As COVID-19 restrictions loomed, Luke Holden of Performance Painting in Hobart was quick to get on the front foot.

“I emailed all my booked clients to reassure them that we were still allowed to work and were all trained up in the basics of COVID-19 hygiene,” Luke explains. “I thought I might spook a few of them but I knew I should reach out. I only had one cancellation and that was due to another trade.”

Clients appreciated Luke’s professionalism and the strategies he put in place in response to the pandemic.

Putting safety measures in place

To minimise the number of people on each job site, Luke split his staff of four painters into two teams, each dedicated to one job at a time. Luke still works across all jobs to supervise, talk with clients and, of course, paint.

Every job has a ‘clean station’, including hand sanitiser, gloves and masks. Now that the curve has flattened in Tasmania, his team is no longer wearing the masks – but clients appreciate that the equipment is available if required.

As an extra precaution, Luke has offered a virtual quoting service via FaceTime, instead of attending on site. He even posted a video on his website explaining how it would work.

“No one’s actually taken me up on it yet. People have been quite happy for me to visit in person. But if things get bad or if someone is very nervous, we have that option.”

Demand today but back-up plans are in place

For now, Luke is pleased to report he is ‘flat out’ quoting for new work. For his target market of professional home owners over 45, working from home has given them the time to focus on renovation projects.

And while his shopfitting work is largely on hold, tenders are still coming through for new jobs. Luke has also started quoting for large commercial jobs, just in case his residential work slows down. He subscribes to online portals where commercial tenders are advertised.

“There is no telling how customer cashflow will be when we head into spring and pre-Christmas, when we are typically at our busiest, so it’s worth having a back-up plan.”

On the marketing front, Performance Painting’s Facebook page demonstrates how to use social media to create a presence in your local community. In the ‘Painting it Forward’ promotion, Luke invited nominations for a local hair salon deserving of a complimentary repaint during COVID-19, generating fantastic engagement. He also regularly posts fun and personable video content.

A long-term member of Dulux Accredited, Luke values the networking opportunities that come with membership, including the advice and support shared on the private Facebook group.