If you own a painting business, you know better than anyone that one of the hardest times to be a painting contractor is winter. If the word makes you shiver, it probably isn’t because it gets cold in December, but because most of your painting leads indeed get cold during that period.  

If you’re thinking of starting a painting business in the off-season, you shouldn’t be discouraged. If you follow our tips, it might even be the smarter way to enter your local market and earn customers’ trust while other painting contractors are inactive.

So, what can you do? We’ll find out in today’s small business tips!

Spoiler: It has to do with the Internet. 

1. Increase Your Visibility

There’s no way to sugarcoat this, it is 2020, and the reality of the world we live in is that having an online presence is a must. Of course, people still read the newspaper occasionally, but it has become incredibly easy to look up, research, and order virtually any type of product and service. You can bet that is how they will be finding their next interior painter. 

Have you ever Googled your painting business? If it were your personal name and there were no search results, that would be great, your private info is not online, BUT if you type in your business info and your search comes up empty, you have a problem. 

Having no results is almost the same as getting results after page 2 and 3 because 85% of users won’t go past the first page of Google search results. 

What this means is, as a painting business owner, you are required to excel at something with which many in your profession still aren’t familiar. 

Do you have a company profile on Google My Business?

Is the content of your website rich in relevant keywords?

Do you even know what keywords are?

What about your social media posts?

Your online presence depends on these and many other similar questions. 

Having a website doesn’t mean people will find you online. That takes time and serious effort on your part. You need to understand things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), keyword relevancy, PPC (pay per click ads), and more. 

If you have the budget, there are companies out there that offer affordable SEO services for small business owners. That way, you won’t have to try and learn everything overnight, but rather oversee the process and contribute to the progress. 

2. Revisit Your Customer List

One thing that most painters often neglect is their past customers. If you’re used to getting a call, doing the job, and forgetting that client ever existed, you need to think again. 

Let’s call your client Amy. What if you painted Amy’s living room 5 months ago, and now she’s ready to have her bedroom or kitchen painted too? She won’t remember a painter who didn’t stay in touch or make an effort to leave some sort of reminder. 

You can easily fix that mistake. Some ideas:

  • Monthly newsletters (both online through email and offline by snail mail)
  • Relevant posts on your social media (info about special offers, seasonal deals, company news, etc.)
  • Physical reminders — always leave a flyer and/or a business card when parting with a client. Also, partner with local stores and negotiate to leave some flyers or other marketing materials at the counter. You can put up posters, too.

3. Get Creative and Diversify

This could seem like a bit of a stretch, but what if your painters can do more than painting? What if they can fix basic things around the house? Perhaps they love installing Christmas lights? Now would be the perfect time to get to know them better and see if there’s potential to branch out and expand your offering during the winter season. 

Instead of laying off your people come November and trying to hire them again the following March, wouldn’t it make more sense to use their skills and keep them busy all year round? It will bring you profits, and it will show great small business management on your part. When you show your staff you’re working to keep them in your team, they will appreciate it. A motivated workforce is a hardworking one. Never forget that.

4. Start Right Now

No matter if you are reading this in the summer or spring or winter or fall, the only right time to start preparing for getting painting leads in the winter is now. You can speed up the process by using small business SEO services and help with managing your social media profiles. Either way, those things need to start happening today. 

Are you still wondering how to get painting leads in the winter season or whether starting a painting business in the colder months is worth it? In our follow-up blog, we go further into detail with specific ideas you can freely borrow to get more painting leads this winter. Take a look!