Saturday, July 16, 2011

Starting a Painting Business In a Bad Economy

Starting a painting business in a bad economy can be done. Lets face it folks it will require effort and serious planning. This article will discuss what efforts you will need to put forth to start and run a successful painting business.

Just a couple of years ago you could place an ad in the newspaper and off you go the clients poured in, this is no longer so. To start a painting business in a bad economy is going to require much more effort and tactical thinking to get clients knocking on your door. The good news is there are clients out there that need painting. However, they know this is a bad economy which poses another issue. Clients looking to get painting done will get multiple estimates and will choose the ones with the lowest estimates. Competition among Painting contractors and competitive painting estimates and pricing will also be briefly covered in this article.

You have purchased all your equipment that you will need and obtained the proper licensing and insurances for your Paint contacting business, placed two ads and you are now ready to go. A month has gone by and your phone is quiet, you have recieved one call for an estimate on painting the entire inside of a house. You do the estimate and the potential client has called you back to thank you for the estimate, unfortunately they have chosen someone else that had a much lower price and did not want to call you to ask if you would lower your price because your price was so much higher than the other estimate. The talk of a bad economy is everywhere and you are becoming discouraged and wonder why you decided to start a painting business in a bad economy.

Yes a few years ago there would be so many calls on the phone that you could not physically return every call and book estimates for all of them. Clients would have trouble getting someone to come do an estimate let alone the job so when they received a price they would jump on it whatever the price was.

Just because the economy is bad does not mean you cannot increase your phone calls and secure painting contracts in a bad economy. We just need to take some different approaches to get clients to call and accept our painting contract prices.

We need to increase calls for estimates if our painting business is going to succeed. There are a number of ways to do this.


The most obvious is advertising - You need to research what is available to you as far as advertising is concerned. When researching advertising you must keep in mind your budget and the target market you are trying to reach. When keeping budget in mind there will be decisions to make such as one ad for one month that covers an entire page or a smaller ad that runs for a year.

Here is what is known about advertising. You need to brand yourself so you are recognizable and seen often. When an individual decides they need painting there are a couple of things they will do to start looking for a painting contractor. They will go to friends family and coworkers for a referral first, look in the newspapers or local home improvement monthly magazine that sits in stores (not all towns have these), or jot down a number from a sign out front of a house that has been recently painted. Not all folks can get a referral or see a sign and must rely on an ad of some sort or may want more estimates and will draw from multiple sources.

In the beginning we are stuck with advertising. I feel when it comes to advertising that yes you need to be seen but you will be seen if you are consistent in multiple areas of advertising. I believe it is better to spread yourself about than to get one big ad. Place your Painting truck or vehicle with your branded company name and logo on it where it can be seen a lot. Get some signs made up and see if friends and family will allow you to place them in their front lawns. Advertise in multiple places such as newspapers ( get your branded logo in the ad as the least smallest and not just a classified), home improvement magazines (the local ones they have in the supermarkets), place mats, local mailers an so on. Try to be seen as much as possible everywhere you can and consistently. This will help increase your chances of a potential client to call YOU and give your Painting Business an edge in a bad economy.


Networking is a powerful tool in promoting your painting business in a bad economy. Not all individuals are good at networking or just do not know how. You need to practice chatting with other individuals. The best thing to do to do this is by placing yourself in a position where there are many people to chat with. If you belong to a church then start getting invilved with your church or other place of worship. Volunteering to help out is one way to get involved, but once you begin to get involved everyone will begin to get to know you and will be coming up to you to chat. Everyone will know who you are and that you are a painting contractor. Should they need painting they will come to you or they may refer you to others they know that need painting. Be consistent with getting involved with your church or other place of worship.

Looking for other volunteering opportunities is also a good idea as well. Getting involved with your community will help your business grow, it just works.

There is one last tool I would like to mention that will enhance your business. It is also very powerful and will definitely bring you clients.

Local Business Re feral Marketing Groups

These groups recruit a couple of individuals from each profession category such as lawyers, plumbers, dentists, carpenters and so on. These groups have a small nominal membership fee and usually have weekly or biweekly meetings. The members strive to hand out as many referrals as they can for the week This means your business card will be handed out regularly and targeted to folks who really need your services. That is very powerful because referrals have more weight than someone who is in a newspaper ad ( of course your pricing must be correct to).

With these tools implemented you WILL receive plenty of calls looking for your services. Now you must deal with competitive pricing. In a bad economy people will be seeking the lowest price and everyone has lowered their pricing all around except material. I used to charge a daily rate of 350 to 400 dollars, now it is 250 to 300. Other painters may divuldge thier daily rate if you ask. Just keep yourself in range. I also tell the client that no matter how many bids they get and whatever the prices are to please give me a call I may adjust my price.

With all these tools you should be able to start a painting business in a bad economy. Good Luck!

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