How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

“How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business”
By Sylvia Anderson

Copyright © 2010 startwallpainting.com , All Rights Reserved

This is NOT a free ebook and does NOT come with resell rights! If you purchased this ebook from anyone other than directly from me, please notify me immediately. If you want to make money with this ebook, please see page 2

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

How You Can Make Money With This E-book!
You can earn a generous 50% commission just by recommending this e-book to other decorative painters! If you have a website, e-zine or customer list that would benefit from reading “How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business” let them know about it! We’ll pay you 60% for every sale you make. Simply sign up with Clickbank.com to setup your account and within a few minutes you’ll be ready to start making money. Click here to sign up.

Limits of Liability / Disclaimer of Warranty: The author and publisher of this book and the accompanying materials have used their best efforts in preparing this program. The author and publisher make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents of this program. They disclaim any warranties (expressed or implied), merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose. The author and publisher shall in no event be held liable for any loss or other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. The author and publisher do not warrant the performance, effectiveness or applicability of any sites listed in this book. All links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy or any other implied or explicit purpose. As always, the advice of a competent legal, tax and accounting or other professional should be sought. This manual contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of the material is prohibited.

ISBN: 0-9738879-1-5 September, 2009

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

HOW TO START YOUR OWN DECORATIVE WALL PAINTING BUSINESS
Table of Contents
PREFACE ____________________________________ 6 CHAPTER 1 ___________________________________ 8 ABOUT THIS BOOK __________________________ 8 CHAPTER 2___________________________________ 9 GETTING EXPERIENCE _______________________ 9 BOOKS & RESOURCES _______________________ 10 PAINTING YOUR HOME _____________________ 12 PAINTING FOR FRIENDS / RELATIVES __________ 13 TRAINING / APPRENTICING __________________ 14 CHAPTER 3__________________________________ 15 SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS _________________ 15 YOUR BUSINESS NAME______________________ 16 INSURANCE ______________________________ 18 SALES TAX _______________________________ 18 BUSINESS LICENSE AND ZONING ______________ 19 CHAPTER 4__________________________________ 20 YOUR BUSINESS PLAN ______________________ 20 YOUR PORTFOLIO _________________________ 22 LIST OF SERVICES _________________________ 24 PAINTED SAMPLES _________________________ 25 CHAPTER 5__________________________________ 26 3
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

ADVERTISING ____________________________ Logo ________________________________ Business Cards __________________________ Yellow Pages ___________________________ Newspapers____________________________ Direct Mail ____________________________ Press Release ___________________________ PRESS RELEASE SAMPLE _______________________ Business Referrals________________________ Door-Hangers __________________________ Trade / Home Shows ______________________ Email Marketing _________________________ Car Signs _____________________________ On the Job Signs_________________________ Referrals______________________________

26 27 27 28 28 29 29 30 31 31 32 33 33 34 34

INTERIOR DESIGNER LETTER ___________________ 35 PAINTING SUBCONTRACTOR LETTER _____________ 36 Showcase Homes ________________________ 37 CHAPTER 6__________________________________ 38 POTENTIAL CLIENTS _______________________ 38 CLIENT INTAKE FORM ______________________ 40 ESTIMATES ______________________________ 41 Written Estimates / Proposals ________________ 41 On the Spot Painting ______________________ 42 PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE SAMPLE_________ Bidding High or Low ______________________ Deposits ______________________________ Pricing _______________________________ CLIENT RELATIONS ________________________ Your Portfolio __________________________ Sketches ______________________________ Samples ______________________________ Pictures ______________________________ 44 45 45 46 48 48 48 48 49

YOUR WARRANTY _________________________ 49 4
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

CHAPTER 7 __________________________________ 50 FINANCIAL INFORMATION ___________________ 50 Accounting Systems_______________________ 50 Invoicing _____________________________ 52 OFFICE SET UP ____________________________ 1. Clients _____________________________ 2. Business ____________________________ 3. Accounting __________________________ 54 50 55 55

YOUR STUDIO_____________________________ 55 TOOLS __________________________________ 56 CLIENT WORK SITE STRATEGIES ______________ 57 HIRING EMPLOYEES _______________________ 59 CHAPTER 8 _________________________________ 60 PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ______________ 54 EPILOGUE _______________________________ 62 FEEDBACK FORM _____________________________ 63 APPENDIX A_________________________________ 64 Checklist for Starting Your Own Dec. Painting Business APPENDIX B_________________________________ 65 Sample Business Plan APPENDIX C _________________________________ 81 Resource List INDEX ________________________________________________ 89

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

PREFACE Welcome to “How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business”. This book will take you through each step required to set up your own successful decorative painting business. Samples have been included to demonstrate key concepts. I started decorative painting because I was looking for a hobby that would help ease my stress-level. I had never before considered myself artistic as I couldn’t (and still can’t) draw a stick figure. 6
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

But I was totally amazed after I picked up Donna Dewberry’s “One Stroke Painting Course” and, with a few supplies, was able to actually paint. Don’t get me wrong, it did take some practice. But I discovered that this newfound hobby gave me a creative outlet that I previously didn’t know existed. I had been doing faux finishes and stenciling on my home for several years and with my added new skill of decorative painting, had a new tool to add to my collection of funky finishes. Soon my friends and family were begging me to paint their homes and my new business was born. I wrote this book because when I started out in this business I found there was hardly any information available on how to start a decorative painting business. This book will give you all the basic start up information that you’re looking for that will eliminate the need for vast research on this subject.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Chapter 1

ABOUT THIS BOOK Decorative painting, for the purposes of this book, includes the following skills: faux finishes, (ragging, sponging, etc.) stenciling, murals and free-hand decorative (or tole) painting.

Although traditional tole painting can be done on walls, the length of time and many steps it takes make it uneconomical as a wall painting medium. In order to make money at decorative painting, you need finishes that are somewhat quick to apply to the wall or else you will find yourself working for less than minimum wage.

This is why I highly recommend the use of One Stroke painting as a profitable alternative. Wallpapering is another skill that you can add to your arsenal of finishes. You can also use the information contained in this book to do wallpapering alone if this is your medium of choice. You will find the information useful, either way. 8
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Chapter 2

GETTING EXPERIENCE The best part about starting a decorative painting business is that you can turn something you enjoy doing into a moneymaking business. Being paid to do what you love to do is the greatest job to have.

You don’t have to be a painting expert to start a home-painting business but it helps if you have been practicing your painting skills for some time. That way you will have a lot of pictures in your portfolio to show potential clients. This also will help you develop more self-confidence in your work.

Most of us tend to downplay our painting skills, when in reality we are much better artists than we think we are. Pay attention to your friends and family when they tell you your work is good, it probably is! However, it’s also wise to find a few brutally honest people who are willing to critique your work so that you can grow as a painter. They say we learn more from our

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

mistakes than our successes. With every so-called mistake we just improve our skills and learn the best way to do it.

Being critiqued can be very stressful, but if you can swallow your pride and try to learn something from your “mistakes” it will help you perfect your craft. Before you tackle walls it’s a good idea to start by painting smaller objects like ceramic pots, candles, vases. Then, gradually work your way up to larger projects. If you’re feeling uncertain about how to handle the scope of a larger project you could try painting a large piece of cardboard or appliance box. As you gain experience, try your hand at painting placemats and floor cloths. These surfaces require more planning and placement and are great practice for pre-wall painting. You can use canvas or the back of linoleum flooring as a surface.

One way to prepare you to paint on walls is to paint the floor cloth or placemat as if you were painting a wall (i.e. don’t turn the surface as you paint.) Instead, practice turning your wrist and doing the strokes outside of your comfort zone as wall painting requires you to be skilled at painting vertically.

BOOKS & RESOURCES I learned to paint completely from books. I never took a class until the day I took the One Stroke Certification program. The area that I lived in just didn’t have the classes readily available. So I completely taught myself how to paint using Donna Dewberry’s books and videos. I mention this only to assure you that it is possible to learn this way but I don’t recommend you follow that route. I know that I could have learned faster and with far less frustration if only I’d been able to work one-on-one with an instructor. 10
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

My son still reminds me of how far I’ve come from when I started. In the beginning, most of my practice painting strokes ended up in the fireplace (that was before I found out that learning to paint on paper is more difficult than learning on a plastic surface!)

For One Stroke painting I highly recommend all of Donna Dewberry’s books and videos. I have over 30 of her titles and I keep buying more as they come out. My favorites are “The Painted Home”, “Quick & Easy Murals” and “Decorative Murals” as all these books have wonderful full designs and ideas for painting on walls.

I started faux finishing in the mid 90’s and came up with some really unique and fun designs that made people go “wow” when they walked in a room I’d painted.

My inspiration was Debbie Travis from “The Painted House”. I just loved to watch her show to see her make an ordinary room go from drab to fabulous. Debbie has written several books on faux finishing techniques and also has a great website of all her shows http://www.painted-house.com . Another wonderful resource is http://www.muralsplus.com. This site has a lot of useful information on faux finishing and starting your own faux finish business as well as an awesome forum.

A couple of other books that you’ll find helpful are:

“The Complete Book of Paint by Lynne, Robinson, Richard Lowther and Liz Wagstaff “The Art of Faux” by Pierre Finkelstein

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Stenciling and block painting are other services you can offer your clients that don’t require you to be an “artist”. You can create fantastic murals using just these two mediums. Two books that will completely inspire you are “Block Printing Designer Rooms” by Jane Gauss & Liza Glenn and “The Illustrated Guide to Mural Techniques”(both are by Plaid).

One final book that is a must-have if you’re planning to design murals is “How to Paint Murals & Trompe L’oeil” by Victoria Ellerton & Simon Brady. This book completely breaks down all the steps necessary to create outstanding murals and will make you appreciate that this is truly an achievable art form.

