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Old 02-14-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Thinking Start up on small budget?

I'm thinking of going out in this dreadful economy on my own since I can't find work anywhere else. I have a small budget but good referals and word of mouth going on in some upscale neighborhoods. I have a sprayer and all the equipment that I need except for a van(I have a jeep cherokee)not as professional but should do the job. I'll probably get grilled for this but I also have some leads on some apartments. I know that you guys say there isn't any money in this but i can can get $250per 2bdrm and can do them in 3 hrs alone. Low OH should make it pretty is for me to profit if they stay consestant until I build more resi repaint business. The problem is the long payout with no other income. I figure it still beats a zero and as stated I can't find any other work. I figured passing out flyers door2door and some other cheap advertising might generate some leads. I was also wondering if anyone here ever cold calls? I know that I would be taking a huge risk but at this point I don't have much to lose. I would appreciate anykind of guidance or bashing is incouraged also. Anyone here from Louisville, Ky that might be able to give some leads or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also I have been painting for 10yrs in resi repaints mostly high end.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:13 PM   #2
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Have you talked to Mr Mike?



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Old 02-14-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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We all started somewhere and somehow.

Make sure you cough up the scratch for the license and any testing that may be done in your area and don't forget the liability insurance so that you can be a legitimate painting contractor in your area. Be aware of the new EPA laws concerning the new RRP laws to pre 1978 homes.
Good luck.

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Old 02-14-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill the painter View Post
I'm thinking of going out in this dreadful economy on my own since I can't find work anywhere else. I have a small budget but good referals and word of mouth going on in some upscale neighborhoods. I have a sprayer and all the equipment that I need except for a van(I have a jeep cherokee)not as professional but should do the job. I'll probably get grilled for this but I also have some leads on some apartments. I know that you guys say there isn't any money in this but i can can get $250per 2bdrm and can do them in 3 hrs alone. Low OH should make it pretty is for me to profit if they stay consestant until I build more resi repaint business. The problem is the long payout with no other income. I figure it still beats a zero and as stated I can't find any other work. I figured passing out flyers door2door and some other cheap advertising might generate some leads. I was also wondering if anyone here ever cold calls? I know that I would be taking a huge risk but at this point I don't have much to lose. I would appreciate anykind of guidance or bashing is incouraged also. Anyone here from Louisville, Ky that might be able to give some leads or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also I have been painting for 10yrs in resi repaints mostly high end.
If you can make $250 a day brother go for it!!!! Like you said anything is better than zero. You sound motivated which is more than I can say for many who have lost jobs or do not have the usual set of circumstances attached to their income. I know plenty I have tried to pass on small projects to who have said no thanks because it's not close to home or they act like it's beneath them. I tell you when I'm hungry I'll paint an outhouse if there is money to be made. Good luck to you! but, as already stated, do your best to become a "legitimate contractor" with proper licensing & insurance. Be honest,consult with your paint rep and get a line of credit with SW or the like.Start small & grow slow.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
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I mentioned Mike because he has a ton of market share in Louisville. Maybe you could sub some from him if you need to.



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Old 02-14-2010, 07:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill the painter View Post
I figure it still beats a zero and as stated I can't find any other work.
And yet another guy who can't find work, logically concludes that he can attain work in the painting world.

