There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint, whether it’s your dining room, playroom or study, a great paint job can turn your room from the room you hoped no one noticed into the room you brag to your friends about! The problem is, it’s so hard to find the right painters for the job. Plus- picking out the right colors is not so easy. I had the privilege to speak with Mike Russell the co-founder & CEO of Paintzen, a revolutionary painting service that makes the process of finding trustworthy painters effortless via technology. Here’s what we discussed:
Jay: How is Paintzen different than if I were to call a typical paint company?
Michael: At Paintzen we work with hundreds of paint companies right in your area. With just a couple clicks you can instantly find the painter that meets your budget, schedule exactly when you want them to arrive, pay for the entire job online at www.Paintzen.com and if you need help with colors, we’ll ship free samples right to your door! Every paint company we use goes through a rigorous screening process and we’ll never leave a customer unhappy.
Jay: Sounds like a great way for customers to get exactly what they want at the right price. But what’s in it for the paint company? Wouldn’t they rather get the business on their own and not have to give part of their earnings away?
Michael: That’s a very true point Jay, and the truth is that the fact that so many companies work with us speaks to the real value we bring. It’s really a two way street. Not only are we able to bring the best paint selection to consumers in the quickest time possible, we’re able to keep so many painting companies completely booked up. They don’t have to worry about marketing, planning or even scheduling. With Paintzen we’re able to literally funnel business straight to their company. We collaborate with their schedules so we know exactly how much availability they have and we make sure to keep things running as smoothly as possible.
An additional benefit is the payment process. No company wants to deal with sending invoices, chasing after clients who don’t end up paying etc. and with Panitzen everything is paid upfront online. When a painting company goes out on a job they go knowing that their payment is waiting for them- every company’s dream!
Jay: What has been your success rate? Do you find customers coming back?
Michael: That’s a great question Jay, and we believe that the sale is just the first step, but what really defines success is when your customers come back. However, with the paint industry, most people only paint their houses once every 4+ years so for us, our judgement of success is referral based. When we send a paint company out on a job the customer is able to rate their performance. When we see our customers refer Paintzen’s services, that’s how we know we’ve been successful. Customer satisfaction is key to success in any business, and it’s our priority to make sure every customer is 100% satisfied with the services we provide for them.
Jay: It seems like you’re providing the best possible service to customers and at the same time using your system to funnel business to hundreds of painters. What about the paint itself, have you been able to connect with paint wholesalers?
Michael: I’m glad you asked that, because we’ve recently been very fortunate to create a partnership with Benjamin Moore, who are one of the largest paint companies in the world. We had no inside connection or anyone to help us. When we started out, my co-founder simply walked into a local Benjamin Moore paint shop to pick up paint for new orders. After a while, when our orders kept picking up, it got to a point where even the CEO himself knew who we were. Slowly but surely they saw how much business we were doing and how careful we were to provide top quality to our clients that we built a profitable relationship. No matter what you’re doing or how small your startup is, the key to success is consistency. Stick to what you’re doing and never compromise on quality. Slowly but surely, more and more people will recognize that and other companies in the industry will come to you because you can’t beat great quality!
Before Paintzen, Mike co-founded MyClean, a marketplace for home and office cleaners. A bit superstitious, Mike has been known to write words like “Growth” on the office whiteboard and refuse to erase it if the business does well. He is also a big fan of writing song parodies about Painting in his free time (as if there’s such thing as free time)