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PDCA welcomes our National Associates as guest bloggers on our website. Their articles and blogs provide high quality, industry-related education to help our members grow their business!

 

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3 Ways Your Website Is Losing You Business

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Monday, August 1, 2016

 

 

What's the point of having a website if it's not bringing you business? We spend a lot of time looking at contractor websites and we find that many of them are losing business because they are making the same common mistakes.


Here are the 3 mistakes we see most often that can have a huge impact on your site's effectiveness.

 

1. Hiding Important Information


We are surprised at how often crucial information is hard to find or non-existent on service provider websites. We recommend that every business include their service list, service area, and contact information on their home page. If potential customers can't determine if you provide what they need or can't figure out how to contact you then you are missing out on leads.


2. No Personal Touch

 

Pictures are truly worth a thousand words. Including pictures of your business owners and employees will help differentiate you from your competition, and let your prospective customers know that they are dealing with real people instead of a faceless company.


3. Not Mobile Friendly


Try this simple test, go to your OWN website from your mobile device. Was it easy to find what you wanted?

 

The amount of time people browse the internet on their phones is increasing daily. If your website isn't easy to use on mobile devices many of your potential customers are going to leave.

 

Not only will you lose leads, but search engines will rank your website higher if it's mobile friendly. This could lead to search engines like Google pushing your website listing ahead of your competitors.


Having a mobile friendly site will not only drive more prospects to your site, but will help convert the prospects into leads once they get there.

 

Learn more about Estimate Rocket


 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  estimate rocket  website 

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The Unpleasant Side of Cyber Space

Posted By Federated Insurance, Thursday, July 21, 2016

 

The Internet connects businesses of all sizes to data networks and computer systems around the world. It also exposes companies to hackers, viruses, and other computer attacks. And, let’s face it, there is no such thing as perfect computer security. Whether by hacker, glitch, or employee error, many businesses will experience a data breach incident at some point.

Knowing a breach is practically inevitable, and the recovery cost potentially devastating from a financial, public image, and regulatory enforcement standpoint, how does a business owner protect his or her organization?

A few years back, Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) teamed up with The Ponemon Institute to conduct a study of small businesses and the impact of data breaches. Their findings are eye-opening and informative, and can serve to inspire business owners everywhere to take steps to protect their valuable data.

  • Fifty-five percent of small companies have experienced at least one data breach; 53 percent have experienced multiple breaches.
  • Only a third of small businesses notified people that their personal information had been compromised, even though 47 states require notification.
  • Nearly three-fourths of companies that experienced a breach were not able to fully restore their company’s computer data.

The research also revealed the three most likely causes of data breaches. More than half were due to employee mistakes. Forty-two percent involved lost or stolen hardware (laptops, smart phones, tablets, and storage media such as USBs and back-up drives). And, more than a third were a result of procedural inadequacies.

 But, the breaches aren’t caused only by internal errors. There is also a significant exposure when exchanging information with outside entities:

  • Eighty-five percent of businesses share customer and employee data with third parties, such as those providing services for billing, payroll, employee benefits, and information technology. Most do not have contracts that require third parties to cover all the costs associated with a data breach.

As cyber-crimes get more sophisticated, your defense against them needs to keep pace. Federated Insurance can help you learn ways to minimize the risk of a breach, and, if you are a Federated client, you also have access to a seven step cyber security plan through Federated’s Shield Network®. To learn more, visit www.federatedinsurance.com

Tags:  Cyber Attacks  Cyber Space  Federated Insurance  safety 

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Risk Management That Measures Up

Posted By Federated Insurance, Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Provided by  Federated Insurance, a PDCA Partner

  

 

Ineffective risk management could give you plenty of wrong things to measure

 

We live in a measurement-focused society: how many; how far; how fast; how much more, or less, than last year. 

 

Popular thought often asserts that if it’s not measurable, it’s not a worthwhile goal. How can you justify spending time and money on something you cannot prove or quantify? On the surface, that may not be easy, but consider the following:

 

In a society focused on measurements, realize that you will rarely know, or be able to measure, those catastrophic events that did not occur due to the execution of good, consistent risk management practices.

