Never settle for “that will do”, set your standard of work high and stick to it no matter how challenging the job is never finish until you are truly satisficed. If someone tells you that you are too expensive this usually means that they can’t afford your standard of work not that you are charging too much.
Build a customer base but don’t be scared to add people to it or loose people from it along the way, I still have some customers from when I first started out, but I have also lost a few during the years.
Shop around for the best price on materials, don’t be blinded by just one brand because that’s all you know. Talk to suppliers about what products you use and what you don’t, be open to trying new brands and products. Ask other decorators what products they use and read up on reviews online to get the best products for the job, sometimes you try a new product and it doesn’t always go to plan and you are left disappointed, but a good supplier will want to hear all feedback as this helps aid the development of future products.
The decorating side of things I am sure you know how to take care of but remember to take time to work out how to manage the paperwork! Make sure you have a system in place to manage the financial side of things and be sure to keep it strict and have control over it. Once you let it slide it can be very difficult to get it back under control and know where you are.
Finally, this is the most important tip I can give, and I wish someone had told me this but try and avoid working late nights and weekend, make time for your family. I haven’t done this over the years as I was the only bread winner, I had to work to pay the bills which means I have lost out on so much time with my children which I will never get back. We all have to work to pay our bills but don’t become obsessed by it, we all need some down time with our family and a rest to ensure we keep the standard of our work high and it doesn’t start to slip due to tiredness.
To anyone starting out in the decorating industry I wish you all the best and every success in the trade!
Adam (Ciret Decorator)