This is Your Captain Speaking

“Daddy, I miss you! You want to come to Austin and hang out with me for a few days?” was the text that I was hoping for!

And when that text didn’t come, I called Austin’s newest resident and said I was flying down. “Don’t worry, I’ll be out by the weekend.”

Because I know better then to be hanging around come Saturday night.

Heavy clouds over much of the country obscured the view from seat 16F on Jet Blue flight 795 from JFK to Austin, but THE window seat is still the place to be.

From our cruising altitude of 36,000 feet, almost 7-miles high, my view stretches hundreds of miles.

Just the way I like it!

For those who work with me “on the regular,” you’ve heard my frequent reference to keeping your altitude high.

The high altitude gives a perspective which allows for strategic thinking. From 36,000 feet, even the mighty sequoia is just a speck!

I’ve been working closely with one of the Minutemen on my Revolution, Zach Maddux at PaintColumbia.com. You can go check out his site now if you like. It’s about to get a big upgrade!

I’ve shared with you previously that Zach is an Allpro dealer transitioning into the owners role; his father Zeke made parole for “time served” behind the counter.

During a Zoom earlier this week, a conversation about pricing brushes turned into a conversation about altitude.

Pricing As a Strategy


To get the bawdy 46% margin my stores had my final year at Tremont Paint required more than pricing my brushes high. It required a whole-store pricing strategy which was in place before I sat down to price the brushes.

Many dealers I know default to pricing in a way which is easy to manage. Item by item or perhaps by category, they set a margin in their POS system which defines their intended margin based on cost. New brush line? The dealer or a staff member enters the product description and cost into the POS and based on that pre-set margin, a retail price is set.

And then you often discount off of that!

The problem with that thinking in my view, is that it only takes one factor into calculating your selling price: your cost!

But a pricing strategy allows for multiple factors: cost, availability of the product at other stores in the area, relationship to other products in your own stores (that’s huge, I’ll come back to that) as well as the final and perhaps biggest component: what the market will allow.

I asked Zach how much he sold his chip brushes for?

As expected, he got a healthy margin. Keystone! A sales price double his costs.

Keystone is thought of as generous by paint store standards. Which is why I never used paint store standards!