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Old 03-23-2017, 10:08 PM   #1
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I have been with a company for over 11 yrs now and realized I have hit the ceiling. Is it wise to open a company with a partner or start solo? And how would you all suggest doing so....I have everything but a fein......insurAnce and cost will be my second forum ?
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:00 PM   #2
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Depending on where you're located, you will be required to have a license, be bonded and insured, have workmen's comp, etc. Most states have a small business bureau that will set you up with an information packet. It will include all the paper work needed to register your business and will include forms you will need to file before starting. I'm sure these days most of it can be done online. Then you need to purchase liability insurance which is usually fairly reasonable although if you're doing churches, you will likely need a "commercial rider" in addition to regular insurance.

There are usually specific rules in place in each state for setting up partnerships, sole proprietorships, LLC's, etc. and, again, your small business bureau can help you navigate all of that.

When I started out, I had a partner and he was great, except he had a desire to attend Law school so our partnership lasted less than a year. I would start out solo, get a grip on your numbers and see how busy you get before venturing into a partnership.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:50 AM   #3
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I tried on my own a few times over the years. I now have a business partner and think in my case it was a great way to go this time.
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Old 03-25-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
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My wife is co- owner but all the mistakes are mine.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:58 AM   #5
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My wife is co- owner but all the mistakes are mine.
I couldn't agree more. I constantly make every single mistake but not Carly.

I've had male and female business partners. Female's are so much better. They hold stuff for like milliseconds as where us guys will hold it for months. Plus the after fight make up with a female is so much better than just a beer with the guy.
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:02 PM   #6
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Personally, I would recommend starting slow if possible. Don't spend a fortune on all new equipment. Get what you need to get started, and then purchase nicer equipment as the jobs come in. I would start solo because I like full control. I realize that sometimes two skill sets put together can really make things happen, so if you have someone to work with, then go for it. Just make sure you have everything written down, agreed to and signed- even with a friend. If any disagreements arise, the legal documents would hopefully help avoid serious problems.

Liability insurance is very important, and is required by some states in order to be a legal painting contractor even if you are only working as a painter part time. If you stick with just painting, liability insurance isn't too bad. If you are thinking about offering additional services such as roof repair, the price may go up. Roofers have a greater liability.

A helpful website that details the business and contractor registration requirements for each state is http://www.propaintingcontractor.com .
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:53 AM   #7
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I wrote an article on how to run a painting business which would be helpful in getting started:
http://paintingbusinessgurus.com/201...ting-business/

Starting slow is the way to go.

With regards to a business partner, I'd do it only to balance out any areas of business that are hard for you. If you (for example) want to manage the team, hire someone that is good at marketing and the business side. If you prefer to do estimates and like the business stuff, hire someone who is good at managing a team.

Starting solo is probably the way to go. It is VERY difficult to end a partnership in a business. If you do get a business partner, establish a partnership agreement. Put on paper how the partnership will end if you decide to split. I took this piece of advise from one of my advisors and it saved the business!
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:19 PM   #8
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go solo
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:21 PM   #9
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Go on your own. Rather than make x $ an hour you'll make whatever profit you get from the job. Opening a painting company was an awesome adventure. It'll take a bit before some business starts coming in, but once word gets out you'll start to see a consistent flow of customers. I'm planning to expand soon with a deck building and fence contractor company once I can step away from the day to day of the painting.

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Old 04-07-2017, 08:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Rather than make x $ an hour you'll make whatever profit you get from the job.
You should pay yourself an hourly wage other wise if you want to grow you won't be able to. Even when I tried and gave up on my own I paid myself an hourly wage and banked the profits so I could buy more equipment.

For the last 3-4 years we reinvest into equipment. We put 10 grand years in a row. If we kept all the profit we would never of had the money to buy what we did. This year will be the same but less investment and more saving.

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Old 04-08-2017, 08:43 AM   #11
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To the OP, when you say you've "hit the ceiling", are you specifically talking about pay or is it more than that? I'm asking because I think there is a big difference between owning a profitable painting business and being employee that shows up to paint every day and is content as long as they're being paid a certain wage and there employer has enough work for them throughout the year.








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Old 04-09-2017, 02:37 AM   #12
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By "hit the ceiling" I meant the wage my employer is willing to pay an employee. Loyalty is overated in this business and any other business for that matter. Reserve that for family. Thank you everyone for the positive and helpful feedback!
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:11 PM   #13
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There are plenty of studies to actually back that up. Staying with one employer longer than a couple years hurts your long-term earning potential in most cases (ability/willingness to relocate is a big factor). Though, in a trade like this, I think it's "worth" it to take a wage hit if you've got a great mentor as they seem to be few and far between.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:07 AM   #14
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best of luck to you, I would try to find a good mentor, this is a tough business to start now adays
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:20 PM   #15
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What state r u in ?
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:14 PM   #16
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i launched my company a year ago by myself and haven't looked back. Wish I would've done it sooner. I was working in research and development (putting my college degree to work) and realized I ENJOYED painting much more. Used my tax return to buy a graco 395, van, and ladders.

Something that sets me apart from other painting outfits in my area is my customer service (I get calls all day For work that someone didn't show or return a call), quality work, offering extended services (drywall repair, fixing trim, cabinetry, etc), and providing fair pricing.
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