How to Bid a Paint Job

Bidding a painting job can be a tireless task. It takes a lot of research on the front end, and the larger the job, the more complicated it can be, especially without painting software. Sometimes, after pouring hours into creating the perfect bid, a customer rejects it for being too high. As contractors, we’ve all been there before.

A key component of running a successful painting business is knowing how to accurately estimate and sell more paint jobs. Once you perfect the art of properly bidding a paint job, you’ll avoid giving estimates that are too high or too low.

You want to avoid submitting a bid that’s too high because that can lead to more rejections. Alternatively, it’s not good to lowball clients and end up with less money than the job is worth.

Once you master how to bid a paint job, you’ll land right in the sweet spot most of the time. Research reveals that 20% of customers won’t hire a contractor due to unclear pricing. Delivering a great paint job bid helps provide pricing clarity to the customer.

In this article, we’ll equip you with the tools you need to learn exactly how to bid a paint job.

Identify Your Costs

Bidding a paint job correctly is a balance between giving your customers a fair price and making sure you’ve covered the cost of the job with a profit left over.

You need to take some time to figure out exactly what your business is spending on each specific job. Some jobs might be more expensive to complete. If that’s the case, you’ll need to factor that into your estimate. For example, a bid for an exterior paint job could be less than an interior painting job.

Once you nail down the costs for one job, you’ll likely have a good list to go off of for future jobs as well. Examine what materials, labor, and time go into a project. Consider the cost of:

  • Paint
  • Miscellaneous materials
  • Labor
  • Time
  • Overhead

While each paint job will be different, most will require similar materials. Rather than restarting your list for each new job, you can create templates for different types of jobs to help save time on your bids.

You can create bidding templates for the most common jobs your team completes. If your company’s best-selling service is an interior residential paint job, it would be more efficient to create a template for bidding on those job types.

While you’ll still need to rework certain things for each bid, having a template puts you one step ahead. Painting software can help you create digital templates that keep track of your products, labor, and materials in one place.

Calculate Your Profit Margin

Once you’ve identified what the project will cost your business, it’s time to determine how much money you need to profit from the job to hit your target margin.

To do this, use a simple equation to create your profit margin percentage. You’ll just need to find the difference between the cost of the project and your desired revenue.

Or, if your business already has a profit percentage you typically aim for, you’ll need to calculate the revenue that you need to make from this job to meet that goal.

For example, let’s say you have a paint job that will cost your company $100, and your business has a goal to reach a 10% profit margin. To meet your painting business’s profit margin goal, you’d need to charge the customer $110 for that job. That way, your business takes home the $10 in profit.

Determining a good profit margin percentage for your business depends on several factors:

  • Business size
  • Expenses
  • Competition
  • Economy

As you choose a profit margin goal that makes sense for your painting business, keep in mind that you should always evaluate this margin. Pay special attention to how often you’re hitting, missing, or coming in above target.

Several online tools will help calculate your profit margin for each job. Try out Omni Calculator, a free online tool. You simply input your cost and desired margin percentage for a job, and the calculator will do the math for you.

It will tell you the revenue you’d earn from any job. You can use tools like these to play around with different numbers and see what makes the most sense for each job.

Work Smarter with Paint Software

Running a painting business can be stressful, especially when your company lacks the tools to keep things running smoothly. That’s where painting software comes into play. Painting software is designed to make your life easier and transform your business.

With estimating features, creating and sending paint job bids has never been easier. Plus, invoicing features help you get paid too. And thanks to automation technology, painters can thank customers, send reminders, and send notifications without lifting a finger.

Don’t Forget Customer Experience

After weighing all the factors that go into bidding on a paint job, it’s time to present the bid to the customer. We all know the age-old adage, “The customer is always right.”

Most businesses live by this saying to ensure their business promotes excellent customer service. Make your project bid clear and readable to your client; the last thing a customer needs is to be overwhelmed with needless paragraphs.

Be sure to explain the total cost of the project and make yourself available to answer any questions they may have. Try to highlight the value your business will add to this customer’s paint job.

How well does your company live up to the saying? It can be tricky to consider the customer’s point of view when doing business. To ensure that customers receive your paint job estimate well, it’s important to remember their experience.

Now that you’re an expert at bidding paint jobs, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. The best way to truly learn a new skill is to practice it. As your business grows and changes, so will your paint job bidding process. Remember that a successful business is always ready to adapt and evolve.

What tips and tricks have helped you successfully bid paint jobs? Let us know in the comments below.

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