If you have the itch to start your own company and be your own boss, starting a painting company might be the solution you’ve been looking for. With low startup capital and operational costs, you have the opportunity to build a business from scratch that has high demand and offers a good return on investment — all without needing much painting experience of your own.
Whether you’ve painted a few homes in the past or have never picked up a paintbrush, you can still be successful in the painting industry. With a sound business plan in place, you’ll be able to create a successful painting company from scratch and learn the ropes along the way. If you’re new to the painting industry, we’ve put together a guide to help you start a painting company no matter your level of experience.
Hone Your Technical Skills
If you’re a newbie to painting, no need to fret. Even without years and years of experience, you can still start your own successful painting company. There’s a low barrier of entry to get your foot in the door, but the better your technique, the happier your clients will be — and happy clients lead to referrals, reviews, and sales!
Before opening your company, take some time to improve your skills and understand the ins and outs of painting a residential or commercial property. The Internet is full of valuable resources that can teach you new techniques. Additionally, you can ask to shadow a local painter to get hands-on experience. Having a sound understanding of the best types of paint to use, what materials are worth spending more money on, and different techniques to improve your craft will ensure you leave all your customers with a job well done.
Organize Important Business Information
Starting your own company isn’t all fun and games — there’s a lot of paperwork and fine print to go through before you can open your doors. Here are the important business elements you’ll need to organize before marketing your company:
- Business Name – Every business needs a name. What’s yours going to be? You need a business name that is easy to remember and professional that you can use across all marketing material including brochures, your website, your logo, and social media platforms.
- Website URL – Think of your company’s website as a 24-hour sales rep that can connect you with prospective customers anytime and anywhere. Pick something short and sweet that ties in with your company name. Keep in mind that your website URL will also be your email domain, so you want this to be professional and make it easy for customers to know who they are dealing with.
- Incorporation – Once you choose your business name, you can’t just start taking on customers — you need to register your business with the local government as an LLC. The process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, so make sure you register your business with enough time before your opening day.
- Business Location – When you’re first starting, you might not choose to open a brick and mortar location. Consider renting small office space to put on your Google My Business profile and other marketing material. If you don’t have the funds to rent office space just yet, consider renting a P.O. Box where you can direct all business correspondences.
Prepare for Your First Customer
Now that you have all the nitty-gritty details of your business planned out, it’s time to prepare how you’re going to schedule new appointments and streamline communication with your customers. Setting up an efficient process before starting will help you spend more time on the parts of the business that bring in the most revenue. Consider setting up a process for:
- Appointment Scheduling – How are you going to manage scheduling appointments? Do prospective customers need to call to book? Will they need to schedule a consultation first? Can they schedule through an appointment booking tool on your company website? Determining these methods now will make it easier in the long run.
- Quoting and Invoicing – As a business, you need to keep track of all the money coming in and going out. When prospective customers reach out about scheduling a paint job, they’re going to be looking for a quote. What is your process for quoting their needs and sharing it with them? Then, once a job is complete how are you going to charge your customers? You need to use a tool that is easy for you to reference in the future if you ever need to look back at customer or financial records.
- Communication – Whether prospective customers are looking for a way to get a quote beforehand or have a question about a job you provided, they need to have an easy way to get in touch with you. Along with including your business’s contact information on your website, you might also consider including an instant messaging or text feature. It’s also a great idea to set up streamlined communication with your customers leading up to the job to let them know what to expect and how to prepare for your arrival.
Having these processes in place will improve the channels of communication with your customers, which will create a stronger relationship overall.
Choose Your Service Offerings
There is an endless number of services you can offer, but when you’re first starting (especially with limited experience), it’s best to start with a few core offerings. Before narrowing down your service offerings, you should first determine who your ideal customer is. Are you going to work with residential customers or commercial properties? Your customer type will help you narrow down which services should be the core of your business.
Along with choosing your services, you need to price out your services and labor as well. Overcharging for a job will leave prospective customers running to your competitors. Undercharging for a job will make it hard for you to see a return on your investment. Analyze your local market to determine what the going rates are for similar service offerings and put together a competitive offerings menu that will cushion your bottom line.
Acquire Your Business Materials
Starting a business is exciting — but that doesn’t mean you need to go all-in on equipment in the beginning. You need a vehicle to get you to different paint jobs, along with materials like paint rollers, brushes, trays, ladder, and drop sheets. Starting with the basics allows you to better understand exactly what you need as you take on more jobs or begin expanding your service offerings. Saving money on materials early on will help you see a larger return when you need it most.