Is Starting a Painting Business a Good Idea?

Date Published: 09/15/2020

Written By George Leon

George Leon is a Painting Contractor in Charlotte NC and a Partner at Scalebloom Web Design.

As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably asked yourself “is starting a painting business a good idea?” Unlike other industries, the painting business is relatively simple to enter, making it an easy choice when starting your own company. But is this low barrier-to-entry industry the right choice for you? Only you can decide.

We’ve laid out some of the pros and cons to help you determine if you should start a painting business.

Why Starting a Painting Business Is a Good Idea

Market Size

One of the biggest reasons why starting a painting business is a good idea is because there is a huge market for painting. There are so many types of painting jobs out there for the taking. You can choose to specialize in residential interior or exterior painting for homeowners, new construction painting, or residential painting for builders. There are also commercial painting jobs for offices, apartment buildings, industrial facilities, and more. The options are endless with the size of the market!

Not only is the market large though, but it’s also a recurring market. This means that even though you’ve painted a house or an office this year, in a few years they will likely need to be repainted hence the client will give you a call. The size of the market is constantly growing as well. Think about how many new homes and restaurants have opened in your area over the past few years. All of those structures needed to hire a painting company because painting is often a need, not a luxury.

Low Start-Up Costs

When going into business on your own, your goal is to turn a profit as quickly as possible. In some industries, this can take months (or years!) before you make a profit or begin to grow your business. However, start-up costs for the painting industry are extremely low, meaning you can start with almost nothing and turn that into an immediate profit with just a few clients. This is without a doubt a major benefit to starting a painting company that most industries can’t match.

Easy to Learn

Starting a business is an exciting time. You’ve probably read dozens of books on being an entrepreneur, and you think you have the chops to succeed. If you’re interested in starting a painting company, you’re in luck. Understanding the painting business is relatively simple and easy for someone with limited painting experience to pick up. You don’t need to have a background in painting wrap your head around how the painting business works and get started. And in some states, you won’t even have to file a license application.

As the owner of the painting company, you need to be able to help direct the employee on the job. What prep work needs to be done? What materials need to be used? How can we completely satisfy the customer? If you can answer these three questions for each type of paint job your company offers (interior residential homes, exterior residential homes, etc.), you’ll have mastered the most important skills needed to lead a successful painting company.

Profitable

As a small business owner, your goal is to be profitable. A major benefit of the painting industry is that most jobs have very healthy high-profit margins. Whether your painting company specializes in commercial, residential, or industrial painting, the profit margins help cushion your bottom line and keep cash flowing into your bank account. While most lines of painting are profitable, it’s important to note that new construction doesn’t have great profit margins. When starting your painting company, make sure you’re taking a mix of jobs to ensure you’re making a profit.

Competition

While competition in the painting industry certainly exists, the companies you’re competing with are majorly lacking. If you look for painting companies in your area, you’ll likely find hundreds of them. But just because there are a lot of them, doesn’t mean you have tough competition.

Most of these painting companies are not business-savvy. If you read their reviews (if they even have reviews!), you’ll find that they aren’t good at communicating with their clients, they’re always running fashionably late, and they provide subpar paint jobs, or don’t reply back to their clients. On the business side of things, they often don’t understand how to run a business, lacking a streamlined sales process, and ignoring important marketing channels. While there might be a lot of competitors out there in your city or state, most of them aren’t real competition.

It’s easy to say you’re a painter, but it’s a lot harder to prove that you’re a professional painter. If you’re able to get your name out there as a reputable painting company in your area, you’ll be able to turn a decent profit quickly and stand out from the competition.

Why Starting a Painting Business Isn’t a Good Idea

Effort

If you’re looking for a shortcut to make the most amount of money possible by putting in the least amount of time and effort, then starting a painting company isn’t the right choice for you. Painting isn’t going to be a fast track to success—but with time and effort, you will be successful. If you’re starting a painting company (or any other business), you should expect a tight work schedule and put in a lot of time and hard work to get the company successfully off the ground.

Hard Work

Do you like to work hard? Are you ready to pour your heart and soul into your painting company? Starting any business is difficult, but for many, the benefits outweigh any of the trials and tribulations. After years of hard work, you’ll be rewarded with a job in which you can control your time and income—but without putting the time in the frontend, starting a painting company isn’t for you.

Failure

As a business owner, you can’t be afraid to fail. In fact, you need to be able to accept failures and be willing to learn from your mistakes. If you can’t get back up again after stumbling a few times along the way, you won’t be able to succeed in the painting business.

Responsibility

When the clock hits 5 pm, you can’t just check out mentally and forget about work anymore. As the owner of the business, you are responsible for everything, even after the workday is over. It can be extremely difficult to find the balance between home life and work-life now that you are 100% responsible for your employees, clients, and everything in between.

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