 

It is still important to measure standard business benchmarks: injury-free days or an increase or decrease in claims or accidents, for instance. But, how do you measure…

 

Ø  the car accident that never happened because your business implemented a distracted driving policy?

 

Ø  the fatality that did not occur because you requested an employee’s motor vehicle records, which uncovered several previous driving incidents?

 

Ø  the employee who did not cause an unsafe situation because your drug- and alcohol-free workplace program got that person the help needed to be fully functional on the job?

 

Ø  the firm that did not go out of business, saving dozens of jobs, because it had a well-executed business continuation plan in place when the owner passed away?

 

You may never be able to fully measure the positive effects a risk management culture has on your business. But, you will definitely be able to measure the negative ones.

 

Now, it must be said that all the value-added risk management applications in the world will not keep all bad things from happening. But, are you confident your firm is doing everything it can to help eliminate preventable risks by executing good, consistent risk management practices?

Tags:  federated insurance  risk management  safety 

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Top 9 Apps for Work & Productivity

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Thursday, June 16, 2016

June 15th, 2016

Kayla Suhm

Logical Engine, Estimate Rocket

 

People are always looking for convenient ways to bring technology into their lives to keep themselves organized, stay connected with friends, family, and co-workers, and help accomplish their goals. There are so many productivity apps out there that claim to do everything. The trick is in finding the ones that work best for you.

 

Slack

Slack is a great tool for team communication. Along with having one-on-one chat conversations with team members, channels can be set up that the entire team, or just specific members, have access to. Channels are a great place for collaboration, document sharing, and group discussions. Our team takes advantage of both of these features, as well as the large selection of emojis :) Slack also has an option to search for files and keywords, which is great for jumping back to reference a conversation that took place a month ago.

 

Google Drive

Google Drive is an awesome place to store and share documents. You can create documents, spreadsheets, and drawings in your personal folders and share them with your team for review, editing, and comments within seconds. Google Docs makes it easy for everyone to be on the same page. Our team has a collection of shared folders, keeping all of our information in one place while making sure everyone is on board.

 

LastPass

Keeping your passwords safe is essential. LastPass makes it easy for you to keep all of your accounts protected by generating strong passwords and saving them in your “Vault”. When you go to a site that you’ve generated a password for, LastPass lets you know and gives you the option to auto-fill the username and password boxes. Have an account that you need to share with someone else, but don’t want to say or write down your password? You can share that site using LastPass and that person will have access to it, without compromising your account credentials.

 

Metered Parking Apps

Any commuter would agree that an app that makes parking less of a headache is worthwhile. Metered parking apps make it simple and fast to park your car and get on with your day. Many apps like the ones here allow you to search for, reserve, and even pay for your parking spot ahead of time. Some even include a timer to help avoid tickets and give exclusive deals and discounts.

 

Trello

Trello gives teams the opportunity to be transparent and stay on task. Create a board and add some lists like “To be discussed at next meeting”, “In progress”, or “Up next” so everyone on your team stays in the loop. After that, add cards to your lists. Some examples include “Email Customers about Sale” or “Write Announcement for New Feature.” You can assign team members and add due dates, labels, and attachments. You can even make checklists inside of a card. Cards can be easily dragged and dropped into a new list when their status changes.

 

Google Calendar

Schedule work and life appointments, due dates, and reminders with Google Calendar. Adding start and end times to events makes this calendar a valuable tool to keep your team, family, or friends on the same page and make sure no one is scheduled to be at 2 places at once. You can also set recurring events daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, making scheduling simple and streamlined.

 

OneNote

With OneNote, you can take notes the way you want to. Type on the keyboard, use a stylus, or just use your finger to scribble down what you need to. You can convert your handwritten notes to text later. Pull clips and pictures from the web, collaborate,  and share information from anywhere. Since OneNote is a Microsoft product, it easily integrates Outlook and Excel, as well.

