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Where to find free money for your business and how to get it

where to find free money for your business and how to get it (CITB)

Why is money important for your business?

If you are running a decorating business, you quickly realise that you need to keep the money flowing. You need to buy materials for the next job, but you will only get paid at the end of the job. Then once you get paid and pay yourself and your staff, you must repurchase materials for the next job. If you are expanding, then you are getting money from smaller jobs (in the past) to finance bigger jobs.

You need to make a profit; otherwise, your business will go nowhere. One of the things you will do as a decorator is to look for ways to increase the money you are making without having to work 12 hour days for 7 days a week.

One way to increase the amount of money you are making is to increase productivity. This means doing the same amount of work in less time. For example, if you usually decorate a room in 4 days and manage to do it in 3, you have increased your productivity. This is the only way to make more money without working stupid hours.

How do you do that, though?

One way is to learn new skills. We can look at 2 examples. First, you can learn how to spray. On some contracts, this could mean that you are producing twice as much work in the same amount of time as before. It also means double the money in your pocket. 

Second, you can learn how to install murals. You can charge double the money that you would charge to install wallpaper with a mural. The same result, double the money in your pocket.

Hang on a minute though, a course is going to cost money, isn’t it? This can be a real issue for some decorators that holds them and their business back. This brings us to our next point, free money.

 

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What type of free money is available?

We know what you’re thinking, free money does not exist. When we first heard about the CITB skills and training fund, it sounded too good to be true, so we understand when other decorators feel the same way. There must be a catch, we thought. 

The CITB is an organisation that looks after construction businesses’ training needs. One of the ways it does that is by paying out grants to pay for courses that will help companies expand and make more money.

Why would they do that?

The construction industry (of which painting and decorating is part) is worth over £100 billion a year to the UK economy. It is one of the biggest employers in the country and is a very important source of wealth. 

The majority of the industry is made up of small companies that cannot afford to do training. This would impact us all, so small companies are encouraged to train and give money to combat the problem.

The great thing about this is that you as a company also gain. You do not have to pay the course fees, but you still enjoy the benefits of increased profits from having a more skilled workforce. When you look at the countries with the highest standard of living, they achieve this by training their workforce constantly to be more productive.

How much money is available to you? 

A small decorating business can apply for up to £5,000 per year in grants. This is a nice sum of money and would quickly meet the training needs of a small 4 decorator team. Because it is available every year, you can put a proper training plan and bring new decorators up to speed as they join your team. The grant does not need to be paid back as long as it is spent on the training that you applied for.

 

Expand on CITB funding and how it is used.

The CITB is the Construction Industry Training Board, and they look after training in the construction industry. This includes apprenticeship training as well. If you were an apprentice yourself in the past, then it is very likely that you were a CITB apprentice, and you may have heard of them.

There are different types of funding available to the small decorating business; if you are thinking of taking on an apprentice, then there is funding available for that. This can be up to £11,000 per apprentice (over three years) and will help towards apprentice wages and other costs. Many small decorating companies will take more than one apprentice, and they can be a real asset to the company as their skills grow and they contribute to the bottom line.

The CITB also pay grants for short courses. These are short duration 1 and 2-day courses that cover a wide range of skills that are useful to the decorating company. Below are listed some of the courses that you can get grant funding for.

There are short courses for all aspects of decorating; here are a few of the popular courses that decorators take. There are 4 popular courses for spraying, which are “Painting using Airless Spray Equipment” this covers spraying walls, ceilings, and woodwork with an airless sprayer. “Painting using HVLP equipment” covers all aspects of an HVLP turbine and conventional compressor and spray gun systems. 

Fitted furniture renovation” teaches you how to spray kitchens and furniture; this is an emerging market in the UK and very profitable. Finally, “Airless Spray Plaster” teaches you to apply spray plaster to walls and ceilings using the latest technology.

Wallpapering courses cover a wide range of skills from wallpapering introduction, intermediate and complex surfaces to hanging wide width vinyl’s, specialist wallcoverings and murals. All these skills are in demand in the workplace at the moment due to a surge in demand for installing wallpaper and a lack of skills in the workplace.

The biggest game-changer for the small decorator is the “Estimating for painting and decorating” course, which teaches you how to price correctly so that you win the contract and make some money. Many of our students who have done this course report a jump in income and profits.

How do you access this free money, you may be thinking? Contact us, and we will help you through the simple process of applying for the grant. We work in conjunction with the CITB, and we will also put you in touch with your local CITB officer, who will give you support along the way.

Simple Steps To Funding with CITB

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