I've been reading a lot lately about starting where you are. Working with your current reality.
If you have been running a painting business for a while and are looking for new opportunities, where should we first look?
Sometimes we need a change. 'A change is as good as a rest', goes the saying. Perhaps our personality thrives on novelty and challenge. Maybe we are stuck in a rut. Or, our circumstances demand that we force a change.
Change can be stressful. Tim Ferris nicely summarized our intrinsic fear of change - 'most people choose unhappiness over uncertainty'.
So what is one effective way to incorporate changes while working with what we currently have?
One way is to take inventory of our resources at hand and then look to the left, look to the right, and notice where adjacent opportunities may lie.
The main advantage is that we do not need new customers! This makes for a quicker transition, better service to our clients.
Notice what services and products your clients are purchasing before, and after, they hire you. Are there services that they are not aware of that you could introduce them too? Which ones are you already familiar with that you could easily incorporate into your current situation?
Examples of services that are upstream of painting would be:
- interior decorating & colour consultations
- tear-outs and junk removal
- project management
- drywall repairs
Examples of downstream services are:
- window cleaning
- blinds installation
- post-construction cleaning
- decorative wall finishes (wallpaper, plaster, wallboard, etc)
- sealing products
- trim installation
- carpet cleaning
- flooring installs or re-finishing
- furniture restoration
Even if you can't learn all these new skills yourself, think about how you can onboard talented people as you need them. This will help you grow your business and network at the same time. Finding new ways to solve problems for your customers can lead to better service, more referrals, more interesting work, new opportunities and higher profits!