facebook ads, only Instagram or Tik Tok. Nowadays we do TikTok ads now that are working really well or SEO or whatever it is, and they have that one source, you know, and they’re so laser focused. I want to get the best leads on this source at this price. And I’m like, okay, it’s great, but what if Facebook has a bad week? What if your Google business profile has a bad week? You know what if radio has a bad week or a bad month or a bad buy, whatever it is, you’re screwed, basically, you know? And then and then you trying to figure out where whatever it is. So that’s what you start with is, is really identifying kind of a multichannel approach to the lead flow.
Okay. I love that. Love that. I think it’s incredible. When we started Cardinal, we started with Facebook ads and Instagram, of course, together and then Google ads. And so that’s what we did right away. It was all digital and Cardinal only really does digital outside of yard signs and wrapped vehicles. That’s it. So we do Facebook ads, Instagram, Google ads, SEO, and that’s that’s all we do. And we’re on track to do about 2.2 to 2.5 this year. Just, just cardinal alone. So I can I can I can tell you guys from from from experience, you know, really identifying multiple channels of lead flow is mission critical to to the success of your painting business. So start with lead flow and you can talk to me as if I’m a client of yours or whatever from Paint Systems Blueprint. But what would be next in terms so we’ve got lead flowed out in I’ve got my channels kind of what’s.
I would say CRM system and automation feature.
Are you a drip jobs user?
I’m not, but I like it.
So a CRM and kind of like just taking the lead from, hey, who’s Bella to schedule?
Right? Well, like, I mean, that’s actually a huge umbrella because, I mean, I was focusing more on just like, are you actually storing your data? Do you have a customer list? Like because like that’s where the compound effect comes into play, like just store everything and then like the automation and CRM features, which there’s a ton of options out there that we know that work that, that just optimizes your process for like sales and recruiting. So it’s just optimization of the first two things that you focused on at the very beginning of that.
Do both in interchangeable order because it’s kind of like a.
Process to get at least a foundation on all those. But that’s what I would do.
And then I.
Think, what else is on.
Because I don’t want to go too deep because there’s other layers on top of that. Everything’s entwined into that base system of automation.
Crm, though. Yeah.
Kind of like that front end system. It’s like, you know, it’s so true. Like at Service Legend, too. Like we have we have clients that come in and we can generate the leads and that’s no problem for us know we’re marketers and we can generate the leads. That’s no problem. But identifying from a lead, being generated to a cell being made and that’s there’s a lot of things that happen there in terms of communication, texts, emails, data storage, touch points from a customer service rep or or scheduler. And so would you say that the CRM and the automations is really attached from the customer journey perspective? So it’s lead CRM automations and then sale, you know, all the way up. They actually purchase something from us. That’s the entire customer journey or prospect journey, rather. And then and then we enter into a customer journey there. But would there be anything else there from the customer acquisition perspective there upfront?
I’m trying to think you might need to reward a little bit, but it says so you’re asking is there anything more ingrained into that process?
Yep. Yeah. Well.
You are right. The entire customer journey is outlaid into that six hour cadence and system. Yeah. So there’s different layers each like segment of the customer journey that make more sense for you to get more get more money, more conversion, have your clients happier internal teams because it’s all communication management and just execution on that end. So again, that’s why I think like leave flow, if that’s good, you just bought yourself time. So you’re thinking, what do I need to focus again to buy myself more time? Because we all know if you’re handling a lot of leads on both sources, how are you going to handle that effectively? Actually commit your word and focus under paintings and order products and all that stuff too. So just kind of like buying more, more of your time back with the crime and the automation stuff. It could be 5 hours a week, 10 hours a week, depending on your capability.
But it’s just buying your time back. What’s the next step?
Okay, so lead flow, which is kind of like marketing. So your marketing down and get your lead flow down in your CRM and kind of like front end lead lead kind of like bucket dialed in. And now that would still be kind of in we have we have marketing and we have sales and then then some admin duties there. What other systems that. We need a dial in.
Well, yeah, you’re right. The sales and the marketing, that’s like two separate topics. There’s like hiring and recruiting. And that’s a separate topic because, like, we view that as the same thing as selling a paying job to a customer. You need to like have a specific structured process of what you’re pitching to people coming into your organization.
So again, like, I mean, I guess you can dissect it further because like, we have it as like CRM and automation sales and selling systems hiring, hiring and recruiting systems. And then you go to marketing advertising systems. All of that’s kind of under the same umbrella. It’s all kind of like really mashed together. But I think it depends on.
