How to open a painting & decorating business

Updated February 21, 2017

Opening a painting and decorating business takes several essential steps to ensure success. From writing a business plan to marketing your services, a variety of business functions are essential before any actual painting or decorating can occur. Creating a portfolio of photos, references, and previous experience is critical. Clients often rely on visual images when hiring a painter or decorator. Create a solid plan for opening your business to achieve optimal success.

Know the industry and your competitors. Talk with people in the local community, and find out if there is a need for a painting and decorating business. Discover whether the business can fill a certain niche in the market. Consider a business solely focused on doing children's rooms or perhaps staging and remodelling homes for sale. Learn what services are needed in the community, and match those needs.Visit with the local Small Business Administration for information about specific local resources such as mentor programs and grants.

Understand what finances will be needed to start a business. Make a list of equipment, tools, books, and supplies that will be essential in the first 6 months of operation. Determine whether a storefront location is absolutely necessary or if working out of a home office or studio is OK. Seek information about a small business loan from a local bank. Ask a friend or relative for a small loan if the amount is not substantial. Always write up a contract and terms for repayment.

Market your business using a variety of low-cost ideas. Create full-colour business card and pass them out at networking functions. Read the local paper for business breakfasts and luncheons to get the name of your business out into the community. Join the local chamber of commerce and become involved in planned events and activities to meet new people. Create a blog or website and update with projects and photos as they are completed. Start a postcard campaign, and mail out a 20-percent-off coupon. Use the local assessor's website to determine the names and addresses of homeowners. Home Builders Associations put on a variety of show homes that display interior design services. The public can walk through the homes and view different contractor's work. Visit with the local home builders association and find out when the upcoming show homes are; ask how painters and decorators are chosen to be involved in the show.

Research regulations by visiting with your local city, county, and state offices. Some states may require testing and additional licensure prior to opening a business in the painting or decorating fields. Some states may determine that painting and decorating are considered construction services and therefore require additional education, insurance, or other paperwork.

Things You'll Need

  • Portfolio
  • Colour photos
  • Business cards
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About the Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.