Start a Painting Business With These 11 Budget-Friendly Tips
Congratulations on starting your own painting business!
Chances are you’re probably broke with no leads…
About 20 years ago, I started my business and had no clue what I was doing.
If you’re in the same boat you don’t want to miss this…
When I started, all I knew was two things: I could sling a brush, and I wanted to make money.
You won’t believe what I’ve discovered since then.
I am Ron Ramsden and I am a DYB coach, also a painting contractor up here in Northern Massachusetts.
If you take action and execute each of these 11 steps, then you will already be doing what most businesses aren’t, you will set yourself apart from the rest, and most importantly grow your recognition for little to no cost!
Here’s How I Built Up My Successful Painting Business On a Low Budget:
Business cards. (The obvious one)
You must have a quality card that you are proud to hand to anyone and you must always have them on you because you never know when you’ll run into somebody that could use your services.
There are so many websites online where you can create your own for a low price.
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Facebook Business Page
While creating your Facebook Page, read and implement these articles I wrote:
3 Steps to Get Leads on Facebook
How to Step out of Your Comfort Zone & Go Facebook LIVE
How to Get Leads From Facebook
Stay with me here, because it is not enough to just create a page and then invite all your friends to “like” it.
You must stay engaged and post on it often.
Post pictures of things you’ve painted, if you haven’t painted anything yet, you can go to the larger manufacturers like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.
They have videos, they have content, they have colors of the month.
That’s all great posting stuff!
Maybe you’re going to look at a job; maybe you’re driving by a house and you see a purple door with pink stripes, take a picture of it and ask everybody, “what do you think of this?”
Go to the paint store, take a picture of the selection of tools or paints they have.
Talk about primer, which primer is best for the next job.
One thing to keep in mind is to post only once a day would be great, but if not, at least 4 times a week.
Post something, post something, post something!
There is a way to schedule on there if you don’t want to sit down and do it at a certain time every day, you can do it all at once.
If you store all that, make sure you post and it doesn’t get stagnant, people are going to relate a boring Facebook with a boring business.
Google My Business
Claim your Google business account.
That’s where you Google your favorite restaurant, for example, it shows Italian restaurants, it will have all the reviews.
You need to claim yours.
Just Google how to claim your business, it will give you a walkthrough.
They will end up sending you a little card in the mail with a pin number on it, you pin it and then that is yours.
Everybody literally lives and dies by their review, but you can’t get a review if you don’t claim your business!
Now, I know what your thinking…
“How am I actually going to get some work?”
Who are you going to call?
Friends & Family
Do your friends and family know that you are starting a painting business?
Put together a really nice email, with a subject line that says, “I am starting my new business, please help.” Or maybe, “Will you do me one small favor?”
Anything that asks a question and draws curiosity.
Then just type up something nice, if you are not great at writing, maybe have someone help you with the proofreading.
I’ll even proofread it for you!
Email me here: email@example.com
If you’re a real go-getter, create a video about how excited you are that you’re starting your new painting business, and ask for help to spread the word!
Also, ask if they need any painting done or if they know anyone that does.
This one is going to cost you maybe 5$ for the paper and all you have to do is put them in your printer.
There is no need to buy any kind of overpriced program to create a flyer…
There are many free apps out there like Canva and Fotor.
Maybe put a nice little painter guide in there, maybe tell them a few things that “most painters won’t tell you”, and of course include your information.
Here’s where you have the chance to make it fun, walk around your neighborhood with your kids and your dogs; maybe put them in a wagon to make it fun for them!
Bringing them along makes for a nice warm introduction.
Visit Paint Stores
Go in there and introduce yourself, give them a few cards, some of the paint stores will allow you to tack them up on their board.
Remember, if they don’t know your business exists, they can’t refer you!
Maybe all their regular painters are busy, you never know when someone will come in and ask, “hey, I’m looking to get my house painted, can you refer me three painters?”
They’re just going to grab a few random cards unless you build a personal relationship with the guys that work there!
