Twenty Rules for Starting a Successful Paint Business – Part One 1

Owning and operating a paint business can be an amazing experience.   Professional painters get to be creative and work with their hands.  In most cases, being a paint professional means avoiding a desk and having a chance to meet interesting people.   But like most other businesses, having a successful paint business is a lot of hard work.   There are jobs to win and bills to pay, teams to manage and clients to keep happy.

For all the challenges inherent in owning and operating a paint business, there are a number of steadfast rules that can directly lead to sustained success.  Follow these rules and your chances of having a growing paint business will grow.  Break these rules – any of them – and your business will be increasingly vulnerable to failure.  There are a number of great resources available to help you grow your paint business so this list is far from comprehensive.  But the twenty rules below can be a bedrock upon which you build your business going forward.

Home painting can be a great business.

Exterior home painting is a specialized skill. Image courtesy of Popular Mechanics

In the next two installments of the Gardner Laboratories blog we will be examining what it takes to own and operate a successful paint business.

Here are the first ten rules for owning, operating, and succeeding with your own paint business.  Check back tomorrow for the next ten!

Rule #1 of owning a paint business:  It’s all about the work.   No matter what advice you get from anyone else, your primary focus should be that your paint work be of such quality that your customers and clients love the end result.  If you follow this rule and your client’s love your work, you will be successful. If you don’t follow this rule and fail to ‘wow’ your customers, you will go out of business.  If you learn nothing else, learn this: quality paint work is the cornerstone of every paint business.

Rule #2: Every job should be profitable.  It’s tempting to take jobs that aren’t moneymakers in an effort to expand your brand or build goodwill.  Avoid that temptation.  Your ability and skill are worth paying for and you don’t want to earn the reputation of being cheap.  Let people pay you a fair wage for the excellent service you offer.

Rule #3: Every job should showcase your talent.  Put simply, don’t take jobs that are not in accordance with your expertise just to make a dime.  You should be focusing on jobs that let you show the skills that separate you from ‘the other guy.’

Rule #4: Ask every satisfied customer for a referral.  Why be shy?  If a customer is impressed with your work you should take advantage of the opportunity to ask them to mention you to friends and family that may be in need of paint service.  That doesn’t mean you should badger them, but letting them know that you appreciate them telling others about your business is an excellent idea.

Rule #5: Ask every unsatisfied client how you can make them happy.  If a client isn’t impressed by the paint work you performed, it is entirely appropriate to ask for feedback.   Aside from fixing the work at hand and bringing it to a level that makes the client happy, a dissatisfied client can present a tremendous learning opportunity for you and your team.  Just as important, an unhappy client may tell others about their dissatisfaction which can impact your business.

Airbrushing for special effects

There a lots of niches in professional painting including airbrushing. Image courtesy of A Million Lives.

Rule #6: Market yourself as a top quality professional, not a mid-market service provider.  There are painters everywhere that can paint a room or a house.  Competing with them often means competing on price and price alone.  Instead, consider charging a higher price for superior results.  Make sure and call attention to the excellent work you do to separate yourself from the competition.

Rule #7: Embrace additives and technology that improve efficiency.  There are dozens, if not hundreds, of additives and paint options available to the modern professional painter.  Your clients may not know or care about the chemistry behind your work, they just want the job to be well done.  As a paint professional, it is up to you to utilize the tools and materials available to produce the best possible work with the least amount of client headache.

Rule #8: Separate yourself from innovations that seek to minimize your talent.  There are robotic innovations and chemical developments that can make some paint skills look easy.  Let your clients know that your abilities and offerings are unique, one-of-a-kind, custom services.  Even if a robot or machine can perform the same type of work, your clients should know that working with you will be a much better experience and produce excellent results.

An exterior painter on a crane

Painting isn’t always easy. Make sure your clients know you bring unique skills. Image courtesy of Bay Area Painting

Rule #9: Only work for people that value your skill. Professional painting is not easy, and your clients should recognize that you have unique abilities and skills not readily available.  If a client thinks anyone off the street could do the same job you are doing then politely inform them that they have hired the wrong painter.

Rule #10: Only work with people that are equal or superior to your skill level.   Finding other painters to help you build your business comes down to trust and skill.   Find other professional painters that can perform at your level or higher as you grow your business.  You can’t grow much if you are constantly having to correct the work of others because it doesn’t meet your standards.

Check back tomorrow for our second ten rules for building a successful paint business.  In the mean time, click here to learn more about sales, marketing, and business for paint professionals!


One comment

  1. Pingback: How to Start a Successful Paint Business | BYK | Marketing and Business for Painters

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