Starting a business is not easy. It requires careful planning, thorough research and, more often than not, hefty investments. While some businesses require less commitment than others, it’s important to keep in mind that none of them can reach success overnight. This means that you’ll have to do everything in your power to make your business known to a broad audience if you want to stay relevant on the market.

When it comes to starting a house painting business, you need to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why we’ve prepared a thorough guide on all the aspects you’ll need to take care of in order to reach success.

Research the market

Just like with any other business, you first need to conduct a market research to see whether there’s room for your business on the market or not. If there’s a similar business on the market (your competition) already, you’ll need to think of something (your unique selling point) that will set you apart from the rest of the businesses. Next, determine your target audience – commercial buildings, residential houses, rental properties, etc. This will further help you tailor your marketing strategies. Finally, summarize your findings which will help you develop a strong business plan.

Register your company

The next step should be registering your company. Provided that you are already done with the market research and that everything went well, you should make sure you register your business to avoid anyone stealing your business idea. Depending on the country you are operating in, you’ll have a few options to choose from:

Sole proprietorship – This business structure is the simplest form of business under which you can operate a business. Here, you’re not considered a legal entity but rather a person who just owns a business. This might not be the best choice, however, because you – as an individual – will be held responsible for everything your business does.

LLC – By registering your business as a Limited Liability Company, you’ll be taking all the responsibility off of your shoulders – as an individual – and transferring it to your business. By doing so, you’ll allocate all the responsibility and liability to your company instead.

Partnership – This is another business structure worth considering, especially if there will be more people in charge.

Once you decide on the structure of your business, inquire about all the permits and licenses you need to obtain. Finally, purchase business insurance to avoid leaving things to fate.

Invest in proper equipment

Aside from registering and insuring your business, and obtaining all the necessary paperwork, this will be your only real business cost. Since you’re operating in the house painting industry, you’ll need ladders, paint brushes, rollers, drop-cloths, masks and other protective gear, sprayers and maybe even a few company vehicles. Additionally, you might even need professional scaffolding, but it would be better to hire this piece of equipment when necessary. The reason behind this being that the professionals working with delivering and installing scaffolding probably have more experience in this field which will guarantee you that all the safety measures and concerns have been met and addressed.

Determine your rates

Setting clear rates will help you make quicker and easier project estimations. This is extremely important as, by doing so, you’ll be able to assess which projects are worth taking on. Therefore, define your production rates – the time it takes to paint a particular surface, pay rates – how much you will pay your employees, and charge rates – what you actually charge your customer for the entire project. Additionally, don’t forget to include the prices of every piece of equipment you need to hire, to ensure the profit.

Work on building a portfolio

Every potential customer will want to see your previous work before they actually decide to hire you. That’s why you should work on building your portfolio so that you can present them with photos and reviews of your previous projects. This way, not only will they be able to see your work, but they’ll also get a chance to learn more about your services.

Stay in touch with your customers

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting about your customers once the project is finished. Not a lot of customers will be coming back to you for all of their painting needs, so you are the one that needs to make an effort to remind them about your business. So, for example, send your customers an email about a week after the project has been completed and ask them to rate your services. Additionally, inform them about any changes or upgrades regarding your business by sending them direct mail. Additionally, you can even choose to send your repeat customers free samples of new paints you got in your offer.

Never stop investing in marketing

While some business owners believe that a well-tailored marketing strategy can last them a lifetime, this simply can’t be further from the truth. As your business evolves, so does your customer base which means that you’ll constantly need to look for new ways to appeal to your current, as well as potential, target audience. Forming strong partnerships with business from the similar niche can also be an interesting way to expand your reach.

Avoid making the most common mistakes

As in any other industry, there are some mistakes typical for this line of business as well – the first one being not scheduling projects in advance. While at the very beginning of your business, you probably won’t have too many customers – which will make keeping track of all the projects fairly easy – as your business grows, you’ll be faced with a rapidly increasing workload. Therefore, you should make sure you develop good organizational skills early on. Next, make a list of all the items you need for a particular project, and then buy two or three extra, to avoid having to visit a paint store multiple times. Finally, avoid doing a job just to get some cash. There will be some projects that you simply won’t be comfortable with so better avoid doing them than risk bad publicity.

So, approach starting a house painting business just like you would any other business endeavor. Also, keep in mind that starting such a business does not require significant investments, which doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be well prepared.

Derek Lotts

Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.