(1) 6K or less. Most of that is the machine. The remainder is incidentals: 18″ Traffic Cones, a 30′ Measuring tape… etc. I know it may seem like a big number, especially when you’re struggling. So, don’t buy anything yet. Buy my book first. I list everything I use. One step at a time.
(2) No real shop is necessary. Most stripers work from their own garage. I did for (12) years. Many work from an enclosed trailer. Some may rent a (24) Hour Access, U Store It, type facility. Again… no real shop is necessary.
(3) No real inventory. Paint and stencils are the inventory. Buy paint on the way to the job, after you’ve been given the job. Buy stencils once. Yes, I manufacture stencils. My Handicap stencil is 28 years old. Stencils can be a (1) time expense. Buy as you go. Buy as you grow.
(4) You don’t have to quit your day job. Firefighters don’t. Teachers don’t. I did. Stripe the bank parking lot on your day off. Stripe the restaurant lot before they open, even if it means (2) trips.
(5) Almost any economy. I’ve been through both. In a good economy, people build, repair and seal coat parking lots. Stripers are needed. In a slow economy, people only “Re-Stripe”. ( Think about retail stores or car dealerships during a slow economy. They will chose to only Re-Stripe. ) I still had work.
I needed / wanted a side business. “Pavement Marking” = Parking Lot Striping, met the criteria. ( That criteria includes… that I can do this with a little cash, some learning, and also, make a living. I earned 165K from striping. I take Winter off. )That’s in my book. I was broke when I started. ( When you’re broke, it has nothing to do with money. ) Now I’m not. It wasn’t easy. I had no one to talk to. After (16) years of full time striping, I wrote my book; How I Stripe a Parking Lot… to help others. The title also says; 24 Years, By Myself. It’s now been (28).