**Make the transition from “Spending” to “Investing”**
Going from employee to employer, you’re going to have to make this adjustment QUICK. As a business owner, especially during your startup phase, you will be spending on marketing (leads, website, other important resources), employees, materials (equiptment) and legal fees. (LLC, etc.) A good amount to have saved up before you start a business is $5,000.00 (Assuming you are not needing a brick & mortar location). It’s important to begin thinking of the money you are spending as an investment, as opposed to an expense. I know for me, I was weary at first – money was going out a lot faster than it was coming in, so I had to sit back, and realize that everything I had invested in was sure to make my business better.
Google Sheets, Excel, a notepad. I would hope that you would go with the former. Either way, it’s important to track everything. I’ll give you an example of some of the things I track in my painting business:
*Basic Info*: Customer name, email, phone number, address, date of first conversation, date of project
*Lead info*: Lead resource, lead cost, lead status (lead / opportunity / client)
*Job info*: Estimate amount, contracted amount, deposit received, amount owed, paint color, paint amount, paint cost, paint percentage, employee labor cost, employee labor percentage, subcontractor labor cost, total labor percentage, individual job margin, etc.
You get the idea. This could be done simply with a spreadsheet and could save you tremendous headache and time. (If you are not wanting to purchase a CRM) Track everything, get in the habit of tracking all of your spending in the beginning so you can forecast future spending to cut costs where necessary and limit waste. It’s the only way for you to truly see what’s working and what isn’t.
**Focus on building your team first, not profit**
The hardest factor I’ve noticed in the service industry is that people have a hard time finding quality help. This is a matter of opinion because I’ve had no problem finding quality help – if you treat your employees right, they’ll stay. That includes paying them fair, and treating them how you would want to be treated. Making sure *they* have enough work should be your priority, you want to build your team to the point you can remove yourself from the daily operations. In my case it was having to paint. My only goal was to give the two guys that started with me 30+ hour weeks. This was easy, I only needed to find two jobs a week. I wasn’t all that concerned about making a profit, I wanted to build trust and loyalty with the painters that had decided to paint for me. They knew they could count on me to find them work every single week. That’s how you build a successful team – it starts with trust.
I hope this helps you with your entrepreneurial journey. If you have anything to add to this, please share! I appreciate the feedback on some of my recent posts, and because of this I have decided to start a blog outlining some of my experiences in the service-industry and business in general. Your feedback is much appreciated! Also checkout r/paintingbusiness if you are interested in the painting business in general.
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