Does Size Matter?

Written by on May 5, 2012 in Publications with 13 Comments

It is an ego thing…the discussion of size. How many guys you got? It really means nothing.

In the corner to my left, you have superheroes who can do the work of 15 men by themselves. And in the corner to my right, you have the fat businesses with 25 employees, whose workload could likely be handled by an optimized crew of less than 10 at higher margins, if managed properly.

Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

On this website, we deal with documentable and repeatable truth.

Based on discussions in person, face to face, with literally thousands of paint and remodeling contractors over the past year, including our own booth participation at two of the most notable industry trade shows of 2012…Here’s our take on size…

***Read Scott’s article on business size as published in APC magazine in 2012, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

About the Author

About the Author: Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine ( since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you! Scott's Google Profile .


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  1. Zac says:

    It’s a balance between size and efficiency for sure…I see bigger franchise names in my area coming out with what they market as ‘express painting service’ where the bring in as many low-paid students as possible to get the job done in whatever time frame you want…if there was one way to ensure a sloppy job, lol.

    • Scott Burt says:

      We call that the “warm body” approach, Zac, where they just throw people at jobs, with no training and little regard for results. It is amazing that homeowners continue to fall for that.

  2. Five seems to be a nice number.
    Two men for smaller projects, three for medium size jobs, and all together for exterior’s and bigger projects.
    Right now were working with four and busy. It’s getting difficult to keep up. Two men on a project seems painfully slow but clients are happy your there. Four at each job gets them done quicker but others are wondering where you are.
    Like I said , five seems to be a nice number.

  3. Shane Cussimonio says:

    I dont know about being a super heroe alone. I mean batman had robin as a sidekick. Every sole proprietership needs help every once upon a summer. But as we create new relationships the need to expand grows ever
    more demanding. I would not turn any new challenge down nor would i pass up the oppurtunity to expand cautiously into a larger company.No more then 8 to 10 men overall. I worked for a Company in NV that had 150 painters during the season. And 60 guys when there was snow on the ground. Id say after landing my job with them in 2001 2002 in a blizzard. Im gonna go with experience matters most not size. Size can be fun but it only last so long. Even this fine establishment was a victim of economics.I guess experience makes me a superhero. And a superhero always wins!


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