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Old 01-12-2011, 09:53 AM   #1
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Hi everybody. My name is Dan and I'm new to Paint talk, and I'm also new to the painting industry. I enjoy painting and I feel like I do a great job. I really want to get into my own business but I'm not sure where to start. I have the skills and some of the equipment to do interior painting, drywall patchwork and trim. I am also pretty confident in my ability to do faux finishes.

How do I start and where do I get the customer base from? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

-Dan
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:01 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
I moved your post to the Introductions thread. A lot of guys "enjoy painting and do a great job". Making it work as a business is a whole different thing.
Have you worked for another painter before?
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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There are many great posts here about starting a business. Im sure one of the mods will gladly link numerous posts to help you out. You can also search and find good info.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:06 AM   #4
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Yep, like this one.
https://www.painttalk.com/f2/new-memb...ntractor-2879/
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:54 AM   #5
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I got some advice for ya.....Run, Forest, Run!!!!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:02 AM   #6
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Find out about a license, insurance, WC, figure out the cost to be legit and then come up with a business name, start marketing and then become a salesman.

Where did you gain your experience? Many people decide to become a PC and many close up shop before the first year is behind them, it is a lot more than just having some equipment and using it. Use the search feature and read up on the pitfalls. Good Luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Workaholic View Post
Find out about a license, insurance, WC, figure out the cost to be legit and then come up with a business name, start marketing and then become a salesman.

Where did you gain your experience? Many people decide to become a PC and many close up shop before the first year is behind them, it is a lot more than just having some equipment and using it. Use the search feature and read up on the pitfalls. Good Luck and welcome to the forum.
Don't be a party pooper, Sean, he can always become a lowballing bottom feeding hack like 85% painters out there. He don't need no steenking ins, wc, license, rrp - none of it. He just needs to work hard, give a great job, for a low price - cash preferably.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:31 AM   #8
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best advice i could give would be to find a successful company and go to work for them for a few years and learn what they know. in reality they will be paying you to learn what you need to know to run a successful business for yourself.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plainpainter View Post
Don't be a party pooper, Sean, he can always become a lowballing bottom feeding hack like 85% painters out there. He don't need no steenking ins, wc, license, rrp - none of it. He just needs to work hard, give a great job, for a low price - cash preferably.
If youíre so against low balers and illegitimate painting contractors then why donít you educate people when they ask for help instead of leaving some smart ass remark? Itís our job as (professional painters) to inform new contractors and home owners about these kind of things. How do you expect anything to change if you donít do anything to change it!!!! I donít know about you but painting is my carrier my way of feeding my family, I want to inform people on how not to end up like 85% of painters. The best thing I can do is share what works for me and what doesnít work and stop being a smart ass no it all!!!!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewaldd21 View Post
Hi everybody. My name is Dan and I'm new to Paint talk, and I'm also new to the painting industry. I enjoy painting and I feel like I do a great job. I really want to get into my own business but I'm not sure where to start. I have the skills and some of the equipment to do interior painting, drywall patchwork and trim. I am also pretty confident in my ability to do faux finishes.

How do I start and where do I get the customer base from? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

-Dan
Don't ask me dude. Been doing this 10+ yrs and still trying to figure it out.

All earnestness aside, you might want to seriously consider working for an established painting company for awhile. This would do a few important things. You would begin to understand components of a functioning paint contractor business. But, probably more importantly, you would learn new and improve on skills you already have.

There may be things about painting you don't know you didn't know. If you want to have a solid grasp on the basic foundational stuff, there probably isn't a better way. Where would you rather find out you are over your head, on one of your own jobs where you are actually damaging somebodies property instead of adding value, or working for somebody else, where you can get instruction on how to do it right?
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #11
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First, find out if licensing is required in your area. If so, take the classes and the test. Set up and LLC or S-Corp in the business name. Get insurance. If you are going to work on homes built before 1978, you will need to get certified by the EPA to be able to work in those homes as they may have lead paint (RRP).