Or what cycle you’re in because like you’re going to people are going to be really good at a couple of those things, but really bad at one of.
Those or a couple.
So usually like whatever you’re naturally good at, you can like kind of float enough time with what you’re good at and then focus on the other thing and kind of move something up ahead of the other in terms of just what or cadence you’re looking to work on.
If that makes.
Sense, where you’re at in the business, right? I mean, that’s what the biggest need is. It sounds like an amazing, amazing strategy as a consultant to write, to really identify who you’re working with. So we have marketing, we have hiring, we have kind of automations, CRM, admin, sales, of course. What other system or policy sops, things like that would be, would be. I don’t know. Mission critical for someone to dial in if they’re a painting contractor.
Production management. Yep. And then I would say I’ve.
Had to learn myself being a marketer.
Oh, my goodness. I’m like, okay, you know, guys that don’t show up, you know, you got guys that are a little bit rough around the edges and it’s challenging.
But like, I mean, yeah, I kind of shared that too because like from a sales and management perspective, that’s a different individual that you’re trying to like motivate and empower compared to like somebody drop in production, at least I think so.
Percent. And there’s a different like truss truss factor there, you know, and I think I think a lot of times we’re we’re conditioned to trust who we we feel like has been through what we’ve been through in terms of the best sales managers most likely are decent at sales and they’ve probably been through the ringer and they’ve done that. They’ve been here or whatever. Same thing with production. So like managing production, kind of building the systems there. It’s, it’s challenging. If, if, if you haven’t been a painter, it’s challenging if you haven’t been out working 15 hours a day, painting fascia, etc., talking to customers and then trying to manage that person, telling them, hey, this is how you’re going to do your job and and why this is efficient and all this stuff. Sometimes it’s hard for them to actually trust us. I know that for me to be so true.
Which that leads into the other and final area to focus on is just like leadership, leadership admin stuff. It’s because like we, we’ve had experience optimizing everything else before the leadership thing at least to a certain degree of just success. And you can’t.
Another layer unless you have a team that you can lean into at a leadership level. And that’s the operation management side that’s on the sales side, that’s on your operation, team leaders like your painters and stuff.
It’s interesting because like we ran into the same thing if you’re talking with somebody and that lead role in the field actually doing the work and they’re not on board with what you’re trying to do.
That’s not a.
Leadership person. Like they can’t spill over the energy to the next person and train and develop somebody.
From being proficient in the trade. That’s totally different than being proficient in.
Stuff like that, or like, you know what I mean? And able to kind of like work with people. That’s a very special and specific skill.
Yeah. Our, our production manager, Darren, I’m not sure if he’s listening to this, but he’s when he first started with us, he knew everything about I mean, he’s been a painter for 20 something years, been coding for five years and knows everything about one day floor coatings, house painting. I mean, just just a real legend from a technician perspective. But he’s never told anyone how to do anything that he knows how to do. He’s never taught anybody. And let me take it back. He’s he’s taught and he’s very patient. He’s taught, but he’s never taught in a structured manner, from a leadership manner that was retained to go do whatever, do whatever it is that he was teaching and but also encourage and equip others and develop others, things like this. And and and it was a massive challenge for him. And it’s and it’s been probably, I don’t know, 4 to 5 months of real, like really pouring into him to get him to a point where he was able to do it to others now. And now he’s doing it to others. And it’s it’s probably the most fulfilling thing that I’ve.
Ever that I.
Could ever do. And it it is so cool, man, because he’s, you know, he’s out there doing his thing. And just this morning, I got I got word for my mom that he we had two employees that came to her and said, hey, thank you so much for Darren. Thank you so much for allowing him to spend time with us out in the field. Thank you so much. Just down the line and yeah, it makes me emotional. Think about it because I’m like, dude, like, that is so cool. That’s that’s what it is that we’re doing here. That is what we’re about. And it’s, it’s more important. More important than the profits, you know, seeing other people develop.
Which, which is that right there? Like that’s the secret formula. Like if you can like have enough conviction and just like persistence and there’s a pattern to what you’re doing as a unit, it just bleeds into everything in the organization. And that’s the pulse of the company, which in a sense is a business. But like without that variable of like having people that just like can confidently know everything in and out and just let that bring everybody else up. You don’t have a business, you have a job. And if that is the factor, there’s obviously a ceiling in terms of how much you can do and how far you can go.