PAINTING YOUR HOME The best way to perfect your talents is to start transforming rooms in your own home. Start with a small room such as a child’s room. I don’t recommend starting out doing a bathroom, as working around all the bathroom fixtures can be very frustrating. Additionally, in bathrooms you must use the correct type of paint or your finished masterpiece may soon start to peel off the walls.

To begin, find some pictures in books or magazines to inspire you and give you ideas. I discovered that if I had a picture as a launching point that it helped me to visualize the finished room even if I was planning on doing some of the elements differently. I found that if I could see it in my head, I could paint it. If I couldn’t visualize it, then in the end I couldn’t create the look I wanted.

Use the painting instructions for your project, working through each step mentally before you start. If you feel uncertain about any aspects of the design consult with a paint store professional or go online to discussion groups involved in your decorative painting field.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

It’s also wise to practice your idea on a sheet of foam core board before you start. Buy several sheets of this and practice until you’ve got the technique down. Once you feel confident that you can create your design get all your supplies together and take the plunge on the wall.

For the most part if you make a mistake you can still wipe off the paint and start over. You can also rebase coat if you’re completely unhappy with your first attempt. Therefore don’t worry about making mistakes. Make sure you take “before” pictures of the room and then lots of “after” pictures from all angles. It’s great for your portfolio (more on that later)!

PAINTING FOR FRIENDS / RELATIVES If you’re renting your home, you probably won’t be able to practice painting on your own walls. This is where friends or relatives come in. It’s great to be able to learn your craft on their walls while at the same time practice your client consulting skills for future use.

Paint sample boards and use pictures from magazines to show your friends / relatives the design you envision for their walls. You need to walk them through step by step and get them to see the design in their minds too.

Get them excited! As I mentioned before, make sure you take lots of before and after pictures. Branching out into homes of people you know will expose your work to their circle of friends. This can open you up to referrals from people you don’t even know.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

TRAINING / APPRENTICING There are several courses you can take to improve your decorative painting skills. Of course I highly recommend taking classes with a One Stroke Certified Instructor and learning to One Stroke paint.

It’s fun, fast and very easy to learn. If you want to take your One Stroke abilities further there’s always the three-day certification program available. I took this program myself and it gave me the confidence to know that I could take this to whatever level I chose. I also was fortunate to be personally instructed by Donna Dewberry herself, which was a huge honor for me.

Faux finishing is a skill, like One Stroke painting that can be learned by practice. Just by sitting down with a book on faux finishing and some paint and glaze you can easily learn basic finishes in a relatively short period of time.

There are also faux finishing programs available such as the Martin Alan Hirsh Decorative Finishes Studio http://www.fauxfinish.com . Another good program is http://www.profaux.com . An additional option is to become an apprentice for a painting company to refine your skills. This is a great place to start out and learn the techniques and procedures required in this business while you get paid for your education.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Chapter 3

SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS The easiest form of business is to set up as a Proprietorship. It allows you to have total control over the business and you just file the business end of your revenue and expenses on your personal tax return.

It’s great because you get a lot of write-offs such as home business use and other expenses. It’s advisable to talk to an accountant or tax adviser before you set up your business so you can learn exactly which expenses are deductible and keep track of them correctly.

You may want to consider forming a Partnership if you want to share your business with someone to pool the labor. This is slightly more complicated but generally requires signing a form agreeing to split the profits and expenses. 15
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The last type of business structure is setting up a Corporation. This should only be done if you are planning to set up your business in a big way and have a lot of personal assets that need protection (such as your home and vehicle) from possible creditors if your business gets into legal / financial trouble. Corporations are complicated to set up and require the assistance of an attorney and accountant. You can start out as a proprietorship or partnership and as your business grows you can incorporate. Corporations are taxed separately and in a higher bracket (at least in Canada) but they do offer protection for the shareholders in case of financial loss.

YOUR BUSINESS NAME The most enjoyable part about starting your own business is coming up with a name for your business. If you’re going to be using a name other than your own (i.e. Susan Sample Decorative Painting) you’ll need to register the name with your local province or state authority.

Keep in mind that by using a letter such as A, B or C in the first word of your company name, you’ll be listed near the top of the listings in the Yellow Pages.

Try coming up with a memorable name that has a creative artistic sound to it. Look through the dictionary / thesaurus and list words that create the feeling you’re trying to generate. Take your time with this process as you want a name that’s you’ll enjoy for years and not tire of. You also need to be careful not to come up with a business name that creates a negative image.

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To show you how important this process is, let me share a story that happened to me: About ten years ago I made the mistake of choosing a really bad name for my first business, which was a bookkeeping business. I called it “Esquire Business Services” which I thought was a great name because I thought the word “Esquire” gave the business a legal sounding name. I thought that this name would project the image of someone who was smart and knew what they were doing. Boy was I wrong!

I found out later that people who called and got my answering machine were confused by my message and thought that they had reached an escort service! I finally realized I had a bad business name when a lawyer actually phoned my answering machine. He laughed so hard he couldn’t stop! Even a professional lawyer didn’t understand my “clever” name!

Hopefully I haven’t scared you, but I just want you to see that you have to be very careful when naming your business. The cost and the headache of having to change it or start all over can totally set your business back (if not completely destroy it!)

To get you started in the process, think of some descriptive words that would best represent your decorative painting image. Here are some examples:

• • •

Precision Superior Elite

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Your business name should be easily remembered by potential clients and fairly distinctive. Another option is to use your own name for your business name.

When you have decided upon a name you will need to register your business name by contacting the Secretary of State’s office and filling out the required paperwork.

INSURANCE I highly recommend obtaining liability insurance especially if you do faux finishing. Unfortunately, insurance can be expensive when you’re first starting out.

Decorative painting can be messier than regular painting and you need to be protected by good insurance in case you spill any paint on your client’s property. Another type of insurance to consider is Workers Compensation as you will be working on scaffolding or ladders and should you injure yourself, your income would be in jeopardy.

SALES TAX Check with your locate state or provincial authority regarding sales taxes. Before you start your business, you need to establish whether or not you’re required to collect and remit taxes. If you don’t take this step you may be required at a later date to retroactively remit taxes that you should have collected, so you shouldn’t ignore this step.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

BUSINESS LICENSE AND ZONING Check with your local government as to whether you can operate your decorative painting business out of your home and if it complies with local zoning laws.

Most communities require you to have a business license, even if you’re a homebased business. You may even have to get a contractor’s license to work in each town you’re planning to work in. You need to check with the local City Hall to clarify this.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Chapter 4

YOUR BUSINESS PLAN To most people, writing a business plan is the most stressful part about starting a business. Having to actually sit down and put all the thoughts that have been running around in your head into printed form can be a daunting task.

It doesn’t have to be though. Once you have all the details down that have been running around your brain, you can finally relax and concentrate on the business because you’ve established your road map.

To make this job easier, I’ve enclosed a sample business plan for a decorating painting business that you can use to guide and inspire you (see the Appendix B of this book). 20
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I used an online business planning tool to design this business plan. If you want to try this free service, it’s located at: http://www.cbsc.org/ibp/home_en.cfm . It’s developed by Canada Business Services but is fully functional for any country you live in. This business planning tool takes you through each step and provides samples of the kind of information that should go into each section to make the job easier. The financial information and cash flow planning is made simple with this program because you don’t have to calculate anything. The program does it all for you.

Work through your business plan slowly, one section at a time. Think about the information and how you would like to apply it to your business. If there is a section that you don’t have answers to, just skip to the next one and come back to that section later.

Don’t attempt to write the whole plan in one sitting as this can be quite daunting. Just take it in small manageable chunks. Sit down for about an hour a night for several nights and then when your done print the whole thing out and proofread it. I guarantee you’ll find things in your plan that you’ll want to go back and tweak.

Once you have your plan completely finished keep it handy and refer to it often. You can always go back and update your business plan later. The system will keep your business plan on file for 90 days but will then delete it unless you update it.

They do send out a reminder email to you ten days prior to deleting it, however to remind you to update or download it. It’s very easy to download a copy of your business into Microsoft Word so you can update it whenever you want.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

YOUR PORTFOLIO Setting up a professional looking portfolio is essential to impressing and obtaining clients as they need to see what type of work you are capable of doing. This is where all the work on your own home and the homes of your friends and family will pay off.

If you did a great job on a project make sure you take a lot of pictures in your portfolio. If the project was less than satisfactory (and this is sometimes difficult to gauge because we are our own worst critics) then you need to make a judgment call whether or not to include the photos in your portfolio.

Portfolios can be set up using photo albums or the spiral-bound portfolios found in art or office supply stores. They should be in book form, rather than loose pages. Use the types of pages with plastic sleeves. I don’t recommend using the sticky page type because you will want to update your portfolio on a continual basis (as your skills develop) and the sticky pages tend to destroy the pictures when you try to remove them. Use full color photos in 8” x 10” size or 5” x 7”. The pictures should be large enough so that the client can see the details in the photo clearly.

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You should be very creative with your portfolio as it’s your personal “calling card”. It should reflect your talents. For a unique touch you could hand paint or faux finish the background pages and then mount your pictures overtop. Let your imagination run wild. However, don’t lose site of the professional image that you are trying to convey.

The first page of your portfolio should contain your company name, phone number as well as your List of Services (see example on page 24). You can also include your business license, your contractor’s license, any diplomas or awards you’ve received, your insurance papers and any articles that have been printed about your business.

If you find that you are lacking in amount of photos available for your portfolio, you could use pictures taken from magazines. However, you need to ensure that you really are able to do the design from the magazine to avoid problems at the end of the job so make sure you practice the finish on foam core boards first. Have your client approve your version of this finish by signing and dating the back on the foam core.