 

WunderList

If you’re a fan of making lists, you’ll love Wunderlist. It’s a great tool for keeping track of work tasks, To Do’s at home, bill payments, and upcoming or recurring events. Change the background to suit your mood, then organize your lists into folders (Work, Home, etc) and sort the items alphabetically, by Due or Creation date, or priority. You can even share your lists with others by entering their email address. The Pro version of Wunderlist also offers unlimited file attachment, unlimited task assigning for teams, unlimited subtasks, and additional backgrounds.

 

FlightView

Keep track of your travel plans using FlightView. Save your trips by adding specific flight numbers and descriptive notes. Get real time information about the flight arrival, departure, delays, weather, airport and parking information all in one place. FlightView also shows local services like Find a Car and gives you the opportunity to search for local hotels so that you can have all the details of your trip in one place.

 

We’re always on the lookout for new ways to be productive. What apps do you use to stay organized and efficient?

 

Reach out to us with comments and questions below, on Facebook, or Twitter!

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Google Update Presents Opportunity For Painters To Boost Organic Web Traffic

Posted By AltaVista Strategic Partners, Monday, June 13, 2016
Updated: Monday, June 6, 2016

Earlier this year Google updated the layout of its desktop search results page to match the layout of its mobile search results page. This update eliminated the right rail ads and positioned the Google Maps results in between the paid ads and the organic results.

Here is what the new desktop layout looks like above the fold:

 

This change indicates that Google is adopting a mobile first perspective and placing increased emphasis on local search results. Searchers are calling for more local results when looking for businesses and services. Google is answering that call.

Unlike the normal search results there are no ads in the Google Maps results and only local businesses can make it into the listings. This is a tremendous opportunity for free exposure on the first page of Google above the organic results. A spot in the Google Maps results will increase your web traffic and boost the number of phone calls your business receives. 

How can I get my painting business in the Google Maps results?

There is no proven formula to guarantee a spot in the Google Maps results. Similar to organic SEO, there are best practices, and they start with Google. Here are three steps you can take to improve your chances of showing up in the Google Maps results. The best part? They are all free:

Step One: Make sure your business is registered with Google through Google My Business. This ensures that Google has all of your business’s most important information including name, address, phone, hours, and category.

Step Two: Optimize your Google My Business profile by filling it out with complete information. Write a keyword oriented introduction about your business and post photos of your projects. Continue to refresh your pictures on a monthly basis.

Step Three: Focus on adding Google Reviews to your business profile. Consistently adding reviews about your painting business is a positive signal to Google and will increase your chances of appearing in the Google Maps results. Aim to add one or two reviews each month and be sure to follow up on negative reviews with an appropriate comment.

The recent update to Google’s desktop search results page demonstrates a clear emphasis on a mobile first perspective and has greatly increased the value of ranking in the Google Maps results. Painting contractors can take advantage of this change by focusing on ranking in the Google Maps results which will lead to increased brand exposure and web traffic.

This article was contributed by Aaron Hockel, Vice President of Digital Marketing at AltaVista Strategic Partners, a PDCA Associate and marketing firm that specializes in building and executing marketing plans for commercial and residential contractors. Aaron can be reached by email at aaron@altavistasp.com, by phone at 443-960-4004, or you can follow him on twitter @aaronhockel.

https://www.google.com/business/

http://www.altavistasp.com

 

 

Tags:  Aaron Hockel  Alta Vista  Google AdWords  Google Update 

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"Please Hold" - A Tutorial For Creating Professional Voicemail Greetings

Posted By Bev Lynde, Friday, June 3, 2016
Updated: Monday, June 6, 2016

"PLEASE HOLD"

(Do I have a choice?)

 

My name is Bev.  You probably know me as the “membership lady” at National PDCA.  I have been with PDCA for a little over 9 years and spend most of every day on the phone, answering calls and calling members and prospective members.  Needless to say, I’ve heard it all when it comes to answering machines and voicemail greetings.

