Paint Contractors and Pricing Jobs

What does the American Medical Association have to do with painting contractors? Do you think of the AMA as a labor union or a price fixing group? The AMA is both. It is not some holier than thou organization, although doctors would have us believe this. It was originally created to drive other medical professions out of business. At the time of its creation there were a lot of other healing arts. One of the last groups that MDs tried to put out of business was chiropractors. Up until the 70’s, MDs were trying to make everyone believe that chiropractors were quacks. Yet personally, many of us have benefited from chiropractors and their adjustments after a long day of rolling paint or lugging around a 40 foot extension ladder. So we know these people are not quacks. But MDs would stoop so low as to drive a legitimate profession out of business. The AMA is just a labor union designed to fix prices.
So what does this have to do with the painting profession? Instead of beating prices down, painting contractors should unite just like doctors do and establish a decent price and stop beating the heck out of each other’s price. You don’t see doctors cutting prices do you? Why, because they united a long time ago. They figured out that the money was not in competition but in uniting.
Doctors, lawyers and accountants make upwards of $200 per hour, painters make between $20 and $65. Yet who has the greatest risk to their health? Painters risk it all by climbing high ladders, by exposing themselves to dangerous chemicals. So why do painters beat each other up when it comes to pricing their jobs? Because they don’t know how to sell any other way, except by cutting prices. Did you ever hear a doctor tell someone that they will remove someone’s appendix for a cheaper price than the next doctor? Is there a difference, it’s just business.
We should sell our paint jobs based on our quality, value and reputation, not on price. How do we do that, by education ourselves. Join the PDCA, take sales courses, subscribe to trade publications support licensing, and most of all treat your fellow painter as a friend. Take a tip from doctors, lawyers and accountants. Stop cutting prices, all you are doing is hurting yourselves. In Holland, painters are ranked in the top twelve of all the professions.

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