Yeah, yeah. I love it. So if you’re listening to this and you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay. I’ve been overwhelmed before. I’m overwhelmed right now. No, but all of these all these different systems that we have to build inside of our businesses are truly mission critical to find the the profits, the impact and the freedom that we’re all looking for. I mean, we all know one started a painting business or coding business to own a job. Like what you said. No one started a painting or coding business to make no money or to spend less time with their kids or to be a slave to their desk. No one started these businesses to do that right. But so often we find ourselves in these, in these, in these we’ll call them situations. So I like what you said. In a voice clip the other day, you said The art of system ization, the art of developing system. So for someone who’s listening to this, who has no clue what systems are or policies or SOPs or maybe they are, they’ve developed them, but they’re not really working, things like that. Could you talk about like what is a system?
It’s just whatever your perception is on how to do something. That’s it. So like, if you have kids, what’s your system for getting them ready for school in the morning? Like, brush your teeth, get ready. Go downstairs, let the dog out. All the above. Like, you have a system and a cadence for that. You just don’t write it down. And you don’t like like you obviously replicate it with your other kids, but like, that’s literally what it is. So like, all you’re doing with your company is building specific systems for one full time role.
Once you know that enough and you document it.
Enough and you have.
Enough avenues to teach somebody, whether it’s audio visual or hands.
You hide your system. It just depends on how quick you can actually build that.
And then, you know.
There’s other layers of system or systems or process for like actually creating a employee profile avatar of like I want this type of person with this personality type, with this proficiency like and you kind of like get them to that point whenever you have that system.
But it’s all it is.
Just pick one thing through that process. Teach somebody whatever they’re are competent enough with their proficiency on that system. You rinse and repeat.
The only variable is just time from from that point on.
Yeah. The time of like actually learning the system training now. So do you have and I’m sure everyone’s wondering, do you have your system written down on how you brush your teeth and how you get ready? Sounds like.
Don’t know, I, I do up here but like, again, I realize the people that I’m living with don’t operate that way. So, like, there’s no point in doing that. But, but, yeah, it’s, I’m very specific, very like structure with that.
I’m the same way, man. Like I’m the same way, straight up, like, and my wife’s kind of like she’s not the opposite. But there’s definitely, I think I think it’s very unique for sure. And it’s something that we should take a lot of pride to help others with. But so right down the system, it sounds like one of the biggest things, you know, most people already have a system, you know. Well, they do have a system. Right. It’s just if you wrote down the system that you’re currently using or currently doing, it probably wouldn’t look very attractive, I imagine. And that goes for me too. I mean, I could dip into that and feel like that same way. So how do people get started with the system? Like how how do they, you know, let’s say they don’t hire you yet. Like what are some tips or tricks? How they could kind of get started maybe before hiring a painting blueprint or just maybe something that could help them individually there.
Okay. So just focus on trust.
So find somebody to join your team that you trust. I don’t care who they are, what they do. If you trust them, you can trust that they’re going to help you actually hold people accountable whenever you actually have a system to implement. If that’s not there, you’re everywhere running around trying to do everything and put and do seven full time jobs. And like, you’re not going to be there for accountability every single time. Which that’s where we’ve experienced that rabbit hole, which is not fun. But yeah, if you have one person and then you know what your system is and if they’re bought into your thing and they’re cool with that, and they’re just like, okay, I’ll make sure that this is actually getting done, even if it’s like 80%. That’s because because that buys you time. But if you don’t have that, you can have all the systems in the world. No one’s going to listen to your stuff because you’ve got to be on top of people and just like, remind and be like that rock that’s always there.
Yeah, I love.
It. So it’s because either, either either you’re going to be that trust factor or that accountability factor yourself. And obviously that’s going to have some limitations to it because you’re going to be able to do whatever it is that needs to be done or develop kind of like, you know, some sort of leadership person within the company to, I guess, hold the systems accountable to the people. It sounds like. So line manager could be if you’re big enough, an operations manager or something like that it sounds like.
Yeah. I mean it doesn’t even have to be an ops manager. Like, say your company is only like one crew big. You’re you have to be at that site to introduce the S&P in the process, make sure they’re learning and they can actually do it, start to finish. But like the only way to grow is to get away from there and find another role, systemize that and hire that. So whenever you’re gone, doing that thing you can be doing on the site a little bit. But like.
