Starting a business can be a daunting task.
Even more daunting can be growing that business, even if it’s just adding a few more people to your one-person endeavor.
Glenn Williamson, owner of New Haven Painters, lived this journey. Starting with a station wagon and a brush, he went from being a one-person operation to managing a growing team.
How did he go from daunting to done?
Glenn says important decisions to adopt specific tools allowed him to grow his business. One of those tools was CompanyCam.
We chatted recently with Glenn about how CompanyCam was an invaluable tool to expand the company, enhance communication, set proper customer expectations, automate processes, and even aid marketing.
Expanding The One-Person Business
No one expects to grow a business easily. There are new challenges around every corner as things start from square one.
One of those challenges is trying to be everywhere.
You want to grow your list of customers, but there is only one of you. So you turn to figuring out how to expand your team, enabling you and your crews to be at more jobs than you could be on your own.
This was the exact tale of Glenn Williamson as he grew his New Haven Painters from one person to two, three, and so on.
“You have to be on top of it, and obviously, there’s not enough time in the day to do all the things [alone],” he said. “One of the biggest challenges with contracting is while you’re growing, how do you market and hire and get jobs, keep your customers happy and paint,” Glenn said.
CompanyCam Enters The Picture
Communication is vital to keeping customers happy and managing a growing team effectively.
Glenn made excellent communication a priority from the beginning. However, there was one catch.
While trying to market his business to new customers, he was fighting against poor experiences that these potential customers may have had with other contractors. Just because it wasn’t Glenn’s team that provided that poor experience didn’t mean it wasn’t now his responsibility to overcome it to land the job.
“Certain customers… it becomes hours of trying to prove that we’re not gonna do that to them,” Glenn explained.
To address this issue, Glenn used CompanyCam as the solution with daily customer project updates.
New Haven Painters would capture images of the work done each day in CompanyCam and share them through gallery links via email. Providing this reassured customers and keeps them informed about the project’s progress.
At the project’s conclusion, CompanyCam came in clutch with another feature.
Utilizing Before & After photos, the customer can see the transformation of their property. This highlights the value provided when it’s time to pay for the completed job.
“The customers seem to love it ever since we implemented it… They’re getting updates daily, and it’s hey look at all this stuff we did and look at the progress and look at the before and the after pictures, and then ‘here’s your bill.’ Instead of, ‘We’re done, pay up.’ ”
CompanyCam Touches Everything For New Haven Painters
Glenn acknowledges that not all customers have the same communication preferences. He says, “You can’t just have a standard for every customer.”
CompanyCam enables him to tailor his communication to meet individual preferences.
“Some customers don’t want to be bothered. Is it text, is it phone calls, is it email? Some people are very busy, and they only want email. Some people hate email, and maybe those emails get lost in their inbox, and they don’t even know that we’re doing that, and then they’re upset like we’re not even reaching out to them.
“I think it’s really about setting the expectations with the customer, learning what they want, and then giving them an experience that they are trying to purchase.”
Is there anything more important than truly understanding what must be done at each job a company performs for a customer? In contracting, as Glenn points out, there is not.
Small details can massively change the cost for the company and, in turn, the customer.
“You’re painting an exterior of a house, and there’s some rotted wood that they wanna get quoted. You put in a quote to change rotted wood, right? Or, [is it] change 10 linear feet of rotted wood? And the customer’s like, ‘No, I meant that one over there’ or ‘I meant this one over there.’
“Now we’re gonna need a boom lift because we didn’t have an arrow pointing to this gable.“
CompanyCam allows Glenn and New Haven Painters to edit photos, add annotations, and even use arrows to indicate specific focus areas. This prevents misunderstandings and sets clear expectations, especially in fields like painting, where details matter.
“[With CompanyCam], I think the user-friendliness of editing the photos and putting arrows and stuff like that on them was like the first feature we really took advantage of,” Glenn began. “It’s huge for quotes, setting expectations, especially with painting.”
Wait, you can use CompanyCam for Marketing?
Beyond operational benefits, CompanyCam has a considerable role in Glenn’s marketing efforts.
Using CompanyCam’s Tags, New Haven Painters uses a ‘social’ tag in CompanyCam to identify photos that team members are the most happy about.
“Any of the guys that are proud of their pictures, they’ll tag it ‘social,’ so then those in the office could just go to the ‘social’ tag and see all the pictures that everybody thinks they’re proud of [for social media usage.]”
Small Businesses Get Big Benefits With CompanyCam
It’s a massive journey from being a solo entrepreneur to managing a growing team.
CompanyCam has been a pivotal part of that journey by facilitating effective communication, tailoring customer experiences, and helping showcase work to potential new customers.
“I just spent a lot of time over the years trying to create a system with our CRM, and from the moment someone wants an estimate to the very end of the job,” Glenn stated. “It’s like all these things like with our CompanyCam links and everything, all this stuff is now automated.
“I think I’m most proud of the system we have in place.”
Glenn and his scaling story proved you don’t need a company of 20 or even 50 people to gain business-changing benefits from powerful tools like CompanyCam. Whether it’s simply communicating with a customer about project progress or improving your marketing to potential customers, CompanyCam can make you feel like you’re already a team of five or ten, even when you’re just starting as a team of one.