You can also set up your portfolio online. A great web site to do this is at http://www.picturetrail.com. You can have up to ten albums divided up into categories. You could sort them by types such as: faux finishing, murals, borders, stenciling, One Stroke painting, etc. Another option is to sort the albums by rooms you’ve done such as bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dens, bathrooms, etc. Use your imagination to personalize this website. You can change album covers, backgrounds, use sound clips, and make prints. The yearly cost for Picturetrail is only $19.95 US per year which is very affordable for the convenience. Include your Picturetrail web address on your business cards as well as on all your advertising and you have an online portfolio that can be viewed by anyone 24/7 with Internet access. 23
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

LIST OF SERVICES
(include in your portfolio as well as in your advertising pieces)

SAMPLE OF LIST OF SERVICES: ABC Decorative Painting specializes in paint finishes for walls and furniture. Susan Sample, owner of ABC Decorative Painting creates master-quality decorative painting for home or office. FAUX FINISHES: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Fresco Color Wash Ragging Sponging Strie / Dragging Frottage Bagging Ombre Rainbow Denim Crackle Granite Stone Block Marble Brick

DECORATIVE PAINTING: • • • Borders and Designs Murals Stenciling

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

PAINTED SAMPLES Along with a detailed portfolio it’s important to have actual samples of your work so that clients can touch the finished product. There are a couple of ways of doing this which will depend on the type of decorative painting you do.

Some decorative painters take pieces of lightweight wood or foam core sheets and cut them into 3” x 5” pieces. Then they carefully paint a small sample of each technique on every sheet. Finally, they join the samples together by punching a hole in the upper left hand corner and binding it with an “O” ring. This works well for faux finish samples because it’s small and light. For samples that require more detail, such as borders and mural elements, it’s better to use larger pieces of foam core such as a full sheet cut in half lengthwise.

You will probably find however, that paint finishes done on foam core tends to make the whole sheet “bow” in the middle. To counteract this, paint finishes on both sides of the foam core and to straighten the sheet out.

Above all, make sure your work is exceedingly neat and tidy as you only want to show off your best efforts to potential clients.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Chapter 5

ADVERTISING Marketing your new Faux Finishing business is the single-most important task you will undertake for your business. Obviously, if you don’t advertise correctly or often enough, your phone just won’t ring. So make sure you have an adequate advertising budget in place. Don’t put all your hopes on one advertising method. You may wish to start out with a mailing and follow this up with some newspaper advertising. Then later on you may want to try a Home Show or contact some Interior Decorators or Painters for some subcontract work. Try out different types of advertising to see which one works best for your area.

Remember, customers need to see your advertisement at least five times before they even mentally register the need to pick up the phone to call you. So repetition is the key. By varying the types and the costs of different advertising methods, you greatly enhance your chances of customers wanting your business.

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Logo The first thing you must do before you develop your Advertising Campaign is to develop a logo for your business. If you’re creative, this can be done quite simply using a program such as Microsoft Publisher. If you’re not really creative, you may need to find a graphic designer who can create one for you.

If you have a college or university nearby you could hire a student to create a logo at a much cheaper rate than by hiring a professional graphic designer.

Your logo represents the company image that you’re trying to portray. To develop yours, start by writing out some words that best represent what you want clients to visualize when they see your logo. These will probably be similar words that you came up with when you named your business. After you’ve done this, try to come up with some images that represent these words. It may take some time but give this exercise a try.

It’s essential that you establish your image, or “brand”. Your brand should be repeated in all your advertising. You want people to know immediately when they see your logo exactly who you are, what you do and what you stand for.

Business Cards Your business card should be classy and understated. Don’t try to be too “flashy” as this tends to turn people off and give off the impression that you’re too “artsy”. Your business card should have your company name, your personal name and title, phone number along with a brief list of what your company does (i.e. faux finishing, decorative painting, stenciling). Putting your home address on your business card is optional and not necessary as you usually will be meeting clients at their home.

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Yellow Pages Yellow page advertising is expensive but is essential to your long-term success. People always “let their fingers do the walking” when it comes time to look for any type of painter.

This is something you need to plan for and budget for up to a year in advance so the turnaround time can be slow where first starting out (depending upon the next publication date). Try other advertising in the meantime until your Yellow Pages advertising comes out.

Newspapers Advertising in the newspaper is a relatively inexpensive way to let people know about your business. Your budget will help you decide whether to place a display or classified ad. Classified ads are definitely cheaper.

Make sure that you’re listed under “Work Wanted” or “Painters”. Try to avoid the Pennysaver types of newspapers as these papers have reputation of being “cheaper” which is not the image you’d like to convey.

Your best bet, if you’re on a budget, is to advertise in your local weekly newspaper. Call around and get rates for the newspapers. Always ask for a volume discount when you are planning to run ads on a concurrent basis. Negotiate a volume discount with the advertising rep from the newspaper. Inquire what their rates would be if you were to run an ad consistently over a period of time, for example three days in a row or three weekends in a row. If you manage to get a decent advertising rate, develop a small display ad and run it repeatedly.

Make sure that you always request a final proof of the ad before it runs. Check it over carefully for errors and then give your final approval to the newspaper. In this way 28
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

if there are any errors you can have the newspaper rerun the ad at no extra charge to you.

Direct Mail Sending out letters, postcards or flyers to a particular neighborhood of 100 to 200 homes can generate a quick response. This is an inexpensive way to advertise your business. You can even hire students (or your kids) to distribute them for you. Make sure you include an incentive for people to call you (such as a 10% discount for the first 5 people who respond.)

Another idea is to get a list of people who have just purchased a new home either from your local real estate office or your county records office. Then send out a welcome letter to the new homeowner telling them about your company and offering them a discount to try your service.

You could include a small item such as gift certificates or coupons from other local business with the welcome letter to make for a nice package. Or you could also send a map and historical information on your local area if you know that the people are new to the area.

Press Release Having an article written about your business in your local newspaper or magazine can generate big interest. First, you need to send a press release to the editor of the publication. (A sample press release is on page 30.)

Then follow up your press release with a phone call. However, you may or may not get to speak to the editor personally. They are known to be busy (and sometimes rude) so don’t take it personally. It’s always worth a try to get free publicity, though.

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ABC DECORATIVE PAINTING 1100 MAPLE AVENUE ANYTOWN, NY 98547 111-555-2222

PRESS RELEASE

April 1, 20-For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Sample Days: 111-555-2222 Evenings: 111-555-0000

ABC Decorative Painting Opens It Doors Susan Sample, owner of ABC Decorative Painting in Anytown, NY, has announced that she has opened her business effective April 5, 20--. ABC Decorative Painting offers unique painted finishes for the home or business owner. This new business provides custom faux finishes such as ragging, frottage, sponging and fresco. Faux finishes done on walls is a great way to liven up plain walls and give them their own personality. ABC Decorative Painting also creates unique, hand-painted murals and borders. These exceptional painted designs include hand-painted flowers, trees, animals and many other elements. Ms. Sample has been painting faux and decorative painting effects for more than six years. ABC Decorative Painting will paint homes or offices anywhere in the greater Anytown area. Susan Sample can be reached at 111-555-2222.

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Business Referrals Get instant credibility by finding a local business professional with a solid reputation and offering to do a project for them at a discount.

In return, ask them to send a referral letter to everyone on their mailing list recommending your Faux Finish business. You should pay all the mailing costs for this and type out the referral letter for them.

Another idea is to faux finish / decorative paint a waiting room in a location that gets a lot of traffic such as a doctors’ office, dental office or hair salon. Arrange with the owner to do this for a discount or even for free (if you can afford to do it).

In return, ask permission to post a framed small sign with your company name, phone number and a brief list of services that you provide. In addition, set up a holder that contains your business cards for people to take with them.

Door-Hangers Door-hangers are small advertising flyers that are hung on potential customers front door knobs. These are very easy to create and are an inexpensive way to get your business name out there.

Distribute these to surrounding homes when you’re out on a job before you start work for the day. The door-hanger should state that you’re in the neighborhood painting that day and that they can call for an estimate.

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Trade / Home Shows Doing a Home Show or Trade Show can really help to get your business name established. Not only will you get to meet a high volume of people but also you will have your company information placed onto the tradeshow handout for people to refer to later.

The more your company name gets seen by people, the more your company name will be first on people’s minds when it comes time to redecorate their home.

Setting up your booth doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Have your portfolio ready along with your business cards. You could have a video playing with before and after shots of your finished work along with customer testimonials. Also, set up sample boards of the types of painting finishes you do. Setup a draw box offering a prize of a smaller project that you’ll complete for free (such as one small-sized wall).

This will encourage people to drop their names, phone numbers and email addresses into your draw box. These names are valuable to you, as you can later use this information to send follow-up information or specials to these people.

While you’re working your booth just be friendly and personable. Don’t push for any projects while you’re talking to people because they usually won’t decide to redecorate on the spot.

If any potential customers want to commit to a painting job, setup a time to meet with them to discuss their project in detail. You don’t want to spend too much time with one person and ignore all your other potential customers. Make sure you have your business cards and a brochure ready to hand out so people have something to take with them. Most of all, try to have fun! This is a great 32
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opportunity to show off your talents and nothing is better than having people “ooh and ah” over your work

Email Marketing An inexpensive way to get generate some business is to follow up with the people you’ve met through trade shows. Make sure you get their email address so you can send them an offer to try your services.

The offer should be for a very limited time and should state that they have been specially chosen to receive this information. People need to feel motivated to call right away and by limiting the offer, you will jog some people into action that otherwise might still be sitting on the fence.

Note: Do not email people unless they have specifically given you their email address and permission to do so as “spam” is very annoying to most people who don’t want junk email.

Car Signs Displaying magnetic signs on your car is another easy way to keep your company name forefront on people’s minds. The signs don’t have to be expensive either.

You can have them professionally done for about $100 or you can create them yourself for less. Most office supply stores have do-it-yourself magnetic sign kits that even include stick-on lettering.

You can produce a great-looking magnetic sign for a fraction of the cost. You could even do faux finishes or hand-painted accents to show off your talents. Just make

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certain you do a very professional job with your sign though, as this “driving billboard” can make or break your business.

On the Job Signs Have a couple of signs made up for placement on the front steps or driveway of the home you are painting. As a professional courtesy, you should make sure you get the owners permission to do this first.

