What’s my Role?

Key players in a small business

The owner of a small painting or contracting business needs to be a jack-of-all trades.  When you start your company it’s just you – you are Owner, Painter, Accountant, and Office Manager.  As your company grows, you are able to divvy up the responsibilities.  Bringing other people into your company can lighten the workload, but it’s important to have the roles in your business clearly defined to keep things running smoothly.  Let’s start by looking at the key roles in a painting company:

Owner:  The Owner builds relationships with new leads and customers, estimates jobs, produces bids and proposals, and secures new jobs.  He or she communicates with the Project Manager on scheduling jobs and specific job progress.  The Owner communicates with the Office Manager and the Accountant about the company’s finances.  The owner also handles hiring and training of new employees.

Project Manager:  Supervises all the crews, coordinates jobs, orders supplies, and deals directly with customers’ questions and concerns about specific jobs.  The project manager handles employee scheduling and training.

Crew Leader:  Is involved in all activities related to completing a specific job.  He or she supervises all members of the crew and reports to the Project Manager.  The Crew Leader is responsible for maintaining the crew’s equipment and monitoring the quality and safety of the crew’s work.  He or she is should handle questions and concerns from the customer for a specific job, performing the final walk-through, and collecting the final payment at the end of work on the last day of the job.

Painters:  These employees have been trained (completed apprenticeships) and can perform all painting-related tasks, including set up, preparing surfaces, painting, and clean up.  They report to the Lead Painter or Crew Leader and assist in training Apprentices.

Office Manager:  The Office Manager answers phones, screens calls, and takes messages.  He or she is responsible for handling insurance issues and office organization.  He or she may be responsible for emailing contacts and other marketing-related tasks.  The Office Manager may also need to run small errands and order office supplies.

Accountant:  Responsible for the accounting (making sure that bills are paid and that money is collected) and processing payroll.

If your company is still young, you’ll need to divide the roles differently.  A start-up or small company might look more like this:

Owner /Project Manager/Crew Leader


Office Manager/Accountant

However you divide the work, the most important thing to remember is that having clearly defined responsibilities for each member of your team is the best way to keep your small business growing.