The #1 Reason Painting Contractors Are Rarely Rich

The #1 Reason Painting Contractors Are Rarely Rich

I’d like to challenge you to do something if you dare…

Notice: You must emotionally detach yourself from your business and your business from your personal identity to do this…

The next time you are at the paint store, look around. What do you see?

Rolls Royce’s? BMW’s? Mercedes?

Nope… Just a bunch of dudes in tattered clothes and old trucks and vans.


Because most painters barely make a living – even “established owners” often make well under $100,000 a year. Frankly, it’s not worth the trouble for that take-home pay.

You’d be better off getting a job and letting someone else deal with the risk and headaches.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I made a lot of money in the painting business. Still do.

I know a TON of really successful business owners who are cash-flowing quite well and living a balanced lifestyle with room for friends, family, and leisure…

But I assure you – they are the exception of exceptions. Not the rule.

Why is this? Simple…

While you are still at the paint store, ask the next owner you meet: “Hey John, when’s the last time you worked on improving the business-end of your business? Maybe took a course, read a book, or engaged a mentor about sales, marketing or management?”

Ask that question of 100 owners… I’ll bet only 98 have done anything in the last 12 months – maybe never.

The #1 reason painters are rarely rich is this: They never take the time to become a “serous student” of the “business-end” of their painting business. Painting business management is something they simply aren’t interested in. They are stuck in the technician’s mindset.

They mistakenly believe that their technical skills and craftsmanship will make them wealthy… it’s hogwash peddled by people who would rather feel better about their station in life than reach for their dreams through improvement.

Question: Are you making this same poverty-inducing mistake?

If you are, I’d like you to do two things:

1 – Leave a comment below this blog and let’s talk. No more “suffering in silence” hoping that the next year will magically get better… because it hasn’t worked yet.

2 – Register for the 2019 Painting Profits Summit. It’s the place where the nation’s most “serious students” of painting profits and wealth gather each year. Click here to register.

Now, have a fantastic day!

Let it be the day you decide to start laboring in a different way – a way that will lead to your business working for you… instead of the other way around.

Brandon Lewis
Founder, The Academy for Professional Painting Contractors
Publisher, Painter’s Weekly

20 Responses

  1. Matthew Holmes says:

    this sound so convincing. I really want to register for the 2019 Painting Profits Summit, but at this time I can’t afford to come and participate. i’m praying that God will allow me to come and fellowship. I have the mindset to learn your system and strategies.

  2. Brandon Lewis says:

    We hope you can make it! It’s the must-attend annual conference for painting contractors who are focused on business growth!

  3. Jerome Brooks says:

    Will this be recorded and sold ?

  4. Todd says:

    I understand education is the key part I’m missing but it’s not going to be in school it USA mentor or people that have made it

  5. Todd says:

    I understand education is the key part I’m missing but it’s not going to be in school it USA mentor or people that have made it. I’m hopeful to make it to the 2019 conference

  6. Brandon Lewis says:

    No, I am sorry.

  7. Ron Romero says:

    Awesome article better. Please view my website at Ron Romero and Son Obviously as a young man in private elementary school and high school I did not plan on being a painting contractor. My father started with Marilyn sons in 1971 and I was a natural fit for working outside of the box. There’s no way I could be contained in a office building regardless of the pay. 18 residential homes in Orange in LA County‘s for the last 30 years. I am 55 have raised two beautiful children in private schools in gated communities with my wife home. I agree the contractors that I touch base with do not spend time marketing their trade. I have had to Porsche is. A Jagwire for my wife and my son a BMW at 16 years old. But it has been very stressful to continue to create work. It’s that simple. Homeowners today are basically paying off their kids college debt or millennials still living in their parents home until they’re 40 years old. The key to my success is simple I answer the telephone on the first ring I scheduled the appointment ASAP. And then I get my clients options based on their value of what they would like to do. My primary avenue of leads his been of course referrals but also a strong presence in the community newspapers primarily the Orange County register, San Gabriel tribune. Daily breeze. Unfortunately the Internet is filled with lead providing generating companies. Who are not professional contractors they are sending these helpless homeowners out to pagers who cannot find work themselves. Again the key to my success his band to stay aggressive and in spite of the success stay super super hungry. In the great recession of 2009 I was positioned in three stocks that would’ve made me a multimillionaire had I not sold early in 2010. As a result I have to keep painting home is now probably until my retirement. I could have done many things different but I have no regrets. Having my wife work as a nurse, putting my children in private I’m sorry public schools . Would have made a difference of $3 million over the last 20 years. This is the life. It is my life. I do not like being a painting contractor I love the element of providing an incredible job for my beautiful customers and homeowners. Please check my website I would love to speak with someone on your side regarding 2019 marketing plans.

