Professional Painting Contractors Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

Registered
Painter
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fellow painters. As the owner of a new painting business, and also being an amateur painter, I'm wondering what are some practices/procedures that I should adhere to in order to positively stand out from the fly-by-nighters and other painting contractors?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions 馃槑
 

Registered
Joined
2,435 Posts
Be an exellent painter!! That really is the only thing that will make you different from an average painter. Your reputation is what will propel you forward. Then as you get jobs under your belt, adjust your prep, masking, cut & roll, etc. techniques to suit the job and cost. Just DO NOT sacrifice quality of product or service because you messed up and got your bid wrong.
 

Administrator
professional painting contractor - retired
Joined
22,406 Posts
If you return phone calls, show up on time, do the job you contracted to do, calmly and professionally deal with any issues that come up, and clean and straighten up your worksite at the end of each day, then you will likely stand out from about 85% of your competitors. And that percentage might be low.
 

Registered
Painter
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Be an exellent painter!! That really is the only thing that will make you different from an average painter. Your reputation is what will propel you forward. Then as you get jobs under your belt, adjust your prep, masking, cut & roll, etc. techniques to suit the job and cost. Just DO NOT sacrifice quality of product or service because you messed up and got your bid wrong.
I like that last part about not sacrificing quality - great point!
 

Registered
Painter & Furniture Refinishing
Joined
2,844 Posts
Aside from skill level, what are some practices that differentiate an amateur/novice from a seasoned pro?
ALWAYS attend to call backs promptly! I had one such call back, 3 months after the job was "finished". This was a woman in her 80s but I knew her to have all her marbles! What she said was "You didn't paint half of one wall." I said, "You and I know all walls were covered when you paid me.", "Yes, but one of the walls is half white!' I put off another client and went to look at this problem and sure enough, one wall looked like a plumb line was dropped and half the wall was bleached white. I painted the wall with shellac and repainted 2 coats of finish. (Too much lime in a plaster repair) I never heard from that lady again but I worked for every friend and relative she had! I never ran another ad! Had I been tardy, just think of all the work I'd have lost.
 

Registered
Joined
2,435 Posts
Aside from skill level, what are some practices that differentiate an amateur/novice from a seasoned pro?
Pretty much the collection of tools that make the job easier, quicker, and better looking. Drops are probably the top thing one would invest in to start. Use butyl for interior, canvas for exterior and don't switch them around. I do like the canvas ones with the black nubs on the bottom for hardwood, tile, and stairs. I can't tell you to invest in Festool equipment on day one, but eventually you will want some sort of hepa sander/dust combo.
 

Registered
Joined
89 Posts
In general, try to develop into a good tool. Maybe even the best on the market (if the funds allow, of course). The people you will work for may have seen more than one team of workers and they have something to compare with. And this will characterize you. In addition, a cheap tool will only emphasize your inexperience, an expensive one will hide it. Hair from brushes and rollers, lines from spatulas are the last thing you need. Yes, and last-buy comfortable shoes. This is important. The painter stands a lot and moves a lot. Climbs-gets off. Do not immediately acquire all the sores.
 

Registered
Painter & Furniture Refinishing
Joined
2,844 Posts
As in don't underbid the competition? I would think coming in a little lower than the other seasoned contractors at the start seems harmless to me
One needs be VERY CAREFUL about being the cheaper option! Better to build slow on a GREAT rep charging full market rates. IF one wants to offer a cheaper edge give a "Senior's Discount" or run time limited Specials Rates. Just don't fall into the cheap painter's market, you could end up with a lifetime of pain that way. (Cheap clients are most often the most troublesome)
 

Registered
Painter & Furniture Refinishing
Joined
2,844 Posts
Something that can never be over emphasized is ALWAYS DO YOUR VERY BEST WORK! It's not "good enough" if it's not done right. Always strive for excellence and never stop learning. THEN: Always do a thorough clean-up. Don't ask, DO IT! Nothing displeases the HO like a contractor that makes work for them! I hope the answers to the OP help create a map of the roads going up-market. Good Luck!
 

Registered
Painter
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pretty much the collection of tools that make the job easier, quicker, and better looking. Drops are probably the top thing one would invest in to start. Use butyl for interior, canvas for exterior and don't switch them around. I do like the canvas ones with the black nubs on the bottom for hardwood, tile, and stairs. I can't tell you to invest in Festool equipment on day one, but eventually you will want some sort of hepa sander/dust combo.
Sounds good!

The Festool line is sweet! Will eventually acquire the sander/vacuum combo
Pretty much the collection of tools that make the job easier, quicker, and better looking. Drops are probably the top thing one would invest in to start. Use butyl for interior, canvas for exterior and don't switch them around. I do like the canvas ones with the black nubs on the bottom for hardwood, tile, and stairs. I can't tell you to invest in Festool equipment on day one, but eventually you will want some sort of hepa sander/dust combo.
Noted, thank you!
One needs be VERY CAREFUL about being the cheaper option! Better to build slow on a GREAT rep charging full market rates. IF one wants to offer a cheaper edge give a "Senior's Discount" or run time limited Specials Rates. Just don't fall into the cheap painter's market, you could end up with a lifetime of pain that way. (Cheap clients are most often the most troublesome)
Good point about cheap clients being the most troublesome - I've seen it happen to buddies in different trades.

I like your point about building slow on a great rep and charging full market prices. This way I don't sell myself short and it will also encourage me to hold myself to a high standard 馃.

Tha ms for your input!
 

Registered
Painter
Joined
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In general, try to develop into a good tool. Maybe even the best on the market (if the funds allow, of course). The people you will work for may have seen more than one team of workers and they have something to compare with. And this will characterize you. In addition, a cheap tool will only emphasize your inexperience, an expensive one will hide it. Hair from brushes and rollers, lines from spatulas are the last thing you need. Yes, and last-buy comfortable shoes. This is important. The painter stands a lot and moves a lot. Climbs-gets off. Do not immediately acquire all the sores.
"In addition, a cheap tool will only emphasize your inexperience, an expensive one will hide it. " I really like this point! I'm going to commit it to memory for when someone scoffs at me for buying high-end equipment, lol
 

Premium Member
Joined
2,866 Posts
Hey fellow painters. As the owner of a new painting business, and also being an amateur painter, I'm wondering what are some practices/procedures that I should adhere to in order to positively stand out from the fly-by-nighters and other painting contractors?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions 馃槑
Having all insurances up-to-date (liability, work comp, auto, etc鈥), licenses current, and filing and paying taxes, etc鈥 is the bare minimum to being a legit professional.

This will set you apart from the fly-by-nighters.

On top of that you may consider having your business organized as an LLC. (or similar). It is for your protection, and also sends a message that your business isa legal entity.

Clean Clothes. You will be amazed at how much nice clothes sets you apart in this profession, mostly because it鈥檚 difficult and expensive to keep Paint Clothes looking good.

Invest in your Work Vehicle. It is a mobile calling card, and let鈥檚 people know what to expect (as much as someone can be judged by the car they drive).

Like everyone else said: show up, do the work, be consistent, do quality work, get paid, go home.
 

Registered
Joined
853 Posts
As in don't underbid the competition? I would think coming in a little lower than the other seasoned contractors at the start seems harmless to me
as in dont start a company as an amateur, not fair to your clientele and youre going to get stressed out. its going to be harder than it looks. i hope you plan on telling your clients that youre new to the trade
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top