Have the sign state:

ABC Decorative Painting is here today Call 555-1234

Referrals A quick way to generate business is to get referrals from interior decorators / designers or contract painters. Once you’ve established yourself with these professionals you’ve set yourself up for a constant flow of sub-contracts.

However, working with Interior Designers can be challenging, as they sometimes can be “hard to please”. Finding an Interior Designer who allows you to be creative without supervising every move will be worth their weight in gold. You will have to decide for yourself if working with a difficult designer is worth the work you receive from them. Just remember to always be professional. You don’t want to burn any bridges as designers and decorators have a small social circle. 34
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To get your foot in the door you first need to send a letter outlining your skills (see example below). Don’t ever cold-call a decorator before you’ve introduced yourself in a letter. They’re busy people and appreciate professional courtesy. You can also include a few small photos with the letter to entice the designer.

Make sure you state in the letter that you will follow up within a week with a phone call and then do so. When you call the Interior Designer remind them of the letter and politely request a meeting so you can show them your portfolio and samples.

Here’s an example of a letter to send to Interior Decorators:

Dear Interior Designer / Decorator: ABC Decorative Painting are specialists in Anytown in hand painting for walls and furniture and faux finishes. Our professional and skilled services includes fresco, frottage, chambray, strie, and bagging; all aspects of broken color work including color wash, sponging, ragging and ombre; as wells as stone work such as bricks, marble and stone blocks. We also create murals, borders with trees, scenery, flowers and animals using both hand painting and stencil techniques. I would like very much to show you our design portfolio with a view to tendering for future contracts. I shall call you next week to arrange to meet you and tell you more about ABC Decorative Painting. Sincerely, Susan Sample Special-Effects Artist

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Here’s an example of a referral letter to send to contract painters:

Dear Painting Professional: ABC Decorative Painting is a new company that specializes in custom hand painting and faux finishing. Although your company may already offer faux finishing, I am sending this letter regarding our services for possible subcontracting work should your clients seek custom hand painting work such as murals or borders. Our professional and skilled services includes: murals, borders with trees, scenery, flowers, vines and animals using both hand painting and stencil techniques. Our faux finishes includes fresco, frottage, chambray, strie, and bagging; all aspects of broken color work including color wash, sponging, ragging and ombre; as wells as stone work such as bricks, marble and stone blocks. Also, should one of our clients need base painting or wall repairs done we would be willing to subcontract this work back to you, as ABC Decorative Painting does not perform this technique. I would like very much to show you our design portfolio so that we might work together on future contracts. I will call you next week to arrange to meet you and tell you more about ABC Decorative Painting. Sincerely,

Susan Sample Special-Effects Artist

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Showcase Homes Another way to attract attention for your business is to volunteer your services for a Showcase Home. These opportunities can be found through a local charity, building contractors or Interior Decorators.

You may need to do some checking around to find this prospect in your community. By donating your services in a showcase home you guarantee that a great deal of people will see your work. Make sure you have brochures and business cards displayed for people to take with them.

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Chapter 6

POTENTIAL CLIENTS You’ve done it. Your marketing and promotions have paid off and your phone is finally ringing with potential clients. Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Remember, your client is probably more nervous than you are. They have probably never dealt with a real artist before!

Have a “Client Intake Form” (see page 40) ready by the phone so that you can take down the client’s pertinent information such as their name, address, and phone number, along with driving directions.

You should ask them how they found out about you. This is important to help you track how your marketing efforts are paying off. Finally, get the details on the project: • • • • What type of room is it? Do they have a certain finish in mind? What colors do they prefer? Do they have pictures that they can show you of what they’re looking for? 38
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If the client is vague about what they’re looking for, try to draw as much information out of them as possible so you know what samples and ideas you should bring for the first meeting. Aim to get an idea of the “feeling” they’re trying to generate in the room. Is it a coolfeeling room that they want to feel warmer? Does the room have an existing theme that they want to add to? What colors or painting items will they absolutely not accept? The more information you can gather prior to your appointment with your client, the more prepared and confident you’ll be. If you can, try to gather pictures and ideas from magazines to prepare for the meeting right away while all the information is still fresh in your mind. You may not be able to do this once you get busy, but it will help give you confidence for your first couple of jobs.

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CLIENT INTAKE FORM NAME: ADDRESS: TELEPHONE: DRIVING DIRECTIONS: CELL PHONE:

HOW THEY HEARD ABOUT US:

PROJECT:

DESIGN IDEAS:

COLOR PREFERENCES:

DETAILS:

NOTES:

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ESTIMATES There are a couple of different ways you can estimate jobs. Both ways have their pros and cons.

Written Estimates / Proposals You will most likely have to give written estimates or proposals for most painting jobs you do. This is an industry standard. Most people are looking for several estimates before they make their decision. See the example on page 45 for an idea of how your proposal could look. You will no doubt want to customize it to suit your own needs. You may also wish to seek the advice of a lawyer to ensure that you are covered legally as in this day in age everyone is launching lawsuits. To help you in the estimation process, there is a fascinating spreadsheet available that makes calculating estimates a breeze. It’s called the “Project Estimator” and you can download it for free at: http://www.muralsplus.com/estimator5.htm

On the following page is a screen shot of what the Project Estimator looks like.

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On the Spot Painting Another option is to come ready to paint. This option is workable if you are doing decorative painting and developed a good impression about what the client is looking for over the phone. You can bring the right paint colors and start painting right away.

When using this technique you need to have a figure in mind as the absolute minimum that you will charge to pack up your supplies and drive over to the client’s house.

So, for example, if the figure you have in mind is $100, you can tell the client on the phone that this is your minimum price and will depend upon what type of painting they’re looking for. In return the client will feel better knowing what price to expect.

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Inform the client that you don’t do free estimates and that you will bring your supplies and come ready to paint. State that you charge “$25.00” to do an estimate but that you’ll take this off the price if you start painting right way. That way you don’t waste your time and gas money driving over to the client’s house for nothing. After you’ve met with the client and viewed the room, you can quote them the approximate price of what you have in mind. If they think the price is too high, you can suggest that you can do something slightly different for a lower price.

Even if you paint the exact idea that you had originally, the client won’t know this. You’re just trying to gauge their budget. Never state the price as an hourly rate, quote the price for the whole job.

This technique will not work in most cases if you are doing faux finishing or stenciling because the variables are too great. You need to meet the client first to show them the paint chip colors or have them pick out the stencil they would like from your stencil catalog.

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PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE PROPOSAL SUBMITTED FOR: PHONE: COMMENCEMENT DATE: TODAY’S DATE: PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

Payment Terms and Conditions: For the sum of $ , I agree to the above project description. A 50% payment is due upon signing of the contract, balance is due upon completion. NOTE: Any additional work required will be subject to separate contract and bid to be approved by client prior to commencement of work, payment terms as above. If client fails to pay the remaining balance within 30 days of completion of the job, an 18% annual interest charge will accrue on unpaid balance. This proposal is valid for 60 days from the above date and may require a new bid if not accepted within this time. ABC Decorative Painting will supply up to 3 sample boards in the client’s choice of colors for the nonrefundable fee of $50.00. This fee shall be paid at time of consultation. Client will approve sample boards prior to commencement of work. Sample boards and / or stencils shall remain the property of ABC Decorative Painting. Client agrees to remove all nails, switch plates, drapery rods, pictures, decorations or other obstructions prior to commencement of work. Walls must be in good repair, without holes, dents, mars or nail holes. All furniture must be moved at least 3 feet from wall to allow enough room to maneuver equipment and ladders and should be covered for protection. If room is not prepared to the above mentioned specifications by commencement date and / or other arrangements have not been made between client and artist prior to that date, a $50.00 charge will be added to the proposal. ABC Decorative Painting shall guarantee work to be in accordance with sample boards. Work such as plastering, base coating and finishing done by trades people hired directly by client or designer, or walls subjected to damage and / or abuse, is not the responsibility of ABC Decorative Painting. I have read this contract and agree to its contents. __________________________________ Client __________________________________ Artist ________________________________ Date ________________________________ Date

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Bidding High or Low The most difficult part about doing estimates, whether they are verbal or written, is finding a price that seems fair. You want to be paid well for your talent, yet you don’t want to price yourself out of the market. There are variables to consider when bidding on a job: How badly do you want this job? Will it give you great exposure? Are there any difficulty factors to consider such as high ceilings, stucco walls, the client themselves?

If you start off bidding on jobs too low you will find it difficult to raise your prices later. You also can get a reputation as being “cheap labor”, which you don’t want. Also, people will value your work as an artist more if they have paid a higher price for it.

Obviously, the flip side is bidding so high that no one will hire you and not getting any work at all. Try to find a balance between bidding high or low. See the “Pricing” section for more on this topic.

Deposits Whenever you bid on a job you should insist on a deposit from your client prior to starting the work. This can be done several different ways: 50% deposit upon acceptance of the bid and the balance at completion 30% deposit upon acceptance of the bid, 30% halfway though the job and the balance at completion a flat fee to cover your costs (say $200) and the balance at completion

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Pricing Finding an hourly rate to charge can be a real challenge for an artist who just wants to paint and not think too much about crunching numbers. So you may have to force yourself to sit down and work this out on paper.

Do some research on what other painters in your area are charging to get an idea of what the going hourly rate is in your area. To do this just call up some paint contractors and ask what they charge per hour. Just make sure that you are getting their rate for specialty finishes and not straight painting as this is a different painting medium. You may find that some faux finishers / decorative painters charge by the square foot rather than the by the hour. This makes finding a rate more challenging. To convert from square feet to hourly rate you need to do some calculating based upon an average room with an average finish. So for example, if the room is 400 square feet and you know that it would take four hours to complete you would be able to figure that you could paint 100/ square feet per hour. Assuming that your hourly rate is $50 then the 100 square feet would bill out at $.50 per square foot to install. 400 square feet divided by 4 hours = 100 square feet / hour $50/hour divided by 100 square feet = $.50 per square foot For more information on pricing, please check out the following forum for excellent discussions on this topic: http://www.muralsplus.com/cgibin/discus/discus.cgi The hourly rate that you finally come up with will be for your “billable hours”. Everything else that you do for your business such as accounting, advertising and office administration is considered “non-billable hours”.