I’m sure you would agree that first impressions are important, but you may not realize that your first impression with a potential customer occurs without your presence.  Your first impression is made by a piece of technology called your voicemail greeting.  Therefore, it is vital that you program your automated greeting to do your bidding. Here are some examples of what I hear each and every day:

 VOICE GREETING:

                “Hi. This is Mike.  Leave a message.” 

ME: 

                “Mike who?  I wonder if this is even a painting contractor.”

 VOICE GREETING:

(Robotic Voice-monotone) “This- is- 3-1-2-2-2-2-3-3-3-3.  Sor-ry-we-missed- your-call. – Leave-a–mes-  sage-at-the-beep”   

ME: 

                 Hang up and try to control giggling.  Call back and leave message.

 VOICE GREETING:

“Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed”  Seven menus and 5 minutes later I am invited to type the first 3 letters of the party’s first name.  The next layer is a list of extensions, none of the names starting with the 3 letters I typed in.  Upon returning to the main menu and going through the 7 layers once more, I have an extension.  Hooray!  When I type in the extension I get a voice message.  “Hi.  This is Mike.  Leave a message.”

ME: 

                Time for more aspirin.

 VOICE GREETING:

(Very young child, 3 or 4 yrs old)  “This is the Smith house.  We aren’t at home.  Leave us a message.” 

ME:   

I’m a sucker for kids, and if I were Grandma or Aunt Lil I would probably think, “How precious.”… but honestly…is this really professional?  If you run your business from your home, invest in a dedicated line to your business that has a number different from your home number.

 VOICE GREETING:

 “Hi. This is John”  long pause 

ME: 

I think I’ve got a live person, so I begin speaking.  Several seconds in the voice message continues with the remainder of the recording.  I realize I have a recording.  I feel like a dummy.  Sigh! Pacing is important.

VOICE GREETING:             

                “The person you have called has a mailbox that has not been set up.”

ME: 

                ???? (Thinking—how can you stay in business if you can’t get messages?)

 VOICE GREETING:

                “The mailbox is full.  Please try again later.”

ME:

                Same ME as previous example.

 

I could go on for pages, but I think you probably get the point.  Your voicemail greeting needs to make your potential client feel they are dealing with a professional.  Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.  The following are some suggested dos and don’ts when creating your voicemail greeting.

 DON’T:

Use any of the examples listed above

Use your greeting as a commercial

Mumble or record the greeting with noisy background

Speak louder than your normal speaking voice

 DO:

Speak Clearly

Identify yourself and your company

Apologize for not answering personally

Let the caller know how long it will be before you return the call

Thank them for calling

 

This article was intended to entertain but also to inspire and instruct. 

Here is an example of a good professional voice greeting.  Feel free to use it if you plead guilty to any of the examples above.

“Hi.  You have reached John Smith of ABC Painting Company.  I apologize for being unable to speak with you personally at this time.  Please leave your name, number and subject of your call.  I will return your call within 24 hours.  Thank you for choosing ABC Painting Company.”

Thanks for “holding” and feel free to call me at PDCA National if you have any questions.

Bev Lynde

PDCA National Membership Recruitment Coordinator

Tags:  Bev Lynde  Please Hold  Voicemail Greeting 

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Why Companies Don’t Sell

Posted By Caber Hill Advisors, Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Did you know that only 20% of businesses listed for sale actually sell? In other words, this means that four out of every five businesses don’t sell; as a business owner, if you can understand why certain companies don’t sell then you can position yourself to avoid the common mistakes that so many owners make, and become one of the 20% that succeed when selling their business.

