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With the right painter qualifications and skills, you can run a successful painting business. Starting a new venture is an exciting prospect, but it can be hard to know exactly how to get started. There are many factors to consider to ensure your business is set up on strong foundations.
We've put together some key information on starting a painting business in Australia so you can hit the ground running.
A painting business offers clients the service of residential, commercial and strata painting for both indoor and exterior settings. A painting business's service areas generally include wood treatment, wallpaper stripping and installation, spraying, specialised finishes and colour consultancy. Some businesses are also certified to deal with any lead-based hazard management.
To ensure you cover all the steps of starting your painting business, develop a business plan to guide you.
To position yourself as a professional painter offering a quality service, you'll naturally need to have some knowledge and experience with painting techniques and paint products. It also helps to be detail-oriented and have a good eye for aesthetics. Setting up a business will also require some management and communication skills.
Here are a few skills and requirements to consider when getting started:
The main qualification for painting recognised in Australia is the Certificate III in Painting and Decorating. You can do this with a registered training organisation such as TAFE or as part of a traineeship. You'll also need to obtain a White Card, which is a "Work Safely in the Construction Industry" certification. This card is a requirement for anyone working on a construction site or projects involving construction by law.
A subsidised Certificate III in Painting and Decorating at TAFE can range from $2,990 to $8,570, including an apprenticeship. The full non-subsidised price is around $14,270.
Some states in Australia require a painter's licence before you can get started. You can apply for one of these once you've registered for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have officially chosen your business name:
Your painting business will operate mostly out of your van or ute with a selection of painting tools at the ready.
Here's some of the equipment often needed to set up a painting business:
To run your business efficiently, it's likely that you'll also need some basic computer software and equipment to handle the admin side of your company. You may need:
If you are looking to take out a loan to get started with your business, you may want to consider personal loans. When researching loans, ensure that the loan you choose is one you can afford to pay back.
If you have been in business for at least six months, you can look into small business loans to further your business's growth. These loans are available from banks and non-bank lenders. Here is our guide on small business loans to help you make comparisons. Each lender has their own requirements you'll need to meet.
The simplest, most hassle-free way to start your painting business is as a Sole Trader. This structure works well if you just want to start a small enterprise and have complete control over your business operations. Alternatively, if you want to share the responsibility, you could create a Partnership and collaborate with others.
As previously mentioned, your business set-up's initial stages will need to include applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and registering your business name. While an ABN is not strictly required by the Australian Taxation Office until your annual turnover reaches $75,000, it will be necessary when invoicing clients and for tax purposes.
While all the necessary legal components involved in setting up a business can seem daunting, there are plenty of online legal services to help you get through this initial process.
Here are some of the legal documents you'll need for a painting business:
You'll also want to think about your insurance needs. For example, Public Liability Insurance might be essential given the physical work involved in a painting business. Getting this type of business cover can offer protection if you injure someone or damage their property from your business activity.
When you're first getting started, you can quickly find customers by posting your services on online marketing platforms. Some of the leading platforms in Australia include:
It may be a good idea to download the apps for these platforms so you can browse job postings and quickly make offers. Airtasker updates in real time and you can communicate via messages with potential customers while you're on the go.
You might also want to consider advertising your services on business directories such as White Pages and True Local.
Painters typically charge anything between $2,500 and $20,000 on average for a painting job, according to hipages. There are several factors to consider when setting your prices for a painting job, including the home or building size. Typically, a painter calculates costs on a per-square-metre basis. The painters also take into consideration preparation or repairs required, ease of access, ceiling heights, architraves and trims, and separate treatments.
Firstly, you'll need to do a site visit and take measurements to help with your estimate. Then you'll need to do an estimate of the cost of paint, materials and labour required, and add your mark-up.
How do I write a business plan for a painting company?
Look into the market in your area, analyse the products you'll need and think about what makes you unique as a business. Then sit down and brainstorm how you want to run your business, your overall vision for the future, your preferred company structure and your target market. Then go through the necessary steps to draw up your plan.
How do painters get clients?
In addition to word-of-mouth business, having a strong website and driving traffic to it using search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques or search engine advertisements may help you get noticed online.
You could also leverage social media and you may want to look into Facebook ads. Make sure to list your business in popular directories such as the Yellow Pages under the painter categories.
How can I grow my painting business?
To grow your business, you'll need to regularly build on your marketing and engage with potential customers. You may want to look into setting up a customer relationship management software (CRM) to capture and track your interactions with previous clients and prospective customers.
You can bring interested customers into an email list using online ads such as Google and Facebook ads. This way, you can leverage inbound marketing by having your customers come to you.
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