Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No
One of the hallmarks of a well-kept home or prosperous business is afresh, professional coat of paint. But most people hate painting–ittakes a lot of time and skill to do the job right–plus you have tospread drop cloths over everything, climb around on ladders orscaffolding, and hope you don’t get paint in your hair.
But if you likepainting–you love the transformation as a dingy room or buildingbecomes clean and new–and you’ve got the talent and experience todeliver a first-class job, then this could be the business for you. Theadvantages to this business are that you can work from a home base,your startup costs can be relatively low, and if you like the feelingof accomplishment that comes from a good day’s physical labor, it canbe both rewarding and lucrative. You’ll need experience in paintinginteriors and exteriors and in working with different types of paintsand primers. You’ll also need some people skills in dealing withvarious personalities and the ability to estimate a job and come out onthe winning end.
Your targets will be homeowners, apartment buildings and condominiumcomplexes, businesses large and small, interior designers, and realestate agents who may need help with a vacant property. You may want tospecialize in certain types of painting–homeowners and interiordesigners will go for decorative treatments like sponge-painting, fauxaging or stenciling–or, if you live in a historic area, you canspecialize in ‘painted ladies,’ those glorious, gaudy Victorians,Colonial homes, or whatever suits your neighborhood.
Using authentichistoric colors for antique homes is very popular these days, so youcan offer color consultation and expertise as part of your historicalservice. To sell to this type of client, send brochures to historichome associations or introduce yourself to homeowners and contractors.To target other types of prospects, send brochures; leave fliers onhomeowners’ doorsteps; and network with interior designers, contractorsand real estate agents. You can also place ads in local papers. If youspecialize in decorative-painting techniques, get your company writtenup in local publications, give talks to local groups and volunteeryourself as a guest on a local radio chat show.
You can start off with a couple sizes of ladders, an assortment ofbrushes, rollers and paint trays and perhaps a sprayer and a breathingmask. As you grow, you can branch out to heavy-duty sprayers andcompressors and a set of scaffolding. You’ll also need a pickup truckto carry you and your equipment to jobs.