Listen - you will not be an above board company that comes onto a person's property with all the insurances, comp, et al. Nobody is going to hire you based on cheap fliers and cold calling. The painting world has become a cut throat world where you need to be a marketing machine. Your only bet is to go on craigslist and see if anyone is hiring for $11/hr or something. You don't go into the painting business because you can't find work - because trust me you won't find work in painting either. Going on your own in this 'dreadful' economy is not the right mindset. You will not be a success - at best you may gross 11k in sales for the year.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill the painter View Post
I'm thinking of going out in this dreadful economy on my own since I can't find work anywhere else. I have a small budget but good referals and word of mouth going on in some upscale neighborhoods. I have a sprayer and all the equipment that I need except for a van(I have a jeep cherokee)not as professional but should do the job. I'll probably get grilled for this but I also have some leads on some apartments. I know that you guys say there isn't any money in this but i can can get $250per 2bdrm and can do them in 3 hrs alone. Low OH should make it pretty is for me to profit if they stay consestant until I build more resi repaint business. The problem is the long payout with no other income. I figure it still beats a zero and as stated I can't find any other work. I figured passing out flyers door2door and some other cheap advertising might generate some leads. I was also wondering if anyone here ever cold calls? I know that I would be taking a huge risk but at this point I don't have much to lose. I would appreciate anykind of guidance or bashing is incouraged also. Anyone here from Louisville, Ky that might be able to give some leads or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also I have been painting for 10yrs in resi repaints mostly high end.
Go for it - dude. Don't expect to get a bunch of positive re-enforcement from most of the jokesters on this forum though. Work hard / work smart and you'll be fine. Flyers? No way. Exceed your client's expectations and you'll get more work. That needs to be your main focus. My $.02
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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Plainon't be a downer dude. Is it really that bad where you live? I would not want to have to listen to this kind of thing everyday. Sorry man, I hear your a good guy, but man.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #9
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Actually, I kinda enjoy plain's posts. Not sayin' I understand where he is coming from but he definitely reminds me that I need to keep positive!
If you can read thru his bs, he makes some pretty good points.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:45 PM   #10
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We all started out somewhere. Do what you have to do to survive. Work hard, do good work, have integrity and work harder.

Come here and contribute in a positive way, develop some relationships with the experienced members and tap them for advice. They might be more willing to help over private messages.

Good Luck Bill ....work hard.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:01 PM   #11
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These guys are right, Bill. It takes very little other than sheer determination and unwillingness to accept failure to make it in this business. You probably already have all the equipment you need, you have a decent enough vehicle to haul it with and a built in customer base to start from. It will still take alot of hard work, and some hard knocks, but its really pretty simple. You will learn alot about the business as you go. Take all the lessons to heart and file them away, dont make the same mistakes twice, and dont get discouraged! You have made a good move to consult with other pros as you get started. Lots of knowledge and experience on this forum. Welcome aboard and jump in with all the questions you may have!



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Old 02-14-2010, 09:05 PM   #12
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11K a year huh? Things must be really awful where you're located Dan. Ever think of maybe finding a new field to work in? What are you living on now....11K a year? There are those who would rather sit there and feel sorry for themselves as opposed to making something happen in their lives. Nobody has said it's easy to start and grow a business....thank god there are some who decide to give it a shot.

I guess I would question the image you leave with a customer considering the amount of negativity you project here....maybe thats where the business went. And if the area you reside and do business in was affected so drastically by the economy, well then your growth really wasnt a true sustaining growth was it?

There are a few members here who relocated when the area they were in crashed...at least they arent sitting around with a chip on their shoulder feeling sorry for themselves.

So what led to your circumstances Dan?
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #13
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dont smell like an ashtray

keep your teeth in good order, and smile

under promise, and over deliver

remember their dogs name, and love all over it.

if you do this youll be in the top 10%

best of luck.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill the painter View Post
I would appreciate anykind of guidance or bashing is incouraged also.

Lol. YOU ASKED FOR IT!

Just kidding.

There's no harm in doing apartments. Some one has to paint them.

But if you enjoy doing high end residential, definitely try to aim all your marketing and extra focus towards it. It's easy to start doing a certain kind of painting, then keep getting drawn more into that kind of painting and before you know it, you haven't established the business model that you prefer, and you no longer have time to establish it, and you are kind of stuck doing a certain thing.

Also no harm in starting with a cherokee. I bet 95% of the painters started their first year with out an official "work vehicle"

Take your experience and make it work for you. You should be able to establish a successful business with 10 years experience.

Make sure to keep your overhead as low as possible for a few years. Don't go financing new vans and stuff. Plan for the unexpected. Assume that there are going to be lulls and unforeseen expenses. Run your business as trim as possible without coming across like a slouch.

Also if you don't invest too much initially, worse comes to worse you will break even after a couple years instead of the possibility of winding up $50,000 in debt in a couple years.

I think you can succeed even starting in this economy.

Go get em.

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Old 02-14-2010, 09:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
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And yet another guy who can't find work, logically concludes that he can attain work in the painting world.
Normally I would agree with this statement. But the guy has 10 years experience.