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You need to remember this when you are setting your rate because if you are painting for 35 hours per week and doing your administration / accounting for 10 hours a week, that this will bring your hourly rate down. You’re still working for your business but not technically getting paid for it. This should factor into your billable rate.

Once you have an hourly rate in mind you need set a high and low rate. Then when you go to quote a job use these numbers to estimate the job based on: The preparation time needed (designing, planning, purchasing supplies, etc.) Travel time to the site (factor in time and gas expense) Meetings with the client (i.e. is the client going to be difficult?) Difficulty of the job (high ceilings, scaffolding, existing wall texture, etc.) How badly you want this job (can you afford to take a smaller wage to get this job?)

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CLIENT RELATIONS The most important part of working with your client is listening to their wants and needs. It’s vital that you are hearing their ideas accurately so you can interpret them correctly into reality.

It’s great to have your own creative ideas but if you can’t make the client clearly visualize what you’re seeing for the finished masterpiece, you may possibly end up with an unhappy client when the job is done. Therefore, since not all clients are “visual” you need to use visual tools to assist you in this process.

Some tools you can use are: Your Portfolio Your portfolio is a great starting point to show your client what you can do. You can give your client’s ideas and then explain to them that by changing a few details, that they can have a totally personalized and creative finish.

Sketches Sketches are a great tool if you can draw. If you can’t, there are computerdrawing programs that can assist you in interpreting designs to some degree. Or you can subcontract this task to a sketch artist who can interpret your vision.

Samples Samples of the finished design are a must for all projects even if it’s a simple finish that you have done many times. I suggest doing up a sample board for every client using the colors they have chosen. The client may find that they don’t like the color or the intensity of the design. It’s better to find out before you actually paint the walls. As stated previously, ensure that the client signs and dates the final sample stating their approval. 48
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Pictures There are many faux finishing and interior design magazines to make use of for design ideas. Stock up on these and get subscriptions. They are a valuable tool in your arsenal of creative ideas (and they’re a tax write-off).

YOUR WARRANTY Offering your clients a warranty on your work is important if you want to develop a stellar reputation as an artist who stands behind their creations. It will go a long way to motivate your clients to spend the money on your work and will encourage them to tell others about your work.

Obviously, you always want your clients to be satisfied with the finished product. However, you must establish the extent of your warranty. Perhaps you will warranty that you will come back for up to a year to touch up any scratches or dents in the finish. Or you could offer a warranty that your work will stand up to wear and tear for 2 years (depending upon the room).

Decide carefully how you want to distinguish yourself in this regard but be prepared to protect yourself from people who may abuse your policies. You clearly don’t want to be running around fixing up messes that people have deliberately created. State your warranty clearly in writing so that there are no questions about what you will and will not repair. Have the client sign two copies of your warranty, one for them and one for your files.

State that normal wear and tear is considered “reasonable” but abuse of the finish (i.e. improper cleaning products) will not be covered by the warranty. It’s also a good idea to leave clear written instructions on cleaning the finished design and have your customer sign this as well to verify that they’ve read it. 49
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

Chapter 7

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Accounting Systems Your bookkeeping system is the lifeblood of your business. You should not take this responsibility lightly. Many artistic small business owners tend to be unorganized and lose track of this vital information due to disinterest in this important function of their business. You can’t afford to make this mistake when you are starting out because your business and the Tax Department will depend upon complete accuracy.

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If you feel that this is something you absolutely can’t manage then by all means find a good, reliable bookkeeper who can handle this job for you. The bookkeeper would probably only need to be paid for a few hours a month to keep this critical function under control. If you’re stumped on how to find a bookkeeper there are a few options. You can look through your local classified ads section of the newspaper under “Work Wanted” or “Services Available” to bookkeepers looking for clients. A second option is to ask other business people who does their bookkeeping. A third option is to check out this website called “BookkeeperList.com” for bookkeepers looking for clients in your area http://www.bookkeeperlist.com/index.shtml . Your final option (and one I would recommend only if you’re really stuck and can’t seem to find a bookkeeper using the above options) is to place an ad yourself in your local newspaper classified ads for a bookkeeper.

If you feel comfortable doing your bookkeeping yourself, I’ve included a very simple accounting program as a bonus to this e-book that I developed using the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program. I call it the “EZ Accounting System” and it lives up to its name. Just by inputting a few entries on a regular basis this program transfers all your entries into sales and expense reports.

At the end of each month you know exactly if you made a profit because the information is automatically transferred into an Income Statement (also known as a Profit and Loss Statement). This program also has a Cash Flow Sheet and a Bank Reconciliation Sheet that are both very user-friendly.

You don’t have to know debits and credits to use this system, which is the best part. There is a completely separate manual with detailed instructions on how to use this system as a separate bonus file.

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Screenshot of EZ Accounting System

If you are familiar with bookkeeping concepts and want to try more advanced software, I highly recommend Simply Accounting. I’ve used it for about twelve years and it’s by far the best and easiest accounting program I’ve come across. It does live up to its name. To try out a free evaluation version of this program, click on this link: http://www.accpac.com/Campaigns/CForm.asp?camp=2065A

Invoicing Your customer billing system does not have to be elaborate. You can use preprinted invoice forms from an office supply store or you can create your own invoice using Excel or Word.

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Excel has a template for an invoice that is very simple to use. It even adds all your totals up and calculates taxes, if needed. Plus, you can easily customize this invoice with your business name and contact information (see example below). Remember when you print out your invoices to make three copies: one for the client, one for your accounting revenue file and one for your client file.

Screenshot of Excel invoice

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OFFICE SET UP Having an organized office space is critical to running your business. Nothing is more frustrating or a bigger waste of time then having to search for a much-needed document. Listed below are some basics you will need: A desk with computer and printer Separate telephone line File cabinet & file folders Rolodex or large address book Date book or calendar Basic office supplies

Your filing system should be organized into three sections:

1. Clients You should have a file folder for each client or potential client. Each folder should have the following:

Intake form Special instructions Paint colors Swatch samples Copies of proposals / estimates Copies of invoices

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2. Business Your business files should contain all general information related to the running of your business, such as:

Your business plan Government documents or forms Tax forms Insurance Advertising Design ideas Work pending

3. Accounting Your accounting files should be organized as follows: One revenue file folder for sales invoices for your customers A to Z files for your bills and expenses that you paid out A file for your bank statements

Note: All these receipts and invoices should all be stamped with a “POSTED” stamp after you enter them in your accounting system

YOUR STUDIO As an artist you probably already have a studio or workshop in your home to practice your finishes and create your own personal masterpieces. You can have your business office as part of your studio or even in another part of your home. A studio can 55
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

also be in a heated garage, storage room or a spare bedroom. Try to find a space that you can completely call your own and doesn’t have to be shared by others

Your studio should be set up so your supplies are easy to find. Use portable drawers, shelving, pegboards and cabinets are great tools to help get everything organized.

Label all your drawers and shelves to organize them by type of tools or supplies. You should have a large worktable as well as a comfortable chair with good back support. A small portable stereo is also a relaxing way to get your creative energy flowing.

TOOLS The tools that you’ll require will depend upon the types of finishes you are doing. I have found the choice of tools and equipment to be a personal decision based on how one works, so I won’t go into this in too much detail. You’ll find ideas and helpful innovations at your local hardware or paint store to add to your tool collection. Here are a few necessities: • • • • • • A ladder with wide comfortable steps Drop cloths Color paint chips / swatches (at no cost from paint store) Color wheel (to match color compatibility) Plastic storage bins (to tote your paint and supplies to the jobsite) Brushes – good quality and a large selection 56
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• • • • • • • • • • • •

Masking tape – quick release, also a tape gun Rulers, T-square and measuring tape Chalk line Sanding block Screwdrivers, hammer and pliers Foam brushes, rollers, paint brushes Sea sponges / Rags Paper towels Latex gloves Craft knife Scissors Garbage bags

CLIENT WORK SITE STRATEGIES A professional approach while on the job site is essential to ensuring a pleasant experience for your client. Your client will be nervous at first, so the more confident and prepared you are, the more you will put them at ease. Ensure that you come equipped with all your supplies organized into bins and toolboxes. Start by setting up and covering all your client’s furniture and carpeting with drop cloths.

The room may already have had furniture moved out of the way or you may have to do this yourself. Make sure that pets are kept out of the work area, either by politely requesting this or by putting the pets out yourself if the client is not home when you arrive. 57
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Take the time to tape areas correctly with masking tape. It takes time and practice to do this right but you will get faster as you gain experience. Also there are tape guns available that will make the job easier.

After you’ve begun the project you should call in the client in one last time to ensure that the colors and finish meets with their approval. At this point you could still wipe off and start again if the client has second thoughts.

Keeping the work area clean is a constant battle when you’re working with paint. Try not to track wet paint around as it may stick to your shoes if you leave the drop cloth-covered room.

Be conscious of every drip. Carry a wet rag with you and continuously wipe as you go along. Make sure you put the lids back on the paint as soon as you’re done with them.

Step back and check your work periodically for drips on the walls or any other surface. Quality control should be uppermost in your mind while on the job.

When the job is done, neatly pack up and remove all your equipment. Remove all tape and move furniture back to where it belongs, if possible. Make one last check at your finished project to ensure that it meets your satisfaction.

Leave your final invoice with the client. Your invoice should state if the client has paid a deposit and the final balance owing. You may have to drop off the invoice at a later date if there were any changes from the original estimate.

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HIRING EMPLOYEES Clearly, the future of your business depends on your work being in demand and having a steady stream of business. Being very busy could also mean that you may have to think about hiring an employee to help you. Having an assistant to do some of the preparation work can make the job go faster and allow you to bid on more jobs. Of course the flip side to this is that you lose some of your income by paying out a wage to your employee.

