Starting a house painting business in Germany

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Nikhey, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Nikhey

    Nikhey
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    MAIN purpose of this post: To figure out whether it's reasonable to start a one man exterior home painting business in Wurzburg, Germany. Keep reading for specifics on my situation. Any advice is much appreciated.​

    My name is Nikolas, I am a dual citizen (Germany and USA) and I'm spending about 6 months in Germany following this summer.

    I just finished my freshman year of college and I'm taking fall semester off. First semester I am going to live in Wurzburg, Germany in order to improve upon my german language skills (which are certainly far from perfect but can get me along fine in day to day conversation) as well as get some international experience. However, I am not yet sure what I will do for work.

    This summer a few of my friends started running their own exterior home painting companies under a larger parent company. And according to them, there's a lot of money in it ($30,000 projected revenue for the summer before the parent company will even let them get started). I am planning on working for one of these buddies as a part time painter, so I will get a good amount of experience painting over the course of the summer.

    Which got me thinking I should look into the possibility of starting my own painting company without a parent while I'm in Germany since I'll have experience and a reference from my buddy (the parent company he works for charges a 40% fee for their service, which IMO is outrageous as they provide very little service besides a little added legitimacy to the business). I have some money I could invest in the business (around $5000, which would be easily enough to do it in the States).

    So my questions are as follows:​
    1. Is $5000 enough to start this company?
    2. What are the rules and regulations on starting a 1 employee business like this in Germany?
    3. Is the demand for painting in Germany high enough that a business like this would be worth the risk?
    4. Are there any cultural differences which would make it more difficult for me to be successful in Germany (for example, is it disrespectful to knock on people's doors and ask if they're interested in an estimate, or would most germans be comfortable with a relatively young male painting their house).
    5. Anything that I have failed to consider? (I'm sure there's a lot)

    This is really just my preliminary step to researching, at this point I'm just trying to figure out whether this idea is actually feasible. I'm not emotionally or fiscally invested in the idea. So feel free to tell me it's overly ambitious, I won't take it personally. That being said, in an increasingly competitive economy, I want to do something that separates me from my peers and I think this is something that could separate me so it's something I would want to play around with some more if it's at all reasonable.
     
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  2. SConsultant

    SConsultant
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    Hello Nikolas,
    First of all it is very hard to find skilled workman in Germany - all of them are usually overbooked. So from market point of view you may have luck.
    Eliminating the parent company from the equation may be risky, since they organize and find the job, do the paperwork, provide some protective shield, ensure payment and so on.
    According to my opinion try to work under their umbrella, look what they do and how they do it, collect information and then you can make a better decision on whether you want to start your own business or not. I think financially it worth it but I am an outsider to coatings / construction industry so I can not see the whole story.
    Best of luck!
     
  3. mattbau43

    mattbau43
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    I would imaging that houses need to be painted in Germany as often as in the USA. With that being said, a great way to get started would be to network with other contractors and be one of their subcontractors. Have you looked into going this route?
     
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  4. Arizona

    Arizona
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    Having previously lived in Germany for 6.5 years a couple of points:

    95%+ of people in Germany rent their homes - i.e. knocking on the door will not get you the decision maker in the majority of cases. With that said, you may find better luck linking up with real estate agencies who offer rental properties. They may get you links to the landlords.

    The rental contracts that I saw did have clauses that stated that the exterior of the houses needed to be repainted every 5 years - timing is everything.
     
  5. ecohomes

    ecohomes
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    You need to arm yourself with patience. Either you are good or very good you have to know one single thing, German people are different than the rest of the people. They tent to perfection so try and get some reviews first from local clients where you will stay and step by step build your trust and business.
     
  6. singhabhishek251

    singhabhishek251
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    wow, this is really a good plan and many people are always looking for this, I hope you will get good business out of this. I will suggest you to focus more on local advertisement to acquire local works and this will help you survive more with good profit.
     
  7. LeroySimpson

    LeroySimpson
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    Great Idea buddy! Painting a house is one of those thing that folks are really looking, hence it is good that you are planning for this small scale business. All the best
     

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