Don’t have someone to go to, you’re just spinning your wheels and then you’re not. If you feel like you’re not going have enough time to build this little system, so you’ve got to go back here and going back and forth and like that’s how you don’t grow. You get frustrated, stressed, all that.
Yeah, yeah, I love that. And then if you don’t have anybody that you trust your team, you’re accountable. They’re not going to trust you. And it’s the circle of chaos, for sure.
Right. And like, that’s right. Now, that’s like always. That’s my number one priority. Every single day I’m trying to expand my list of people that I can trust and like. I just try to make every decision every day in regards to how can I build more resources for people to, like, open more time for them or the company or.
Whatever like that.
And if I’m seeing people come into the organization, I’m always like analyzing, observing, communicating with them.
Yeah. I think most people are finding more people to to not trust or or they’re finding less people to trust and closing things up versus. It sounds like you are kind of expanding that and trying to find more people that you can lean on and, you know and count on to to build with you. Right. And and then they help you kind of actually make sure that system is really followed through on and things like that. So that’s yeah, that’s awesome. Now in in Bellas, do you guys have a leadership team developed or are you developing that right now or.
How does that look? It’s developed. So it’s a combination of ownership, sales reps, top managers. We invite our crew leads that we’re calling them super career leads now because like it’s almost like a mini PM role.
Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely mapped out. We didn’t do that until the beginning of this year, but I’d say it took four solid months, five months maybe to like really just get people on board, accepting it, tweaking it and stuff like that.
And then so are you guys running on like iOS or something like that or or is it something similar or very similar?
Yeah, I’m yeah, I’m familiar with traction.
Yeah. Yeah. Okay, cool. Well, it sounds like the painting system blueprint is, is, is, is a specific type of iOS model for painters, though, or for home service business.
Owners, correct? Yeah.
Beautiful. I love it. Now, why would somebody choose painting system blueprint over over, over something so like iOS or they’re so big, they’re so well known. What’s what’s different? What’s unique?
I mean, you can correct me if I’m wrong, but like there’s a very few options that like physically, like not only collaborate with you and talk you through the structuring of that and get your feedback on it. But like we can physically like build it for you. We can have your logo, we can like use a template, modify stuff based off your feedback, put it uploaded to your portal, and then from there you just download and then you implement. So it’s not just consulting, it’s not just coaching, it’s actual creation and service based offers.
Like you can, the reason people don’t do that system is systems and processes because you’re worrying about ten other things like have to get done because you’re driving revenue and money and production and like there’s people factors.
Are very urgent. So you can still take care of that stuff while actually getting the stuff done, which is pretty interesting.
Yeah, that is cool for sure because there’s a lot of sounds like there’s a lot more resources in terms of implementation. So if you guys are interested in any sort of consulting systems, processes and help around implementing those those systems and processes, make sure you reach out to painting systems blueprint. Now, is it a what’s the URL for that, that site or how can people get in contact with you for that.
Oh, the website it’s just painting systems blueprint dot.
With your lover.
Okay. Yeah, I think I saw an old one out there. It was like a Shopify store or something like that.
Oh, that’s just. Yeah, that’s a separate link just for like visualizations of that. But everything’s tab tag to the website that I just gave you.
Okay. Okay. So if you guys want any information on that, make sure you reach out to that URL. I’m sure you can find Bryant on on Facebook as well. So we have little bit of time left. And I wanted to dig in to what’s going on now inside of Bella’s like, what are you guys working on? What’s important? What’s not important, what you guys learn from from the past couple of years now.
Okay. So, so we the point we’re at now, we’re intentionally not rushing growth. The whole idea was to like optimize each performance department and then find a leadership team that you can lean into as you actually.
Add a lot more, a lot quicker.
So like right now, we’re just at the point of like just increasing the list of people that we can trust and lean into at a leadership.
We like. We’re sectioning our company into different departments. So like we have residential division, commercial division, we have a spray division, we have like general maintenance and pressure washing, and we just focus on optimizing each of those departments for 15 to 20 operational employees in the field, 1 p.m., one sales person. And I’d say next year, now that we actually have the system and like the base of, like we’re a hybrid company, we have internal teams and sub teams, we’re very successful with the management of sub teams. So I think that’s going to push a lot of growth really quickly. But we can easily sell a million in commercial next year on top of everything we’re doing this year in residential. So I would say like. Yeah, we’re, we’re finally leaning into the other departments and then building that.
