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Setting Expectations

More often than not, when a problem arises with an employee, customer or supplier, the root can be traced back to unclear expectations.

Recently, after landing a job with a new General Contractor, the office jumped up and down, high fiving each other in glorious celebration. We signed the Purchase Order, briefly discussed logistics and expected to hear from the GC in a few weeks.

A few days later the GC called in a panic, “I need painters on site tonight!” No notice, no heads up, just an anxious demand. Our operations team grudgingly turned on a dime. No doubt messing with their production schedule in the process. Not ideal in the middle of our busy season with over fifty jobs on the go.

So, whose at fault, the GC right? Nope, we are. Prior to signing the PO we should have “contracted” clear expectations, like:

  1. We need one weeks notice prior to commencing.
  2. We need color approval prior to commencing.
  3. We need to conduct a Pre-Production meeting with all stakeholders prior to commencing.

Three simple expectations would have started the project correctly and probably eliminated the  “I need painters immediately!” phone call.

Dave Notte

About the Author: Dave Notte

Dave Notte is the founder of Wolfgang Commercial Painters, one of Metro Vancouver's largest commercial and strata painting companies.

Wolfgang Commercial Painters

Call (888) WLF-GANG or email

Street Address:

112- 4268 Lozells Ave. Burnaby, BC, V5A 0C6