One industry that never goes out of style? Home improvement. People are always going to be looking to update and improve their homes, offices, and other properties—which creates a lot of opportunities for businesses that can help them make those updates and improvements.
And one of the most common improvements people look to make to their properties? Painting.
A fresh coat of paint can completely transform a space—and people are willing to pay professional painters a lot of money for that transformation. If you have painting experience and are thinking about starting a new business, getting into the painting industry could be a way to start your path to entrepreneurship, become a small business owner, and build a thriving, sustainable company.
But how, exactly, do you build a successful painting business from the ground up? Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process for starting your own painting business.
Is Starting A Painting Business A Good Idea—And Is It Profitable?
First things first—before we jump into how to start a painting business, let’s quickly touch on whether breaking into the painting industry is a good (and profitable!) idea.
And the answer is—it depends.
Opening a new painting company certainly can be a solid business idea—and an idea that can drive a significant amount of revenue. But whether it’s a good and profitable idea for you depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Experience. While you don’t need decades of experience to start a painting company, you do need to know the basics of how to paint—and be able to do a professional job for your customers.
- Market. The market where you’re launching your painting business will also play into how good/profitable of an idea it ultimately is. For example, if your market already has 10 other painting companies, it’s going to be a lot harder to turn a profit than it would be if you were the only paint operation in town.
- Marketing. As a business owner, your ability to make a profit is directly related to your ability to successfully market your business—and that includes in the painting industry.
Before you make the leap into the world of professional painting, it’s important to evaluate the different factors at play—and make sure that starting a painting business is a viable business idea with plenty of profit potential.
And once you make that decision and decide to move forward? Here are the steps you’ll need to take to get your business off the ground.
Figure Out What Type Of Painting Business You Want To Start
“Painting” is a broad term; there are so many different niches and specialties within the painting industry. So, before you get too far into planning and launching your business, the first step in the process?
Figuring out what type of painting business you want to start.
For example, you might decide you want to start a house painting business and specialize in residential properties, helping homeowners with both interior and exterior painting projects. Or you might decide you want to focus on commercial painting, tackling large-scale painting jobs for office buildings, restaurants, and other commercial properties in your area.
Whatever type of painting company you want to start, it’s important to establish your niche from the beginning; that way, you can adjust your business strategy (for example, who to hire and how to market your business) accordingly.
Create A Business Plan
Every successful business starts with a business plan—and that includes painting businesses. So, once you’ve established what type of painting company you want to create, the next step in the process is creating a plan for how to get your company off the ground.
Your business plan is like a roadmap; it helps you figure out how to get from where you are now (a budding business owner with an idea) to where you’re trying to go (an established small business owner with a thriving painting company).
But what, exactly, does that roadmap need to include? Your plan should include all relevant information about starting and growing your business (the more detail, the better!), including:
- Business Name. What are you going to name your business—and how is that name going to stand out in your market?
- Target Market. Who are your target customers? What are their painting needs? How are they currently getting those needs met (for example, through competitors or through taking the DIY route to painting)?
- Competitor Analysis. Who are your big players in your area’s paint market? What kind of presence do they have in the market? And how are you going to differentiate yourself from those competitors and show your target customers that you’re the paint company they should work with?
- Equipment And Supply Needs. What kind of painting equipment and supplies do you need from the get-go—and what kind of equipment and supplies will you need once you start booking paint jobs?
- Startup Costs. What are your startup costs? Where are you going to get the capital to fund getting your business off the ground?
- Services And Pricing Structure. What painting services is your business going to offer—and how are you going to price those services? For example, are you going to charge clients by the hour or by the project?
- Operational Strategy. How are you planning to operate and manage your business?
- Staffing Needs. Who do you need to hire in order to get your business off the ground? Are you going to hire full-time house painters/employees or hire subcontractors when you need them?
- Marketing Strategy. How are you going to get the word out about your painting business and connect with potential clients?
- Revenue Goals. What are your revenue goals? What are your profit margins? How much revenue do you need to bring in to get your business in the green?
You’ll need to invest time, energy, and effort into crafting your business plan. But it’s a must if you want to set yourself and your business up for success in the long-term—so make the investment and make sure you have a detailed plan from the very beginning.
Legally Establish Your Painting Company…
Once you have a plan for your painting company in place, the first step to putting that plan into action? Taking care of the legal side of starting a business.
