The executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts of your plan.
Your Executive Summary should quickly get the attention of the reader. Tell them what kind of painting business you have and how it’s doing. For instance, are you a new business, do you want to grow your painting business, or do you own a chain of painting businesses?
Then, give an overview of each part of your plan that comes after this one. For example, you could give a brief summary of the painting business. Talk about the kind of painting business you have. Detail your direct competitors. Give an outline of the people you want to buy from you. Give a brief overview of your marketing plan. Find the important people on your team. And give an overview of how you plan to manage your money.
In your business analysis, you will talk about what kind of painting business you have.
For example, you could start one of these painting businesses:
- Residential painting is a type of painting business that focuses on painting the inside and/or outside of homes.
- Commercial painting is a business that focuses on commercial properties like apartment buildings and strip malls and offers painting services for both the inside and outside.
In the section of your business plan called “Company Analysis,” you need to describe what kind of painting business you will run and give some history about it.
Be sure to answer questions like:
- When and why did you start your business?
- What big steps have you taken so far? Some milestones include the number of customers served, the number of good reviews, etc.
- Your legal structure. Do you have an S-Corp set up for your business? An LLC? A one-person company? Tell us about your justice system.
In your industry analysis, you need to talk about the painting business in a general way.This might seem useless, but there are more than one way to use it.
First of all, learning about how to be a painter makes you smarter. It helps you understand the market better.
Second, market research can help you come up with a better plan, especially if it shows you market trends.
Doing market research is also a good way to show your readers that you know what you are talking about. This is what you do by doing your research and putting it in your plan.
- How much money does the business of painting bring in?
- Is the market getting smaller or bigger?
- Who are your biggest market competitors?
- Who are the most important suppliers in the market?
- What kinds of changes are happening in business?
- How do you think the business will grow over the next 5–10 years?
- How large should the market be? That is, how big do you think your painting business could get? You can get this number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the people in your area.
In the “Customer Analysis” section of your painting business plan, you should talk about the customers you serve or plan to serve.
Customer segments include homeowners, homeowner associations, apartment complexes, and small business owners.
As you might guess, the type of painting business you run will depend a lot on the type(s) of customers you choose. Marketing campaigns for homeowners and small businesses would be different, of course.
Try to figure out who your best customers are based on how they look and what they think. Talk about the ages, genders, locations, and levels of income of the people you want to serve. Because most painting businesses mostly serve people in their own city or town, it is easy to find this kind of demographic information on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain what your ideal customers want and need. If you can understand and define these needs well, it will be easier to get customers and keep them coming back.
In your competitive analysis, you should find out who your direct competitors are and then focus on them.
Other painting businesses are direct competitors.
Customers can also buy from indirect competitors instead of direct competitors. This includes services like building companies and handyman work. You should also talk about competitions like this.
When it comes to direct competition, you should list the other painting businesses that you are in direct competition with. Most likely, your direct competitors will be the businesses right next to you that hire painters.
Give an overview of each of their businesses and a list of their strengths and weaknesses. You won’t know everything about your competitors unless you have worked for one of them. But you should be able to learn important facts about them, like:
- What kind of clients do they work with?
- What kind of painting projects do they take on?
- What is the price range (high, low, etc.)?
- What are their strengths?
- What do they not do well?
- Try to answer the last two questions from the point of view of your customers. Do not be afraid to ask the customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.
The last part of your competitive analysis is to list the ways you are better than your competitors. For example:
- Will you provide quicker painting services?
- Will you have paint colors that your competitors don’t have?
- Will you give your customers better service?
- Your prices will be better, right?
In this part of your plan, you should think of ways you can do better than your competitors and write them down.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, its price, where it will be sold, and how it will be promoted. In your painting business marketing plan, you should have:
Product: In the product section, you should write about the type of painting business you talked about in your Company Analysis. Then, explain in detail what you will be selling. For example, do you do more than just paint? Do you also put up drywall, fix things, or sell paint?
Price: List your prices and how they compare to those of your competitors. In your marketing plan, the “product” and “price” sections are mostly about the services you offer and how much they cost.
Place is the location of your painting business. Write down where you are and how your position will affect your success. For example, is your painting business near a busy shopping area, plaza, mall, etc.? Talk about why your place might be the best one for your customers.
Promotion: This is the last part of your marketing plan for your painting. Here, you’ll list how you’ll bring customers to your business (s). Here are some ideas for how to promote your business:
- Putting up ads in newspapers and magazines in the area
- Trying to get in contact with local sites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
You wrote about your goals in other parts of your business plan. In the operations plan, you talk about how you’ll reach those goals. There should be two different parts to your operations plan.
Short-term processes include things like sales, customer service, and painting that you do every day to run your painting business.
Long-term goals are the steps you plan to take to get there. Some of these dates could be when you hope to finish your 10th apartment building or make $X. It could also mean that you want to move to a new city to start painting.
You need a strong management team to show that your painting business can be successful. Show the backgrounds of your key players, with a focus on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.
You or someone on your team should know how to run a painting business. If so, talk about what you’ve learned and what you’ve done. But you should also talk about any business experience you have that you think will help your business do well.
If you don’t have a strong enough team, you might want to put together an advisory board. A board of advisors could have anywhere from 2 to 8 members. These people would help you with your business as mentors. They would answer questions and give planning tips. If you need to, try to find advisory board members who have successfully managed renovations or small businesses.
Your 5-year financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement. For the first year, it should be broken down monthly or quarterly, and after that, it should be done annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, your balance sheet, and your cash flow statement.
Most people call an income statement a P&L, which stands for a profit and loss statement. It shows how much money you made and how much it cost you, so you can see if you made a profit.
When making your income statement, you have to make some assumptions. For example, how many homes will you paint each week? How much will sales increase each year? 2% or 10%? As you might expect, the assumptions you make will have a big impact on your business’s financial projections. Do as much research as you can to try to find facts that support what you think.
Balance sheets show you what your assets are and what your debts are. Balance sheets can have a lot of information on them, but try to find the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 building up a painting business, you won’t start making money right away. Instead, it’s something that you hope will make you money for years to come. Also, you do not have to pay back a check from a bank for $50,000 right away. Instead, you will have to pay that back over time.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will tell you how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of money. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know that you can make money but still go bankrupt if you run out of cash.
When you make your Income Statement and Balance Sheet, be sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a painting business, like:
- Location build-out costs, which include fees for design, construction, etc.
- The price of tools and materials
- Staff pay or salaries Insurance for businesses
- Fees and permits
- Legal expenses