In 2011 and at the age of 24, Tommy started his own door and window painting business. After almost 3 years in business with lower than expected yearly sales, he reached the decisive moment of re-structuring his business. Instead of going at it alone like he did when he first opened his business, this time around Tommy saw the value in franchising. In 2014, he converted his painting business into a Spray-Net franchise. Five years later, Tommy’s yearly sales have grown to just under $1M.
Tommy’s turning point
“My dad owned an industrial painting business and I worked for him since I was 15. I always knew one day I would run my own business,” says the now 29-year-old owner of the Spray-Net Quebec franchise in Quebec, Canada. After kicking off his business independently, he reached a turning point. “I was at the point of re-doing my company’s image and investing in marketing. I didn’t have a website. I had zero visibility,” he admits. While doing online research for web design and marketing services for his own painting business, he came across Spray-Net.
What convinced Tommy to convert his painting business into a Spray-Net franchise
“I loved the marketing and realized that my city was in their plans for development.” After meeting the Spray-Net franchise team, it wasn’t long before he traded in his company colours for Spray-Net blue and orange. When it came down to the numbers, he realized it made much more sense for him to hop on board as a franchisee. “I compared the cost of investing in my own website, marketing and re-branding; and the cost of becoming a Spray-Net franchisee. And becoming a franchisee made much more sense for what I was getting.”
How Tommy’s sales skyrocketed after converting
Since converting his business into a Spray-Net franchise, a lot has changed. On the marketing side of things, Tommy now has an optimized local website and a strategic regional and local marketing plan. “I didn’t know much about marketing, so a big advantage for me was working with an established brand, and also all the marketing tools and support I received.” He shows off his business at local home shows and gets regional exposure from TV and magazines. He’s also expanded his service area and list of exterior painting services. For the 2017 season, Tommy is planning to hit the $1M mark in gross sales.
As a business owner with a wife and two young kids, the increase in revenue is an obvious perk. But, so is a better, more balanced lifestyle. “The call center frees up a lot of my time!” he says. By having all his customer calls and emails answered, Tommy can focus 100% of his time on his jobs, satisfying his customers and building and managing his team. “I have a trustworthy team working with me, so I don’t have to be there all the time, so there’s less stress knowing that my business can run smoothly without me.”
Tommy with two of his team members at a local home show.
Getting a leg up on his competition
If Tommy was going to convert his business into a Spray-Net franchise, he wanted to make sure he was going to get a leg up on the competition. And delivering an innovative and cost-effective permanent exterior paint solution to his customers did exactly that.
“The thing I love most about being a Spray-Net partner is being THE industry leader in exterior painting in my territory.” Quite a change from where he was just a couple of years back. “When my customers asked me to paint surfaces I didn’t normally paint, I bought some old equipment and did the best I could.” As a member of the Spray-Net team, Tommy received hands-on training with our specialized spraying equipment and most importantly, gained the exclusive right to use our weather-adjustable exterior paints and coatings. “I learned all about spray guns and which type of paint to use on different surfaces.”
Most of the homes in Tommy’s territory are covered in aluminum siding of the 50s and 60s, which is much thicker and durable than the aluminum and vinyl siding made today. His customers are always thrilled when he tells them he can offer them not just a paint job, but a cost-effective alternative to replacement in just a day. “Most people don’t even know what we do exists. They’re always amazed at the speed and quality work we can do in one day.”
One of Tommy’s aluminum siding revamps in Quebec, QC.
Another one of Tommy’s revamps. Black door & window personalization has become increasingly popular in his territory.
Tommy’s advice to you, the owner of an existing painting business who’s on the fence about converting your business…
Converting an existing business into a franchise can provide your business with a much-needed lifeline, or in Tommy’s case, help it grow at a faster rate and on a larger scale. Tommy attributes much of his success to not only a better service offering, but Spray-Net’s system of support. “My advice to someone in a business slump is to never give up. Surround yourself with smart people who you can trust and you’ll succeed.”
When it comes to deciding to convert your existing business into a franchise, Tommy says, “it depends on your goals and what you want to achieve. Do your homework too, because there’s a right franchise for the right person.”