If you are a painter, have a good experience in painting, and probably thinking to break-off, and start something of your own, then a painting business is an excellent option for you. The business is lucrative, constructive, and scalable. And, the good news is it’s not hard to start at all. The painting industry estimates around $37 billion per year and all you will need is the skill and a minimum of $500 to be one of the players of this magnum industry.
Today, we will talk about how to start a painting business and excel in it. Follow the steps carefully, and you will have your own legal business running in no time. Double check each step before you move on in the process.
Let us start with the stepping-stone.
Registering Your Company as a Legal Entity
Okay, to form your business legally, you have to go through two steps. Both the steps are essential, which will help your business thrive in the longer run.
First, you have to file a document with the secretary of state and establish your business entity. Each state and country has different requirements and processes for forming a business. For your state, to get the best idea, consult your state corporation authorities or look up the secretary of state website and learn more about filing a business document. You can also hire a lawyer who can walk you through with the entire business establishment journey.
You will have to choose between a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, and a corporation. Each type comes with its pros and cons; however, most painting companies are LLC, and we recommend the same for you as well.
Moving forward, you will need to get an EIN. It stands for Employer Identification Number, which is used to set up your bank account or when you file taxes. You can obtain your federal EIN from your state’s IRS website.
Open a Business Bank Account
Once you acquire both the business registration number and EIN, it will be easier for you to obtain a bank account for your business.
We highly recommend that you have two separate accounts for your business and personal use. This way it will be easier for you to track your income and expense. It will be helpful during the time of business audit and tax filing.
Depending upon the bank and account type, you may have to deposit a small amount as opening balance and may have to maintain a minimum balance in your account.
Obtain Licenses and Permits for Your Business
You have to obtain certain licenses and permission to run the painting business in your city. With each state, your licensing requirement to run the business will change. While some states, such as Colorado do not need licenses to run a painting business, other states, like California, involves lots of procedures to go through to obtain a license. Again, you will need to find out from local authorities about what you should do.
Get a Business Insurance Coverage
Your next step should be securing your business and future by obtaining a comprehensive insurance for your company. Again, insurance requirements vary from state to state and business to business. However, you can get a general liability insurance of $1,00,000 worth for your company.
Liability insurance is a very common type of insurance coverage, and you get it across most insurance companies. However, we suggest that you call up the best insurance companies in your city and get quotes for general liability insurance for painting business. Compare rates, features, and sum insured before you purchase one.
Basic insurance will not cost you more than $100 per month.
After that, we suggest that you also fulfill worker’s compensation requirements. You can contact your local government office to confirm your duties.
Equipment, Gears,and Tools You Need to Buy for Your Business
The kind of equipment, gears, and tools you need to buy depends on the type of business you plan to start. For instance, you won’t be requiring much if you choose to go solo. Similarly, if you choose to build a business with sub-contractors, you will not have to buy any painting equipment. All you will need in this kind of business is few sample brushes and colors.
If you decide to expand your business by hiring employees, you will need to buy a complete set of equipment that goes into painting a home. Depending upon the brand and quality, this should cost you around $500 to $2000. You can also rent out equipment per-day wise if you don’t wish to invest now.
Some of the standard equipment and tools that a painting company must possess include:
- Drop Cloths
- Paint brushes of different sizes
- Roller pins and roller trays
- Airless paint sprayer
- Masking Gun
- Scrapper to peel off old paint
- Wire brush
Few of the equipment are not compulsory to buy. The airless paint sprayer, masking gun and wire brushes are optional. However, they have an immense ability to speed up the painting process and save you a lot of time. For instance, the masking gun is used to mask off doors, roofline, and windows while using spray paint. Moreover, for $50, it is absolutely worth it.
You can eliminate the expenditure if you hire subcontractors to do the work for you.
Marketing Your Work and Getting Your First Contract
Marketing and growing your business is a continuous process, especially when the competition is fierce and the marketing medium fiercer.
Most start-up companies heavily rely on cost-effective forms of marketing. Even if you have the money, we ask you not to spend heavily on your marketing and promotions, unless you know it’s a sure shot.
Start by talking to your friends, ex-colleagues and family and relatives. Get the word out and ask them for referrals. It is easier to sell services to referrals than acquire new clients.
You should also print flyers and brochures about your company and services provided and send them across various places, including local supermarkets, grocery stores, church bulletin, paint shops, and other relevant storefronts.
You can also collaborate with paint shops, building contractors, interior decorators, and architects and see if they will be interested in recommending you to their clients and walk-in customers.
Create a Website
Once you have the first few customers and projects in line, we ask you to create a simple website. Nowadays, websites speak a lot more about your business than you and your salesperson can ever speak of. It has become an identity of your company, like an online business card. You need to build a good website and include as much information about your business as you can. You can get a free domain name from hosting company and host your website for just $3 a month.
However, free-hosted domains usually provide shared space, which may tend to become slower as and when you start getting too many viewers on your site. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a professional web designing company and get the work done cost-effectively. In fact, a professional web developer will help you market your website using SEO strategies.
Use the Social Media
Once your website is up and running, you should go further into the marketing phase and make an appearance on social media. Open accounts in social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and create pages for your painting business.
Post-work-related information and relevant articles on your social media pages and link your website to each post. Make sure when customers are directed to your website, they find what they are looking for. This means your live website should contain business information, such as your rendered services, your portfolio, your contact details, a direct message page, and if you are okay with it, then your project quotations.
Apart from these marketing techniques, you can also invest in influencer marketing, blogger outreach and paid ad campaigns, provided you are ready to spend.
Set Your Rates
Setting your rates and quoting your charges to your clients in a competitive business such as painting is very important. For this, you will have to create a basic client manual and a basic business contract. The manual will include information about you and your value proposition, whereas your contract will include information about your services, such as areas of the house, the materials used, the prep work, the bills, total job size, and estimated period.
Your rate will depend upon the work you provide, the number of laborers needed to complete the work, the number of days, the material used and the complexity of work.
A contract will help your client and you to abide by the agreement and oblige to all the duties, including completing the work on time and not damaging the property, (on your part) and paying the money (on their part).
You will be able to price better once you are in the league and have completed a few successful projects. So, it is okay if you falter in the beginning; just stay focused and provide outperforming service. If you got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments.