Murals remain a fun and enticing way to bring a touch of personality into a room, and the business possibilities for mural painting are massive. Outdoors, these paintings are used to draw the attention of the public to art, lighten up dull streets and alleys, and discourage taggers.

In certain circumstances, these businesses also work with architects or interior designers, who know when a project needs redesigning or a bit of art. Mural painters can also create a tourist destination by painting multiple murals in towns flowing with tourists.

The market possibilities are endless, and as a business, it can certainly become a profitable market for artists with the skills to create large, custom pieces of art. Therefore, if you have the ability or can put together a group of people that can produce attractive murals, then this is a lucrative business to consider starting.

Steps on How to Start a Mural Painting Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

Just as with any form of business, it would be wise to carry out market research on your location, target audience, and the services you offer. Understanding on time what your target audience wants will help shape your training, services, and marketing. Also, take your time to ride through cities and towns in your region, and observe each town’s general character. After carrying out this research, the next step would be to write a business plan.

a. Who is the Target Market?

Your target market in this line of business will depend on your niche. There are mural businesses that work exclusively with residential clients and homeowners, while other muralists focus on corporate clients, non-profits, civic planners, or building owners. Howbeit, irrespective of who you are looking to target, your prospective clients will most often be people seeking ways to improve the beauty and comfort of their interior or exterior space.

b. Is Mural Painting Business a Profitable Business?

Yes. A mural painting business can be quite challenging, but it is satisfying work. Beautifying the walls of homes and businesses with your creative designs offers you the platform to work on your own time, grow your brand, and provide color and character to the community around you.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
  • Residential Services
  • Restoration Services
  • Design and Architectural Services
  • Decorating and Interior Designing
  • Industrial Services
  • Fine arts
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • MuralsDC
  • IpaintMyMind
  • WorldWide Murals
  • Graffiti Arts
  • Vivache Designs
  • The Mural Co.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Mural Painting Business?

Yes. However, it is imperative to note that these laws and regulations vary from one location to another. In some places, you will need to obtain a contractor license to offer mural painting services, while in others, you will be expected to obtain a building permit before you can inscribe on a building.

Note that zoning ordinances and codes are diverse across the country. It is recommended that you look at the county and city codes in the area you’re in, especially since there can often be layers of state and local ordinances or laws to observe, and they might be spread across several different sections of the code.

f. Is There a Franchise for Mural Painting Business?

No. There are no direct franchises in this market; however, you can consider painting franchises since they incorporate a lot of benefits. Note that the owner of a painting franchise can have a part-time job.

g. What Do You Need to Start a Mural Painting Business?
  • Extensive Research
  • Business Plan
  • Attractive Portfolio
  • Necessary Permits And Licenses
  • Insurance
  • Marketing Plans
  • Equipment
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a mural painting business are;

Creative Mural Painting Business Name ideas
  • Wonderland Painting
  • Seven Brushes
  • Pure Gloss and Touch
  • Double Stroke Murals
  • Beauty Paintings
  • Mural Magnets
  • Brilliant Canvas Co.
  • Warriors Mural Service
  • Majestic Art Work
  • Dignity Wall
  • Ecstatic Murals
  • Love and Peace
  • Perfect Murals
  • Light My Life
  • Art Perfection
  • The Painters
  • Oil on Stone
  • Mural Time
  • Color Fit
  • The Right Touch
  1. Register your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Mural Painting Business?

It is recommended that you choose your business structure with the help of a certified public accountant who is conversant with art businesses. You can pick from a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, and Subchapter S corporation.

However, note that a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is preferable as it combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships, and the owners are not personally liable for debts.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Mural Painting Business?
  • General Business License or Permit
  • Contractor License
  • Entity Formation
  • Business Name Registration
  • Sales Tax Permit or Business Number
  • Federal Employer Identification Number
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Mural Painting Business?

You do not need any type of certification to start a mural painting business, however, you can consider some painting certifications to boost your reputation in your market. Options to consider include;

  • Painting Contractor Certification
  • Certified Coating Applicator Certification (CCA)
  • Master Collision Repair & Refinishing Technician
  • OSHA Safety Certificate 
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Mural Painting Business?
  • Service Agreement
  • Insurance Policy
  • Operating Agreement
  • Building Permits
  • Employment Agreement and Staff Handbook
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

No. There won’t be any need to apply for a patent since artists prefer to invest their money into creating new works rather than pursuing legal actions. However, you can still protect your work as long as the work is original. To qualify for protection, the work will have to be fixed on a tangible form, and this entails that permission will be needed to reproduce the work in another medium.

