Here at CraftJack, we want to see our pros succeed. We believe that there are limitless possibilities to reach your business goals. So when we hear of one of our members really going the distance with their business, we have to share.
Seal Pro Painting is a business that has really put no limits to its success. They have a unique focus on customer service and employee appreciation that really sets them apart. We chatted with Branden Sewell, owner of Seal Pro Painting, to hear more about their business. Read about how they’ve partnered with CraftJack on their journey to success.
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CraftJack: Tell me about your business and what you provide your customers?
Seal Pro Painting: Seal Pro Painting is a painting company located in Central Florida. We specialize in exterior and interior residential repaints. We provide superior workmanship and professionalism from the first phone call until the final touches of the completed job.
CJ: What are your business goals for the year, how do you hope to grow?
Seal Pro Painting: Our business goals are to grow our revenue by about 25% this year. We aim to be at a 30-50% profit margin. We plan to build our retained earnings with 3-6 months operating expenses. Then we plan to purchase a new van that is fully equipped. Once we have a new van, we will work towards hiring 2-3 new employees. Once that van is up and running, we will start to look for our first brick and mortar location to operate from.
CJ: What has helped make you successful?
Seal Pro Painting: Our success comes from our values. Our values drive everything from how we handle marketing & advertising, the first phone call, estimates, scheduling, production, and job follow-up/customer retention. We truly seek to bring a professional experience like no other painting company in our area offers. We go above and beyond to continually learn, grow, and innovate. Our desire to be the best keeps us on edge. We are continually looking for ways to improve and better serve our customers.
CJ: How have you used CraftJack to grow your business?
Seal Pro Painting: One thing we are adamant about is knowing our number, analyzing the data, and taking that information, and making wise choices with our marketing dollars. Last year, we used multiple lead generation companies. We tracked the performance and found that CraftJack was performing best for us out of all our digital marketing strategies. CraftJack is also the best for being fair to us with lead credits for bad leads. For that reason, we are exclusively using CraftJack this year. We are increasing our investment in CraftJack through this year. We have continued to see great success with our CraftJack leads.
CraftJack: What about your work do you find challenging? How do you overcome it?
Seal Pro Painting: I would say the most challenging thing for me is understanding customers’ expectations. One customer might not want the highest quality, but they would prefer for us to cut corners and get the price down. Other customers want the absolute best and are willing to pay for it. What we have done to overcome that challenge is raise our prices, realize everyone isn’t our ideal customer, and focus on being the highest quality at a higher price point. We don’t focus on selling on price…we have decided to sell based on value. Since doing this, we have seen our profit margins go up, and we are doing the work that best suits us.
CJ: Our theme this year is “No Limits.” What does that mean to you in terms of your business goals?
Seal Pro Painting: No limits for me is realizing that I don’t have to let the stereotypes about the trades dictate how I choose to run my company. You always hear things like, “all trades guys are drug users, alcohol drinkers, smokers, and ex-convicts,” or “you can’t find good help. And there are no reliable people.” I choose to believe we have a leadership deficit. There are quality helpers and employees out there; we just have to do a better job of attracting them, training them, and giving them greater opportunity/career advancement. That requires better leadership, better planning, and action! I plan to build the best painting company in Central Florida.
“No Limits” means building the best team around. “No Limits” mean having a brick-and-mortar location to operate from by the end of 2021. “No Limits” means innovating and becoming the leader in our industry.
CJ: You mentioned that you are looking for new ways to better serve your customers. Do you have any customer service tips you can share that have worked for you?
Seal Pro Painting: My values stem from my faith. That drives my desire to serve my customers. For me, that means going the extra mile. That means showing that we care about our customers on a greater level than just making money doing their job. We have bought flowers and cards for customers who have a sick loved one, we have bought gift cards for our customer-favorite coffee, we have bought registry items for expecting moms and dads, and we have bought gifts/toys for their kids. Our values drive us to offer premium customer service. We want our customers to have a great experience from the first phone call all the way to the finished job.
Having excellent systems in place helps us to serve our customers well. That means investing in good software to manage your business. We have chosen Jobber to help us serve our customers well.
I have someone on the phones full time so customers can always reach us during operating hours. When they reach us, they will speak with Jorden, who is very professional, knowledgeable, and kind. She will answer all their questions and get them scheduled for their estimates.
Our software enables us to send booking confirmations, reminders of appointments and let our customers know we are on our way by the simple push of a button. We have clean, professional quotes that can be sent by email or text. We now offer customer financing that is quick and simple to apply right from their electronic quote. Approval and payment are as simple as a click of a button. Once they approve, we get a notification, and we can easily follow up with them to schedule their job. Jobber helps us to always stay on top of communication and to be highly organized in our operations.
We follow this up by always showing up when we say we will. We will take care of little extra things that we see need to be done just because we can, and we want our customers to be surprised by our generosity and willingness to go the extra mile. We also offer to buy them coffee when we are stopping to get some for ourselves, or maybe offer to buy them lunch if we are going out for a lunch break. Every customer also gets a personal thank you card at the end of their job. We have plans to incorporate many other ways to serve our customers and to be super generous toward our valued customers.
CJ: What advice do you have for others?
Seal Pro Painting: As the business owner giving advice to other business owners, I would recommend four things to become successful in business. Here they are:
- Always be learning. Never assume you know it all in your industry. Never assume you have arrived or that you are the best. When you think you arrived, then someone else will pass you up. Always learn. Always grow. Read books, listen to podcasts, and seek out mentors.
- Create systems. Great businesses are built on great systems. Without great systems, businesses fail. The systems must be simple, efficient, and scalable. Oh! And know your numbers!
- Build a team that knows you care. You work [with tips] number 1 and number 2 so you can serve your team. You can’t give to your team what you don’t have. That’s why you constantly learn. Then your systems allow your team to win! They want to win, but you have to set them up for success. They need clear KPIs, and they should not have to guess what winning looks like. Your team will know you care when you pour everything out for them to be successful. Leaders who don’t learn and don’t build great systems can’t lead their teams well.
- Realize it’s bigger than you, and you can’t do it all. One of the most common things I see in the trades is owners who think that no one else can do what they do. That’s why they don’t learn; they think they already know everything. They don’t create systems because they function in their own distinction and don’t plan to delegate. They don’t have a team because they think no one can do anything as well as they can. These falsehoods keep guys prisoner to their business, and really all they have is a job. Humility is necessary to build something bigger than you. You have to realize others can win too. When you help them win, then you can win bigger!