Best Practices for Painting Business Management

Expand your painting business and bottom line with thoughtful consideration of how your business is managed and operated.

Professional painters are often overwhelmed by the complexity of running a sole proprietorship. From digital marketing and accounting to reputation management, there are many challenges to overcome as you secure more painting contracts.

A well-managed painting company can thrive, even in competitive markets. Building a solid brand and reputation can set your business apart. Choosing the right team members and outsourcing to subcontractors will make it easier to take on more work and grow your business.

How the right management tools can help get business booming

Like many industries, the most successful painting businesses have to work hard to grow.

Business owners may start with nothing more than a paint roller and a ladder, but soon they realize there are a lot of priorities other than painting jobs. They may find that invoicing and accounting are difficult to organize. Staffing in the painting industry can also be a pain point for many small businesses.

Running a painting business requires the ability to manage painting contractors and oversee accounting for cash flow. Painting business owners also need to be knowledgeable about marketing and business management. Ultimately, they must be able to juggle all aspects of their painting projects while managing everything that happens behind the scenes.

Best practices for managing a painting business

Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned business owner, ensure these basic best practices are in place.

Get organized

Every startup requires organizational planning right out of the gate so the business can grow with fewer hiccups. This includes having a formal business plan and business license to investing in shelving systems to store materials like paint trays and brushes. It can also mean having a vehicle to reach job sites and business cards to distribute in your local community.

Focusing on your brand and positioning statements is also critical. If you’re starting your own painting business, you may focus on residential painting or commercial painting — or perhaps both. Building a brand that reflects your painting services is crucial as you determine your business name and business structure.

Don’t forget about internal infrastructure and workflows. Prioritize how you manage bids on new jobs for potential customers, keep track of your schedules and create strategies to find new leads to sustain your business.

Be smart about accounting

It’s important to separate your personal banking from your business banking, especially as startup costs add up. Having a business bank account and a separate credit card for transactions makes it easier to track expenses and account for them at tax time.

Save every receipt — from paint sprayers to sandpaper and drop cloths — and reconcile your transactions every month. Missed business expense write-offs mean you’re paying more in taxes and misrepresenting your profit margin.

Tracking your cost of goods sold makes it possible to understand the true cost of doing business. Learn from each painting project and focus on profitability and pricing.

It’s easy to fall behind on billing. Be diligent about invoicing your customers promptly so you can sustain the cash flow you need to continue to run your business.

Focus on efficiencies

As your painting business grows, focus on opportunities to streamline time-intensive functions. Outsource accounting and bookkeeping and hire support for scheduling or administrative duties. Allocate supervisor responsibilities to your most trusted employee.

If your time is best spent on bidding on new projects and big-picture thinking, there are many mandatory parts of business management that you can delegate to others.

Dedicate time to lead generation

You’ll need a constant flow of new customers to grow your painting business. Managing a lead generation strategy takes time and effort, but there are marketing tools to automate some tasks. It’s vital to have a lead pipeline process for handling basic customer communications and qualifying leads.

To support your painting lead generation strategy, painting companies can use email marketing campaigns to stay in touch with homeowners and be top-of-mind with new customers.

You can also build a review collection strategy to increase your online reviews on Google, Yelp or Facebook. A referral program directed to your existing customers may also support new lead generation through word-of-mouth advertising.

Adopt an online marketing strategy

Online marketing starts with investing in an optimized website that gives your painting business an online presence. A great website makes it easier to manage your business, as it sets expectations for your products, painting services and specializations.

Ensure your contact information, phone number, and email are easy to find on your mobile-friendly website. Include a lead generation form where potential customers can contact you with questions. Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing take some effort but are crucial to reach your target audience and ranking high in local search results.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and organic ads can reinforce brand awareness and help you reach qualified leads. Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer affordable paid media campaigns.

Social media platforms are for businesses of all sizes. A painting company that embraces platforms such as Facebook Business, Instagram and LinkedIn can use those channels to build a positive brand reputation and connect with their local community.

Make your painting business more successful with Broadly

Managing your painting business requires thoughtful planning and constant optimization. That’s where Broadly can help. Focus on the aspects of the business you handle best, such as project bidding or scheduling paint crews, and let Broadly help you manage online reviews and build brand awareness.

Broadly can help your painting business with everything from lead generation to review collection to support your digital marketing plan. When your marketing strategy is successful, your business will grow and adapt to new challenges.

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