  1. Do your Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Mural Painting Business?

Most times, starting a mural painting business is relatively inexpensive, especially if you already have a van or truck. You should expect to invest around $2,000 on painting equipment, inventory, and other supplies, coupled with the cost of a vehicle if you don’t have one available.

b. What are the Cost Involved?
  • Rollers: $20-$50
  • Brushes: $15-$30
  • Trays: $5-$20
  • Drop Cloths: $15-$40
  • Paint Sprayer: $250-$1,000
  • Caulk and Masking Guns: $30-$60
  • Ladder: $150-$450
  • Scrapers: $10-$20
  • Licenses: $200-$300
  • Insurance: $100-$500
  • Website Setup: $100-$300
  • Initial Marketing Budget: $200-$500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Mural Painting Business?
  • Location
  • Project
  • Portfolio
  • Equipment and employees
  • Marketing and advertising
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility?

In this line of business, depending on the scale of your work, you easily store your paint and other equipment in your home. However, if you intend to only offer large-space projects as exterior walls or work with architects, you might have to invest in renting self-storage or warehouse space for your ladders and other supplies.

If you choose to work out of your home, don’t forget to check your homeowner’s policy as it may not cover loss or damage to business assets. In addition, ensure to verify zoning, as just one call from a neighbor may interrupt your ability to operate.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Mural Painting Business?
  • Paint
  • Painting supplies
  • Travel to and from jobs
  • Marketing
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Company Manager: $52,273 /year
  • Marketing Manager: $46,884 / year
  • Mural Painter: $45,800/Year
  • Designer: $43,000/Year
  • Accountant: $41,635 /year
  • Administrative Assistant $27,849 /year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Mural Painting Business?
  • Business loans
  • A business line of credit
  • Friends and family
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Prime Touch is a new mural painting business established to transform and uplift spaces with a bit of art, culture, and education. Our primary aim at Prime Touch is to establish a new and exciting way of interacting and bringing communities together. We also intend to work with very talented mural painters and also clients in every major industry throughout the country.

b. Products and Service

At Prime Touch, we have the talents and expertise to create murals, mural signs, mural paintings, custom murals, and one-of-a-kind art murals for residences, businesses, and developers. We intend to work closely with our clients during the consultation and design process to develop artwork that fits their exact needs.

c. Mission Statement

By providing the very best custom mural design and mural painting services in Reno, Nevada, we intend to keep growing and expanding because of our high standards of quality and customer service.

Vision Statement

Our vision at Prime Touch is to always strive to meet and exceed our clients’ (commercial, residential, and non-profits) goals through our hands-on and personalized approach, which we believe has given us an advantage and also differentiates us from other mural painting businesses. At Prime Touch, we will stand out because we are 100% trusted.

d. Goals and Objectives
  • Attain sales revenues of approximately $620,000 by year three.
  • Attain a customer mix of 40% commercial/60% residential building contracts per year.
  • Expand operations into other places on the Nevada-California border including Primm, Sandy Valley, Pahrump, Topaz Lake, Stateline, Verdi, Reno, Crystal Bay, and Cold Springs.
e. Organizational Structure
  • Company Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Mural Painter
  • Designer
  • Accountant
  • Administrative Assistant

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strengths
  • Concrete relationships with architects and interior designers
  • Excellent employees who are very trained to offer outstanding customer service.
  • High-quality product offerings.
Weaknesses
  • Prime Touch lacks visibility.
  • An inadequate marketing budget to develop company awareness.
  • The struggle to get a new, creative, portfolio.
Opportunities
  • A growing market with a significant percentage of the target market is still not aware of Prime Touch product offerings.
  • The ability to increase the contract volume while maintaining the same overhead costs.
  • The ability to attract new and exciting mural artists as Prime Touch becomes more popular
Threats
  • A shortage of portfolios produced.
  • A slump in the economy will decrease people’s discretionary income.
b. How Do Mural Painting Businesses Make Money?

