Updated October 19, 2021
Running a painting business is appealing for three reasons that I'll cover in this article. Those three reasons briefly are – the startup costs are extremely low, the value of a customer can be quite high (which means you don't need to spend crazy money on marketing to keep busy), and you can make your painting business into a large operation if that's what you want.
I interviewed three people who have been in the painting business for a long time, and asked them what you should know about how to get started with a painting business, and how to run and grow your business.
First, I wanted to know what background they came from – do people usually work in the industry first – maybe as a painter – before starting a business? Or can you just start a painting business with no industry experience?
I asked my three experts – how did you get started in the painting business?
did you work with someone in the industry first? or did you just get started on your own?
is industry experience really needed? or can you hire an experienced crew, and learn as you go?
is it an expensive business to start? what equipment do you need as a minimum, to start a painting business?
Once you get your first painting job, you're all set to start getting some work done and generating some money. The income can be good, especially once you start to get a steady flow of incoming enquiries.
I asked the three successful painting business owners how much you could expect to earn as you get started in this business, and as you get more established.
is it a profitable business to run? can you expect to earn a good income right away?
A painting business is however profitable you want it to be – there is a huge demand for the service, so you can scale to the moon or you can work as an owner-operator and make a very solid income. You can do as much or as little as you like.
But – getting clients is where it all starts.
I asked my three successful painting business operators:
what works to get started in the business, and get your first client or contract?
Customers will often get bids or estimates from a few painters, and consider at least two or three painting businesses before they decide which one they'll hire to do their painting.
I asked my three industry experts – how do customers choose which painter they're going to hire?
what do clients really care about? what are they looking for from a painting business?
As soon as you get a website online or your Google Local Business listing up, you're going to start getting marketing calls and emails from people wanting to sell you all sorts of advertising services.
Some are great, and some are not.
I asked my three successful founders what their experiences were with methods of generating new business. I wanted to know what had worked well for them, and what had been a waste of money.
regular advertising? cold calling? sales letters? online advertising? what works, and what doesn't?
The experts agree that having a website is a big deal, and good SEO is the most important thing you can do in the long term – and it's never too early to start that. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll start generating and incoming flow of calls and enquiries from your website.
is there something that sounds like a good idea, but is actually a bad purchase or waste of money?
is it a good lifestyle? are the hours super long? can you take time off when you need to?
Some industries – especially when there's a low barrier to entry – seem to be a magnet for low-quality operators who just turn up and maybe do substandard work, which can lead to bad experiences for the customer.
I asked my three painting business experts:
are there shady operators doing things the wrong way? or is the industry mostly full of professionals?
In the painting business – like most other industries – it can often be easier to get extra revenue from your existing clients, instead of trying to win more clients or jobs each month.
I asked my three painting business experts what additional services a painting business can offer, to increase revenue?
are there extras and add-ons? what do customers often request?
the three successful founders share their keys to success in this industry, based on their own experiences
The painting business is easy to start – the demand for painting services is at an all-time high, the costs to get started are low, and there's plenty of opportunity to make some serious cash.
I have spent over 100 hours learning everything there is to know about the painting business, by talking to industry experts and painting business operators. I have compiled it into the worlds most useful guide, How to Start a Painting Business. You can check it out below.
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