Painting contract work is, of course, a business. Just like any other business, it needs advertising to grow. So, if you’re looking for new painting contract work, you should do two things:
- Make sure you have everything it takes to sign contracts for painting work
- Spread the word about your business
The first thing you need to do is check whether you need a license to work. For example, this is what you need in NSW if you want to work as a professional painter. This is a quote from the NSW government website Fair Trading:
“You must have a licence before you do any residential building work in NSW, including painting, that is valued at more than $5000 (incl GST) in labour and materials.
Painting means applying a clear, resin based or pigmented product in liquid form which, when put on a surface by brush, roller or spray gun, forms a dry, adherent film. Paint may be applied for decorative or protective reasons, and to any appropriate surface on any structure, fixture, fitting or apparatus.
In licensing, painting includes: applying textured coatings by brush, roller or spray gun preparing and doing minor repairs to (but not renewing or replacing) surfaces before painting them. Since 2015, stand-alone contracts for internal paintwork no longer need a licence, unless the paintwork is part of other home building work.
To learn more about what is considered painting, see the definition in schedule 4 of the Home Building Regulation 2014.”
This is the case for New South Wales, but you should check the respective authorities from your own area and see whether you need specific licenses to pursue contracts for painting work.
You also need to do your research and find out more about the legal framework of pursuing contracts for your painting business.
Also, check if there are some legal restrictions about advertising your company for contract work. For example, this is what the Government of Western Australia says about this issue:
“You must include the registration number of the registered painting and decorating contractor and nominated supervisor (where applicable) in all published advertising and display a sign at sites that complies with the legislation when carrying out painting and decorating work.”
Now, all that’s left is the pursuit of new clients. This is where you really need to be creative. Here are some of the best and most efficient ways to spread the word about your business.
Spread the Word
Once you start a painting business, everybody should know about it! Tell your friends, your family and your neighbours. Talk about it in your local supermarket and mention it even to your local cafe owner. The more people know about your business, the more of them will phone you when they need some painting done or refer you to others.
Offer to paint the houses of your friends and family at discount prices in exchange for reviews, photos of your work and some word-of-mouth advertising they can do. A lot of people will tell you that word-of-mouth advertising is the best and the most efficient kind and they will be right.
Whichever type of advertising you choose, you need to know that you have to be determined about it. There is a fine difference between being annoyingly aggressive and determined. Not all people feel comfortable being a bit pushy with prospective customers, but only the ones who are brave enough to step out of their comfort zone really succeed.
Door-to-door marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and gain more customers. This is how you do it:
- Pick a neighbourhood. This can be a place where you have already had a customer, a nearby block or simply a place where you think you could earn good money.
- Identify what work can be done on the houses. Check for the chipped exterior paint or faded walls. Calculate how much you would charge to get it done.
- Knock on the doors and make the offer. Prepare some fliers and your offer. Knock on the doors and introduce yourself. Tell the homeowners that you noticed their paint is fading or mention some other issues you can fix. Write your estimate on your flier and hand it to them. Visit all the houses in the neighbourhood.
Put up Lawn Signs When Working
Once you land your new client, make sure you have a lawn sign and place it on the lawn while doing your work. In that way, you will be your own advertisement. The work you are doing will recommend you to the neighbours, and the lawn sign will give them all the contact information they need to find you.
That would be a passive way of acquiring new customers. In reality, you should greet the neighbours and recommend your services in person, as well.
Collaborate with Other Contractors
Finding new customers works best if you already have a way to contact people that need some work done. This is why you need to keep in touch with other contractors who do similar work but are not your competition. For example, different tradies, such as fencing experts, roof installers and the like.
It is very likely that somebody who is installing a new roof also needs somebody to paint their house from both outside and inside. It’s not unreasonable to expect that somebody wants to paint their house if they have a new fence so that their curb appeal is complete. Collaborate with other contractors so that you can recommend them and get recommended in return.
Look for Online Tenders
The Internet is one of the gold mines of work opportunities. This is where you can look for both government and private sector tenders. You can always use Google to find out more, but there are two websites for you to watch out for when looking for tenders.
AusTender – this website is created by the Australian government. This is where they publish the majority of their tenders. There are also interesting business opportunities, different contracts and similar interesting information.
Australian Tenders – this website curates all Australian tenders and places them in one place. This is a database of up-to-date tenders that you can browse by industry and even set up alerts when new tenders in your industry pop up.
Build Your Online Presence
Using the Internet to build your business is not just about searching for jobs online. It is also about making yourself be found. There are people who are searching for a professional to paint their home. You should make sure that your business is what they find online.
How to do it? There are at least three good ways to build your online presence.
- Make a good website. This doesn’t have to be a complicated website with a lot of options. It can be a simple website with photos of your work, contact details, a nice About page and similar details. Your website should explain who you are, how you do your business and have testimonials showing how pleased your customers are with your work.
- Be present on social media. Make a Facebook account for your business, but don’t forget about other social media. Invest some time into Instagram and even LinkedIn.
- List your business online. Perhaps the best way to get hired online is to get listed on a website that people visit to look for painters. It also contains reviews of satisfied customers and allows you to bid for different jobs.
Service Seeking is a website that connects people who are in need of different kinds of services and the tradies who can offer those services. As you can imagine, this may be the best possible place to search for the painting contract work near you.
List your business and make it easy for all the people from your area to find you every time they want a house painter.