Building your own painting business is exciting! You know you do great work and are ready to share it with the world. Yet when it comes to quoting your painting services to customers, sometimes it can be unclear how much to charge and what information to include in your estimate. We want the bidding process to be as simple as possible, so we put together this list to make winning jobs and turning a profit easier.
Tips for Bidding Painting Jobs
1. Try to give quotes in person. Avoid delivering bids over the phone so that you can get some face-to-face time with potential customers. They will appreciate that you care enough to meet with them directly, which can give you an edge over other painting businesses competing for the same jobs.
2. Define your payment terms. When you put a lot of work into a painting job, you obviously deserve to get paid for it. The best way to ensure that happens is to explicitly lay out the payment terms for the customer in the beginning. Clearly state when payments are due and what payment methods you accept. Is a deposit required to guarantee the work? Be sure to state that as well.
3. Cover your overhead expenses. You likely already know that you need to charge enough to cover your labor and supplies, but have you remembered to factor in your overhead costs? If you want to make a profit, you need to earn enough on each job to account for your overhead, which includes insurance, office rent, vehicle maintenance, marketing, and legal fees.
4. In the quote you prepare for each painting job, include a description of the scope of the work. Always keep a written, signed copy you can show the customer if any confusion or conflicts occur at the conclusion of the project.
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Items to Consider When Quoting a Painting Job:
1. Job location.
Where is the paint job located? There may be unexpected challenges associated with painting in a large city, especially for exterior jobs. Labor costs in major metropolitan areas are typically higher than more rural areas.
2. Special equipment.
Is any special equipment required for this job? For instance, extra high ceilings may require special ladders and rollers.
3. Paint brand.
What brand of paint will you be using? Can the customer choose the brand themselves? How many coats will be required for this job? Do you receive a discount from your paint supplier?
4. Site condition.
How much prep work do you have you to complete before you can start painting? If the walls or cabinets are in bad shape, you may need to do a lot of sanding, smoothing, and priming before painting can begin.
5. Travel time to job site.
How much time are you willing to spend traveling out to the job site? If the project is located far outside your service territory, you may need to include a fuel surcharge.
6. Leftover paint.
If there is leftover paint at the conclusion of the job, who gets to keep it? Many customers like to keep any extra paint for touch-ups.
7. Project scope
Will you only be painting walls or will the project include ceilings, crown molding, baseboards, or cabinets?
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The reason most people hire professional painters is to make their lives easier. It saves them time and increases their chances of getting great results. In order to make the process as stress-free as possible for the customer, always behave courteously and professionally. Show up when you say you will and above all, respect your customer’s home. When the job is done, make sure the job site is clean and free of dust.
If you are still feeling a little intimidated about the bidding process, it may be a good idea to buy a bid proposal template. Even if you use a generic paint estimate template, you can still customize it for each job you take on.
Ready to roll? Plug your zip code into ProMatcher’s Painting Cost Report
to see how much other painters in your area typically charge for their services.