Many homeowners want to freshen up their walls or transform a room using color. However, they might be too busy or lack the skills to do this themselves. That’s where you come in! As a professional painter, you can paint, texture, or wallpaper their walls, so they don’t have to.
You’re an experienced painter, so you probably don’t need a step-by-step painting tutorial or many tips for painting a room. But you might need some help when it comes to setting up jobs, protecting your small business, and running it in general. There’s a lot more that goes into painting walls for a customer than getting your brushes dirty!
Here’s a step-by-step painting guide for small business owners:
1. Assess the Project
When painting walls for a customer, you first need to book a consultation or assessment. This appointment allows you to scope out the project. The customer will tell you what they want to be done, and you’ll use your knowledge and experience to figure out how to do it, what tools you’ll need, and how long the work will take.
As a painting professional, it’s your job to spot any additional work that may be necessary. The customer may not be aware of all the steps required for their job, so you might need to explain some of this extra work to them. This may also be an opportunity to suggest other projects that could be added to the current job or create repeat business in the future.
2. Provide an Accurate Quote
Cost and time are two of the most important factors for customers. Knowing how much it will cost can help them budget their money, and knowing how long it will take can help them prepare for the disruption that the project will create in their home.
It is in your best interest to provide an accurate quote. Providing a cost and timeframe that is as close as possible to the final work not only gives your customers the information they need but also shows your skill and professionalism. The customer can trust you because you aren’t just guessing at what’s needed for the job.
Of course, even the best plans can have their hiccups. Time and expense can be added to a job by something as simple as the weather or an out-of-stock paint color. Most painting pros build a buffer into their quotes to help cover unforeseen events like these.
3. Offer Services the Competition Doesn’t
Customers may be getting quotes from a few painting businesses in your area. Finding ways to stand out from the crowd could help you win projects over your competitors. Offering unique services is one way you might do this. Painting services you could offer include:
- Helping customers choose what paint color complements neighboring rooms in their home or offer to match existing colors for touchups or repaints.
- Partner with professional movers to help customers pack fragile items and move and cover their furniture before the painting project begins and after it’s finished.
- Provide free touchups for a set number of weeks after a job is finished or a similar guarantee on your work.
- Offer discounts for other services, such as 25% off bedroom painting when you paint your living room.
Studying your competitors could be a good way to think of new services you can provide to your customers or ways of doing things better than the competition does.
4. Schedule the Job
Booking in a room painting job is not always simple. You will need to juggle your schedule, as well as your customers. At some point, you may need to hire employees or temporary painting contractors to allow you to take on more work at the same time.
Weather is also another factor you may need to consider. Even interior paint can be affected by what’s happening outside. This may be something that your customers have not considered. Tips for painting a room that you may need to think about include:
- Moisture – High relative humidity (RH levels) make paint dry slower. This could add days to a project while you wait for coats to dry before finishing edges, painting trim, or doing touchups.
- Temperature – Direct sunlight could be a factor in some areas of a room, particularly around windows, as paint can ripple in intense heat. Low temperatures can also be an issue. Paint will not dry if it is 34-37° F.
- Season – Late spring and early fall are ideal times for painting walls. The temperatures are generally milder, and there is less humidity in many parts of the country. It’s also easier to leave windows and doors open while you work, ensuring proper ventilation and minimizing paint fumes.
5. Gather Your Supplies
Your project assessment and quote should give you a good idea of the supplies you’ll need. By using the measurements taken during this stage, you can calculate how much paint will be needed for the entire project. Though, ordering a little extra in case something goes wrong is always a good idea. You can leave a can or two with the customer that can be used for touchups in the future.
As you know, paint isn’t the only supply needed for painting walls. You should also check your brushes, rollers, drop cloths, painter’s tape, and other supplies. If you use power tools, such as sprayers or sanders, you may want to check them as well. Regular maintenance can help keep them in working order. However, schedule repairs or sort a rental before starting a job to avoid unnecessary delays.
7. Get to Work
It’s finally time to start work! As a painting business owner, you should know that your customers are probably watching you very carefully. After all, you are entering their home and working around their furniture and other belongings. You can give them peace of mind by taking steps such as:
- Cleaning up at the end of each day – Tidying up, even when a project is still in progress, can help prevent accidents like spilled paint or trip and fall injuries.
- Keeping phone use to a minimum – A customer might start to worry that their job will go overtime if they see you on your phone all day. Consider leaving it on mute (except for emergency calls) and replying to messages during breaks and before or after work.
- Respecting your customer’s home – Treat your customers’ homes and belongings as if they are your own. Remove dirty boots before entering, carefully move furniture, and be mindful of fragile items while you are working.
8. Follow Up When the Job’s Done
Your job doesn’t end once the paint has dried. Successful business owners follow up with customers to make sure they are happy with their work. This can be a great opportunity to gather positive online reviews and job referrals that can grow your small business.
A follow-up could also give you the chance to fix a negative situation. You may be able to earn a dissatisfied customer’s trust and future business if you are willing to set things right.
Is your painting business protected?
Business insurance could help you protect your growing painting company. Policies, such as General Liability* and a Business Owner’s Policy*, provide coverage for common risks that painters often face in their line of work. Instead of paying out-of-pocket to compensate third parties or cover your legal fees, your business insurance pays these for you. Painters can even get coverage for the tools and equipment they use on the job.
Compare painter insurance with BizInsure, online and in minutes – Start now!