Painting and decorating can be an incredibly lucrative trade and it’s one of the most immediate career ladders to set foot on as long as you have the requisite skill and passion. It’s an incredibly flexible job where you’re constantly meeting new people and the demand is relatively consistent. So, if you’ve been on the fence about setting up your own painting and decorating company, how can you get started up?

Are you right for the job?

Just about anyone can paint a wall in the same way that just about anyone can cook a meal. But it’s that extra attention to detail that makes a DIY job into an expert painter and decorator job. As well as having a genial manner and good general people skills, you’ll also need to work on your organisation and time management, as you’ll likely be balancing multiple jobs at once. You will need to be able to figure out exactly how much time each job will take and when you’ll be free to do it. You’ll also need to work on your communication skills when negotiating with clients.

Tools and equipment

Having all the gear and no idea is one thing but having all the ideas and no gear isn’t exactly ideal either. Painting and decorating is not a particularly expensive business opportunity to set up but it isn’t free either. You’ll need a decent set of paintbrushes and rollers, as well as masking or painters tape, dust sheets, ladders and, of course, your protective workwear to keep your everyday clothes paint-free. You will also require some form of transportation, with most decorators opting for the classic trade van.

Set up as a sole-trader

As a self-employed individual, you’ll be expected to pay tax via an annual self-assessment form. Thankfully, this is generally quite straightforward and should be easy to deal with as long as you’ve kept track of all your jobs. You’ll also want to decide on an hourly or daily rate for your services, which should fall in line with other painters/decorators in your area and at your skill level. Finally, investing in some form of accounting software should help to keep your finances and taxes in order.

Getting customers

Arguably the hardest part of the whole job is actually finding steady painter and decorator work. Painters have always traditionally relied on word of mouth to market their services, but everybody needs to start somewhere. Try doing jobs for friends and family members to start with and advertise locally in your neighbourhood. Then, move on to social media and post about your services on local forums to generate more widespread interest.

Before you know it you’ll have worked up a neat little Rolodex of customers and will be well on your way to creating a fun and lucrative career for yourself. Good luck!