From project management tools to painting estimating software, modern technology has put new labour-saving—and profit-boosting—tools in the painting contractor’s hand.

Contractor-specific painting software
As a painting contractor, you likely got into this business because of a passion for painting, not because you particularly love doing bookkeeping, filling out forms or calculating estimates. But the reality of owning your own business requires mastering the fine art of running a business as well—tasks that can mean piles of paperwork that often have to be tackled after hours.

“If you’re the guy or gal doing everything, you’re doing everything,” explains Nick May, founder of Walls By Design of Denver, Colorado, and The Business Brush podcast. “I can’t manage 8 teams like I did 2 teams. As you grow and scale, you have to have programs to help you automate systems. When you don’t have systems in place, what happens is you’re constantly putting out fires.” And that applies no matter what your company’s size.

“Having the right tool for any job is the smartest thing you can do—that's the way to make the job easier,” explains Rodney Pags, owner of Wall-Pro Painting Services in Woodstock, Illinois. “There are a lot of painting contractors who are like me—guys who work by themselves or maybe have one or two employees. I think it’s important that paint contractors continue to evolve by using labor-saving software.” The good news is, whether you’re in charge of a single small repainting crew or a large multi-crew operation, there are software programs out there that can help handle the hassles and headaches, letting you focus more on the job site, your work/life balance, and growing your business. Step one is to decide which of the tasks below you want to delegate first.
“Having the right tool for any job is the smartest thing you can do—that's the way to make the job easier.”

Rodney Pags,
Wall-Pro Painting Services

Make Bookkeeping Effortless

"An accountant is often one of the first back-office hires that small businesses tend to make. Whether you simply don't like bookkeeping or want to focus your talents elsewhere, there are many online solutions to choose from if hiring a full-time bookkeeper isn’t a viable option for your business. Programs such as Freshbooks® or Quickbooks® for painters can be very handy. These programs offer a convenient and reliable cloud-based method to track and monitor your financial data wherever you are—on your phone, tablet, or office computer.

You can also increase these programs’ functionality with integrated business programs for painters like TSheets. This software gives you the ability to schedule your entire crew (even multiple crews on multiple jobs), then track their hours with individual job clock functionality and GPS location to manage their time as efficiently as possible, all through an app on your phone—adding a level of efficiency that alone can more than offset the cost of the software.

Bookkeeping icon

Software Checklist:

  Integrates with other systems

  Generates/sends invoices and receives payments

  Schedules, tracks, and manages crew work hours on multiple jobs

  Tracks data like materials, utilities, and travel time

Manage Projects with All-in-One Painting Business Management Software

Project management programs can connect many disparate tasks into a single program interface, all within a cloud-based app that gives you full visibility whether you’re on-site or in the office. If you’re a larger operation or in need of a more detailed solution, you may want to look into a robust painting business management software such as Knowify® or RazorSync™, both of which are popular choices for painting contractors. These programs charge higher fees than the more focused offerings, but they also handle a lot more work, freeing up even more of your time to send out more proposals and land more jobs.

“The biggest thing is you have to have systems,” Nick May emphasizes. “Every house is different, every job is different, but systems force us to be efficient."

If you’re new to painting contractor software, all of this can feel a little overwhelming. The good news is that with your business, you can start small and revise as needed to see which software works best for you. Look for free trials to try before you buy, and if they don’t openly offer one, ask for it! The goal is to find programs that handle the parts of running a business that you don’t enjoy so you can focus your time and effort on doing what you love.

Project management software icon

Project Management Software Checklist:

  Integrates with other systems

  Prepares estimates from quotes to multi-phase bids

  Manages labour and materials budgets (and change orders) in real time

  Gives full visibility into crew timesheets and workloads

  Offers CRM and marketing management tools

This article does not constitute an endorsement of any of the products, services or vendors identified. This information is provided for general reference purposes only.

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