These businesses or artists are known to charge for services rendered in one of two ways: by an hourly rate or by the square foot of painted space. Most often, you will be expected to give your client an estimated cost before starting the job, therefore it is advisable you don’t charge by the hour unless you can accurately estimate the time commitment. Have it in mind that if you miscalculate, you can end up working quite a few free hours.

c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Build a mural painting business website and target local and service-specific keywords
  • Take advantage of online ads through social media or search engine marketing
  • Try out direct and digital mail
  • Door-to-door marketing
  • Create a referral program to reward your loyal and happy customers
  • Design professional mural painting business cards
  • Lead Providers
  • Make social media profiles to showcase your work and network with community members
  • Flyer Drops
  • Lead Groups
  • Lawn Signs

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

A good number of ventures in this line charge an hourly rate of $50-$85 per hour. Others work on a per-square-foot basis. Regardless of how you choose to charge for your services, consider the time and difficulty when pricing. To set your pricing, look at what muralists close to you charge. And by “close to you” it simply entails close geographically, in skill level, and type of murals painted.

According to reports, the average price for custom murals is $537 for a 4-by-4 feet work, and this would mean $16 per square foot. An entire room averages $1,877, and a normal room of say, 12-by-14 feet with 8-foot ceilings would be about $4.50 per square foot. Charges go up for painting around doors and other obstacles. There is a lot of variation in pricing.

b. How Much Profit Do Mural Painting Business Owners Make a Year?

According to industry reports, a successful mural painting business owner can make at least $50,000 in profits per year. However, note that your earnings will be set by your company’s reputation, the rates of competitors, your marketing zeal and ingenuity, and even such factors as your region’s climate if you primarily work outdoors.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • Rate of competitors
  • Reputation and number of years in business
  • Marketing zeal
  • Region’s climate
  • Number of mural artists
  • Business expenses
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Mural Painting Business?

Although detailed data on mural painting business profits are currently hard to come by, individual mural painters have reported net profits ranging from 15 to 30 percent of their income.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $112,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $239,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $620,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Mural Painting Business?

If you need a facility to store your supplies and carry out basic business functions, ensure to go for an office that can be easily accessed from main roads, and preferably near commercial businesses that represent potential clients.

You should make sure your office has high-speed Internet to facilitate communication. Don’t forget to work with a sign maker to create tasteful building signage that identifies your business. Consider leveraging a storage unit approved for commercial use to store your painting equipment and supplies.

b. What State and City are Best to Open a Mural Painting Business?
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • San Francisco, California
  • Salinas, California
  • New York City, New York
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Austin, Texas
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Reno, Nevada
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate?

To start a mural painting business, you will need paint, brushes, rollers, and other tools used to cover large areas. You’ll also want different ladders and drop cloths, and a vehicle big enough to transport the tools of your trade.

  1. Hire Employees

Most often, mural painting businesses just start with the owner being the only employee, however, note that this sort of business can quickly need additional help as word spreads or to complete an occasional large job.

When looking to hire employees for your mural painting business, reach out to your regional artists through galleries and artists’ co-ops. Boost your regional artist base with freelance mural artists who stay in the U.S. Also remember to discuss short-term regional mural prospects, coupled with longer-term opportunities under development.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In this line of business, your first mural project is everything and you should launch it properly to draw attention. Ensure you gather your artists and prepare your first mural wall. Align with experienced mural artists to put out the wall design and apply the first background colors.

Don’t forget to apply additional colors and design elements as required. Also document every step or phase of the mural for marketing and educational purposes. Also, consider inviting a local newspaper to photograph the event and spotlight your mural business.

a. What Makes a Mural Painting Business Successful?

To be successful in this line of business, you need to create a portfolio of work to entice customers. One very notable way to do this is to offer to paint murals in the homes and businesses of family and friends. Once you’re finished with this free work, reach out to a photographer friend to come and take pictures.

Pick out the best pictures and put them in a portfolio book. Always remember to carry your portfolio book with you everywhere so you can easily give clients an insight into your talents and expertise.

b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Mural Painting Business?

Have it in mind that a good percentage of your time will be spent doing the actual work because a mural can take numerous weeks or more to complete.

Also remember to regularly update your portfolio and website, advertise your business via social media, and attend expos, shows, and exhibits where you can showcase your work and connect with prospective clients. In addition, you have to complete the necessary tasks of sourcing supplies, invoicing clients, paying bills, and promoting and marketing your business.

c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Mural Painting Business?
  • Experience with painting techniques and products
  • Customer service skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Organization skills
  • Management experience