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Old 03-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Hey all! Any suggestions?

Hey guys, new to the forum (been lurking a while, decided it was time to start participating) just wanted to say hi. I'm 25, and I've been painting since I was 18 and managing since 20. I've always worked with a close family friend. It wasn't technically a legal business, no marketing, all word of mouth, (we're all familiar with the type) and I've learned a lot and gained quite a bit of respect for the industry.

For the last 3 years I've been saving up to start my own company here in Iowa and I'm to the point where I can afford to do it. Due to external forces I will be moving to Nothern Colorado in a few months, and I have a decision to make. Either I put the business on hold, or keep going with it. I've done a TON of research into the various markets and I've come to the conclusion that it's still doable. The market out there will be a lot more crowded (more professional painting contractors with good-looking websites, marketing, etc) than here in Iowa, but the market is also more affluent and more highly populated.

So my plan as it stands right now is to get everything ready in the next few months so I can hit the ground running when I get there. I'll be offering painting, pressure washing, staining, gutter cleaning, and window washing. I'll be starting out in a crowded market, with plenty of experience but no contacts. I also will not have any referrals, testimonials, etc. I know people in the area, but none with any influence in the way of landing jobs. My plan is to keep overhead very low and have enough cash on hand so I can afford to run lean until I start landing jobs. I'll have a good looking website and all the tools I need as well as some marketing materials. My question to you is: am I crazy? What do you think? Any suggestions for getting started in a market where I'm brand new?

This forum is outstanding; I've already learned a lot, and I will definitely keep learning as I go along!
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to PT.

I'm kinda new here to btw. I just started in a large city with few contacts also. Is it scary? Heck yea, but it beats working 9-5 for 'the man'. If you have been painting that long it sounds like it's in your blood. I'd jump in if I were you. any person you know or meet in that area might just be a gold mine of resources with the people they know. You never know till you try. I would rather try and fail than wonder later if it could have worked.

Good luck mate!

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Old 03-19-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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Good luck. Remember to keep your overhead low even when you no longer have to. It will all pay off.

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Old 03-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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Jump in with both feet never look back and say I should have. By your intro I think you will make a big splash..


Welcome to PT glad to have you..
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, thanks for a great intro.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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Welcome from Michigan 86!
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
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Welcome!

I'm also in a similar situation, although my wife's job has been a great resource and the refferals have already started. Like Do-Honey said, keep in mind that everyone you meet is a potential costumer (especially if your in a small community) dont hesitate to casually work in to a conversation that you have a painting company when you meet people. Otherwise, well designed flyers have been my second best generator for leads.

Good Luck man

And by the way, you are crazy, but enjoy it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #8
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Hey 1986,

I am new here on paint talk too. I only have a few years on you my man. In this business just a few years can exponentially further your skill. Working for yourself can teach you a lot in a short time too I think. With that being said from my personal experience, little actions can evolve into huge reactions. When I started on my own I did nice work but not in the right way. If you can be creative enough and keep from tattooing your face anything is possible. LOL If I were you I would do it for the adventure. Painting is an adventure in the first place. If your organized and driven you could market your personal skill and set yourself apart. Colorado is beautiful by the way, I have been there once. Realistically you could always do work for a little less to get going. I could probably be shunned by all of the veterans here for saying that. I am NOT TELLING YOU TO BE A $99 room guy for the record. I was taught at a young age that faux finishing is a great way to set yourself apart. I regularly give away my simple signature faux accent walls to my nice customers. It costs me pennies in material and a little extra time. It has got me thousands of dollars of awesome work. I once helped out a friend of a friend as a favor for $500.00 for the week. I met his parents when I was there working. That was 3 years ago, since then they have became like family to us and have given me over forty thousand dollars of work. They are one of my best contacts. I have had great success with simple marketing tactics. #1 for me, believe it or not the simple business card. I have been told several times that "this is the coolest card I have ever got" It is just a nice ultra premium card that I put some thought into. A lot of people neglect this little aspect I think. I got my cards from www.nexcards.com highly recommended. Four years ago I made a portfolio book of my work online from www.Inkubook.com HIGHLY RECOMMENDED I have gotten tons of compliments on my book and it has directly led to countless closed deals on the spot. I am going to start a thread about that soon. Vehicle wraps are awesome too IMO, a wrap is next on my list as a matter of fact. So paint that half bath ceiling, you never know what could come from it. Just some Ideas for your Color Quest.

good luck 1986
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:52 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone who's replied so far, you've provided some good info. I know that showing clients your past work along with testimonials from other clients is very helpful in closing sales. since I won't have any of that (I never took pictures of our projects in the past) does anyone have any suggestions for getting around that?

I know honesty will always be the best policy, but is there anything you think might be helpful in overcoming objections to my lack of history in the area? I'll be licensed and insured, and when the time comes I'll get workers comp as well as unemployment insurance (these are all things I've budgeted for). I can't help but envision some hard to answer questions when it comes to past work\clients, etc.

HPQ - how did/do you distribute those flyers you mentioned? Do you target certain markets/neighborhoods?

Last edited by painter1986; 03-19-2012 at 04:53 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:21 PM   #10
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I live in a rural community (although a wealthy community) with 3 small towns in my target area. I just spent a day going from business to business posting where ever there were flyers posted, ( I always ask first so it gives me a chance to show them the flyer and possibly make a connection). I also had my flyer proffesionally done (using stock photos) so it would stand out among the other flyers - and it definatley does. I think this has made a diference.

I would also add that PT has been a great resource for knowledge, especially in terms of running a business (just dont ask pricing questions, if you havent already learned that ) And dont worry if you get some negative responses to a dumb question. If one person gives you something that helps, thats whats important.

Spend some time searching past threads, there is allot of knowledge here.

These helped me quit a bit.

https://www.painttalk.com/f4/bidding-...=bidding+close

https://www.painttalk.com/f4/craftsma...uccesful-1226/
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:40 PM   #11
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Welcome 86 and good luck with the move. It seems like you got it together and have been doing your homework. It is a little scary starting a business, especially if you have people depending on you to succeed. In my case, I have a wife and 2 kids to provide for. I started my business almost 2 years ago and went into it with the mentality that I can't and won't fail. When you get to Colorado, do some research on where your target area(s) will be and start handing out business cards to everyone you see. If you do good work than the word will spread.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:40 AM   #12
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Welcome to PT!

Nothing crazy about having a dream and a plan to make it happen. Just keep in mind that it's a hell of a lot of work and there will be many times you'll be tempted to ask yourself why you ever did it. Then a job, a week, or a client will come along and make you remember why.

Sounds like you have the energy. Just couple that with a good business plan (I would advise you make it all legal this time) and some common sense and you should do well.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:41 PM   #13
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welcome and good luck
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:34 AM   #14
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Hello I from Ukraine, engaged in painter works.With pleasure will work for you, suggestions on an e-mail. [email protected]
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:06 AM   #15
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Welcome and best of luck ! Remember, if you build it they will come. hey that's a catchy phrase, wonder if I could patent that?
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