What is wrong with trying to start his own company?

I wouldn't begrudge someone for starting their own company after 4-5 years.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:57 PM   #16
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Hey Bill,

OK, I'll ask a few tough questions and share a few brutal observations. Reality check.

You said:

Quote:
I'm thinking of going out in this dreadful economy on my own since I can't find work anywhere else.
I assume you've been in the painting field? Working for someone else? You gotta ask yourself, WHY if those you've been painting for can't find work, will you be able to find enough on your own? What will you bring to the table that they do not? What's going to set you apart? What's going to make you more employable than more established companies?

(not trying to be demeaning, but you need to be able to answer those questions in this economy)


Quote:
The problem is the long payout with no other income.
Yes, that is not a good formula

Quote:
I figure it still beats a zero and as stated I can't find any other work.
Well, maybe not if you do not know your numbers. Do you know what you need to make per day to break even?

Quote:
I figured passing out flyers door2door and some other cheap advertising might generate some leads.
The word here that bothers me is "might". With your tight budget you had better be sure you use the most cost effective advertising.

Quote:
I was also wondering if anyone here ever cold calls?
Cold calls with the general dislike toward tele-marketers could do you a lot of harm, and if you do not adhere to the gov't no-call rules could buy you a heap of legal trouble.

Quote:
I know that I would be taking a huge risk but at this point I don't have much to lose.
As Kris wrote and Janis sang, "Freedom's just another word for nothing else to loose"

You do have a tough road ahead of you and getting oneself established is tough. Expect to work long hours both at the wall and on the streets ponding the pavement drumming up work.



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Old 02-14-2010, 10:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daArch View Post
I assume you've been in the painting field? Working for someone else? You gotta ask yourself, WHY if those you've been painting for can't find work, will you be able to find enough on your own? What will you bring to the table that they do not? What's going to set you apart? What's going to make you more employable than more established companies?

These questions are definitely not demeaning, but rather a very good litmus of evaluating your potential for success.

I would consider these questions to be clarifying and goal shaping.

Meaning that if you have a solid, viable answer for each one of these questions you should do well. If you can't answer any of them, you might find yourself just as out of work as everyone else in your area.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:45 PM   #18
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......


Lol. how many of these posts do you have now FC?

I find this incredibly amusing, however I am going to chalk these up as progress, and offer you some kudos.

It shows that you are starting to have a notion of taking into consideration what others might think about what you say.

It seems slow going, but still it is a good step.

I am still disconcerted by countless times in the past that you have been really smug and egocentric in a way that is unfair to others.

But I have noticed this slight change in your approach and as much as it pains me to do so, I will acknowledge the intention as commendable.

Obviously the goal would be to get to the point where you review your provoking comments in your mind and edit them before you speak them.

Even then you will need to go one more step and try to realize what would lie at the root of such comments if you want to free yourself from having to go the rest of your life simply catching yourself before you say something you regret saying.

But even deleting the comments after the fact is a good step, and in my opinion is the beginning of a path that will benefit you and others the most, and I commend you for taking that step.

Hopefully you will progress fast enough where you wont have

"......."

as the final words on your tombstone.

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Old 02-14-2010, 10:54 PM   #19
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Let me say this as you seem to have a neg. attitude . I'm not some half as homeowner that painted a bedroom and think that I can make it big time. I've been in the business for 10 yrs and I have been thinking of this for a while now. As for the $11 an hr comment I haven't made that since I was 16. I beleave that your that guy that forgot where he started out at and thinks he is above the guy that's starting out fresh. But I do want to thank you for the fuel to the fire that will be pushing more towards success. I have been studying the business all around this wasn't an idea I got over night. If someone else can't find the work to work you then you have to dig deep and find it yourself. As far as the economy goes it just represents a problem that will have to be solved from an angle that might not have been thought of yet? Hell maybe i will reinvent the painting game then i will teach you a couple things?
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
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....(edit) Lots of good stuff (edit)....
Lol.

I like him already!



Bill the Painter, I like the fact that aren't taking any gruff.

I think you are on the right track with your business goals.

Also don't rule out the possibility that you already can teach people here a few things. 10 years is nothing to sneeze at.

Kick ass and take names.

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