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Old 09-29-2010, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Want to start "another" painting business

Hello,
I'm new to the board and have read some exceptional advice from a few guys that inspired me to get off the fence and participate.

I'm looking for some insight...

Over the past 5 months I've been passively looking into starting a another painting business. I say another because I had a 10 yr. old company about 15 years ago. It was fairly successful, but breaking my back. You see, I made the mistake that everyone talks about–I was afraid to leave the "painting" to someone else and work on the business. I eventually fell back on my college education and went a different direction–I ended up in design & advertising. I have been doing this for some time now. However, I've got the urge to "do it right" this time. I've been looking into franchises, but I'm not sure that they can really offer me anything I can't offer myself.

I'm also trying to figure out the best software to use for service management and estimating, as well as manuals, tutorial DVDs, and contracts. I don't want to throw my money away if I can get some solid direction here. At this point I am simply building a business plan and model, and trying to compose a budget. Can anyone lend a hand with this or offer constructive commentary on my proposed endeavor?

Thanks!
Mike

Last edited by mikl; 09-29-2010 at 07:53 PM..
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:05 PM   #2
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Welcome, do you have anyone dependable to preform the work?
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:11 PM   #3
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I do. Although I'm not ready, my father has been a painter for about 45 years and is semi-retired. As well my friend at the local paint shop I used to use has some "good" prospects. I haven't put too much effort into that end of it yet. Although I know it's important, I want to make sure to put some work in the pipeline before I line up anyone. I would really like to develop an interview process that gets me maybe 50% sure a guy is going to work out.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:16 PM   #4
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I understand the spot your in. Do you sell jobs first, or hire first?....... Can you do any of the labor until you get going? Then hire a lead painter and work side by side with him until your ok with his work. Keep hiring as needed like that, and you should be golden!
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:17 PM   #5
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I think the employee you need is someone you can trust. That's gonna be hard getting someone off the streets. What kind of paint jobs you gonna chase?
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #6
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A little challenging for sure.

I have a couple of realtor connections and my family is well networked In the community. I thought I would start there. Mainly stick with residential repaints and light commercial.

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Old 09-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #7
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How will you view the homes? I hope this doesn't sound rude. I'm assuming you are in a wheelchair. Correct me if I'm wrong. One of my good friends is in one. I believe you are capable. Was just wondering, cause not all homes are wheelchair accessible. Will you have your father help?
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:21 PM   #8
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I should have put "breaking my back" in quotes. I just meant that it was physically wearing on me. Sorry for the confusion. No, thank God I am fully mobile.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:29 PM   #9
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good now I can play rough with you.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:32 PM   #10
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I thought you were a ambitious guy in a wheelchair
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I thought you were a ambitious guy in a wheelchair
Just an ambitious guy! You handled it like a pro though.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:40 PM   #12
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Does your state require licensing?

Here read these
https://www.painttalk.com/f2/new-memb...ntractor-2879/

https://www.painttalk.com/f4/pricing-...-success-2779/

https://www.painttalk.com/f4/starting...may-help-1371/
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:47 PM   #13
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Thanks. I have been through the first link already and that's what convinced me to join.

My state does not require licensing, but a business license is recommended.

Have or do you use an estimating software?
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:51 PM   #14
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I don't, a few members here do, maybe they will chime in. I do use excel, and a take off software. What ever you use just be consistent. That keeps mistakes from happening.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikl View Post
Have or do you use an estimating software?
Mike, a proven track record of sales and customer satisfaction should come before estimating software and other fancy gadgets.

Also, the same applies for logo and stationary design, websites, glossy brochures, and the other things of that nature.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y.painting View Post
Mike, a proven track record of sales and customer satisfaction should come before estimating software and other fancy gadgets.

Also, the same applies for logo and stationary design, websites, glossy brochures, and the other things of that nature.
Thanks for the perspective. You are absolutely correct. My intention is not to collect fancy gadgets, but to stay organized and track sales. I want to know what advertising is working and how many hits my website gets when I run an ad. I am in advertising and know the value of a well-branded image (web sites, logo, brochures), and they go hand-in-hand with customer approval.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:56 PM   #17
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I think that most will tell you that you need to know your production numbers first. Thats hard to do on a start up. If you are going to rely on software, I'd start with all the basic Mister Softy (microsoft) stuff. Word for docs, excel for some invoicing, outlook for email, calendar and contact management.

A step up would be quickbooks for your accounting, billing and invoicing. Plus used correctly it will help you see where the money is going.

I use an excel based estimate program from Ben Moore, but again you need to know your numbers. Want to eventually convert my numbers to items in quickbooks so am only using one program for both.

For production numbers (and this will only be a guess, nobody but you knows your numbers) you can try National Paint Cost Estimator, http://www.amazon.com/Painting-Contractors-Handbook-Dennis-Gleason/dp/0070633673/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285804190&sr=1-2or the http://www.amazon.com/Paint-Contractors-Manual-Dave-Matis/dp/0910460469/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285804190&sr=1-1. All of these have some sort of production numbers in them.

We also have Harry, a member who teaches estimating, and Brian who runs this website, is a nice guy and is well respected here.

Hope it helps.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:04 PM   #18
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Great advice guys!
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerboy View Post
I think that most will tell you that you need to know your production numbers first. Thats hard to do on a start up. If you are going to rely on software, I'd start with all the basic Mister Softy (microsoft) stuff. Word for docs, excel for some invoicing, outlook for email, calendar and contact management.

A step up would be quickbooks for your accounting, billing and invoicing. Plus used correctly it will help you see where the money is going.

I use an excel based estimate program from Ben Moore, but again you need to know your numbers. Want to eventually convert my numbers to items in quickbooks so am only using one program for both.

For production numbers (and this will only be a guess, nobody but you knows your numbers) you can try National Paint Cost Estimator, Painting Contractor's Handbook or the Paint Contractor's Manual. All of these have some sort of production numbers in them.

We also have Harry, a member who teaches estimating, and Brian who runs this website, is a nice guy and is well respected here.

Hope it helps.
Thanks...much appreciated and good sound advise. I currently use QuickBooks Pro for another small business I have, and it does work well. I have visited Brian's site, it is very comprehensive. hope to run into Harry at one point.

I have been heavily researching franchises and seriously considering one. I am hesitant though when I realize what I can do with my own business and 50K. What is the overall view of franchises on this BB?
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
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What is the overall view of franchises on this BB?
We have a large variety of business models on this forum, and that brings a lot of opinions. There are some Franchise members, and there are strong feelings on both side.
If you do a search, you will find several threads discussing it like this one.
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