How to Start a Professional Painting Business – Getting Insurance

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As stated earlier, house painting is a profession that takes strength and also incurs risk of injury.  You can protect your personal assets by being incorporated., but you also want to protect your business as well. One way to do this is to get business insurance.

An insurance agent who specializes in business insurance can help you with this aspect of your business.  They can cover you in case of the following:

* You break something
* Someone accuses you of stealing
* You injure someone on the job
* Someone steals your supplies
* You get hurt
* One of your employees gets hurt
* You ruin something in a house that you are painting

You want to be sure that you have adequate coverage for your business whenever you are starting a business that entails you dealing with people, especially if you are entering someone’s house.  There is a potential for loss and accidents when you are painting houses.  Independent contractors should have their own insurance, but what about you and any employees you may hire?  You still need some insurance.  Plus, if you injure someone on the job, such as the homeowner, some kids playing outside or even the family dog, you may be liable for a lawsuit.

If you are working in a house and happen to get paint on some furniture, you need to be covered.  If you accidentally break something while you are painting, you have to be covered.  If a gallon of paint falls on the head of the homeowner, you have to be covered.

Insurance does not only protect you against mishaps that might occur while you are working, but also things that you or your contractors may be accused of while you are working.  You are always, always taking a risk when you enter the home of someone else.  Unfortunately, there are some dishonest people in the world who will look for a way to take advantage of you or your workers.  Someone who is strapped for cash may report their diamond bracelet missing and accuse you or your contractors.   You will not be able to prove that no one stole it and they will insist, even if no such diamond bracelet exists.  Insurance will cover such a problem.  This sort of scenario does not happen often, but it can happen.  Which is why you need insurance.

Another scenario involves someone getting hurt on your ladder or scaffold on purpose.  Such as the homeowner or one of their friends.   Your insurance will cover this type of mishap as well.  Like it or not, there are some people out there who are looking for a way to make a dishonest living, instead of an honest living like you and your workers.  You should always carry business insurance and have your workers and yourself bonded in order to be prepared for such occurrences.  This is not meant to dissuade you in any way as most of the time, nothing like this occurs and most people who you encounter are honest and simply want to have some work done on their home.  But you have to be prepared for those who are looking to make a fast buck off of you.

Theft insurance is also very important.  You should have your vehicle as well as your equipment insured.  If your business equipment is used for business, it is not covered by your vehicle insurance or homeowner’s insurance.  You need to get business insurance to cover any of your property that is used for business purposes.  This includes your van, ladders, scaffolds and painting equipment.  If you leave your van in the driveway and someone steals it and makes off with all of your equipment, it will not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance as this is property that is used for business purposes.

Shop around for business insurance to get the best rate.  Most insurance will have a per occurrence amount as well as an aggregate.  The premium that you pay for the insurance depends on the amount of your deductible.

You will see that your business insurance is much cheaper if you do not have employees but use general contractors.  This is one reason why many small businesses are going this way.  Insurance for your business is not that expensive and can potentially save your business from ruin should any type of mishap occur.  Your insurance agent will be able to help you get the adequate coverage and type of insurance that is right for your business.
Chapter 6 – Getting Ready – Portfolios, Flyers And Cards

Before you can hope to get customers for your home painting business, you need to prepare by getting together a portfolio as well as printed advertising media.  If you are just starting out, you will not have photos of homes that you have painted to show to potential customers.  What you can do is to make up a portfolio of what you can do using stock photos and what they can expect from you.  You should make up a portfolio that depicts all of the work that you can do, both exterior and interior, including any faux painting or mural painting that you will also want to offer customers.

The more impressive the portfolio, the more impressed the client will be.  In addition to creating a portfolio that you can show the customer when you bid for the job, you should also create flyers and have business cards printed.  These are relatively inexpensive to do because of computer technology and will not cost you much money at all.  In fact, you can use a service like Vista Printing to print up your business cards for free and only pay shipping and handling.  You should look for professional looking cards for your business to give to your customers.

Brochures are another way that you can advertise your business.  Have brochures created that detail the type of services that you offer with the name of your business on them.  You should have a business name and even a logo for your business that you can use to distinguish your business from others.  Remember, the more professional the business material appears, the better impression will be made on the customer.

In addition, you want to have bid sheets and letter head for your company.  The process of getting work will entail you submitting a bid to do the work.  You will have to go through the house, take a look at what needs to be done, figure on how much time it will take to do the job plus the materials, and present a bid.

Many painters and other tradesmen think that the customer will accept the lowest bid.  This is not true.  A customer will be looking for professionalism and also a company that will get the job done in a timely manner.  Many customers are hesitant about going with the lowest bid because they feel that they will not get good service.  You are better off to have a bid in the middle as studies show that most customers will take the middle bid over the top and the bottom just about every time.

In addition, you also want to start a website.  You do not have to be a webmaster in order to get started with a website online.  You should create a website for your business even though you have an off line business simply because the internet is how many people today find information.  You should list your website in as many local directories as you can to further help potential customers find you.

You do not need to have an elaborate website.  You can get one that is hosted by a smaller web hosting company and consists of several pages.  You can keep it updated with blogs and also incorporate the use of pictures in the website and slideshows, showing the work that you can do.

You do not have to show the actual work that you have done when you make up brochures, website slideshows and flyers.  As long as you do not state that you have actually done the work depicted, you are not committing any sort of fraud.  You should use stock photos when your are starting out because they look more professional than the photos that you will take yourself of your work.  As your business continues to grow, you will want to add the photos of work that you have actually done to your portfolio.  Eventually, you can get rid of the stock photos and have a full portfolio of work you have accomplished with your home painting business.

Remember to conduct yourself in a professional manner and show off your business in the most professional light that you can in order to get the best response from customers when it comes to your house painting business.

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