The three questions I get asked the most are:
1. How much will it cost?
2. How long will it take to complete? ...and
3. When can you start?
There is no secret formula to calculating the price of a job. The number of variables affects the overall cost. (i.e. what is the room size, is there wallpaper to remove, what are the conditions of the wall, is there wall repair or water damage, do the walls require priming, will the trim be painted, how many windows and doors, setup time, quality of the paint, and so on). When you see advertisements that read "Painting - $100/room" - it really is TOO BAD to be true! It will be a bad job and the price will likely be 4 times that. What do you get for $100? You get what you pay for! One coat, no repair, small room size - open the can of paint, open the door to the room and stand back - it'll be slapped on. These types of 'deals' do nothing to encourage professionalism and quality workmanship. They may sound good, but in the end you'll be disappointed.
How long will the job take? I usually calculate a room per day. Count the number of rooms you'd like to be painted - times one day - gives you a good idea of how long a job will take. Larger rooms don't necessarily take longer to paint - what slows down a painter is how much cutting in there is to do and how many obstacles there are in the room. (furniture, stuff, dogs, cats, crocodiles...you just never know)
When can you start? It's the right question. Time management is critical on and off the job. Scheduling clients sequencially is an art. Bidding on projects and calculating how long a job will take comes with experience. Painters have to factor in the unexpected on every job. (ex. Could you paint this other bedroom - SINCE YOU'RE HERE!) :) Be prepared to shift a couple days either side of the projected start date as some jobs take a bit longer while others finish up faster.
This answers a few of the most common questions I get. Add your two cents. Ask a question.