Data on small business transactions can be difficult to obtain, so while there are thousands of articles that provide a step-by-step guide on “how to sell your business”, very few provide any relevant detail about the actions and characteristics that produce success; however, one excellent source exists. Each quarter, the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project, run by professors at the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business, releases a report assessing the market conditions for small business transactions. In one of their 2013 reports, they listed five common reasons that companies don’t sell and are subsequently taken off the market (“%” indicates percentage of survey respondents who gave this answer):

1.) Seller’s Unrealistic Expectations (33%)
2.) Lack of Buyer Preparation (15%)
3.) Poor Seller Preparation (11%)
4.) Unreasonable Non-Financial Demands (9%)
5.) Personality Conflicts (9%)

The study also surveyed M&A professionals about the biggest mistakes made by sellers that ultimately hurt their chance of successfully completing a deal. The top three answers were:

1.) Unrealistic Expectations (50%)
2.) Declining Business Sales (16%)
3.) Poor Financial Records (15%)

As the two lists suggest, the seller has control over the majority of items that can cause a deal to fail.

Let’s examine a few in depth.

Unrealistic Expectations, Unreasonable Demands, and Poor Preparation

Transactions require agreement on a broad number of items, from price to deal and legal terms to a general sense of trust that each side develops in the other. An owner who has unrealistic expectations of the acceptable price and terms or who makes unreasonable demands during the negotiation will find it very difficult to reach agreement with a buyer.

It should be obvious why unrealistic pricing expectations can kill deals, yet this prevails as the most common offense. We have written several articles in the past about the dangers of improperly pricing a business for sale, but unfortunately most owners enter the process without an accurate understanding of their company’s fair market value. But it doesn’t end with price, as disagreements over deal terms can be equally as detrimental to your success. To succeed, you need to understand the usual and customary terms that apply to companies within the painting industry.

Why do so many owners make these mistakes? It’s really just a lack of preparation. Most don’t want to pay for a professional valuation, and many would rather try to sell the company on their own than hire a business broker. The “fortunate” among this group end up selling, but it takes two to three years rather
820 W. Jackson Blvd | Suite 805 | Chicago, IL 60607 | (312) 618-0715 | peter@caberhill.com
than the customary six to nine months, and most of them accept a price that is below fair market value. In order to succeed (i.e. actually close a transaction at fair market value in a reasonable period of time), owners must be cognizant of these critical items. How? The easiest and most affordable way is to hire a business broker with expertise in the painting industry.

Declining Business Sales
Growing businesses will always be more attractive than businesses in decline. Bar none. This is not to say that a declining business cannot be sold, but the likelihood of closing correlates directly with the sales trends. Buyers may price the decline into their valuation; however, if the decline continues or accelerates during the period between acceptance of an offer and closing, many will walk away.

Fair market value for a declining business is obviously less than it is for one that is stable. Many times, based on the lower price, buyers will show initial interest but will end up backing out of the transaction prior to closing as the overall weakness of the business becomes more apparent during due diligence and scares them off. Finally, it’s harder to obtain financing for declining businesses, so even if you clear all other hurdles you are still at the mercy of a lender who is likely to be risk averse.

Poor Financial Records
Financial performance drives valuations, and poor financial records can derail a deal in numerous ways. A buyer may only look at general financial data prior to making an offer, but during due diligence they may dig deeper. If the scarcity or complete absence of financial records complicates or prolongs their due diligence, they may use it as an excuse to pull out of the deal.

Companies with clean financial records are easier to sell because the owners do not run many personal expenses through the business, and therefore there are not any disputes over cash flow and net income. The harder a buyer has to work to understand and verify “add backs”, the more skeptical they become. This skepticism can lead them to rethink the purchase price and, in the most extreme cases, can cause them to call off the deal.

Poor financial records create the perception of a risky transaction. Risk has an inverse relationship with both valuation and closing success rates. Buyers pay less for riskier acquisitions, if they decide to purchase at all. The expenses associated with cleaning up your financials pale in comparison to the financial gains you receive when you sell.

Conclusion
Successful transactions result in a win/win. A seller receives a good price for the business and is allowed to transition out, while a buyer makes a confident investment and is excited about the future. In order to accomplish this, owners need to be cognizant of their company’s actual fair market value and the general standards for acquisitions in their industry. Few, if any, can do this alone; in fact, those who fare the best tend to surround themselves with experts who do most of the work for them.

