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Old 02-09-2011, 11:00 AM   #1
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Default hello from ontario, canada!

Hello everyone! I'm an expecting father just starting my own painting company. I've been trying to read up on as much information as I can about starting a painting business. I have roughly 6 years experience painting for family, never charged anything. Now with the baby on the way I need to really buckle down and start making an income. I understand the first few years it won't be to much money, but in time the business will grow.

Any pointers or ideas that would help a very new painting business owner would be awesome. I've called a few painting companies in my area to find the medium price. Its currently looking around $2.50- $3.50 per square foot.

I'm still deciding a name. I have a roomate who wants to be a partner in my business, and he works fast and efficiently however, sometimes his speed makes mistakes. He lives with his girlfriend who lives with me and my wife. So maybe the best route would do this alone?

Also what other steps should I take before I make my first bid? Also is there a post anywhere here which includes the best tools to use and how to professionaly set up and prepare before painting?

Alright thank you everyone for your time!
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #2
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welcome

Personally I do not recommend starting a joint business. I would start it yourself and hire your room mate as an employee, but make sure you can keep the boss/friend/roommate relationship clear: let your expectations of speed and quality be clear so he knows if you fire him why.

Unfortunately there is no generalization for square footage estimating unless you are talking new construction. Otherwise, if you are doing repaints everyone is different. Learning to estimate is hard ( I am just learning still). I break it down into each little thing, but maybe a simpler way would be to look at it by the day. Decide how much you want to make a day that is reasonable and examine what is involved in the job and see how many days you will take to make it.

You gotta try some cheap marketing to get started. Get some business cards, they are cheap and start handing them out to friends, businesses anyone that will take it. Until you can afford more marketing and a website, you may have to go by referral.

If you do not know how to professionally set up and prepare before painting then you can't be a professional painting company. A potential client will not be confident in your ability if you are not. You need to have a clear idea of what you can offer, how you will offer it, what you need to do it etc... you might consider getting a job painting for someone else. That is sure fire money. When you have done that for a few years start your own business.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:44 PM   #3
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Hey there, welcome to the forum
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoshua View Post
Hello everyone! I'm an expecting father just starting my own painting company. I've been trying to read up on as much information as I can about starting a painting business. I have roughly 6 years experience painting for family, never charged anything. Now with the baby on the way I need to really buckle down and start making an income. I understand the first few years it won't be to much money, but in time the business will grow.

Any pointers or ideas that would help a very new painting business owner would be awesome. I've called a few painting companies in my area to find the medium price. Its currently looking around $2.50- $3.50 per square foot.

I'm still deciding a name. I have a roomate who wants to be a partner in my business, and he works fast and efficiently however, sometimes his speed makes mistakes. He lives with his girlfriend who lives with me and my wife. So maybe the best route would do this alone?

Also what other steps should I take before I make my first bid? Also is there a post anywhere here which includes the best tools to use and how to professionaly set up and prepare before painting?

Alright thank you everyone for your time!
Welcome to the forum. Where are you in Ontario?

I second the post about avoiding joint ventures. I've only heard of one that has worked in the long run.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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I'm living in st. Catharines. Its close to niagara falls if that helps.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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My best advice is to continue what ever you have been doing to support your family for all the years you were painting for free. If that is not an option I suggest hiring on with a reputable paint contractor so you can have a steady and secure paycheck. This will also give you time to get a view at a PC and you can decide easier if it is something you want to make a leap for.

Starting out in this business can be very challenging and a lot of work. Once all the friends, friends of friends and family jobs dry up you will need to be getting work from somewhere so unless you are working for a builder, general contractor or a project manager you will need to make the phone ring somehow.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:50 AM   #7
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I agree with Workaholic. I have started 2 businesses from scratch and it takes a while before they become viable. go to work for a good PC and be a sponge and absorb everything that you can learn and when you have a good handle on things strike out on your own. also in a year or two the economy should be much better with more opportunity. and welcome to the forum by the way.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
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Welcome and good luck. Give'em He!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:03 PM   #9
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Thank you for all the answers! How did everyone start painting? If its a better idea to work for someone to start how and where do I start? I've tried to search online for painters looking to hire but not a lot of luck. Has anyone ever painted themselves and decided to start a company and was successful?
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoshua View Post
Thank you for all the answers! How did everyone start painting? If its a better idea to work for someone to start how and where do I start? I've tried to search online for painters looking to hire but not a lot of luck. Has anyone ever painted themselves and decided to start a company and was successful?
I started out by taking a painting job, I had zero experience with painting and started with prep and proved myself and moved up in the ranks. After many years I wanted a bigger piece of the pie and worked to achieve that.

