April 9, 2021

045: What Can a Former Painting Contractor Teach You to Improve Your Business? with Torlando Hakes

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If you think the contracting world is full of misfits and hacks just trying to take your money, you would be very wrong. Yes, those misfits and hacks do exist, unfortunately, but the majority are smart, competent, successful small business owners that know how to run teams and schedules and everything else you need to master to have a successful enterprise.

And my latest guest on Marketing and Sales, Over Cocktails, TORLANDO HAKES, is a great example of the successful contractor we all could emulate, no matter what business we run.

A former very successful painting company owner, now in the corporate world, Torlando talks about how he has used many of the skills he learned running his own contracting business, including the SCRUM Method, which focuses on three very specific questions that you need to ask everyone in your company, every morning.

In this highly informative episode, Torlando talks about:
●       How to gain leverage over your competition by selling your expertise.
●       Why podcast marketing is so effective in the trade industries.
●       Detailing all of the steps of a job can help you pinpoint exactly where you’re losing time and money.
●       How Torlando figured out how to communicate his processes successfully to his employees.

Also inside:
●       Torlando painted his way through college, and by the time he graduated from college, he had a business on his hands.
●       How Torlando built a system that eliminated the need for a production manager in his business.
●       Using the Scrum approach, Torlando has streamlined efficiency to the nth degree, and he wants to teach other contractors and small business owners how to improve their business processes too.

 Mentioned in this Episode:

Sprint: The Scrum Playbook for Paint Professionals & Craftsman Professionals
Torlando Hakes on LinkedIn
PaintED podcast
The 7 Secrets to Selling More By Selling Less
Shoot me a question on Allanger.com