You can either hire an assistant as an employee or as subcontractor. If you hire somebody as an employee you legally will have more say over what they do and what time their hours of work are.

You also are responsible for deducting and remitting payroll taxes as well as covering your employee with Workers Compensation insurance which can be a problem for some decorative painters. I highly recommend having a bookkeeper handle this function for you to keep you out of trouble with the various government authorities.

If you hire your assistant as a subcontractor you have less say over their day-today activities but it is easier to replace them if they don’t work out because you just don’t have to hire them for the next job. Research this area carefully with your provincial or state Employment Standards office to find the solution that’s right for you and your business.

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Chapter 8

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS There are various professional organizations that you could align yourself with. Being able to network with other decorative painting professionals will help you further round out your knowledge and expertise as well as allow you to network with your peers.

Listed below are few professional organizations to check out: • Society of Decorative Painters (316) 269-9300 Email: ntsdp@aol.com Web: www.decorativepainters.com • Stenciling Artisans League, Inc. (SALI) (505) 865-9119 Email: salihelp@aol.com Web: www.sali.org

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One Stroke (Dewberry Designs) (800) 536-2627 Email: email@onestroke.com Web: www.onestroke.com

Listed below are online discussion groups that you could join: • Yahoo Group – One Stroke Painting, all aspects of One Stroke Painting

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/onestroke_painting/

Yahoo Group – Faux Painters, Mural Artists, Stencilers & Decorative Painters

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fauxstenciling/

Yahoo Group – Artistic Ventures, concerned with the business aspect of a craft business

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArtisticVentures/

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EPILOGUE I hope that this book has provided useful information to get you started on your goal of making money with your decorative painting. Please use it as a starting point on your journey.

There are many other resources on more specific areas that you can further research such as advertising, business plans and structuring your business. I hope that you have found this book useful and hope that it helps you create the dream career you’ve always wanted.

Please email me with any comments or suggestions you may have. I would very much like to know how this book has helped you achieve your decorative painting dreams.

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FEEDBACK FORM
Please write your comments and/or success stories and fill out the form below: Here are some ideas to get you started: • • What did you like best about “How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business” What would you like to see more of?

Comments: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

Write Your Success Story Here: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

Email: sunbeambooks@shaw.ca

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APPENDIX A CHECKLIST FOR STARTING YOUR OWN DECORATIVE PAINTING BUSINESS
Get experience painting for friends and family Decide if your business is a Proprietorship, Partnership or Corporation Develop your business plan Name your business Get liability insurance Obtain a business license Check into sales tax Verify zoning bylaws for your area Create your portfolio and samples Establish your List of Services Develop your advertising strategy Open a business bank account Establish your pricing strategy Choose your estimating procedures Decide on your “deposit” policies for clients Develop your business warranty Setup your office and studio Organize up your bookkeeping system
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APPENDIX B Sample Business Plan

ABC Decorative Painting
Business Plan for the Period Starting January 2003

Susan Sample 1100 Maple Ave. Anytown, NY 98547 250-555-5555 EMAIL: abcpainting@yahoo.com

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Table Of Contents Executive Summary Business Description Ownership and Management Key Initiatives and Objectives Marketing Opportunities Competitive Advantages Marketing Strategy Summary of Financial Projections Confidentiality and Recognition of Risks Confidentiality Clause Recognition of Risk Business Overview Business History Vision and Mission Statement Objectives Ownership Location and Facilities Products and Services Description of Products and Services Key Features of the Products and Services Production of Products and Services Future Products and Services Comparative Advantages in Production Industry Overview Market Research Size of the Industry Key Product Segments Key Market Segments Purchase Process and Buying Criteria Description of Industry Participants Key Industry Trends Industry Outlook Marketing Strategy Target Markets Description of Key Competitors Analysis of Competitive Position Pricing Strategy Promotion Strategy Distribution Strategy Management and Staffing Organizational Structure Management Team Staffing Labor Market Issues Regulatory Issues 66
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Intellectual Property Protection Regulatory Issues Risks Market Risks Other Risks Implementation Plan Implementation Activities and Dates Financial Plan Beginning Balance Sheet Discussion of Projected Net Income Discussion of Monthly Cash Flow Statement Discussion of Projected Annual Cash Flow Discussion of Pro-Forma Balance Sheet Discussion of Business Ratios Pro Forma Income Statement Cash Flow Statement, Year 1 Three Year Projected Annual Cash Flow Balance Sheet Business Ratios Note 1: Revenue Assumptions Note 2: Assumptions Regarding the Collection of Sales Revenue Note 3: Cost of Sales Assumptions Note 4: Sales and Marketing Assumptions Note 5: Property and Utilities Assumptions Note 6: Operations Assumptions Note 7: Banking and Other Assumptions Note 8: Wages and Other Assumptions Note 9: Other Sources of Funding Note 10: Other Uses of Funding

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Executive Summary
Business Description
ABC Decorative Painting is a new business located in Anytown, NY, specializing in creating and teaching unique paint finishes. Our services will include custom wall painting projects and murals. Our mission is to bring joy to our client's lives with our unique painting ideas. To keep overhead costs low, ABC Decorative Painting will be located in the home of Susan Sample for the first year of operations. The home is equipped with a complete computer system and a studio filled with painting supplies and books.

Ownership and Management
ABC Decorative Painting is a sole proprietorship, owned by Susan Sample. As the business expands the firm may hire staff to go into the field and do custom contract painting. All administrative and bookkeeping work will be completed by Susan Sample who has many years experience in this field. If time does not allow for bookkeeping in the future, this may be contracted out.

Key Initiatives and Objectives
ABC Decorative Painting will start operations on January 1st. During the first few months, many meetings and referrals will need to be performed in order to gain the momentum needed to get this business off the ground.

Marketing Opportunities
Due to the fact that there is no one in the Anytown area teaching the One-Stroke painting technique the need is quite profound. In addition, the special supplies needed for One-Stroke painting are not available locally creating a huge market for both teaching and buying of One-Stroke products. In addition, there is no one providing unique One-Stroke painting wall finishes locally although there are painters who do faux painting, which ABC Decorative Painting intends to do as well.

Competitive Advantages
The key competitive advantage to ABC Decorative Painting is that decorative painting is very new to Anytown. Susan Sample is taking advantage of this opportunity to create beautiful, unique finishes that people in Anytown have not seen before. 68
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Marketing Strategy
Our primary target markets is home / business owners Marketing will be by referrals, classified ads, direct mail, signs, door hangers, brochures, flyers and word of mouth.

Summary of Financial Projections
The revenue of ABC Decorative Painting is projected to increase from $50,200 in 2003 to $108,000 in 2004 to 2005. The Cost of Sales is 26% including total wages.

Confidentiality and Recognition of Risks
Confidentiality Clause
The information provided in this business plan is strictly confidential and is supplied on the understanding that it will not be disclosed to third parties without the written consent of Susan Sample.

Recognition of Risk
This business plan represents our best estimate of the future of ABC Decorative Painting. It should be recognized that not all of major risks can be predicted or avoided and few business plans are free of errors of omission or commission. Therefore, investors should be aware that this business has inherent risks that should be evaluated prior to any investment.

Business Overview
Business History
ABC Decorative Painting is a painting and teaching business that is scheduled to begin operations on January 1, 2003. ABC Decorative Painting will be a sole proprietorship, owned by Susan Sample. Susan Sample is currently employed full time as a bookkeeper and plans to cut back on her hours at this job as her painting business progresses so that her income is not compromised.

Vision and Mission Statement
Our mission is to become a leader in home and commercial painting by providing our clients with distinctive finishes that will turn their special finish into a conversation piece.

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Objectives
Our primary objectives over the next year are to: - Slowly phase into the painting business turning it from a part time business into a full time one. - Generate one to two new clients per week by contacting painters, paint stores, interior designers and seeking referrals and subcontract work.

Ownership
ABC Decorative Painting is a sole proprietorship, owned by Susan Sample. Susan Sample registers the name ABC Decorative Painting with the State of New York.

Location and Facilities
To keep our overhead costs low, ABC Decorative Painting will be located in the home of Susan Sample. The home, located at 1100 Main Avenue in Anytown, is equipped with a complete computer system and fully stocked studio. All custom painting work will be done at the client's location.

Products and Services
Description of Products and Services
Our services are broken down as follows: Faux finishing and decorative painting contracts for home and business owners. These include all aspects of faux finishing such as cloth and stone finishes. Decorative painting is hand painting and / or stenciling murals and borders.

Key Features of the Products and Services
ABC Decorative Painting will specialize in faux finishing and decorative painting. While other painting companies offer straight painting along with faux finishes, none specialize in this area.

Production of Products and Services
Initially faux painting will be offered to clients by Ms. Sample. As her decorative painting portfolio increases, more and more projects will be completed using this technique along with the faux painting. 70
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Future Products and Services
We will continue to expand our services based on industry trends and changing client needs. We will also get feedback from clients and students on what is needed in this industry.

Comparative Advantages in Production
Our comparative advantages include our unique decorative painting finishes as well as the faux finishing.

Industry Overview
Market Research
To fully understand the market we are targeting we spoke with other decorative painters, as well as read books and websites on starting this type of business.

Size of the Industry
Industry is difficult to determine for ABC Decorative Painting, as it is unique in its products and services. However, there are dozens of painting companies in town, most of which only provide straight painting techniques.

Key Market Segments
Key market segments are home / business owners. The total size of the market is vast as there are approximately 20,000 homes in Anytown, thousands of businesses and a population of 80,000 people to draw from who might wish to learn to paint.