We do not, at any point, suggest that a seller should accept a price that is less than fair market value, or deal terms that are abnormal for their industry or unreasonably impede their goals for the future. In fact, we pride ourselves in generating above average returns for the majority of our clients. All we are saying is that owners need to align their expectations with reality. It sounds simple, but if it were as easy as it sounds then the material for this article would not exist.

Peter Holton

www.caberhill.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/peteholton
peter@caberhill.com

Tags:  Caber Hill  Why Companies Don't Sell 

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5 Quotes To Live And Work By

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Thursday, May 19, 2016

5 Quotes to Live & Work By

Part 1

May 13th, 2016

Kayla Suhm

Logical Engine, Estimate Rocket

 

 

Whether it’s a saying from a grandmother, a quote from someone famous, or just a “rule of thumb”, words resonate with us and have a big impact on the way we live and work.

The following are quotes for life and business that have inspired and stuck with the Logical Engine team.

 

 “The only things that are scarce . . . are the things that are difficult, and the only things that are valuable are the things that are scarce. When we intentionally seek out the difficult tasks, we're much more likely to actually create value.” - Seth Godin

 

Many people choose the easy path by doing the same thing as everyone else. They offer the same products and services, use the same methods, and fix the same problems. It’s possible to make a living this way, but you can make a bigger difference by choosing to solve the problems that few others are solving. You have the potential to learn more and create more value if you choose to do the things that others avoid.

__________

 

‘When a problem arises, take ownership of it, no matter what is is. Only once a solution is found, is it time to discuss whose fault it was and how that will be resolved.’

 

Having the strength to not play the ‘blame game’ is important in life and business. It doesn’t matter if it was an employee or a customer that made the mistake. Handling the situation at hand first shows that you’re willing to take responsibility and find a solution even if it’s not your fault. ‘Throwing someone under the bus’  will just cause frustration and may even lose you customers, employees, or friends.

__________

 

“You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.” - Author Unknown

 

It’s important to stay current and be aware of things changing around you. New information and technology is constantly becoming available. Embracing new ways of doing things helps peoples evolve and adapt to the world around them, and the same is true for businesses. Connecting with people through email and social media makes it easier for you to reach out to customers. Scheduling and accounting software make it easier to handle your time and money. Make sure you do your research, though. “New” doesn’t necessarily mean “The best thing for you”.

__________

 

“The golden rule for every businessman is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place.” - Orison Swett Marden

 

Good customer service is hard to come by, but a small change in the way you think of your customers can make a big difference. By imagining that you’re in their situation, you can provide a better experience. We’ve all heard stories about uncaring customer service reps who just want to get you off of the phone. Show your customers that you care about them and what they have to say. They’ll be thrilled!

__________

 

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

 

Everyone is good at something, but nobody is good at everything. It may be tempting to try to do everything yourself, and sometimes it may actually be necessary. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is essential, and delegating tasks to people who may be more skilled in a certain area will save you time, money, and stress.

__________

 

 

This is just the beginning! We’re always finding new words that inspire us. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated and hear more words of wisdom from the Logical Engine team.

 

What are some of your favorite quotes?

Let us know in the comments below, or share them with us on Facebook & Twitter

We’d love to hear them! 

Tags:  estimate rocket  quotes 

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National Painting Week! - May 22-30

Posted By The Sherwin-Williams Company, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week is an annual celebration dedicated to protecting and beautifying the things and places we love – in our own homes and in the communities in which we live. 

Participating and promoting Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week is a great way to showcase your expertise and enhance your position as a strong community partner.

There are many ways you and your team can get involved with National Painting Week.

  • Consider volunteering time and joining forces with a local Sherwin-Williams store on a community project. Sherwin-Williams provides the paint and tools for these projects, and store employees and contractors help with the labor. Examples of projects include schools, city landmarks and youth, senior and community centers.
  • Another option is to start your own community projects as a way to support an organization that inspires you.
  • National Painting Week is also a great opportunity for  to promote your work and business, whether or not you participate in a community project. Consider celebrating with Sherwin-Williams by offering a promotion in honor of Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week. 

