American Painting Contractor Magazine

APCApril16

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AMERICAN PAINTING CONTRACTOR • April 2016 13 • Old, weathered, deteriorating pres- sure-treated surfaces that need to be functional. The only real category in-between is synthetic decks that customers are look- ing to have pressure washed because of algae or mildew formation on the sur- faces. However, there are even deck paint products designed to paint synthetics these days, and maintenance of aging synthetic decks can be some high-mar- gin recurring work that keeps you in front of regular customers who have other needs. So, any category of "entry-level" exteri- or work can be a valuable gateway to building new long-term relationships with customers. If your company is already set up with the gear, the crew and appropriate insurances, all you really need to do is make sure that you understand the best product and application process- es for this type of work. To make the proposition even better, exterior work is a great opportunity to train employees on safety and application skills. My company has taught many painters over the years about proper brush techniques for cutting and spread- ing material on exterior surfaces. The work is generally not as difficult as interi- or painting and is a great way for painters to "get some miles" on the brush to refine those skills and grow with your company into deeper relationships with your cus- tomers. Remember, the customer you have is much easier to market to than the cus- tomer who has not heard of you yet, so educate new customers about the variety of ways in which you can work with them. Whatever your current size and compa- ny setup, keep in mind that ponying up with what it takes for exterior services can be a good ticket to locking your company as a long-term, full-service solution for your customers. You never want to be in the position of saying, "No, sorry, we don't do that." As soon as customers start look-ing elsewhere, they have stopped looking at you. APC Scott Burt is president of Topcoat Finishes Inc. of Jericho, Vermont. He enjoys commu- nicating with contractors and manufacturers at www.topcoatreview.com. " " Any category of "entry-level" exterior work can be a valuable gateway to building new long-term relationships with customers. From the Field

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