Purchase Process and Buying Criteria
The buying process varies depending on whether the potential client is looking for a custom paint finish or is a hobbyist looking to learn a new painting skill. 1) The home / business owner looking for a custom paint finish is most likely to have seen faux finishes in magazines, TV or in other's homes/businesses and then become aware of the potential to have a unique custom finish created for them. This customer is most likely to search the Yellow Pages, classified ads searching for 71
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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

painters or interior decorators and contact them. ABC Decorative Painting plans to subcontract or get referrals from these types of companies in order to secure this type of work. After meeting with the client and providing a written quote, the customer then decides whether they would like to proceed with the work.

Description of Industry Participants
Painting businesses are generally small businesses with from 1 to 5 employees. They are located all over the Anytown area and are usually home-based businesses. These companies are contacted by customers to provide custom painting work.

Key Industry Trends
The faux painting industry has been expanding in the United States and is just gaining momentum in Canada. Popular shows such as "The Painted House" and "Trading Spaces" have introduced the idea of unique finishes to homeowners. Many people love the idea of having a unique painted finish but do not have the time or the expertise to execute such a project. Also, there is no one providing custom decorative paint finishes in Anytown. Decorative painting is also gaining momentum in Canada and is just in its infancy.

Industry Outlook
With years of custom paint finishes and word of mouth, decorative painting along with faux finishes is expected to see a steady growth over the next three to five years. Also, people are always seeking to update various rooms or try different ideas.

Marketing Strategy
Target Markets
Our target markets for the specialty finishes will be home and business owners.

Description of Key Competitors
The key competitors are other painting businesses that provide faux finishing work. However, there are no other businesses that offer the custom, decorative painting technique along with faux finishing. Most of these businesses provide straight painting, which ABC Decorative Painting will not be doing. If any base coating / straight painting is required, this will be sub-contracted out to one of these firms. 72
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Analysis of Competitive Position
ABC Decorative Painting will be the only business specializing in decorative painting and faux finishing.

Pricing Strategy
ABC Decorative Painting will be priced competitively with other faux painting businesses. Because of it's unique business (decorative painting/ faux finishing) it is hoped that charging $50.00 per hour for these services will be considered a fair price in the Anytown area.

Promotion Strategy
1. The faux finishing / decorative painting will be promoted by contacting painters, paint stores and interior decorators by mail to request a meeting. A portfolio and sample boards will be shown to them and brochures and business cards left with them. 2. Classified ads will be run to promote the services. 3. Flyers will be posted at craft stores detailing the One-Stroke classes as well as being listed on the One-Stroke website as a certified teacher. 4. Direct mail will be used within a specific geographic area of 200 homes at a time. 5. A pair of hand painted magnetic signs will be completed with the company name and phone number and placed on the owner’s car. 6. Several sign will be designed for setup while working on the job site. 7. Door hangers will be made that state that ABC Decorative Painting is in the area painting that day.

Management and Staffing
Organizational Structure
ABC Decorative Painting is a sole proprietorship that will be run and managed by the owner, Susan Sample. Susan Sample will complete all bookkeeping and administrative services, as this is her area of expertise. 73
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Management Team
Susan Sample has been faux finishing for about four years and started decorative painting just over a year ago. Susan Sample has operated many home-based businesses over a ten-year period.

Staffing
Initially, no staff will be hired at ABC Decorative Painting as it is expected to be solely run by Susan Sample. In the future, staff may be hired as required to assist with some of the custom paint finishes.

Labor Market Issues
Scheduling will have to be carefully adjusted to ensure that one person completes all projects only.

Regulatory Issues
Intellectual Property Protection
There are no patents, trademarks or copyrights on any of the decorative painting or faux painting techniques. All instruction manuals allow full use of the patterns for commercial use but not for mass-production.

Regulatory Issues
The only licenses required to operate a painting business is a business license. Liability insurance will also need to be purchased.

Risks
Market Risks
There are a few risks with this business but due to the varied structure in the services provided, these should be minimal. There is competition with other faux finishing painters (who also provide straight painting work). However, none of these painters do decorative painting and ABC Decorative Painting will not do straight painting, which should keep strategic alliances open with other painting firms.

Other Risks

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There are other risks such as cash flow risks. With Ms. Jaumann working this business part time until such time as the business becomes self-sustaining, this risk is expected to be minimal.

Implementation Plan
Implementation Activities and Dates
Within the next several months Susan Sample will slowly phase out of her full time job by working evenings and weekends then working fewer days per week.

Financial Plan
Discussion of Projected Net Income
Revenue is projected to increase from $50,200 in 2003 to $108,000 in 2005. Cost of Sales are $13,700 in year 1, which projects to a total of 27% of revenues. Sales and Marketing expenses average 3% of Net Sales. Sale and Marketing expenses include classified advertising, a brochure and flyers. Property and Utilities expenses average 11% but do not come into affect until year 2. Operations, Banking and Other expenses average 4% of Net Sales. This includes mostly bank charges along with some insurance costs. Net Income is projected to remain at $1,850 in the third year. This is due to an increase in wages to Susan Sample, which is the whole purpose for forming this company.

Discussion of Monthly Cash Flow Statement
Initially it is expected that the company will required a very small influx of cash to get going as the business will be started part time on a "shoestring budget".

Discussion of Projected Annual Cash Flow
Providing ABC Decorative Painting achieves their revenue projections no additional operating loans will be necessary in years two and three. This will lead to increases in ending cash balances in both Year 2 and 3.

Discussion of Pro-Forma Balance Sheet
With no loans payable in Year 3 of operations, the cash position and the amount of retained earnings will increase each year. All liabilities will be paid, as they are due.

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Discussion of Business Ratios
Due to ABC Decorative Painting’s billing structure, the average collection period for accounts receivable will be non-existent compared to other painting companies. Debt to net worth is inconsequential, as the company will never really incur any debt to operate.

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ABC Decorative Painting
PRO FORMA INCOME STATEMENT For the Periods Ending December
Net Sales Direct Cost of Sales Gross Margin Expenses: Sales & Marketing Property & Utilities Operations Banking & Other Other Wages & Benefits Interest Operating Loan Interest Term Loan Depreciation Total Expenses Net Income Before Taxes Less: Income Taxes Net Income 2003 50,200 13,700 36,500 2004 108,000 28,300 79,700 2005 108,000 28,300 79,700

1,275 0 2,080 500 26,100 0 0 0 29,955 6,545 0 6,545

1,600 11,650 2,100 800 62,000 0 0 0 78,150 1,550 0 1,550

1,600 11,650 2,100 800 62,000 0 0 0 78,150 1,550 0 1,550

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ABC Decorative Painting
PROJECTED CASH FLOW STATEMENT For the Year Ending December, 2003
Month 1 Cash Inflows: Cash Receipts Other Sources of Funding: Owner Investment Operating Loan Advances Term Loan Advances Sale of Fixed Assets Other Assets Total Cash Inflows Cash Outflows: Payment Of: Cost of Sales Items Sales & Marketing Items Operations Items Property & Utilities Items Banking & Other Items Other Wages & Benefits Items Other Uses of Funding: Repayment of Shareholder Capital Payment of Dividends/Earnings Term Loan Interest & Principal Operating Loan Interest & principal Purchase of Fixed Assets Payment of Other Assets Payment of Taxes Total Cash Outflows Increase/Decrease in Cash Beginning Cash Balance Closing Cash Balance 300 0 200 0 0 0 500 Month 2 1,200 0 250 0 0 0 1,450 Month 3 2,800 0 200 0 0 0 3,000 Month 4 4,200 0 0 0 0 0 4,200 Month 5 4,200 0 0 0 0 0 4,200 Month 6 4,200 0 0 0 0 0 4,200 Month 7 2,700 0 0 0 0 0 2,700

100 75 120 0 200 200 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 695 -195 200 5

400 75 120 0 0 700 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1,295 155 5 160

800 75 140 0 0 1,600 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2,615 385 160 545

1,200 50 160 0 0 2,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,410 790 545 1,335

1,200 50 180 0 0 2,400 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,830 370 1,335 1,705

1,200 650 180 0 0 2,400 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4,430 -230 1,705 1,475

750 50 280 0 50 2,400 0 0 0 0 200 0 0 3,730 -1,030 1,475 445

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Month 8 Cash Inflows: Cash Receipts Other Sources of Funding: Owner Investment Operating Loan Advances Term Loan Advances Sale of Fixed Assets Other Assets Total Cash Inflows Cash Outflows: Payment Of: Cost of Sales Items Sales & Marketing Items Operations Items Property & Utilities Items Banking & Other Items Other Wages & Benefits Items Other Uses of Funding: Repayment of Shareholder Capital Payment of Dividends/Earnings Term Loan Interest & Principal Operating Loan Interest & principal Purchase of Fixed Assets Payment of Other Assets Payment of Taxes Total Cash Outflows Increase/Decrease in Cash Beginning Cash Balance Closing Cash Balance

Month 9

Month 10 6,600 0 0 0 0 0 6,600

Month 11 7,200 0 0 0 0 0 7,200

Month 12 7,500 0 0 0 0 0 7,500

Total

3,300 0 0 0 0 0 3,300

6,000 0 0 0 0 0 6,000

50,200 0 650 0 0 0 50,850

900 50 180 0 50 2,400 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3,580 -280 445 165

1,650 50 180 0 50 3,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4,930 1,070 165 1,235

1,800 50 180 0 50 3,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5,080 1,520 1,235 2,755

1,950 50 180 0 50 3,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5,230 1,970 2,755 4,725

1,950 50 180 0 50 3,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5,230 2,270 4,725 6,995

13,900 1,275 2,080 0 500 26,100 0 0 0 0 200 0 0 44,055 6,795 200 6,995

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ABC Decorative Painting
PRO FORMA BALANCE SHEET As at December
Starting Balance ASSETS Current Assets: Cash Accounts Receivable Inventory Other Assets Total Current Assets Fixed Assets: Fixed Assets Accumulated Depreciation Total Fixed Assets TOTAL ASSETS LIABILITIES & OWNER'S EQUITY Liabilities: Accounts Payable Taxes Payable Operating Loans Payable Term Loans & Mortgages Total Liabilities Owner's Equity: Paid-in Capital Retained Earnings Total Owner's Equity TOTAL LIABILITIES & OWNER'S EQUITY 2003 2004 2005

