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October 29, 2012

A few lines on the geekiness of a line painting company...

Our geeky pal and friend of the site John uses technology to gain an advantage in a seeming very low tech business... applying colored liquids to pavement. Here's his story...

The role technology plays in business development and expansion in modern businesses has proven to be an essential ingredient to a successful venture. While this is absolutely true in the hot new trends such as app development, social media campaigns and so on, there are the traditional businesses that can still find realms of growth and exposure using modern tech. We have found that by going out of the traditional comfort zone of operating with the tech of the past - becoming a pioneer in your industry in new and developing tech has its perks. As an example, we operate a parking lot line painting company in Calgary, Alberta where my competitors are often the old-fashioned thinking contractors and adverse to technological inclusions in their critical growth strategies. The inclusion of integrating hardware, software, social media and cloud computing in our business has brought us tremendous success... it separated us and made us relevant almost instantly.

In our first year of business, we were able to outhustle, outmarket, and outplay our competitors using modern tech. For quoting, instead of the good ol' pen-and-paper method, we rely heavily on the iPad with a custom made Excel sheet that tracks the project in terms of hours, materials and profit percentages at the touch of a button. Right on the site of the quote we are able to email to the property manager a detailed quote with photos which allows us to appear far more organized and streamlined in comparison to the old "get a quote in a few days" model. Ours happens in the matter of an hour. For more advanced quoting that requires the use of a PC, we often use a standard PC laptop tethered to the iPhone 5 (4G LTE!) for internet access on the go as we need it in the work truck. Most importantly, I need to track and store all of my measurements on multiple devices with automatic sync. Using Google Drive and iCloud, when I create a file on my iPhone, it will directly transfer over to my home desktop for review, and vice versa when I need to bring up pertinent information on site. For marketing, I am able to outsource any cold calling to third parties while supervising with Google Drive - I can watch the notes being taken and the clicks on the page in real time to ensure that the hours are productive ones and I am able to measure how many clients are reached in one day - which makes forecasting and planning much easier. At first, I was apprehensive of adding Twitter and Facebook to my repertoire of online exposure - that same apprehensiveness I imagine my competitors feel, as I felt that it didn't relate to my industry, but we have found just having some content up has made us more legitimate when we are searched online,. Much to our surprise - clients have actually asked us about a Tweet we made or a link we posted on Facebook. Who knew!

Ultimately, the use of this technology in an industry has, in comparison, given us an edge in exposure, output and professionalism in an industry that is sorely lacking these things. In business, one must maintain an edge over your competition, you must work smarter and harder than others in order to stake your claim. These tools (Google Drive, iPad, iPhone, social media etc) can be used to gain that edge in industries that may not be utilizing them, or effectively using them. It's something to think about - it is easy to get used to how you've always done things - but when new technology is introduced, it is always worth a look as to how it integrates into your business, otherwise you may get left behind by the individual who does adopt the technology.

John Evans, B.A.
EverLine Coatings and Services Ltd.
Calgary, Canada

Posted by Snaggy at October 29, 2012 07:58 AM