Cut Down on Paperwork as a Decorator

By Mike Cupit


I’ve been a decorator for roughly 19 years. 10 of which were spent self-employed. I used to always email a full quote over after seeing a job. I’d type every detail, name every surface in every room, talk through the prep, the products and the process. I’d then type a full list of materials and give my price.


This is good practice and in an ideal world I’d still be supplying quotes like this for all my jobs. The problem is the time it all takes. I go to see a job, talk through everything with them, come back, type the quote up, then send it off. You’re looking at 2-hours or more for each one!! I work on domestic jobs which are often only a couple of days long, I sometimes have to provide three or four quotes every week!! I decided there needed to be a way I could cut down on paperwork as a decorator!


Did I really need to type a detailed specification for each quote? Surly it’s the professional thing to do? The other issue is I’m cr*p at keeping up with my paperwork, so I ended up keeping potential clients waiting for their price anyway.


So, I changed how I work. When I go to see a job, I talk through the work in detail anyway. I leave a client knowing exactly which products I would use and why. They know the preparation process. They don’t need paperwork to prove any of that that. Before I leave, I ask them if they’d mind if I text the price over, offering to email a spce if they’d prefer. Nine times out of ten a text is all they need, so that’s what I do. I jump in my van, work out the price, type it all out on WhatsApp, including a mini spec, then send it to them the next morning.


I don’t win or lose more jobs doing it this way and it dramatically cuts down on paperwork.


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