American Painting Contractor Magazine

APCJanFeb2014

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14 Januar y/Februar y 2014 • APC This From the Field column has also contributed a new word to the paint con- tracting lexicon, perhaps an anthem of our generation of paint contractors: Des- permators, which I was so passionate about that I wrote two versions of it in different years. The Despermator columns have generated by far the most response of anything I have written. This is all archived, fortunately, at APC's own www.paintmag.com. We all know that in 2014, there will still be a race to the bottom, for those painters who are willing to go lower and lower on prices. Apparently, everyone can see what they are doing except them. But that is usually how slippery slopes work. Every- one sees it coming except the ones who end up on it. THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME Not a whole lot has changed out on the street for paint contractors. Same challenges, same grind. And that is how I know that I still love it. If you are hav- ing your doubts, check your first thoughts when the alarm goes off in the morning. We all remember the 10 years from about '96 to '06. Some of us were success- ful during those years when it was hard NOT to be successful. If we had known any better, we could have likely made enough during that decade to be able to retire by the time it all fell apart. We didn't know better then, but if you are still reading, I bet you do now. And that is the beauty. Because, you see, the minute the econo- my goes back to what it was—don't worry, it NEVER will—there will be legions of lowballers, hacks, trunk slam- mers and despermators popping up out of shallow graves with dusty 90-inch rollers and 4-foot step ladders, ready to go. No one needs that – especially those who use the services of painters. Con- sumers are confused enough about us already. Surviving this roller coaster for the past seven years gives us the authority to say with confidence in 2014 that it actually takes a business with a plan to make it in paint contracting these days. I have no problem with saying I believe that is a good thing. Survival of the fittest is still OK by me. It's better for us and for our future if painting continues to shed its image of being something that just about anyone can go into business and be successful at. APC Scott Burt is the president of Topcoat Fin- ishes Inc., in Jericho, Vt. He enjoys commu- nicating with contractors and manufactur- ers at www.topcoatreview.com. From the Field See Advertiser Index on Page 38

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