One of the biggest changes that happened as a result of the recession was the creation of the Side-Hustle Economy.  Many people who lost their jobs went searching for other ways to make money, and a few smart business owners realized that there was plenty of money to be made in connecting these people with customers who wanted services on the cheap.

The economy recovered, but people never stopped working those side-jobs.  The companies that came out of that are among the largest in the world.  Uber and Lyft are probably the most famous side-hustle companies, but there are plenty of others.  People make things to sell on Etsy.  They buy and sell merchandise on Amazon or Ebay.  They even rent their houses on Airbnb.

Unfortunately, painters may find themselves fighting against side-hustle workers soon enough.  People looking for a little extra money can go to sites like or and check a few boxes, and they’re a painter (and a mover, and a furniture assembler).  And while they might not have any experience, they’re also not trying to make a living at it – they’re just looking for some money on the side.

How do you compete against this?  Here are two ways.

Focus on Cost

Many people who want a house painted have no idea how much work that entails.  There’s a good chance that side-hustlers don’t either.  That can get expensive fast.

Taking the time to move furniture and cover carpets makes the job a bit more expensive.  Dropping paint on a couch because you didn’t move it makes the job much more expensive.  And hiring someone who doesn’t have insurance can become extremely expensive if they do serious damage to your house or to themselves.

If a person doesn’t know much about painting, they probably don’t know much about paint either.  That means they’re likely to end up with cheap paint, which will take longer to apply and may not look good even after multiple coats.  If they have to pay to get all of this fixed, they’re going to spend far more than if they simply paid to have it done right the first time.

When you quote a job, taking the time to explain why you do the things you do can be the difference between a customer that trusts you, and one that goes price shopping online.  If they do price shop, the odds are high that they’ll find someone who will come pick up a roller and start slapping paint on the wall for half of what you’re charging.  They’re also going to be too embarrassed to call you back and ask for help when it looks terrible.

Focus on Value

When people purchase a service, most people care about more than just the cost.  In fact, cost is just a tie-breaker.  Unfortunately, when people don’t have any other apples-to-apples comparisons they can make, price becomes extremely important.

If you’re a professional painting contractor, the odds are high that you have a lot more to offer them than a fresh coat of paint.  You have a history of successfully completed jobs.  You have a history of showing up when you say you’re going to show up, and getting the job done on time and in budget.  You have employees who have a history of not stealing from the homes they paint.

When you point out these things to customers, they can decide how important they are to them, and consider them when they’re selecting a painting contractor.  If they don’t think of them, then they might stay fixated on price.

This is why the part of the job that’s the least fun for many painting contractors – the job quoting process – is so important.  Quoting a job correctly is about much more than winning the bid.  It’s about proving that your company’s best traits are actually important.  You’ll know you’ve made a great first visit to a customer’s house when they leave the conversation understanding far more about the job they’re asking you to do than they did before you visited.

This will only become more important as sites like Takl and TaskRabbit become more prevalent. It’s hard to beat a side-hustler on price, but you should beat them all day on safety, quality, reliability, or value.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business gain more business and improve your margins, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at