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Starting a window painting business takes some creative ability, a steady hand with a paintbrush, ability to market yourself and availability to work at times the customer requests. Prior experience may not be needed, but getting the first few businesses to sign up may take some extra effort. You do not need to purchase your work materials until you have signed up a customer, so overhead expenses are low if you are only employing yourself.
If you are not already experienced as a window painter, practice painting on a glass surface at home, working from inside--a reversed image. Making the lettering appealing may be the greatest challenge.
Obtain a business license for the area in which you plan to work. Business liability insurance also is essential to protect yourself financially if you are sued.
Print a set of business cards with your contact information to hand out to potential clients. Begin to market yourself by walking some of the retail business districts in your area and handing out your card to store managers. You also may want to join a small business networking group in your area.
Set a price that is near the going rate for window painting work and also covers your costs for materials. Your time is valuable, so make sure you charge enough to pay yourself for labor and overhead expenses, too.
If you don't already have references for past work, you may want to create a portfolio showing what you are capable of painting on windows. Share this information with store managers who need something to assure them of your abilities before contracting with you.
Once you have a client, show them several sketches of how you could paint their window or ask them for a sketch if they already have something in mind. After they have selected a design, purchase water-based paints and brushes needed to paint the window and return to the store to paint it at the time the client has designated.
Subscribe to an industry publication, such as SignCraft magazine, for ideas and inspiration.
Lea Webb is a CPA and internal auditor with the State of California. She holds degrees in politics and public administration. She has written professionally as communications coordinator for a member association and as a government performance auditor.