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Old 10-16-2009, 12:59 PM   #1
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Hello All,
Been a lurker of this site for a while, finally got up the guts (and knowledge) to start participating. A little background. Back in my youth I helped my father with his painting business in California. I did that for about 9 years, starting at a very young age. I then moved on, went to school, got a couple of degrees and spent the last 25 years in High Tech in various management, finance and operations roles. In January of this year I was impacted by a restructuring. With the ridiculously tight job market (especially it seems for an old fart like myself) I decided to indulge my entrepreneurial spirit.

After looking at a number of alternatives, primarily focused on service industries, I decided to pursue painting as I did have some experience (although a long time ago). Initially I looked into franchise opportunities, but after researching those, the biggest benefit I saw to that route was the initial start up. Although the cost was not that high, I really did not want to end up sending 6% of everything I make to someone else for the rest of my life. Heck, I know what it takes to run a business (one of my degrees is an MBA), I just needed to know more about painting, figure I could start small and take it from there.

I soaked up all the knowledge I could and these forums have been invaluable. I also leveraged the knowledge I gains from pursuing the franchise opportunities and read whatever I could on the subject. My wife basically handles the Marketing side, I handle the operations side. We launched about a month ago, and have been immersed in this incredible learning experience.

We have found 4 great painters, and have been able to keep 2 of them busy so far. My biggest challenge has been estimating and developing production rates. Initially I started with rates I found here and have been making adjustments after each job. We did OK on our first exterior, made about $50 on our first interior job ($3,700 total), but have been doing OK on the follow-ons.

As this is my first post, I want to thank all of you guys for imparting your knowledge out here. You all have been a great help and I am looking forward to helping others by posting my learnings and hopefully eventually become an asset to this on line community.

Thats it for now! I gotta go over the techniques forum and ask how much I should charge to paint some garage springs
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:14 PM   #2
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Welcome CC: Man making so little on a job, I would want to forget that one.Well a guy's got to make a living I guess
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Never argue with a fool - they will drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #3
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That was a painful learning experience, but you gotta learn through mistakes. What I have found in these early stages is that I was grossly underestimating prep time and and overestimating paint coverage. That place also had a kitchen and 2 baths that needed wallpaper removal, texturing and paint. In 2 of the rooms it was original wall paper, basically paper on paper as they did not bother to primed the walls. I didn't incorporate enough time for the 19' ceilings in the Great Room either.

Although I took it in the shorts, the fact that it had basically a little bit of everything was very helpful. I did not have to screw-up estimates on several jobs, just one big one! (knock on wood).
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:29 PM   #4
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Try to remember that contractors are sometimes the worst at over estimating their ability.Once you have a figure on how much time it will take, add 15% on to that to make up for your over qualifying yourself.On that job atleast you would have made that much more.
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:13 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have all your ducks in a row!
I was looking at your well laid out site, be interested to hear what kind of response you get from the "painter for a day".
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #6
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welcome
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum, do you get many responses from the painter for a day?
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:58 PM   #8
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Welcome
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorful Cans View Post

I gotta go over the techniques forum and ask how much I should charge to paint some garage springs


Welcome from St. Louis.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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Welcome and enjoy.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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So far have only received 1 query on the Painter For a Day. The gal wanted 1 room painted and I went out to give her an estimate (see if the painter for a day was feasible). Estimate came out to $450 (high ceilings, lots of brush work). She chose to go elsewhere, I'm trying to find out if it was price, or something else.

Being a new, I am just seeing the activity start to pick up and the daily visitor charts are actually looking like charts. I'll be re-addressing and tweaking the Specials when I get a feel for what works.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:06 PM   #12
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Welcome! I can relate to your career change. My father, the founder of our company had a similar experience.

He started out as a union electrician in his 20s, went to collage, became a CPA then got his masters in finance. Spent 10-15 years doing that. The company he was with was bought out and he was laid off with 6 months severence. He was tired of the buisness world so decided to try painting. He put ladder racks on the station wagon and we literally started out as 'station wagon bandits"!
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:13 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forums.

For those wondering, "Painter for a Day," was actually a program originally started by Allbright Painting (http://abpainting.com/). Not sure how well it went for them, but now they are offering something called "painting parties" where they provide all of the materials, advice, but the HOs paint. Pretty innovative!
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