Despite possessing superb painting and decorating skills, there are various important steps you will need to take to become a professional contractor.
For example, most US states will require professional painters to secure a license before they can legally accept customers. If you would like to turn the passion into a career, read these six top tips for becoming a professional painting contractor.
- Join an Apprenticeship Program
If you have next to no painting and decorating experience to date, you could join an apprenticeship program. Many contracting organizations and trade unions tend to sponsor the programs which will be delivered via technical schools. However, you will need to pass a background check and must be 18 years of age or older to apply.
The average apprenticeship program tends to last between three to four years, and you will also have an opportunity to shadow professional painters. While you might be gifted with a paintbrush, many states will often require professional painting contractors to embark on at least two years of work experience in the industry.
- Determine Your Services
It is imperative to think carefully about the painting services you will provide. For example, residential contracts will allow you to work on small-scale projects; however, commercial work might require you to work to tighter deadlines or hire employees to quickly complete a large job. You also should consider whether you will provide additional services, such as wallpapering.
- Obtain a Business License
After you have decided which services you will provide, you will need to obtain a business license from either your county or state. Most professional painting contractors can often receive a license from either the Chamber of Commerce or the Department of State. It is also possible your state will require you to pass a licensing exam.
- Purchase Your Equipment
Every painting contractor will need to invest in high-quality tools for the job. For example, you will require:
- Drywall lifts
If you plan to complete commercial painting projects, you will need to purchase commercial tools and rollers. Don’t be tempted to buy lower-quality tools simply because they are cheaper, however. In order to provide a brilliant service for your client your need high-quality tools that can complete the job perfectly. You don’t want to invest in paintbrushes that will make the paint job look poor, after all.
- Buy a Reliable Vehicle
As you will have a substantial amount of equipment to transport to a residential or commercial client, you will need to invest in a dependable van to complete various painting projects. To keep your overheads low, it might be beneficial to initially invest in a used vehicle that is in good condition.
However, you must also secure commercial vehicle insurance to financially protect your business should a van be involved in a collision or if it is stolen, vandalized, or damaged during a weather-related event.
- Find Ways to Promote Your Business
If you are marketing your painting services for residential projects, you could likely secure customers by promoting your business on flyers, social media, and in newspapers. However, if you want to secure commercial painting and decorating contracts, you should network with general contractors or bid on upcoming projects.