Once all that is done, then it is time to start finding work.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:35 PM   #12
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I remember my 2nd year into painting. I thought at the time I could start my own business. I ended up get to busy to do my own thing cause my pay rate would increase and felt respect from the paint contractors I worked for. 13 years later I started Ewing Painting. I'm so glad I didn't start my own gig then. I didn't realize how much there is to learn in this industry. Like understanding coatings, what coating is best for each surface, what the right prep for that surface, application methods, using the proper tools, using them correctly, running crews, job safety, how to be productive, and most important how to create business, not to mention all the other business aspects of it. Just having the skill is not enough, I was running a crew within 4 years of painting. I acquired the skill fast. Looking back I wasn't nearly ready to start my own gig as I thought and am very fortunate I didn't.
Good luck in your endeavor
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubinpainting View Post
If youíre so against low balers and illegitimate painting contractors then why donít you educate people when they ask for help instead of leaving some smart ass remark? Itís our job as (professional painters) to inform new contractors and home owners about these kind of things. How do you expect anything to change if you donít do anything to change it!!!! I donít know about you but painting is my carrier my way of feeding my family, I want to inform people on how not to end up like 85% of painters. The best thing I can do is share what works for me and what doesnít work and stop being a smart ass no it all!!!!!
LOL - let me know how that Informing bit works out for ya. It's our job? Who says? It's my experience that some guys have a business like attitude and the remainder don't. You can't change that. What I do is preaching to the choir, keep the choir together. I have no intention of informing nobody, especially newcomers. Keep sharing away - sure that will work wonders for your business.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #14
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LOL - let me know how that Informing bit works out for ya. It's our job? Who says? It's my experience that some guys have a business like attitude and the remainder don't. You can't change that. What I do is preaching to the choir, keep the choir together. I have no intention of informing nobody, especially newcomers. Keep sharing away - sure that will work wonders for your business.
That's just asinineing. You and WP need to pm each other about it
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewaldd21 View Post
Hi everybody. My name is Dan and I'm new to Paint talk, and I'm also new to the painting industry. I enjoy painting and I feel like I do a great job. I really want to get into my own business but I'm not sure where to start. I have the skills and some of the equipment to do interior painting, drywall patchwork and trim. I am also pretty confident in my ability to do faux finishes.

How do I start and where do I get the customer base from? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

-Dan
Dan,
Lots of sound advice here. You don't mention what the alternative may be? Do you have a family to consider?
Many paint contractors I run into these days are people who unfortunately have failed at something else, they are handy and need to find a way to make a living. I have spent my life in the business of painting. I am third generation. I have done well, have a nice small business and a nice client base-no regrets. If I had it to do all over again starting out TODAY I most likely would not. I have seen the profit margin decrease greatly over the past decade or so. Increased competition(these days a "feeding frenzy") along with increased overhead costs are big factors. Think about covering yourself with a health insurance plan and setting up a pension. If you have employees, think about the same for them. It is becoming almost undoable in our market. We are competing with other "contractors" who do not figure for these type of expenses and you will most likely be as well. I even see what appears to be quality companies with 5 trucks and 12 men employed only to learn that only 1 or 2 of them are "on the books". The average person has no idea the cost of payroll expenses. They get chased around by Worker's Comp, Sales Tax, & the IRS. Now probably the EPA as well. Somehow they manage to stay ahead of them. They aren't bad guys, they are just trying to survive and pay their mortgage. Trying to find a way to sell a job a little cheaper than the next guy because they desperately need the work, but it has taken it's toll on the industry. I wish you the best. There is big difference between painting some trim for a neighbor or family member, having them love it and making a weeks pay at the same time and owning, operating and running a consistently successful paint contracting business-especially in these times. Think long and hard.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewaldd21 View Post
Hi everybody. My name is Dan and I'm new to Paint talk, and I'm also new to the painting industry. I enjoy painting and I feel like I do a great job. I really want to get into my own business but I'm not sure where to start. I have the skills and some of the equipment to do interior painting, drywall patchwork and trim. I am also pretty confident in my ability to do faux finishes.

How do I start and where do I get the customer base from? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

-Dan
Welcome Dan!

First bit of advice I can offer is to stop cheering for the Bills. They are terrible.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:29 PM   #17
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Welcome Dan, you have been giving some good advice here. One thing many people who go into business for themselves do not consider is the amount of time that you have to put into it. Be prepared to work harder and longer hours than ever before. Take on stresses that at times seem overwhelming and all consuming that include personal, business, and financial. Educate yourself as much as you can. Most importantly, keep positive! Good luck.
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