 Don’t forget to visit Sherwin-Williams social media sites to share National Painting Week social media posts, infographics and more to attract attention to your work and business.

 To learn more, contact your local Sherwin-Williams store or rep, email NationalPaintingWeek@SpongPR.com or visit www.swpaintingweek.com.

FAQ's

  • How can I get involved?

To join an exciting store project, reach out to NationalPaintingWeek@spongpr.com with your contractor name, city/state and number of interested volunteers To start your own project, reach out to NationalPaintingWeek@spongpr.com with your contractor name, city/state, general overview of project (include the WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and WHAT is being painted) To share National Painting Week content across social media channels or website, visit Sherwin-Williams social media sites and share posts. You can also create your own posts and share with your network on behalf of National Painting week, possibly offering a promotion or other advice such as painting tips to your customers. Be sure to tag @SherwinWilliams and #SWPaintWeek.

  • When is National Painting Week?

National Painting Week runs from May 22-30, in line with the National Painting Week sale at Sherwin-Williams stores; community projects happen throughout the month of May.

This year, as part of Sherwin-Williams 150th anniversary celebration, similar painting projects will be taking place throughout the world during 2016.

 

  • Sherwin-Williams already provides me with paint for other charitable projects. How is this different? 

National Painting Week is a national Sherwin-Williams initiative. Consider completing a charitable project during the month of May and on behalf of National Painting Week to help you to market the good you are doing in your community and amplify your message. 

 

  • I want to participate in a community project, how much time is involved?

Every project is different; there is no minimum or maximum time required for volunteers and is determined on a case-by-case basis

Tags:  National Painting Week  Sherwin Williams 

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Going Paper-Less: 9 Ways to Stop Wasting Paper On and Off the Jobsite

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Going Paper-Less: 9 Ways to Stop Wasting Paper On and Off the Jobsite
Kayla Suhm
Customer Success Specialist--Estimate Rocket


Running a business is tough. Storing files, piles of receipts, and stacks of forms ensure your office and life are completely cluttered. Add to that making sure customers are happy and your business is being profitable, and even an organized business owner will have a headache. 

One way of getting your business organized and running smoothly is by using less paper. It’s as easy as using a few apps and folders on your device. Bonus: It’s good for the environment!

Technology as a tool for your business is convenient and helps you stay organized. It also shows customers that your company is current and cares about evolving. Imagine you’re a homeowner that needs some drywall hung. Would you hire the contractor with a hand crank drill or a power drill? 

Okay...But Where Do I Start?
Starting is the hardest part! Once you’ve made the decision to use less paper, there are simple things you can do to make sure everything stays neat and tidy.

  • Scan it! Scan and file documents into folders on your device, then shred the physical
    copy if appropriate. There are even portable scanners like Doxie Go.
  • Generate Reports into a PDF You’ll have access to them instantly and can sort them
    into folders. 
  • Download a PDF of User Manuals You can read them on your phone, tablet, or
    computer.
  • Use Google Docs to organize your documents. Set up shared folders so everyone on
    your team has access to what they need.
  • Try an Online Fax Provider like Nextiva . They’ll email you incoming faxes so they don’t
    end up on your desk.
  • Take a Picture of important receipts with your phone and upload them into a searchable
    folder.
  • Write on Paperless Post-its Use a team chat service like Slack or “to do” apps like Trello or Evernote so everyone is on the same page.
  • Opt for an Email Blast to prospective customers and followups to existing customers instead of traditional mail.
  • Get on Social Media Facebook and Twitter are great tools to keep you connected and
    advertise to your customers.

 Use Estimate Rocket to keep all your information on a contracting job in one editable, easy to access, paperless place. Organize projects, send email estimates, invoices, work orders, and receipts, and stay connected with your customers.

When you have a paperless system in place, finding important documents is as easy as typing a keyword into the search bar. So spend less time looking through mounds of paperwork and more time getting things done!

Tags:  estimate rocket  going paperless 

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