The first day of spring is about three weeks away.  For many painting contractors, this is when the work begins to pick up again, as the weather starts to cooperate more.  The phone starts ringing more often.  Empty calendars begin to fill up, and soon you’ll be looking for a place to schedule customers.

This is when the money is made.  But unfortunately, it’s also when it’s destroyed.

Once your calendar starts to fill up, you aren’t going to have time to figure out how to maximize your revenue.  Which types of customers are top priority?  Which ones will you politely tell you aren’t able to complete their small job? If your schedule is light for a few more weeks, this is the perfect time to answer these questions.

Most importantly, how are you going to respond to all of them (including the ones you can’t help) in a reasonable amount of time?  This is important; never responding to a quote request makes some people angry, and some choose to take it out on your reputation by trashing you online.

What often ends up happening is that you make on-the-spot decisions, angering high-value customers, prioritizing low-profit work, and scheduling right through your weekend breaks.

Don’t get stuck in this trap!  Here are a few tips to maximize the value of peak season.

Use an alternative to ‘no’.  Even when your schedule is packed, many people feel insulted when you refuse to take their business.  Instead of telling them you’re unavailable, tell them you wish you could help but are booked for the next few weeks. Offer them a time a few weeks out.  The odds are high that they’ll call someone else instead – but at least they made the choice.  And if they do decide to take you up on your offer, they’re probably not going to be a very demanding customer.

Prioritize referrers – and referrals.  If someone calls and mentions they heard about you from a friend or family member, that person becomes a priority.  If the referral source hears that you weren’t able to help them, they’ll probably stop referring business to you.  That might not sting in the summer, but the next time you’re looking for jobs to fill up your calendar, you’ll probably regret not finding some way to work that referred customer into your schedule.

Don’t lose focus on what matters.  When jobs are stacked up one after another, it’s easy get overwhelmed and focus on getting them knocked out.  But the 15 minutes you spend with a customer after a job making sure they’re satisfied might be more important than the 20 hours you spent on the job itself.  Don’t destroy a potential referral source to save 15 minutes of customer service work!

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your painting business be more successful, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at