Starting your own painting business is similar to starting any other business. Identify a need for this service in your area, look at the potential profitability and determine if you are qualified to be productive in this market. Once you've decided to go forward, choosing a business name is your next move. Be creative, but show that you're serious. The common trick of starting your business with the letter "A" so you're first in the phone book is something to consider, but don't let this dictate your choice. Choose a name that's easy to remember and that will stand out wherever you advertise.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Business cards
- Cell phone
- Paint sprayers
- Paint rollers
- Digital camera
- Painting portfolio
- Safety gear
Develop a business plan that outlines the specifics and goals of your painting business. Include a budget for supplies, payroll, advertising and insurance, along with projections for future growth. If you need a loan to get your business off the ground, a well-thought-out business plan will carry a lot of weight with your banker. Be realistic about your profit projections, including the cost of paint and painting supplies, time estimates for average jobs, equipment costs and advertising expenses.
Get a business license. Having one is necessary for tax and insurance purposes, as well as product and supply discounts.
Purchase business insurance. This may include worker's compensation, as well as general liability. Your bank will also have specific insurance requirements if you get a loan, so check with your banker for details.
Advertise your painting business online and in your local paper. Personally contact home builders and other painting contractors in your area to let them know you are available.
Make a portfolio of your work. Painting references will go a long way toward helping you develop connections. "Before and after" pictures of rooms and homes you've painted will showcase your abilities and inspire confidence in prospective clients. Keep your portfolio updated throughout the life of your business. You may also wish to create a brochure from the pictures, to use as advertising for your painting business.
Open a contractor account with several local paint-supply stores. Purchasing supplies will be an ongoing part of your business, so getting the best price for your paint and other paraphernalia is crucial to your success. You will likely need your business license to set up these accounts.
Tips and warnings
- Offer to subcontract for other painting contractors while you build your business.
- Don't under-budget your supplies; add a margin for price increases when bidding on a distant project.
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