How to start up a painting and decorating business

Benefits of running your own business

We are living in a time where the phrase “key worker” has become commonplace, and over the last few years, it has become clear if you are a key worker or you are not. If you are “essential”, then everyone seems to love you. You feel that you are contributing to society, and you feel secure. 

Why are we starting a discussion about business with the phrase key worker? Over the last two years, many people have revaluated their working lives and began questioning what is important to them and what is not. Many have realised that the “security” offered with their office job is not so secure after all, and even worse, they are not even essential.

One of the big advantages of starting your own business is that you call the shots. Many studies have been carried out to find out what is the biggest factor in providing job satisfaction, and it was found that “autonomy” was number 1. 

Autonomy means calling the shots, deciding what is important to you and doing it—deciding how a job should be done and to what standard and then doing it. Your own business will give you the freedom and control that you deserve.


What are the other advantages of your own business?

Well, for us, it is the fact that you own it. If you work hard for 20 years and build an exciting and profitable business, then it is yours. No one can take it away from you or make you redundant. When you decide to hang up your hat, you could even sell your business for a nice “retirement” sized sum of money and call it a day. 

Not many jobs will give you that.

Finally, now is the best time to set up your own business; with advances in technology and social media marketing, a one-person business has the resources that were once the preserve of the multi-million pound companies. Most of these resources are free. We think that people will look back on this time as a period where everyone started their own business and took control of their lives.


Why set up a painting business?

You have decided to start your own business, but you have no idea what to do. It would be best if you chose something that does not involve massive capital expenditure, such as setting up a factory. It would help if you had something that you can start small and then grow; you want something that you can earn good money at and that is in demand.

These days all the construction trades are in very high demand, bricklayers, plasterers, electricians and decorators all earn good money, and the demand for good ones is very high. Automating these jobs is difficult because they are so bespoke, and every contract is different.

It is also difficult for an “AI” or artificial intelligence to do it. This means that these jobs are future proof. We are going to look at decorating as a business choice because it is something that we know a lot about.

There is a skill involved. If you are already a painter and decorator and working for a company, setting up your own company is easier. If you are not a decorator but still want to make a move, we suggest that you specialise in one area, do a course in this, and then get really good at it. Over time you can expand your skillset if you desire.

Decorating has changed a great deal over the last 10 years, and these days it is a very different business. There are exciting new products and paints available and new technology for the application of paint. Many of these we offer courses in so that you can explore and get up to speed with the new advances as they develop. This means that your new business will be fresh and cutting edge, and you will stand out in the marketplace.


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How to start and run a painting business

You have decided to start your own decorating business, so the next stage is what do you need to do. How do you start? We think that there are three stages to starting your decorating business. 


First, set your stall out. 

This means making a few decisions. What type of work are you going to do? Is it going to be mainly domestic, this means decorating in people’s houses, or commercial? Commercial is more significant contracts such as hotels and nursing homes.

What are you going to call your business? This is tied to what kind of work you want to be known for. Choose a name that describes what you do rather than just your name with painter and decorator tagged after it. “Wall wizards – specialist wallpaper installers”, for example.

Now that you have your type of work and your name, you can set up some marketing. These days this means having a social media presence and involves having a consistent look and feel across all your accounts. This is why you need to decide on names etc first. At this stage, you can get business cards printed too.

Do some marketing at this stage so that you start to get some enquiries. 

Notice we have not actually left our job yet or set up the business. You need to get this bit right but don’t spend too long on it. Spending 3 years choosing your business name is no way to proceed.


Second, get some equipment and workwear.

You need to have some equipment for your chosen area of work; if you have done a course, you will know what equipment you need. You cannot do any work until you have the right tools, so now is the time to get them. It would be best if you also looked professional. You need to decide on a “look” and choose the right trousers and tops with your company name on them. You will be surprised what a difference this makes when customers meet you for the first time. Get more than one so that you are always clean and presentable.

When you are marketing, It can be difficult without a portfolio of work to show customers, so maybe do some for friends and family at a discount for marketing purposes. You have the tools and skills, so now is the time.


Finally, register your business. 

Before you take any money, you need to let the Government know that you are now self-employed. We recommend taking on an accountant at this point, they are not expensive for a small business, and they will give you all the advice that you need regarding registering, taxing and keeping records. This bit scares people for some reason, but it should not do. You will pay less tax and a business, and your accountant fee will be less than the tax-saving, so you will be quid’s in.

One final note, you can be self-employed and have a job. If you want to go part-time in your current job while you get your business going, this can take the pressure off. You will find that this phase will not last long and you will be very busy very quickly, and you will never look back.


Types of funding available for setting up a painting business

There is Government funding available for new businesses, and this is worth exploring. This is an ever-changing scene, and it is worth contacting the citizen’s advice bureau to find the latest funding available.

Once you have set up your decorating business, you can check out CITB (Construction industry training board) funding. We will discuss this in a further blog, but at this stage, it is worth knowing that you can claim up to £5000 per year to help your business grow.

Simple Steps To Funding


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