  8. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks for your comments Ron! Will Have Jennifer reach out to you about your painting business on Wednesday!

  9. LEN BROWN says:

    I sent myself to high school & college doing painting, ,sheet rock repair and roofing. It was hit or miss but the reason I succeeded was it was a matter of survival. I always set side 10% of my profits to buy books ,tapes and seminars to help me improve my business. I am semi-retired now but had my first 3 million dollar year in 1975. If I was starting now, it would be a lot easier because of you tube and organizations like yours.

  10. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thank you Len! You are very kind!

  11. Wakefield says:

    This is very true! As someone from the painting industry as well, you can’t just rely solely on skills, you have to find ways to advertise your skills. If you want to stay in the game, you have to continuously learn to upgrade, not to mention you have to keep up with the competition too. Thanks for sharing your insights and hope you can post related topics.

  12. David Freid says:

    Great Article… Makes me think… Our painters can tell you that we are “painting experts”, our clients can too… But, if you want to go beyond that, you simply must market yourself.

  13. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks David!!! Growing a painting business takes a lot more than just “doing good work!” Let us know if we can ever help you!

  14. Brandon Lewis says:

    Marketing a painting business is tough! Anything we can do to help the industry is out aim!

  15. Stephen Gliksman says:

    But this is true in any profession. 99% of all Gardeners, plumbers, musicians, actors and businessmen people barely make it. Only the top percent makes it to the top
    Most people cannot be rich, only a small percentage. But we can all be happy and enjoy our life no matter how much money we have. Being rich doesn’t necessarily mean happiness, because happiness comes from within

  16. Brandon Lewis says:

    I agree Stephen! Happiness comes from within – or even an understanding of He who created us and His love for us.

    However, I urge our painting contractors to consider this: If you are going to work 40-50 hours per week in your business, there is no reason to earn 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 what you could otherwise generate. It’s senseless. Instead, I encourage painters to develop the marketing, management and sales skills necessary to maximize income, minimize hours worked and build sell-able equity in their painting business.

    If we can ever help you grow your painting business profitably, please reach out.

  17. Josh says:

    We have recently started our new painting service company and came across this article.
    I really appreciate you taking the time to educate us on this. I’ve really focused on our painting skill being the forefront for our business, but I haven’t spent a ton of time learning about how to scale and grow the business. Thanks for the resources in your article! I hope to become one of those rich painters!
    Painting services are by no means an exciting topic to write about, but you did a great job at keeping it enticing and informative. If you wanna check out our new website and give me any tips, that would be great. Thanks a ton

  18. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks for the kind words Josh. We are always trying to help painters grow their business!

  19. Matt Rathgeb says:

    Great article !! Painters academy was huge for me and I may come to the Summit this year . Thanks for all your help , Brandon ! I might be calling you soon shortly as we are experiencing growth ( and some growing pains )
    Matt Rathgeb

  20. Brandon Lewis says:

    High praise from a very successful painting contractor! Miss you bud and hope to see you soon!

