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my business is two months old, i've painted the interior of two apartments - the third floor of a very up-scale house - and will be starting a large den and library for a wealthy atty. this weekend. i like the detail type work, but there is probably alot of "production" painting jobs out there. right now my flyer advertises painting - windows - plumbing and electrical repair (reg. electrician)
and plaster repair. im begining to think that i should, for now, concentrate on a certain market, but at the same time ... a job is a job. any opinions on the clients i shoulkd be marketing? it seems to me if i place an ad stating windows, plumbing, electrical, it might draw attention away from some-one wanting a first-class paint job ( not that im first class - but what the customer expects) pro-wall guy, i've had two people inquire about wall paper, i've done it for my self twice, but wasn't interested in taking on a job....am i missing out? the job im starting on this weekend i've allready installed chair rail and qtr. round at the base, they want it painted but it would be ideal for papering the bottom half of the wall.
 

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Offering all that stuff makes you a handyman service. Since you are just starting out like you said a job is a job. But later you might get to the point where you have painting so figured out and like it so much that doing some plumbing would actually cut your income. This is often the case when you get really good at one thing and after awhile get know for it. You will get to the point where you can charge nice high rates for your painting, so high that doing other work means you are working for less money.

In the meantime you just want jobs to bring in money. I would suggest you break up your advertising into types of work that is logical for a customer to consider. Advertise your painting, emphasizing painting and also mentioning your plaster work, wall paper ect... and advertise you electrical and plumbing and such as a handyman service. You will notice pretty quickly what types of clients you get based on where you are advertising. You probably won't get a lot of high end paint job work out of a cheap "penny saver" type local newspaper, but you will get a lot of handyman work out of it.
 

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pro-wall guy, i've had two people inquire about wall paper, i've done it for my self twice, but wasn't interested in taking on a job....am i missing out?
Are you missing out, well, sure. But if its not something you do well, it could get bad. You botch a paint job, it could cost some money to re-buy more paint and cover it up. But if you botch a paper job, you could be looking at a LOT of money just to replace the materials, let alone the time to replace it. And if you botched it the first time, your confidence (and the customer's) to be able to complete it will be in question. Nothing worse than hanging a difficult paper with a lot of pressure on you. If you start taking on paper jobs, it might go fine for a while, if you are hanging average 21" res. pre-pasted stuff. But sooner or later someone will hit you with a hand-printed brit-pulp or something exotic/expensive and $1000's of dollars are in your hands. I still occasionally come across paper (cheap & expensive) that try their best to kick my a$$. Lot of inferior, low-quality product in the wallpaper market nowadays.

Personally, I say specialize in what you do. I have installed crown molding, toilets, light fixtures, windows, framing, drywall, etc. in my own home, and did it very well. But I wouldn't think of charging someone to do it, as it isn't what my profession is.
 

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thanks for the insight, both you guys...when i would read my flyer i felt like i was reading a "handyman"flyer. nothing wrong with that at all - but thats not what im interested in doing.i like the painting and detail work. i've had an office machine business since 1982. we sold and serviced copiers, fax, printers, typewriters. the business was a serviced based business, but in the past 6 years service has diminished. i've allways enjoyed painting and have painted 100's of murals, faux finishes, and just plain nice looking color combinations. its at the point where i'll recieve several calls a month from a friend of a friend asking for me to do somthing with thier walls. i've never charged for it, except for the supplies (sometimes) but im sick of living in the poor house and figured i should make a business out of painting. two years ago a wall i painted was actually photographed and printed in the pittsburgh post gazette. the homeowner was credited for the paint scheme, not me (it was a sponged wall with 6 foot a pic. of jesus sponged into it - no different colors involved - just an outline of his face, it looked like it was a sponged wall then suddenly this pic appeared) i don't consider my self a decorator at all, but rooms i do come out looking decent enough for the "owner of the wall" to want to show it off. im still operating my old business, but closed up the store in the local mall and its become a part-time venture it seems. starting my first - paying - interior job today. i know i didn't charge enough ... $650. for 2 16 by 20' rooms, ceiling, crown, chair rail, and walls, but this guy got my name as a referal, and hopefully he'll like it and pass my name on. but like you stated prowallguy, i've done a couple additions on my house, made a small bungalow from scratch - but i would never consider myself a contractor, nor would i want to do it for a living.
im in pittsburgh nathan - three office machine companies listed in the yellow pages, about 200 painters. that worries me some.
 

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Well if you lived out here and were excellent at Faux finishing you could name your price. I continually run into faux finishing companies that always seem to consist of 2 women in there 30-40s who got into it because they liked it and wanted something to do and now they are booked for like 6 months out, and they aren't working CHEAP I can tell you that. Every freaken high end home out here seems to want faux finishing in it.
 

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I like to do a variety of jobs from finish carpentry to taping drywall to interior painting/finishing. I think it keeps work interesting and diversification is good (in my opinion). Offering a variety of services often leads into a customer giving you other work while you're there. :)
 
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