Let the store employees know that you are starting your painting business and you will be doing business with them.
There is a site called nextdoor.com where you can align yourself with your community, but also your neighborhood.
When you create an account, you are going to put in your street address and it’s also going to allow you to do a little advertising along with a page for your business.
There’s just one catch…
You can do all of this for FREE (;
So you would be crazy not to take advantage of it.
If you have nothing to do, have all of your business stuff in place, and you don’t know what you should be doing, why not call a local charity and see if they need any help around the place?
I have mentioned this before, churches always need somebody to paint something.
Also, theater groups, this is going to help you stand out from other people, you want to mix and mingle, you want to be able to show your talents.
Theater people are usually in an established community because theater is self-funded, so they don’t have a lot of extra money, but they seem to be in wealthier communities.
This is great if you’re able to volunteer maybe one night a month or one night a week with a theater group.
If you can’t sing or act that’s okay, maybe they need a prop painted or something like that. Wouldn’t you be a hero if you have a couple of jobs that you have finished and you had some leftover paints, you could actually bring the paint with you and provide that also.
Visit Networking Events
We have mentioned this before, BNI, Rotary, The Chamber, The Board of Trade, any kind of networking groups.
Now pay attention this part, I am telling you to visit them, don’t join any of them, just visit them.
If you join this will cost you.
I know you can visit a BNI group up to 3 times before you have to either join or not visit anymore.
You see my point, right?
Take advantage of this and visit every single one, and if they already have a painter, there’s someone you can socialize with a learn from!
If they don’t, what a great way to get your name and face in front of new people.
Yes, they are going to ask you to join, that’s their job, but if you are not out and about in the community, meeting 20-35 people right off the bat would be great!
Don’t just sit down in a chair, you need to step out of your comfort zone and actually walk around and talk with people.
Ask them what their business is and also ask questions about themselves.
Don’t talk their ear off about yourself and what you do right off the bat, let them ask about you, take their card, maybe send them a nice little thank you note or an email at the end to follow up.
Not only ask them about their business but here’s the part that will really help you stand out to them; ask, “What does a good lead look like for you?”
Not only has no one else asked them this question, but you are also providing VALUE!
When you provide value and show sincere interest, they will return the favor!
These are all free things to get your name out there.
Once you create your Google business and facebook page, etc, you’ll want to ask for reviews.
Reviews and word of mouth are very powerful nowadays.
Once you have five Google reviews, little stars under your name will light up and then you rise to the top and you are able to be discovered in any of their search engines!
Facebook reviews are great social proof as well.
Realtors and General Contractors
If you have a few hours of free time, start calling realtors, all of the century 21 realtors in your local area and of course 90% of the calls will go to voicemails.
Some of them already have a few good relationships with some contractors, but their painters can only handle so much work, they are going to need a back up to their regular.
Do you have a brand new realtor in the area?
Do some research and find out.
They are going to need a painter, service them and they are going to service you, they’re going to remember when you bend over backward to help them.
General contractors, they go through sub-contractors all the time.
Maybe they’ll want you, maybe they won’t, but it doesn’t hurt to either email them or the better of both scenarios is to actually call them.
Introduce yourself and say, “I am new in the painting trade, I have been painting for years, I am just starting out on my own, if you can give me a shot, I would love to prove myself.”
Imagine you execute all of these steps…
…You will then set yourself apart from the rest and not only that, but you will do so cheaply.
I am Ron Ramsden, I am a DYB coach, you can reach me here at firstname.lastname@example.org, a lot of you already have.
You can also find me on Facebook, it’s Ron Ramsden, send me a message.
We can even chat on the phone, I will be more than happy to pick up the phone and spend some time talking with you.
I help painters work on their business so they don’t have to work in the business!
I hope these 11 steps for starting your business on a small budget helps out.
Once again, happy painting, have a great day!
P.S. if you found these tips useful and want more, click here to get your FREE 9-Step DYB System to DOUBLE Your Business!