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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all, I am new to the website and have been looking around at lots of posts just absorbing some info from everyone. I am a professional painter who has been painting for just over three years. I am a young gentleman and realize i probably need to put my time into the business a bit more before i think about starting out on my own. I do enjoy the work (most of the time) and really enjoy looking at finished products. As i move from job to job and see how my employers operate and other painters around our area I cant help but feel that there is a major void in this market. There are a few guys doing great work and many many out there just throwing coats on things to get paid. Basically as a young man who is thinking about starting his own business down the road i'm really interested in what kind of advice some veterans could hand me down. I'm not expecting all the inside secrets or anything just some helpful ideas or questions i need to consider when I am trying to plan a future as a painter. Thanks for any help
 

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Rock On
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Every good technician has an entrepreneurial seizure at some point
A great painter does not a businessman make
The two have nothing to do with each other
That doesn't mean you can't be both
But being a great technician in no way means you are cut out for business ownership

Run out to Barnes and Noble or Borders, or your local bookstore if they are open Sundays, pick up a copy of The E-Myth Contractor by Michael Gerber, and read it tonight
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies i will grab e-myth, i am in no rush to make any decisions about running a business as i do realize that because i may know a thing or two about painting, that does not mean i can run a business. i am just slowly weighing out the issues of operating your own business. I have heard that you need at least five years to get your hands dirty before you can think about getting out on your own so i have some time if there is any truth to that. I am a good painter in regards to seeing what my abilities are now compared to seeing what kind of work i see everyday done by painters. I feel like i work well with people and could be a good contractor. The scary part is when i think about it all i really know nothing yet. Estimates, contracts, employees, supplies, insurance, uh.. there is a million things to think about i guess but does not everyone start somewhere. Maybe some sobering news about what to expect if i got into this business?
 

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Island...this might sound like a typical answer, but you'll know when the right time is. You definitely need to put some good time in painting for someone else, preferably as a foreman or supervisor for a bit. You need to get comfortable with painting to the point that you simply know how to approach most things without even thinking bout it. 5 years? ehh, who knows. I didn't start up on my own until painting for 10. I also recommend reading E-Myth....it's a great book. Most important, don't get too wrapped up in the idea of starting a business, just work hard doing what you're doing. The business will come if/when it's the right time :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
your right, i guess after time you know that you can encounter jobs of all types with confidence. ordered the book online it seems that everyone is suggesting that book so i am awaiting it's arrival, thanks for the tips again
 

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Freedom Maker
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Hi islandbound, I also recommend e-myth, I am working through the sequel(e-myth mastery) right now.

I am in my 3rd year as a business owner and like Brian am not a particularly great painter.

I know I will never know as much as my painters and production manager who are so good and most have been painting for as long as I've been alive(I'm 24) so i've been trying to learn more about being entrepreneur and the leadership that that requires.

If you do decide to go in the business owner route, I'd be happy to give you any help that I can.

I've made alot of mistakes already. Every time I make a mistake its like getting a years worth of education, except it often costs more...

Rich and Slickshift are right though. Be sure to tread slowly, think it all through really hard, READ alot, write a business plan, and take it to people you trust that have successful businesses and ask them to put it through a SWOT (strengths/weaknesses oportunities/threats) analysis.

Tell them to not be shy and rip it to shreds. After they have done that, go back, start another draft, and keep doing that until you have something rock solid.

If there's a S.C.O.R.E. chapter in your town, you might want to get paired with somebody from them(its free).

After some soul searching, you'll know whether its the right thing or not.

Good luck in finding your passion.

Ethan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ethan thanks for the response, it was very helpful, I am about the same age as you are so it's nice to hear your perspective on things, Had you been a painter for awhile or how did you decide to pursue a business in this trade? How much education on the business side of things did you have? Well i could probably ask a million questions so i'll stop now but again thanks for the kind words and tips
 

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Educate yourself about business. The fact you are on this forum leads me to believe you are on the right path.

While researching your business plan take the time to make plenty of contacts. Get cards from all GCs you run into, talk to the counter guys at the local paint stores,tell all your family and friends and research all forms of advertising. It's all about the leads and you don't want to get them all from the same place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sgt thanks for the words of wisdom, i am going to start devising a business plan, god i should have paid attention in small business operations in college(i was too busy checking out the girl who sat in front of me), but i recieved the book everyone has suggested which is e-myth contractor and i began reading up, i plan on slowly making some contacts and thinking this one over for awhile, in meantime just keep going to work
 

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consider getting a sales or management job for a painting comapany try that see how it goes.
excellent advice, you will learn a lot, its funny around here, most all the big repaint company all started off working for a certain company as a estimator, saw how to do it, and went off on their own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
to me i guess the scariest thing is estimating jobs which is probably tough for everyone when they first start out, i really need to learn the ground work for estimating jobs
 

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Rock On
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That's easy
Well, scary I guess, as nobody wants to end up working for $2.67 an hour
But really it's easier than most think
There's just no magic numbers to use to make it work well
Well, nobody else's magic numbers
You'll need to figure out your own

Keep a log of all your production rates for all types of jobs
Write then down, all of them
Even for the same type of job-avg them out

It won't take long before it's second nature
 

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Time to hang out your own shingle is when you have many people clamoring for your expertise and capability... and you feel your present employer gets in your way.

This is a rather bad time for a new venture in the construction biz.

Contracting ain't no place for a gentleman.

All told, prove me wrong. I'll buy yah a beer.
r
 
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