Skilled painting contractors help people transform their homes and businesses using color, pattern, and texture. There’s probably someone in your area who could use your talents in their residential or commercial property.
Starting a painting business is often simple, with minimal upfront investment. You will need painting, wallpapering, and floor finishing skills. You must also know how to size up projects, accurately write quotes, and how to get painting contracts. A painter with these talents could find great success as a small business owner.
If you are thinking about starting a painting business, there are steps you need to take to keep everything above board and help set yourself up for success. Here are eight steps to help you become an independent painting contractor or house painter contractor:
1. Research the market
Understanding your potential customers and the competition is a good first step when opening any business. Googling painting businesses in your area is one place to start. Take note of how many competitors are out there, their services, and how they promote themselves. This information could help you decide what services you’ll offer and help guide your advertising strategy.
2. Set your prices
While researching the competition, you might want to pay attention to how much they charge. Pricing is an art as well as a science. Factoring in your business expenses (i.e., tools, supplies, travel, insurance, time, etc.), skill, and experience help ensure that you are turning a profit and paying yourself fairly. However, setting your prices too high could price your business out of the market.
3. Gather your tools
Every job requires specific tools. Make sure you have the right ones to perform the contractor painting services you will be offering. You may want to stock up on supplies you will use frequently (i.e., brushes, paint trays, drop cloths, etc.) and repair or replace any broken tools. Resist the urge to buy expensive power tools that might only be used a few times. It may be more affordable to rent or borrow these if needed.
4. Get licensed
Painting contractors may need a license to work in some states, counties, or cities. The requirements vary by state, and there might be additional local conditions that you must also meet. In many states, independent painting contractors need a general contractor license, to have worked as a painter for a minimum number of years, pass an exam, and show proof of insurance. You should check the requirements for painting contractors in your area to ensure you are following the law.
5. Register your business
States and some cities require a business license regardless of what your company does. A business license is proof that you are legally allowed to do business as an independent painting contractor in that state or local area. Registering your business name is generally part of getting a business license, and it may provide some protection against others trying to use the same name. Finally, you may also apply for an employer identification number (EIN), which may be needed when you file your business taxes.
6. Buy insurance
Many painting contractors consider different types of insurance to protect their business. General Liability is a type of policy commonly bought by painters and other contractors who work on and in a client’s property. It protects your business against third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage. General Liability insurance might be required to obtain a contractor or business license, rent commercial space, or work as a painting subcontractor for another business.
7. Market yourself
Marketing is the actions you take to attract customers. After all, people can’t hire you if they don’t know your business exists! A painting contractor might market their business through ads, a website, social media, online directories, and search engines. Other marketing avenues include word-of-mouth referrals, online reviews, putting your business details on your truck, and wearing shirts with your business logo. There are endless ways to market your painting business if you have enough creativity!
Recommended reading: 7 Marketing Ideas for Painters
8. Hire help
As your business grows, it might get harder to keep up with everything you have to do. Hiring employees could allow you to take on bigger jobs and secure more projects. If you’re not ready to hire painters, consider getting help with other parts of the business. Professionals—such as an accountant, web developer, marketing manager, or admin assistant—could remove administrative tasks from your to-do list. They can also offer advice in their areas of expertise to help you improve and grow your small business.
Starting a painting business is a big step that takes time, effort, and money. However, it might also be a significant investment in your future. Working for yourself could give you more freedom in when and how you work, allowing you to create a work-life balance that better suits your needs.
Ready to protect your small business? Compare insurance for painters with BizInsure today!