I do believe that that is the best way to learn, hands on under someones direction. I dislike your opening statement saying you have six years of experience it is not exactly true imo unless you have been painting full time for six years. Painting every now and again over a six year span will not gain you the kind of experience you would of gained doing it everyday for six years. I am not trying to belittle you just giving my opinion.

If I was looking for a painting job right now I would go to the paint stores as they often have adds up on their bulletin board of people looking for people, I would also ask the people at the paint stores if they know any names of who is hiring, I would call every paint company in the phone book, I would look in the newspaper, there are a lot of ways to get a job but it is going to take some effort on your part but not as much effort as it would take getting the phone to ring, cold calling advertising and taking on jobs of your own. If you get interviews I would be upfront with your experience and not mislead them into thinking you have six years of solid experience.

I have seen a few members on this site not go the route I am suggesting and instead go your route and they start out strong, burn through their contacts, then struggle with getting the phone to ring and the burden of going longer periods of not having a check. I am sure a driven person can succeed going the route you are looking to achieve but it can be a rough road trying to start a painting business and if you are self taught you are probably going to run into a lot more unfamiliar situations than you would if you had the full time six years of experience. Like I said once the friends, friends of friends and family contacts are over it changes a lot.

I wish you luck either way and the reason I said what I said in my previous post was because a regular steady paycheck can be a lot more secure for the sake of your family than having to figure out where your bill payments are going to be coming from.

Does your wife work? What were you paying the bills with while painting for free over the last six years?
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:19 PM   #11
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I have to agree with Work 100%. There are so many things you don't know about painting if you have not worked with/for a professional. Business, and trade knowledge is so crittical to your success, and you can't mess around with this for your familys sake. Find a job with a contractor and be a sponge. Then after a few years, hang out your shingle.........
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:43 PM   #12
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This is where experience comes in. From grade 10, every summer I worked for a professional painter. It was fun and I enjoyed it, by far the best job I've ever had. This month before I decided the painting business, I painted my entire house. Everyone agrees its amazing work. I'm more excited about marketing and getting my own business. I know its best to start a business when your more established but I would rather start small and build it right now rather than start years down the road when I'm older. To be honest, there is little compitition here where I live. My fiances family owns a home business selling spanish food and calling cards, I know I can generate leads there.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:06 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forum. There is a lot more to being a painting contractor than being a good painter. You might want to look at something like SCORE to help you get started business wise. We have all made mistakes trying to cut corners on the "business end". This thread is a goldmine of info as well, https://www.painttalk.com/f2/new-memb...ntractor-2879/.

Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:30 AM   #14
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Welcome from BC!

Starting your own painting company is not as easy at it seems (It's probably cheaper than other trade and most of us don't even need to get a ticket to become a painter), I think you should work for a company for awhile and learn the steps of painting first, from prep to finish product, interior and exterior, new construction or repaints, even if you are planing to focus on just one of the above (It doesn't hurt to learn how to do them all, specially when you are starting you own, you gotta take on jobs to get yourself a portfolio and more experience to show to the next customer)
Also remember that it is not the same to have painted mostly amateur and then having your own painting company all of the sudden.
I've been a foreman for couple of big companies before I went on my own, and let me tell you something... Even if I knew how to paint before I started on my own, I'm still learning how to run a business!

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:55 PM   #15
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Guys, I wanna start a business in Canada, would like to know how to search for works, is there any newspaper or other source that offers job for painting and decorating.

Thanx in advance
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