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The Confidence Code: Knowing Your Numbers

In the dynamic world of the painting contracting business, few aspects are as crucial or as challenging as confidently determining the price for a project. For a painting contractor, setting the right price can be the determining factor between securing a lucrative deal or driving a potential client away. Understanding the metrics and practicing the art of pricing can tremendously boost your confidence, enhance your sales skills, and contribute significantly to your business's growth. This comprehensive guide aims to empower painting contractors with the knowledge of their business numbers and how effectively utilizing these numbers can result in successful sales negotiations.

1. Knowing Your Numbers

The journey to confidently price your projects begins with the fundamental step: knowing your numbers. You need to be well-versed in your business's financial landscape, including overhead costs, operational expenses, and the compensation you aim to draw from your business. This comprehensive understanding forms the backbone of your pricing confidence and the foundation of your business's financial health.

Suppose you aim to earn a hundred thousand dollars annually. Add an additional fifty thousand dollars as an estimate for your overhead costs. These costs include various aspects necessary to run your business smoothly: marketing expenses, domain and website maintenance costs, insurance, and any other miscellaneous expenses. Consequently, your small business requires $150,000 annually to keep the lights on.

In an average month, considering you work 22 days (excluding weekends and holidays), you have around 264 working days in a year. Dividing your annual requirement of $150,000 by 264, you need to retain approximately $568 daily. This amount is essential for your income and to keep the business operational. It is critical to remember that this amount doesn't account for paying your workforce, purchasing materials, or permits necessary for your business.

2. Breaking Down the Numbers

Translating this daily requirement into an hourly rate, if you're working an eight-hour day, it's crucial to keep about $71.25 per hour. This calculation does not mean you charge this amount but emphasizes the importance of retaining this sum after all your expenses have been accounted for. It underlines the importance of being aware of your financial obligations and income requirements at all times.

This numerical understanding can profoundly impact your pricing process. You gain the ability to calculate the price you need to quote confidently and the leeway you have while negotiating. Furthermore, having this insight can help you streamline your operations, cut down on unnecessary expenses, and ensure your business's profitability.

3. Preparation and Practice: The Cornerstones of Pricing Confidence

Knowing your numbers is just the start; translating this knowledge into practical application requires preparation and practice. Preparation involves being ready for any questions or challenges that may arise during the sales conversation. It includes having a solid understanding of your project scope, knowing your competitive advantages, and being well-equipped to explain why you are worth the price you charge.

On the other hand, practice involves putting your preparation to the test repeatedly until you are comfortable with various scenarios. This process helps you understand potential client objections and develop effective responses to them. Through consistent practice, you can refine your negotiation skills, improve your response time, and build your confidence.

4. Building Confidence through Business Awareness

A significant advantage of knowing your numbers is the confidence it instills when pricing a project. A clear understanding of your business costs, profit margins, and overhead allows you to price your projects confidently. This knowledge equips you to explain your pricing effectively to your clients and justify why your services are worth their cost.

When you know what it costs to operate your business for a day, it becomes easier to translate that into the price you need to charge for a project. This understanding, combined with awareness of your unique value proposition, enables you to negotiate effectively and stand firm on your price.

5. Utilizing Resources and Seeking Continuous Improvement

While it may seem daunting to take on the task of understanding and managing your business's financial side, various resources can help ease this process. There are tools available online, including accounting software and calculators, that can help you break down and understand your costs. Additionally, professional guidance from business coaches or financial advisors can be invaluable in navigating this aspect of your business.

Importantly, it's crucial to remember that building confidence in pricing doesn't happen overnight. It is a process of continuous learning, adaptation, and improvement. The key is to remain consistent, learn from your experiences, and always strive to better understand your numbers.


To conclude, the art of confidently pricing your projects hinges on understanding your numbers, practicing your sales skills, and continuously learning and adapting. Having this financial insight, coupled with the will to prepare and the discipline to practice, can significantly boost your pricing confidence. This confidence, in turn, can lead to more successful sales negotiations, more profitable projects, and, ultimately, a more prosperous painting contracting business. So, the next time you approach a sales negotiation, remember the power of numbers and the strength of your confidence. After all, as a painting contractor, you could be just one call away from your next big project!

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