Before you start marketing your business or taking on clients, there are a few steps you’ll want to take to legally establish your business and protect yourself, your team, and your company, including:
- Choose your business structure and register your business. There are a variety of ways to structure a business. For example, if you’re not going to hire a team (and are just going to tackle paint jobs yourself), you may choose to function as a sole proprietorship. If you’re going into business with another business owner, you may decide to explore an LLC partnership. Depending on your business, there can be benefits and drawbacks to different types of business structures—so make sure to do your research, choose the business entity that makes the most sense for you, then take any necessary steps to legally establish your business and register it with your state.
- Get licensed and insured. You’ll need a business license in order to operate your painting business—and in order to protect yourself, your team, and your business, you’ll also want to secure the proper insurance (like general liability insurance and workers’ compensation).
- Establish your business finances. As a new business owner, it’s important to separate your personal finances and your business finances from day one—and that means getting all your business financial ducks in a row (like opening a business bank account, securing a business credit card, and setting up a bookkeeping software) from day one.
...And Establish Your Presence Online
In today’s digital age, every business needs a presence online—and that includes your painting company. Some steps you’ll want to take to establish your presence online before marketing your business include:
- Create a website. Your website is your most important digital asset—and it’s the first thing you’ll want to create when establishing your business’ presence online. Make sure to design a website that not only includes the key information about your business (like your contact information and services), but also looks professional and gives potential customers peace of mind that your business is the real deal.
- Create social media profiles. Social media can be a great way to network and find new clients—so make sure to create profiles on all the major social media sites (like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
- Get reviews. If you already have experience working with clients, ask them to write reviews about your services—then include those reviews on your website or social media profiles to help show potential customers that they can trust you with their painting jobs.
Hire A Team
Before you start marketing your business and taking on jobs, you need to ensure you have the capability to manage those jobs successfully—and, depending on what types of clients and jobs you’re going to take on, that could mean hiring a team.
If you’re going to hire a team to support your painting business, a few things to keep in mind include:
- What kind of team members do you need to hire? Again, there’s more than one way to build a team. Depending on your needs, you may choose to hire full-time employees, part-time employees, or work with painting contractors on an as-needed basis. There’s no right or wrong way to hire—just make sure that the structure you choose makes sense for your business and workload.
- What type of experience do you need your team to have? If you’re tackling simple jobs, you may be able to hire more junior painters—but if you’re going to be working on more complex jobs or jobs that require knowledge of a specific technique or piece of equipment, you’ll want to hire painters with more experience.
- What kind of people do you want to hire? Your team is an extension of your business—so you’ll want to put some thought into who you want to represent you on job sites and in working with clients. What kind of characteristics do you want your team members to have? For example, you may decide you’ll only work with people who are trustworthy, punctual, and have a keen attention to detail.
Get The Necessary Painting Equipment And Supplies
Another thing you’ll need to take care of before you start actively taking on painting work? Getting the right equipment and supplies.
The type of equipment you’ll need to get started will vary based on your business and what types of projects you’re going to tackle; for example, if you’re going to be working on interior paint jobs, you’ll need drop cloths to protect your client’s flooring—and if you’re going to be offering spray paint services, you’ll need to invest in sprayers.
One supply you can wait on? Paint. While you’ll eventually need to invest in high-quality paint, that’s a supply you can buy on a project-by-project basis based on the colors and quantity each client needs.
Get The Word Out About Your Company And Services
You’ve fleshed out your business plan. You’ve secured your painting equipment. You’ve got your staff on standby. At this point, you’re ready to start actively taking on painting work.
And that means it’s time to get the word out about your business and start marketing.
There are a number of different ways to market your new painting company, including:
- Social Media. As mentioned, social media can be a great way to connect with potential customers in your area—especially if you focus on localized social media apps like NextDoor or locally focused Facebook groups.
- Advertising. Digital advertising is a great way to deliver targeted messaging to your ideal customers and build buzz around your business and services. Depending on your audience and where you’re building your business, you might also think about exploring traditional advertising avenues, like buying an ad in the local paper or posting flyers in the local home improvement store.
- Word Of Mouth. One of the best ways to land new clients is through a recommendation from an existing client. As you expand your painting company, ask your existing clients to share your business with their friends, families, and colleagues—and offer them an incentive (like a discount on their next painting service) for those referrals.
Bottom line? As you’re building and expanding your painting business, you need to connect with as many potential clients and customers as possible—so make sure to invest plenty of time, energy, and resources into marketing your services and getting the word out about your company.
Get Out There And Build A Thriving Painting Business
Starting a new business can be hard work. But now that you know the steps to start a painting business from scratch, you’re armed with the information you need to build a successful and sustainable business from the ground up. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and build that business!