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How to start a painting company in 2023. 

My name is David Klappenberger; I started Klappenberger & Son painting company in 1989.  Wow, that sounds like a long time ago. 

My best guess is I personally closed 20,000 jobs over 29 years.  During the busy season, I’d have about 30 painters, three estimators, and a small office staff.  We primarily did repaints and handyman services for homeowners and, to a smaller degree, commercial and government work. 

We worked at places like the Smithsonian, the Pentagon, the White House, lots of residential property management, realtor’s schools, churches, and hospitals. 

If you are reading this because you are thinking of starting your own business or franchising with Klappenberger & Son, I’d like to ask you a few questions first.   

These questions aim to test your “why” or reason for getting into the industry and see if it genuinely makes sense to start a painting company, buy a franchise, or neither.  By spending just a few minutes answering these questions, you might be able to save yourself an awful lot of heartache or feel confident you are making the right decision.

Questioning Your Reason For Starting A Painting Company Or Franchising


The first question is, why do you want to enter the painting and handyman business?   Are you doing this for yourself?  Or does someone else think this is what is best for you?  

I don’t have a crystal ball to determine how successful you will be, but I think these questions will give a certain degree of probability.  

Starting a painting company in 2023 is easy.  Building and growing it will take patience, determination, and resolve.  

Let’s start with your resolve.  

What is your why?  What internal message will you be telling yourself when things go south?  Can you dust yourself off, or will you likely start looking for greener grass?   

The people dust themselves off because they have strong reasons to continue.  

What is your "Why" For Wanting To Start A Painting Company Or Franchising?







Do you want to start a painting company because you believe it is the easiest way to meet your financial goals?  Or do you have a passion to roll up your sleeves and build something of value?  

Getting into this business or any business because it seems like the path of least resistance to achieving your goals will quickly lead to disappointment, stress, and anger. In short, your expectations will be less than necessary to achieve your goal.  If you have ever played golf, you know what I’m talking about.

Motivational speaker Dan Pena said that your emotional bank account is more important than your financial one.  I always believed that cash was king and that a business would fail cash. 

However, there are usually ways to fix problems that could overcome economic issues.  In my experience, when I see someone quit, it is often the lack of desire that supersedes the lack of money. 

Are You A People Person?

The home service industry is all about people.  Being able to forge positive relationships with the staff and the customers should be something that you enjoy doing. 

Avoiding customers and employees will lead to immediate problems. 

This is not a dig at people who prefer to stay arm’s length from customers and staff; however, it doesn’t make for a good entrepreneur or leader. 

Just ask the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. 

Fire In The Belly?

Do you have “fire in your belly”?

The truth is we all do, and we all don’t.  It just depends on when you ask.

Listening to motivational speakers can fire me up for maybe a day or two.  

On the flip side, I have had many opportunities to motivate people and cannot say I’ve moved the needle very much.  

Though nobody is always motivated, we really have to rely on ourselves to get back on track. 

If you tend to rely on a spouse to get motivated than starting your own painting company probably doesn’t make sense.  

You will need passion, determination, commitment, or resolve to build a valuable business.  It would help if you were like an explorer, looking for new opportunities.  

What level is your passion, determination, commitment, and resolve to start a painting company or franchise?

Score Yourself:

 Personally, I seldom would have given myself a score above 50% for passion.  I was rarely passionate about owning a painting business.

Instead, determination and commitment were wrapped around four different types of fear.  

I had a fear of not having work.  Fear my guys would think I’m lazy and work for someone else. 

I wanted my guys to know that I worked harder and longer than they did for their benefit and mine.    

Also, I had a fear of having unhappy customers.  I never wanted to have a situation where I was out to eat with my family and across from us was an unhappy customer.  

   These fears helped keep me committed to quality work and determined to have an enjoyable dinner.

Was I passionate about painting homes?   No

Looking Backwords to Move Forwards

I developed a formula for my franchisees where they can mathematically calculate their financial goals by starting with the plan and working backward.  Knowing what you will need to spend on marketing, the number of laborers, and the estimators required to achieve your financial goals.  

Lost time and money or perhaps failure is undoubtedly the likely outcome if you don’t have an achievable action plan. 

What are your goals, and do you have a realistic plan to get there?

Most Likely To Succeed

 Determining a strong why verse a weak why is subjective.  The question is, can your why’s push you when you don’t feel like pushing anymore?  

Take the time to write down your best reasons for starting a painting company in 2023.   Let those answers sit for a couple of days or more, then read them back and ask if it is worth the effort.  I can promise you this; starting a painting company will be twice as hard as you thought.   Ask yourself if you are ready to go to the school of hard knocks for the entire duration.  

As with any long-term goal, motivation will come and go.  It will be your dedication that carries you through.  

Heath Thompson lost 250 pounds and put it this way.

“There were peaks and valleys along the way,” he said. “The biggest hurdle was my own brain, and the fights I had emotionally when I felt like I was failing … motivation is a fantastic thing to have, but it comes in waves, and when motivation is at a low you have to rely on dedication.”

Whether you are leaning towards franchising or starting your own painting company in 2023, your “why” does not affect which direction you should take; the answer to these questions does not dictate or suggest that one route would be better or worse than the other. 

person thinking about starting a painting business or buy a Klappenberger & Son Franchise in 2023

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