And you can probably add 500 K revenue per department per year. Very like slowly. I don’t want to say slow because like that’s all relative, but that’s very or a humble number in terms of like of of an increase.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I like the slow model, too. I mean, that’s one thing that we’ve really kind of leaned on is our first year was like 1.5 or 1.6. Forget it right now. But cash collected the first year and it was like, okay, it was like the whole second year was figuring out how to how to build the systems with production and hiring all these different things. But so I don’t know if I recommend that to everyone, but I was definitely trying to prove something for sure. But we’re doing the same thing now where it’s, you know, you live and learn and, and you try to grow healthy and where you can sustain the growth and not make any team member miserable. So how do you do that? How do you how do you grow slowly? And I think Warren Buffett says it. He said he’s a patient or he’s an aggressive patient investor or however he phrased that, it was like he’s patiently aggressive. That’s how he said it. He goes, I’m very patiently aggressive in my investments and it sounds like that’s how we need to be within our businesses. But how do you do that? How do you how do you be patient and aggressive at the same time?
Okay. So like every single day, it’s it depends on your motivator. But like.
I mean, me as an owner, I’m always on time. So like I even if we have we had a 200 if we had a 200 K Day, for example, we just source a ton of work in one day. I’m not going to sit down and just chill the next day. I’m like, shit, like, let’s do that again. So like we keep like up in the ante, increasing like the output. So we’re very aggressive every day with every target in the company. For every person, you have to hit your target plus more if you’re not growing, if you’re not, like, uncomfortable. You know, it’s just not the environment for you.
Patient in the sense of like, I don’t have to have my ego tied to a number. I don’t care what we do revenue wise. I just care that like we have, like the people that we have now are optimizing our output because my, my, my shift focused from like revenue number to like people and personnel and how they feel and how they operate and do we trust them.
So it’s it’s.
Just focusing on expanding that and then everything else kind of like falls into place. So doing it not so fast, but in a slow.
It’s all dependent on how much your team is capable of taking on and how do they handle stress. Because they’re not like you. They could be. But what’s their break point.
If they were? If everyone was like us, right? If everyone was a visionary, everyone was the entrepreneur, it’d be.
Would finish, let’s put it that way.
Right. But like, that’s the thing, though.
Good and nobody should be like you because, like, you don’t need a lot of people, like with your personality type. You need people that are just good managing people. Maybe they’re not the most organized individual, but they’re phenomenal development. So like putting them in the right seats and taking time to dissect everything along that line, that’s critical because what I found out, I found one person that can produce the output of three people and there’s not really much different besides a couple of key things. And like the second you get a taste that you’re like, okay, we can create an offer in a structure in an organization that not only gives our clients a better experience, but like, I can offer more to my team because like we’re working on a model where like our painters can make 70 a year and that’s, that’s pretty good for a painter in Pittsburgh.
But that’s only possible people that have a very high output and performance capacity.
Yeah. It’s so true. I like the you know, I like what you said to about about the team because I know, like, for me, like, I know I’m in a season. I’m like people is the currency now. And that might sound harsh or whatever, but like, it’s no longer like Ryan or Brian is. You know, I’m so good at running ads now or or I’m so good at marketing like that doesn’t really do it anymore. You know, at a certain level, it’s like not one individual skill or one individual person in general is going to be sufficient for the success or the growth of the company. And and people, I’m realizing, are the currency, you know, pouring into people, developing people, developing the systems and trainings is the currency know I’m curious, is that what you feel like for you to what the systems and what the team you’re building is is that people are the currency or systems of the currency.
Now I resent people first forever.
There’s no way around it. I’ve tried to go around it and it blows up in your face every time.
And yeah, that’s.
It’s a very interesting thing to think about because.
Gets easier if you grow bigger, if you have the right team. You get less stressed. It’s not.
It’s more support. It’s more of a network. More of a community. And that’s where special things happen. That’s where things get fun. That’s where like you can actually lean into who you want to be as a person and your team could do the same thing and you can help them achieve stuff and like.
I don’t know. It’s interesting.
I mean, you kind of build like a community, you know, within within your your city that you’re in. And what’s cool about people, too, is, is these people are just random people that you find on. Indeed and ziprecruiter and all these different places. And they have no clue who you are. You find them, you like each other and you guys work together and build a business together. I mean, it’s really that simple.
