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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good day, folks. This is my first post, but i'll skip the small talk.

I'm trying to outline a business plan to start contracting as a residential exterior/interior painter in the South Jersey area. I've never attempted to start a business before. I just started researching this week, and i'm trying to compile a list of pitfalls to avoid and ideas to adopt. A reference of sorts to use as a guideline to ensure that i don't dig myself into a hole i'll never get out of.

Thus, i come to you, good people of America and beyond. My humble request is that each user who replies to this would detail their own Top 5 "Contracting Do and Don't list."

Your list can detail any aspect of the business. Marketing, Painting Techniques, Tax ID Number, Job Estimates, Filing for a DBA, Hiring Help, Insurance Shopping, Allocating Funds, Job Scheduling, Tools and Supplies, Customer Satisfaction and anything else that comes to mind.

For your help and participation in this, i'm extremely greatful and indebted to you. When the business gets off the ground i'll keep the Paint Talk forums informed about my ups and downs and overall progress. My appreciation cannot be measured. Thanks, good people. Be well. :detective:
 

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Flog a Mocker
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1. Plan more for marketing
2. Spend more for marketing
3. Plan for less revenue growth
4. Realize that you still do not have enough capital
5. Start out right with complete insurance and licensing
 

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Hello Red, Glad to have you aboard, here at Painttalk.com

1) Assess personal skills and abilities, capability to multi-task all functions of business at once.
2) Accurately determine market conditions in area of your choice and projections for at least 5years, AND competition.
3) Calculate cost of overhead, tools & Equip, licensing & insurance, advertising costs, and your personal needs for about 2 years
4) Read E-Myth and Dave Gerstels How to run Small construction Biz.
5) Get second opinion on all above, take biz plan to SCORE guys and see what they say. They are FREE
 

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Epoxy Dude
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566 Posts
1. Read the e-myth
2. Figure out what you are going to do that is different from what others claim to do... or just be ANOTHER residential painter
 

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Born To Be Mild
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1. Realize that you will work harder for yourself than you ever did for anybody else.
2. You work eight hours for wages, more for success.
3. When you figure out how many hours you work, for what you pay yourself, you realize, "I am not making that much!".
4. Join the NAPP and use the resources they offer.
5. Like the painting business. If you don't, you will not succeed.
 

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....
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4,698 Posts
Respect yourself
Respect your clients
Respect your help
Obtain medical coverage
Remember, the more you do today the more you'll get done tomorrow
 

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1. Read the e-myth
2. Figure out what you are going to do that is different from what others claim to do... or just be ANOTHER residential painter
I second the E-Myth recommendation. It's a must read for any business owner. :thumbsup:
 

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You guys are the cream of the painting crop.. all excellent answers.

My five:
1) Don't start undercapitalized. You'll sell on price and get caught in the downward spiral. If you don't have a spouse that makes a decent living, start part time.
2) Write a business plan. Some say that is only neccessary if you are trying to get funding. Would you drive into a neighborhood you don't know and hope to find the house you are looking for without directions or a map?
3) Figure out how you are going to make the phone ring. It is wise to have a healthy advertising budget and difinitive plan of attack for advertising.
4) Learn how to sell. That doesn't mean slicked down hair and fast talk but there is a way to make your presentation that will preclude many of the standard objections.
5) Know going in that you will make little to no money the first couple of years. Be able to weather storms and stay persistent. By the third year, things start taking off.

These are just the basics. There are so many other things such as defining roles, systemizing, exit strategies etc that all have to be taken into the equation. Your business plan will help you outline these.
 

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4. Join the NAPP and use the resources they offer.
I second that. The 'use the resources' bit is the most important thing, just joining won't work. :whistling2:

1. Read the E-myth.
2. Go back and read EVERY post on this forum. :thumbup:
3. Take it slow. Define your limits and come up with a gradual growth plan. Not being able to handle fast growth is the #1 killer of business's in the first 5 years. 70% of them will fail.
4. Know what to charge. There are a lot of resources out there for this. Check out www.yourcostcenter.com.
5. For production rates check out www.outofthebucket.com.

Good luck.
 

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You know whats funny? Not one guy has said "be a good painter"
 

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You know whats funny? Not one guy has said "be a good painter"

That's because the painting skills of the owner (or arguably any of the painters employed) have absolutely nothing to do with whether a Paint Contracting business will fail or be successful or be 'just another painter''
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks a million.

Thanks to everyone who answered this thread. There's alot of things i'm sure i'd be overlooking without your suggestions. I'm still digging my heeels in and building a strategy over here, but this thread is without question the guideline i was hoping for. Thanks a million for your much needed help, folks. Happy new year too!!! Paint Talk is at the top of my favorites list and i'll be sure to post a new thread with some progress in the near future. Be well and thanks again.
 
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