Switching professions

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  #1  
Old 02-07-04, 12:28 PM
kerrymike
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Smile Switching professions

All-

I am in the process of becoming an interior painter here in Atlanta. I am going to get my business license before the month is up and I am trying to do as much research as I can before advertising. I was wondering does anyone have any sound advice for me before I take on this profession?

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-07-04, 01:04 PM
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experience?

What experience do you have or does this just seem like easy money?
 
  #3  
Old 02-07-04, 04:48 PM
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Easy money > HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Sorry I just couldn't help that.

Always keep in mind your business skills are just as important as painting skills.

Use top quality tools and equipment.

Join the PDCA or NAPP or any trade-related organization.

Network, network, network.

Have your company phone forwarded to your cell phone, always answer calls, or return calls promptly. You snooze, you lose.

Learn to be a great salesman. You are selling yourself at every step.

Estimates are like fish. Even the best of them stink after 3 days.

Keep records of your production rate for different tasks, such as painting a window, a door, a * X * size room, etc. These will help your bidding down the road knowing your production rate.

Set a price, and don't budge on it. Only you know what it costs for yourself to be in business.

Pay your employees, pay your materials, pay your bills, but don't forget to pay yourself. Trust me, its harder than it sounds.

Always wear painters whites. Look professional, act professional, be professional.

When creating ads, dont put in what sounds good to you, put in them what the customer wants to see. "Why should I hire you?'

Look in your phone book, there are tons of competition out there. Some are good, some are not. Make yourself stand out.

Remember, guys like me are your competiton. I MAKE money, I'm ALWAYS busy, I have been around for a LONG time.

Write a business plan, and stick to it. Figure out your overhead. Don't forget your retirement plan. Add profit to your bid. You are in this to make money.

Find and hire a good accountant, and a good bookkeeper.

Buy sundries in bulk, save $ over time on sandpaper, plastic, thinner, razor blades, etc.

Meet and talk to paint reps in your area. Have them cut you deals on products.

Brand your company. Use cards, truck signs, yard signs, flyers, door hangers, anything you can think of. Make your company stand out.

Thats about all I can think of now.

Good luck.
 
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Old 02-11-04, 05:09 AM
kerrymike
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Thank you all a lot for the help. I actually just got asked to paint a 2 bed/2 bath home. I will be going to the customer's home to give an estimate this weekend. I did a lot of things this weekend. I made an order form, client database and much much more. This weekend my wife and I will be looking into getting some business cards and I will be getting my business license. What does it require of me to become part of a trade-organization?
 
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Old 02-11-04, 05:43 AM
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Trade associations charge a yearly fee, and sometimes chapter dues if a chapter is joined. NAPP I believe is $150 annually, and they specialize in the marketing/selling aspects of the painting trade. They are fairly new but growing fast. To see them
click here

The PDCA has been around for over a hundred years, and focus on the technical aspect of the trade, and set standards for the industry. I think they charge about $350 annually. To see them
click here

Both allow you to use their logo, have many membership benefits, etc.
 
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Old 02-11-04, 10:34 AM
kerrymike
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Thanks Prowallguy. I am going to look into both of these. When is the money due?
 
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Old 02-12-04, 05:23 AM
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The money is due whenever you join..
 
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Old 02-13-04, 05:16 AM
kerrymike
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Well I actually got someone from my job that wants me to give them an estimate this weekend. I think she has a 2 bedroom 2 bath home. She wants me to paint everything except for the master bed. And she wants me to paint her stairs. I am really excited and ready to get the job done. Any advice before I give her an estimate?
 
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Old 02-13-04, 05:44 AM
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Quick way to estimate:

Figure what you want to make per hour.
Look at each area and determine how long it will take. (Labor)
Determine how many gallons for each area. (Materials)
Figure a price for 'sundries' like sandpaper, spackle, tape, roller covers, etc. (list these under materials)
Add on a slight profit (10%-15% of the labor)
Submit the bid.
Get a signature for the proposal, 'friends are friends, and business is business".
Use the profit to buy a new piece of epuipment, like a ladder, or some drop cloths.

Good luck.
 
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Old 02-13-04, 05:54 AM
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This would also be an ideal time to start recording your production rate. Keep a pocket notebook and record how long each task takes to complete.

Example:
10ft X 10ft room, 8' ceilings.

To move furniture, lay out drops, etc. > It took X amount of time to set-up a 10 x 10 room.

Fill nail holes, fix cracks, tape off whatever you choose to tape> It took X amount of time to prep a 10 x 10 room.

Paint ceiling > It took X amount of time to paint 100sq ft of ceiling

Cut and roll walls > It took X amount of time to cut and roll 320sq ft of wall.


Do this religiously for the first year, then you can have a good idea what it takes for you to do specific tasks. That way, if you look at a room, you know already it will take you X amount of time so you can bid it accordingly.
 
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Old 02-13-04, 07:24 AM
kerrymike
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Prowallguy-

You are the best. This info is really helping me out. I have a question though, what are "sundries"? I will go look at the house tomorrow and be sure to email you everything about the job on Monday. Are there any brands of paint brushes and rollers that you recommend?
 
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Old 02-13-04, 01:46 PM
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Sundries are materials used on all jobs, not just billable to 1 job.

Materials billed to 1 job would be custom mixed paint, wallpaper, anything unique to that job.

Sundries are used on all jobs, like sandpaper, plastic, tape, razor blades, spray cans of primer, thinner, rags, etc.

Keep records of all your expenses for sundries (actually keep records for everything ). After a year, you can look back, divide the cost of sundries by the amount of days worked. That will give you your figure for sundries when bidding a job.

Example>
2003 sundries $5000
days worked 300
5000 dived by 300 = $16.66

So if a 5 day job comes up, add $83.00

This figure is WAY high, but you get the meaning.

My sundries per day are around $6.


I like Wooster brushes, check this link, I like the one in the left column, 4th down 2 1/2" sash brush

Wooster roller covers are good too
9 x 3/4" super fab
 
  #13  
Old 02-17-04, 10:35 AM
kerrymike
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Okay. I get it now. Yeah I need some sundries. I am going to start with her bathroom and do that in a day. The sheet rock has dents in it in a lot of places and i need to put compund in it and priming it and paiting it. I got my business license yesterday. Let me ask you, what is the benefit of getting a Lowes commercial account.
 
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Old 02-17-04, 06:57 PM
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I don't know, I don't deal with Lowes for materials. Sorry.
 
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Old 02-18-04, 04:26 AM
kerrymike
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Okay. I am going to the store to buy my sundries this weekend. I will be starting with my friends bathroom in 2 weeks. There are dents in the wall that need to be repaired. They are small dents. They look like a kid kicked the wall with their foot. She said they became visible when she peeled the wall paper off. It was like someone was trying to hide the dents. How long of a job will that be?

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-18-04, 06:01 AM
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Figure 1 day to prep, patch, sand, prime etc, then second day to paint.
 
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Old 02-18-04, 09:32 AM
kerrymike
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Okay I want to see if I have it all straight:

1. I am going to have to fill all of the dents with compound and wait for it to dry.

2. When it dries sand it down flush with the wall.

3. Wash the areas and prime it.

4. Paint it.

That right?
 
  #18  
Old 02-18-04, 03:47 PM
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Sounds right.
 
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