And here we go. Hello everyone. And welcome back to marketing and sales over cocktails. This is your host Allan Langer with episode 45. Tonight, I had a check. We are at 45 episodes already. We've got another great guest tonight. And, uh, this one, this, this guy is really interesting. I've known to Orlando for, for a while now. And he's been bugging me to get on my podcast and I keep apologizing to them. I keep forgetting to ask him. So now he's here and I'm really glad he's here. And you guys are going to be glad because he's going to bring a lot to the table with his expertise. But before we get to Orlando, I just want to mention a couple of quick housekeeping notes. The website is marketing and sales podcast.com, marketing and sales podcast, podcast.com. If you go to the top and you see the ask Alan segment, that's where you click on that. And you send me a question. If I read your question on air, you will get a free signed autograph copy of my book sent to you. And we've got a really good question coming up from Jacob, from Baltimore, Maryland later tonight. So with all that said, and without any further delay to Orlando Hakes is with us to Orlando. Welcome to marketing and sales over, over cocktails. How are you tonight? Doing great, Alan, how are you doing? I am doing fantastic. Uh, Orlando has one of the better backgrounds I've seen, uh, and with some of my podcast guests, a very crisp and cool looking and a nice microphone. So he's ready to roll. Orlando, um, tell everyone how we met. Um, I was on your podcast and tell people kind of give, give, give us a little Roundup of what you do and, and how you got to where you are and, and, you know, the success you've, you've, you've, you've, uh, enjoyed so far. Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, I believe we met through our StoryBrand connection and then, yeah, and then I asked you to be on my podcast, the paint ed podcast, which is, um, a paint industry specific show. Or we interview different, uh, professionals and different contractors and talk about the business side of paint contracting. And, uh, I, you know, I had you on, it was really great in preparation for that. I, I read your book. I thought that was cool. Um, you've you invited me to your, uh, networking group, your weekly network groups. So we've become pretty well‑acquainted um, over the past few months, uh, that's been really great. So. Orlando is talking about. So Philando has, has, uh, he, he, he runs us this podcast called paint ed, and, uh, he's also a brand ambassador for the painting contractors association. Is that what PCA stands for? Yeah. Um, what's really cool. And, and, and what I've learned over this past year is there's so many different organizations, there's so many different, uh, kajillion, different podcasts out there. There was, I think podcasts hosts went up like 40% and during the year of COVID, but what I found. Was the, the, the, uh, podcasts for the trades are really popular because it's a really specific podcast. Like I was on a podcast from a guy, he called himself the tile guy, and he invited me. I'm like, I'm going to be on a tile podcast. Like, what the hell is that? It turns out he has like 30,000 listeners and then you with the same thing, it's such a great niche. And I think you guys are doing a really good service for the trades and getting out there with the educational side of it. So tell us a little bit about that. Yeah. So, uh, being a PC brand ambassador, it's not my day job. Uh, you know, my, uh, by day I, I, I work with a software company called periodic and we sell, uh, booking software, uh, that has a really great application for the trades. Being able to book estimates through your website and manage multiple salespeople and that sort of thing. Uh, but I got connected through the, the pain and contractors association from my former career as a paint contractor, I have a habit. Good friend named <inaudible> who, uh, you probably ought to have on this podcast, but he, he always calls himself a recovering contractor. And so that's kinda what I am. I'm a, I'm a recovering contractor. And, uh, I ran a, I ran a painting business for about 12 years and, uh, during that time I got connected through my trade association. I was just a contractor member, uh, started showing up on, on webinars and then on, on podcasts, on the podcast as a guest and at the, uh, National conferences that we would have, I would, uh, start speaking and, you know, running workshops and that sort of thing. And so I just became really involved in the trade association itself. And then when, uh, an opening came available for a new podcast host, uh, I threw my name in the hat and, uh, you know, and here I am. So it's, uh, it's, it's been an interesting journey. Uh, you know, from the speaking, I wrote a book specific to the pain trade called sprint the scrum. Playbook for paint, trade and craftsman professionals. It's a productivity book and productivity management book that, uh, is really powerful. And, uh, and you know, I can't say enough about getting involved in, in your trade associations. I imagine you have a few listeners who are in the trades down, is that right? Yeah, I definitely do. Um, and one of the questions that we're going to go over later is from a roofing contractor. So I'm sure he's not the only tradesman that I have listening. So, and I love that because. You know, the, the, the perception out there, uh, whether it's true or not, or that trades, you know, the independent contractor guys don't know how to run a business. They don't know what they're doing. They just know how to put a roof on it. They know how to paint, or sometimes they don't even know how to do that. But I think there's a lot of real professional smart guys that are doing this, and they want to learn how to do it the right way. And I think that's where you see associations come in and you, you know, what you're doing comes in. So talk a little bit about that. Like, you know, You, you run into some really cool smart guys who just happened to be trans men and, and being a tradesman is nothing, you know, that's, that's a pretty proud thing to be, and you can certainly make a lot of money doing it too. Yeah, well, there's, there's a huge range of companies and, uh, you know, the construction industry as a whole is, uh, one of the largest industries that there is, you know what I mean? It's, it's top five, top three biggest industries in, in, in the, in the world. Um, so there's a lot of money. Need to be made in, in building things and renovating things. Um, what, you know, I think happened to the, I think the reputation of the trades, you know, as has suffered, um, you know, there's, we lost a generation, uh, of, of good trades people because you know, back in the eighties and nineties, you know, dad didn't want their kid to work as, you know, work his tail off and his fingers to the bone. And so sending them to college and everybody's got to go to college, everybody's got to, to college and. Needs are kind of looked at as this fallback thing. Uh, but that, that tenant has been shifting in a huge way. In the last decade. There are people who are just, they, they went through college, they did the whole thing. They went into the corporate world, corporate America and realized, man, this isn't, this isn't for me. And, and they've found that they can run a very successful lucrative business. Um, you know, multi‑million dollar organization, uh, in, in, yeah. You know, several of the different trades, whether that's roofing or painting or plumbing, or, you know, I mean, these are, these are some pretty good size, small businesses out there. Um, but the classic thing is that you, you, you fall into the trade. I, I fell into it. I, you know, I, I graduated from, uh, uh, high school and, and, uh, didn't really know quite what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to do a little bit of service work, um, and I needed to save up for a trip. And so a buddy of mine has done. I had ran a construction company, said, Hey, we're hiring painters. Have you ever ha have you ever painted anything before? And you know, my, my uncle had me paint his garage one summer. And so I said, well, there's that? And you know, that was enough. Right. And that's kind of par for the course. Right, exactly. But, you know, during that process, you know, I kind of, I fell in love with the tree and I went to college and I painted my, my way through school and graduated. The time I, I, uh, graduated, uh, I had a real company on my hands and I didn't, I didn't feel the need or the desire to, uh, pursue my, my degree, which is in digital art. So, uh, you know, uh, I kind of needed the trade. Um, but, but yeah, I, I built a, I built a really nice business, you know, there definitely ups and downs, um, times, you know, times of plenty and times of, uh, you know, not so plenty, but, uh, I know so many great people out there who. They started that way. They started out with a brush in their hand, and then they, uh, you know, for whatever reason, they just wanted to grow and they started learning. They started reading and these are really smart, intelligent people, uh, who are building really, uh, wonderful companies out here. And, and, you know, it's, it's, I love that because I, I, I agree with you a thousand percent that the last decade or so, you've kind of seen that shift of the perception of the, of the shoddy contractor. And trust me, there's still out there. And unfortunately just like the bad salespeople are still out there and all of that stuff. But I have seen the shift and, you know, just here in Rhode Island, um, the guy in our, um, um, Bob salvage from our networking group, he runs a small business association networking group. And once a month, um, he has me come and speak and I just speak to contractors. My whole talk is about helping them, you know, figure out how to get, you know, get, get optimized on LinkedIn. And, and, you know, do a proper Facebook page, just stuff like that. And it is packed. There's