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Office Admin
Office Admin
13:36 14 Sep 18
Been working with this marketing coach for 3+ years and seen phenomenal results. This Painting business coach has helped me keep painters in Missouri busy through the slow winter season and more than tripled our painting company's size. Don't settle for online painting leads that go nowhere. If you are a painting contractor who wants to leave more for your family than a garage full of used paint and some tools for a garage sale after you are gone, I recommend you contact Brandon ASAP. When it comes to help with marketing for painting companies, this is by far the best investment I have made in my painting more
Stephen Blauert
Stephen Blauert
13:21 13 Sep 18
Brandon definitely does A+ work! We met Brandon at a conference where he held a workshop on marketing for painting companies. We signed up for his coaching program on the spot, and he has helped us steer our company out of low-profit new construction to higher-profit repaint and residential work. We have always struggled to generate commercial painting leads, and Brandon has made that process simple and streamlined for us. We wholeheartedly recommend Brandon and his team. If you are a painting contractor you NEED to check out what he more
Brent Coffy
Brent Coffy
01:41 07 Sep 18
Amazing organization that is quickly moving to the forefront of the painting industry! Brandon KNOWS his stuff. He is innovative, yet has a keen knack for combining every form of marketing and sales techniques. He truly understands the power of utilizing everything from the latest in social media marketing, to video, to "old school" mail. Speaking of mail.... he will "read yours" if you give him 5! But, he will also quickly set you on a path that takes you from struggling in your business - toward success!read more
Jonathan Webb
Jonathan Webb
01:15 17 Sep 18
The APPC is a fantastic source of information, tactics, techniques, and procedures that will prove invaluable to any paint company owner who is interested in growing his business and increasing profitability. I highly recommend Brandon's programs, and as someone who has attended his invaluable presentations on marketing and recruiting, as well as his education about the "business end" of paint company ownership, I can give my highest and unconditional recommendation for these business development services. There is no better source of paint-company specific business information out more
Jeff Nestle
Jeff Nestle
23:00 07 Sep 18
The materials for the Academy for professional painters is top notch. I have found this information to be helpful for anyone in the painting industry. If your brand new to the business you will be miles ahead if you follow the program and instructions as given. As a seasoned painting contractor with over 40 years experience I have found that Brandon's information has been helpful and many ways and I would recommend to anyone looking to improve the quality of work and the bottom line to definitely be part of the program. J A Nestle with champion decor and Coatings Phoenix AZread more
Tim Perryman
Tim Perryman
17:50 22 Sep 18
We are a Platinum member with the APP. Brandon Lewis is an outstanding coach! I have ran a painting business for more than 25 years and I wish I had a resource like this when I first got started. He has changed my view and given me the tools to improve two key areas of our business - How to implement a professional sales process and how to recruit quality painters. We attended the professional painting summit last January in Florida. We were surrounded by painting contractors willing to share proven solutions to just about every problem painting contractors will face in their businesses. I'm looking forward to the one In Tennessee this coming January! Whether you are just getting started or have been running a large painting business for years, I would highly recommend you look into how the APP can help you fix those nagging problems we all face.Keep up the good work Brandon!read more
All-Pro Home Services
All-Pro Home Services
22:39 21 Sep 18
Brandon Lewis has great information and techniques for professional painters or contractors such as myself. I started in the paint business as a painter and two years later started working for myself. I knew how to paint but I have learned everything about sales business and marketing along the way. And customer service. Listening to Brandon Lewis really helped me to be a better business owner. Without sales and marketing you have no business. I was a painter and now I feel like I am much more of a business owner and a business professional. Thank you Brandon Lewis for your great work. And the academy for professional painting more
Daniel Woodford
Daniel Woodford
02:29 20 Sep 18
Hi Dan here, Have a Painting business in the North East. I have been working with Brandon for 2 1/2 years. Sales were at 200k when I started and up to 1.3M at this point while tripling my bottom line. He's made me a believer. Results do speak. Highly recommend you call him if you have a Painting business that hasn't been paying you what you deserve and are ready to turn things around!read more
runner 96
runner 96
01:01 13 Sep 18
Brandon has lead us to some GREAT processes for getting into the commercial world as well as staying in touch with past clients. Our business has steady grown 25-25% each year since working with more
Toliver Painting
Toliver Painting
18:45 19 Oct 18
Been working with this marketing coach for 3+ years and seen phenomenal results. This Painting business coach has helped me keep painters in Missouri busy through the slow winter season and more than tripled our painting company's size. Don't settle for online painting leads that go nowhere. If you are a painting contractor who wants to leave more for your family than a garage full of used paint and some tools for a garage sale after you are gone, I recommend you contact Brandon ASAP. When it comes to help with marketing for painting companies, this is by far the best investment I have made in my painting more
Matthew Rathgeb
Matthew Rathgeb
01:38 14 Sep 18
I had contacted the APP sometime in April of 2018. After 7 years in business I got tired of always running into the same issues in my painting business so I was looking for a “coach” of sorts to get some systems in place to promote growth for my business . After a lot of research I decided to join the APP and I am glad I did !!!! I can’t even put into words how helpful Brandon has been !! My business has increased 35% in the last 5 months and implementing his systems has made everything go much smoother . Especially the sales process !! I have never been so confident selling paint jobs in my life . Looking forward to continued growth and I would highly recommended the APP to any painting contractor !!read more
Art Snarzyk
Art Snarzyk
19:17 23 Aug 19
I've had the pleasure of attending APPC conferences and events. The contractors in attendance are high-caliber people and strong business owners willing to hone their skills further. Brandon and his team have effective processes and strategies for their members. His tenacity and directness is only matched by is truly apparent desire to help people succeed in business so they can be happy in life.As someone who attends many contractor events nationwide, I think the most compelling thing about APPC is that I have not met many of these members in various other places I've visited......APPC's credibility speaks for itself when one recognizes that a strategic consulting and marketing company is actually effective at attracting members that other organizations do not / cannot.Keep up the great services you provide our industry!read more
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