One of the great things about painting services is that they are in constant demand.  There are around 140 million housing units in the United States, including apartments and townhomes, and they should be painted every decade or so.

The bad news is that there are upwards of 30,000 painting contractors in the United States, with nearly 200,000 employees.  That doesn’t include painters working for general contractors or employed by other businesses.

Some areas have more painters than paying painting projects.  In many other areas, there’s plenty of business to go around during the summer, but cold winters put outside paint jobs off limits, leading to heavy competition for inside work.  If either of these sound like something you’ve encountered, it might make sense to add additional services to stabilize your income.

But how do you select which ones to add?  Some painters provide drywall repair.  Others offer power-washing, handyman services, or even hanging Christmas lights during the winter.  Each service added can change how you market your services, require different equipment and have different profit margins.  Here are a few things to consider when selecting which services to add.

Determine customer demand

Before you begin offering a service, you should make sure there are customers who want that service in the area.  One easy way is to ask satisfied customers after you’ve painted their house if they have ever needed the service, or if they know someone who does.  If they do, ask them how hard it was to find someone, and what the price was if they don’t mind telling you.    If they’re happy with your painting work, and you tell them you’re planning on offering the service in the future, they likely won’t mind giving you a ballpark price for what they had done.

Think about profit, not revenue

While it’s always great to have more services for offer, don’t forget that they aren’t free to add.  Services like power-washing and steam-cleaning have up-front equipment that can be substantial, and you’ll need to complete many jobs before you even get your investment back.  Drywall repair and Christmas lights, on the other hand, require less revenue but may not make as much money.  Make sure you have a good idea of how many jobs you’ll need to break even, and how much money you’ll make off of each job after that.

Don’t forget your marketing!

If you’ve been a painter for a while, you’ve probably invested in marketing that promotes your painting business.  But if you add a service, you’ll need to change that marketing content.  Do you want to promote the services on the same marketing material, or do you want different flyers and websites for each one?  Will you promote them in the same places, or will you need to advertise in different places for your new services?  Each new advertising avenue can open a new market for you, but that market comes at a cost.  If it’s a service that you can promote along with your painting, your costs will be lower.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your company earn more business, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at