But I do want to point this out to you because, like, this is an inevitable thing, I think. I’m pretty sure it’s inevitable. As you grow company, you’re bobbing and weaving and like you’re like, okay, this week, this doesn’t work. We need to change this. Change the way we operate. We actually need to learn this different process.
And like, that’s painful.
Every time you change as uncomfortable, it’s painful. You’re going to have people that don’t want to do that. So like part of the battle is like, yeah, you’re growing and going forward and progression, but like if you have no lead flow for people coming in your organization.
Going to keep going down a little bit like you go back a rung up to. So like I’ve noticed that to be like a factor, but like if you’re ahead of the game on the flow and recruitment and you’re super specific, just latch onto the people that go along for the ride with you because they’re going to be your leadership team if they’re capable and they want it, but you will be backed into a corner. And I promise you that it’s going to be not a really fun situation. Your revenue go down, you make less money, you’ll make dumb decisions. And I think that’s yeah, that’s the biggest truth that I’ve come to learn.
That’s a fact. I’ve done it here at Cardinal where we grew super fast, first year, 1.5 second year. Like it’s just like July 29th was our was our, was our two years in business and same thing, it was like, yeah, we’re going to do call it 2.5 this year, potentially, probably minimum 2.2, but the goal is 2.5. We should be doing, in my opinion, way more than that. But it’s just because we didn’t have the systems in place, we didn’t have pain blueprint. We didn’t we didn’t have the hiring lead flow in place. And just like what you’re saying, when there was a technician that went out or an office admin, it was two months, three months to get them to get us back up to par. We weren’t hitting birdies or eagles. We’re just trying to get to par and bogey here. And but if you can but if you can keep kind of like a hit list together or build systems around these things, you can set yourself up for failure or for success because it’s not about being perfect in our businesses. Right? I mean, it’s it’s being prepared. And because no one’s perfect, no business is perfect and people are going to quit. We’re going to fire people. Things are going to go wrong. Things are going to happen. Whatever, whatever. It’s just, you know, just how life goes. But having a plan and being prepared sounds like it’s it’s key.
Right. And especially for that 1 to $3 million mark, if you don’t have a leadership team to go to, you were probably not.
Won’t say never, but probably not going to like go another level.
There is churn, there is turnover. But like that, the leadership level, it should be a lot.
Makes it possible.
Love it, man. Man, this is amazing. Like, like, literally, if you guys are listening and you guys are getting some value, please type hashtag painting legend in the comments. Whether you’re watching this on live or replay, let us know that you’re that you’re listening. And we’d love to hear some feedback from you guys. Man. I really appreciate your time here. Is there anything you can share just from a last, like, conclusion that you feel is a value for our listeners?
I would suggest have self awareness of who you.
Because that that dictates your path on your journey. So like your entrepreneurial journey or like your business journey, it’s going to look completely different than mine, completely different than Ryan’s. And it’s unique to you because you have certain strengths, you have certain weaknesses, you communicate with people differently, which dictates who can actually bring in your organization. You empower them in a certain way. So it’s don’t judge yourself because you’re going to like shit the bed every other week, probably for a while until it gets to a certain like very structured point. But it’s a part of the process and the, the humility aspect of just like wanting to learn everything all the time very quickly, that never really goes away.
The environment’s always changing and you change and you grow and your team grows. So this entire thing is a huge variable output that’s always being managed in like condition. So like you need to manage condition who you are in order to like actually like project that onto other people in a positive way.
Dude, I love that. And so I, I’ll add this to that as well as my wife and I. So my wife Kirsten loves that one dog trainer, which is name.
Cesar. So he has this thing where he says better human, better dog, you know, and same concept, right? Better leader, better employee, better leader, better company, you know, better. So I love that you mentioned that in conclusion here that self-awareness is huge, knowing who you are and things like this. And because, like Cesar says, right, better human, better dog. So the better that we become at our systems, at our team and our self awareness, the better our team is going to be. Because whether we realize it or not or whether we like it or not, people are following us. We are we are the leader. And so what we say, what we do and how we act and things like this extreme and they matter, you know, they’re mission critical. Man, I really appreciate you being here on the podcast. If you guys want to know more about what Brian’s doing at all, reach out to him on Facebook, on Instagram, visit painter systems, blueprint, on online and outside of that, we’ll see you guys next week. Have a great weekend. Talk to you guys later.