Sunday, December 10, 2023
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Wrong reasons to start a painting business

Paint buckets

If you’re like many painters, you’ve undoubtedly considered starting your own business. Who wouldn’t want to own a profitable company that they can sell or pass on to their children? From the outside, the entire boss thing appears to be in fine shape. Nice car, clothing, longer lunch breaks, and a lifestyle that seems to be supported by more money than a journeyman makes. Many successful painting companies exist, but launching your own is likely more challenging than you expect. So, let’s get on with the wrong reasons to start a painting business.

Less work

One of the most common reasons to set up a painting business is less work. Building a system is the most challenging aspect of starting a business. As you create, you will make errors, people will disappoint you, and things will take longer than you think. On top of that, you’ll need to feed yourself and your family while building your business. All of this means that starting a painting business will require at least 50% more hours than merely working as a painter. 

Two people holding hands and paint brushes
Running a painting business does not guarantee less work!

Because of profit and prestige

The most common reason people quit their jobs and return to painting alone is a lack of revenue and too much effort. They anticipated to make more money as a business owner, but they earned less than a solo painter, at least initially. And the painting industry is more likely than other trades to have this unfavorable outcome. What is the reason behind this? It all boils down to a lack of value as a business owner.

It is nice to think about getting a building and hiring commercial movers to help you settle into your new office. Being a boss comes with some prestige, which is nice, but it’s not that easy to handle. To become respected, your company needs to earn respect. That requires consistent quality and satisfaction. Those two factors are hard to achieve and require good employees and outstanding leadership. It is a common misconception that running a business is easy, but it requires constant improvement and work.

Love of painting

If you love painting, that is not enough for starting a business. This type of delusion is likely to cause more failing enterprises than any other erroneous belief. Having a good time as a painter doesn’t mean you’ll be pleased as a company owner. The two are opposed. If you genuinely enjoy painting, likely, you shouldn’t start a painting company at all. Only a tiny percentage of painting business owners paint. Sure, you need to know everything there is to know about effective painting, but that’s just so you can hire, manage, and sell projects better than the competition. Painting for the sake of painting is not enough to start a business. You will need your customers to trust you before they hire you.

Paint roller painting a wall
Love of painting is not enough to start a painting business.

Underestimating the requirements

Assume you met a farmer who had just built a beautiful new cattle barn. He walks you around the stables, feed storage, and milking machinery. Except for the fact that he only owns two cows, everything about him is remarkable. Even if you are the finest farmer in the world, two cows will not be enough to sustain the enterprise. The same may be said for a painting company. As a business owner, you’ll need a minimum number of painters. You can do everything else correctly, but if your barn doesn’t have enough cows, you’ll fail.

The difference between value and pay makes profits, but the difference can only be so big. If you don’t manage enough painters, you’ll find yourself in the unpleasant situation of needing to paint to keep eating while simultaneously managing your staff. So, how many painters do you need to start a painting business? That is debatable but start with basic numbers. If you pay your employees $10 per hour less than the value they produce for you, you’ll need six painters to earn $60 per hour. Don’t underestimate how many painters you’ll need to keep your painting business afloat.

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