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Open Mike: Brandt Domas on What Exceptional Contractors Do

By on March 11, 2012 in Open Mike with 8 Comments

Brandt Domas is one of the industry heavyweights that I was hoping to meet in Vegas at the PDCA show, and I did. Brandt’s industry resume includes most everything from straight up paint contracting to PDCA leadership roles. He is currently most known as a speaker on industry matters, and as a trainer of paint contractors on critical business success skills.

In this Open Mike session, I posed Brandt the simple question of what, in his professional opinion, paint contractors need to know and do in order to ride out this with measurable success.

Here is what Brandt had to say:

Know Your Costs.

This is square 1 fundamentals that are not optional and cannot be faked or guessed.
Know how much it costs to be in business, your overhead that includes owner and management salaries. Know how much their employees actually cost, employee production capacities – how much work should get completed. Know how to price what they sell so that is profitable – not just market price.

Be Exceptional.

If your company offers the same level of service, knowledge, expertise as the competition does (or less),
you and your company are an active player in the arena of what I call ‘the also rans’. The ‘also rans’ are unexceptional in very real ways. Their services are a commodity that is price centric (commodity usually describes goods) that continue to grind to the lowest point. Exceptional companies draw the big picture of their business model and see how all of the pieces fit and work together. They implement and perfect systems, provide more than expected and provide value to their customers and employees.

Understand that Relationships Are Everything.

Understand, Develop, and Cherish Relationships Maintaining contact with prospects, customers and those that work with and for you is not enough. There’s real importance in making relationships the key to your business success. It is obvious to most people we interact with, when this critical element of our businesses is valued logically, structurally (business) and emotionally based compared to imitated or counterfeit. Get in touch with relationships.

These are fundamental practices that often get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of making a living. Sometimes getting back to basics can bring surprising results. Brandt’s three steps cover a large portion of the internal and external matters that paint contractors need to understand about their businesses.

If you have questions or comments on Brandt Domas’ advice, please leave a reply below. To learn more about Brandt’s approach to business and the training that he does with contractors, you can visit his training website.



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There Are 8 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Tom Reber says:


    Great article. Knowing your costs is HUGE. When you know them, you know for a fact that the job will cost you exactly X dollars no matter what.

    Then, you can weigh the risk, your calendar, etc…in order to determine the sales price. Far too many contractors are doing work for less than what it costs them.

    • Scott says:


      So true. Brandt hits the nail(s) right on the head. How contractors ride their way through whatever stage this economy is in, will depend on these factors.

  2. Purdy Pro says:

    Great article for contractors to get back to the basics, especially during these harder times when any bit of profit helps. Definitely will share!

  3. Chris says:

    Great post, Brandt has long been an advocate for the industry and his insights are valued, thanks Scott!

  4. Terry Miller says:

    Great info Brandt. Looking forward to more. Thank you.

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