200 0 0 0 200

6,995 0 200 0 7,195

3,445 0 200 0 3,645

2,245 0 200 0 2,445

500 0 500 700

700 0 700 7,895

5,700 0 5,700 9,345

8,700 0 8,700 11,145

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 650 0 650

550 0 0 0 550

550 0 0 0 550

0 700 700

0 7,245 7,245

0 8,795 8,795

0 10,345 10,345

700

7,895

9,345

10,895

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APPENDIX C RESOURCE LIST Books:
“Block Printing Designer Rooms” (check on eBay for this harder to find book) by Jane Gauss & Liza Glenn “Decorative Murals” by Donna Dewberry “Getting Publicity” by Tana Fletcher and Julia Rockler

“How to Paint Murals & Trompe L’oeil” by Victoria Ellerton & Simon Brady “One Stroke Painting Course” by Donna Dewberry “Quick & Easy Murals” by Donna Dewberry

“The Art of Faux” by Pierre Finkelstein “The Complete Book of Paint” by Lynne, Robinson, Richard Lowther and Liz Wagstaff “The Illustrated Guide to Mural Techniques” (check on eBay for this harder to find book) by Plaid “The Painted Home” (harder to find, check Donna Dewberry’s website at www.onestroke.com
for availability)

by Donna Dewberry

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Websites:
Alex’s Faux Finish Painting Website: http://www.fauxfinished.com/ All Home Décor: http://www.all-homedecor.com/ Artist’s Club Painting Supplies: http://www.artistsclub.com/ Better Homes and Gardens (how to’s): http://www.bhg.com/ Do It Yourself: http://www.doityourself.com/ Faux Painting DVD, Tools & Tips: www.MuralsandFauxPainting.com/dvd.html Faux Painting Techniques: http://www.faux-painting-techniques.com/ Folk Art Supplies: http://www.folkart.net/ Home Decors and Wall Arts at wholesale price: http://www.giftmood.com Hometime: http://www.hometime.com/ Martin Alan Hirsh Decorative Finishes Studio: http://www.fauxfinish.com/ Murals Plus: www.muralsplus.com One Stroke Website: http://www.onestroke.com/demo/index.html Online Business Planner: http://www.cbsc.org/ibp/home_en.cfm Painted House: http://www.painted-house.com/ 82
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Paint Quality Institute: http://www.paintquality.com/ PictureTrail Online Portfolio: http://www.picturetrail.com/ ProFaux: http://www.profaux.com/ Zinsser: http://www.zinsser.com/

Professional Organizations:
Society of Decorative Painters (316) 269-9300 Email: ntsdp@aol.com Web: http://www.decorativepainters.com/ Stenciling Artisans League, Inc. (SALI) (505) 865-9119 Email: salihelp@aol.com Web: http://www.sali.org/

Discussion Groups:
Yahoo Group – One Stroke Painting, all aspects of One Stroke Painting http://groups.yahoo.com/group/onestroke_painting/

Yahoo Group – Faux Painters, Mural Artists, Stencilers & Decorative Painters http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fauxstenciling/ Yahoo Group – Artistic Ventures, concerned with the business aspect of a craft business 83
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArtisticVentures/

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

24TechniquesForClosingTheSale.com By Brian Tracy This RealVideo sales course by Brian Tracy is packed with 63 powerful minutes of killer sales closing strategies. It shows you powerful tactics that can double or triple your sales closing rate -- and teach you how to sell 50% to 100% of all prospects.
courses .........................................................................14 customer billing system ............................................. 52

A
accounting files........................................................... 55 advertising .................................................................. 26 advertising budget...................................................... 26 advertising campaign ................................................. 27 advertising flyers ........................................................ 29 advertising letters....................................................... 29 advertising postcards ................................................. 29 apprentice....................................................................14 article written about your business ........................... 29

D
Debbie Travis............................................................... 11 decorative paint...........................................................31 decorative painting..........................................18, 25, 27 decorative painting....................................................... 8 dental office .................................................................31 deposit ........................................................................ 45 designers..................................................................... 34 doctors’ office ..............................................................31 donating your services ............................................... 37 Donna Dewberry ................................................7, 11, 14 door-hangers ...............................................................31 draw box ..................................................................... 32 driving billboard......................................................... 34 drop cloths.................................................................. 57

B
bank reconciliation sheet ............................................51 before pictures.............................................................13 bidding high or low .................................................... 45 bidding on a job.......................................................... 45 block painting..............................................................12 block printing designer rooms............................. 12, 80 bookkeeper ............................................................51, 59 bookkeeping system ................................................... 50 borders.................................................................. 23, 25 brand........................................................................... 27 brochures.................................................................... 37 business cards ................................................ 27, 32, 37 business license ...........................................................19 business plan .................................................. 20, 21, 55 business plan .............................................................. 65 business referrals ........................................................31

E
editor of newspaper.................................................... 29 email ........................................................................... 33 email marketing ......................................................... 33 employee..................................................................... 59 equipment................................................................... 56 establish your image .................................................. 27 estimates......................................................................41 Excel............................................................................ 52 experience................................................................... 10 EZ Accounting System ................................................51

C
canvas as a practice medium ............................................... 10 cash flow sheet.............................................................51 checklist ...................................................................... 64 classified ad ................................................................28 client approval............................................................ 58 client intake form ....................................................... 38 client intake form .......................................................40 client relations............................................................48 client visualization .....................................................48 clients..........................................................................38 company image .......................................................... 27 confidence............................................................. 14, 39 contract painters ........................................................ 34 corporation ..................................................................16 coupons....................................................................... 29

F
faux finish samples.....................................See Samples faux finishing.................................... 7, 11, 14, 23, 27, 31 faux finishing programs ..............................................14 file folder for each client ............................................ 54 foam core .................................................................... 25 foam core board ..........................................................13 free estimates ............................................................. 43

G
Getting Publicity.........................................................80 gift certificates ............................................................ 29

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

H
hair salon .....................................................................31 hire a student.............................................................. 27 hire an assistant ......................................................... 59 hire students............................................................... 29 home business .............................................................15 home show.................................................................. 32 hourly rate .................................................................. 46 How to Paint Murals & Trompe L’oeil ......................80

One Stroke Certified Instructor ..................................14 One Stroke painting ............................................... 8, 23 online business-planning............................................21

P
partnership ..................................................................15 photo albums..............................................see portfolio pictures ....................................................................... 49 pictures from magazines............................................ 39 pictures in books .........................................................12 Picturetrail.................................................................. 23 Plaid ...................................................................... 12, 80 portfolio ..........................................................22, 23, 48 portfolio online........................................................... 23 practice painting..........................................................13 prepare for meeting.................................................... 39 press release ............................................................... 29 pricing......................................................................... 46 professional approach................................................ 57 professional image ..................................................... 23 professional organizations.........................................60 proposal and acceptance............................................ 44 proposals .....................................................................41 proprietorship .............................................................15

I
income statement ........................................................51 insurance .................................................................... 18 interior decorator letter ............................................. 35 interior decorators ..................................................... 34 interior designers ....................................................... 34 invoice......................................................................... 58 invoicing ..................................................................... 52

L
learn your craft ............................................................13 linoleum flooring as a practice medium ............................................... 10 List of Services............................................................ 24 logo ............................................................................. 27

Q
quotes....................................................... See Estimates

M
magnetic signs ............................................................ 33 making mistakes..........................................................13 marketing ................................................................... 26 Martin Alan Hirsh Decorative Finishes Studio....14, 81 Microsoft Publisher.................................................... 27 motivate your clients.................................................. 49 mural........................................................................... 25 murals ............................................................... 8, 12, 23 muralsplus .................................................................. 81

R
referral letter ...............................................................31 referral letter to send to contract painters ................ 36

S
sample board ..............................................................48 sample boards .......................................................13, 32 sample business plan .................................................20 samples ....................................................................... 25 samples .......................................................................48 setting up your booth ................................................. 32 showcase home........................................................... 37 signs ............................................................................ 34 Simply Accounting ..................................................... 52 sketches ......................................................................48 Society of Decorative Painters .............................60, 82 stenciling ..................................................... 8,12, 23, 27 Stenciling Artisans League, Inc ...........................60, 82 studio .......................................................................... 55 subcontract .................................................................48 subcontractor ............................................................. 59

N
name for business.......................................................16 newspaper...................................................................28 newspaper advertising ............................................... 28 non-billable hours ...................................................... 46

O
office space ................................................................. 54 on the spot painting ................................................... 42 One Stroke ...................................................................14 One Stroke (Dewberry Designs) .................................61 One Stroke Certification ............................................ 10

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How to Start Your Own Decorative Wall Painting Business

T
tape areas.................................................................... 58 taxes ............................................................................ 18 The Art of Faux......................................................11, 80 The Complete Book of Paint ......................................80 The Illustrated Guide to Mural Techniques........ 12, 80 The Painted House ................................................ 11, 81 tole painting.................................................................. 8 tools ............................................................................ 56 trade show .................................................................. 32

W
wall painting ................................................................. 8 wallpapering ................................................................. 8 warranty...................................................................... 49 welcome letter ............................................................ 29 Word ........................................................................... 52 Workers Compensation . See Insurance, See insurance workshop .................................................................... 55

Y U
using painting instructions .........................................12 Yahoo Group – Faux Painters, Mural Artists, Stencilers & Decorative Painters .................... 61, 82 Yahoo Group – One Stroke Painting ................... 61, 82 Yellow page advertising ............................................. 28 Yellow Pages advertising............................................ 28

V
visualize .......................................................................12 visualize finished room ...............................................12 volume discount on advertising................................. 28

Z
zoning laws ..................................................................19

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Copyright © 2010 startwallpainting.com – All Rights Reserved Unauthorized duplication or distribution is strictly prohibited.

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