What is Lead Time and How Does it Affect Your Business?

If you’re a decorator, you might wonder how much work you SHOULD have booked in advance. After all, you don’t want to overcommit yourself and end up being spread too thin. On the other hand, you also don’t want to find yourself with too much free time on your hands and not enough work to keep you busy. 

So, what’s the right balance? How much work should you have booked, and how far in advance should it be? Keep reading to find out!

What jobs are in the pipeline, and how far in advance do you have work booked? Is that work booked in with a deposit, or have you just pencilled in a date with the client? Have you factored in a contingency for the price increases we are having a few times a year, or do you note in your quotes that the price is only valid for a set number of days?

There are a lot of posts doing the rounds of different groups about this, and the answers are really varied; some decorators are booked up for a month, some a few months and some until the end of next year. How many of those with jobs booked into the end of next year have deposits paid and clients confirmed?

Are you finding that work is busy at the moment and the enquiries are coming in thick and fast, or are you finding that it is slowing down slightly compared to earlier this year? Are you in a position where you are really rammed out and thinking about staff, or are you worrying about finding keeping yourself in work hard on its own? Lots of questions, but there are a lot of factors that will affect what I will go into a little further down, and I want you to think about answering a few questions first.

The final questions we ask are whether you market your business or expect work to come to you through word of mouth and recommendations? Are the clients you have booked your ideal clients? The ones who are a dream to work, ones who can make up their mind about colours, pay on time and leave glowing reviews. Or do you have clients booked in that you would prefer not to work for but don’t have many options because they are the enquiries you are getting? If the answer is the latter, you need to think about marketing your business better via social media, contacting local builders or getting involved with networking groups such as BNI.


Another alternative is to join the decorator’s growth club FREE group where we post lots of great tips that can help us make more money, but the best way to get even more help and guidance is to join the Pro Members Group for only £25 a month.


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