Fresh Coat Painters Franchise Opens in Greenville, S.C.
After more than 20 years in the "corporate grind," Steve Forbes was ready for a change when he purchased the new Fresh Coat Painters franchise in Greenville, S.C., because he saw benefits for himself, his employees and his community. "It's rewarding to help fix up someone's home," he said.
Cincinnati, Ohio // Steve Forbes has expanded Fresh Coat Painters ' operations in South Carolina with the opening of his franchise to serve Greenville, Anderson, Spartanburg, Simpsonville, Greer, Travelers Rest, Easley, and their surrounding areas. For Forbes, owning a franchise allows him to use the knowledge and skills he gained through 20 years as an operations manager to get out of the "corporate grind" and into an environment where he does something he enjoys while benefiting others.
"I was burnt out and needed a life change. At the end, I was the senior director of four divisions and working 50 to 60 hours a week," he said. "I had painted my way through college, and I wanted to do something geared toward home improvements or home services. It's rewarding to help fix up someone's home."
Forbes was drawn to Fresh Coat because of the professionalism he saw in its marketing and personnel.
"I had looked at other franchises, and their startup costs and demands on the franchisees were outrageous," he said. "I found Fresh Coat was more affordable, and its business plan just blew me away. I really liked the mix of the logistics and the marketing. The corporate personnel balanced each other, so they covered everything and answered every question."
Bernie Brozek, president of Fresh Coat , said that Forbes understood first-hand that painting isn't just about painting , but about the client's experience. "As an operations manager, Steve knows better than most about the importance of getting the job done right," he said. "Like our other owners, he knows that clients appreciate knowing that Fresh Coat personnel will show up when they say they will, the job will be done professionally, and the price will be what they were told."
Forbes said he recognized that the business model allowed for that level of professionalism, though he initially was concerned that he might have difficulty finding quality painters.
"As it turned out, I was overwhelmed by the quality of my applicants," he said. "I hired my Client Service Manager right away. He has 21 years' experience as a painter, including supervising some crews, and he was looking for an opportunity just like this one. He likes that part of the job, but hated the administrative part of it and always trying to find the next job. He's already suggesting other people to me. They just want to work; they don't want to find the work." Brozek said that Forbes' experience is not unique.
"We have found that professional painters appreciate our business model as much as the owners do," Brozek said. "Because we hire employees, never subcontractors, the painters appreciate the stability of the work. Owners spend their time promoting and growing their franchises while the CSMs and painters focus on the projects. With that commitment to quality, the client gets the best skills of each person." Forbes said he also appreciates the quality because he is an "awful painter," though he didn't always realize it.
"Watching these guys, right off the bat, you see the difference," he said. "Like anything else, when someone does something day in and day out, they get better at it. The difference between them and the weekend warrior is easy to see."
Forbes also has seen solid success with the marketing he was taught by Fresh Coat corporate personnel.
"I knew I would be good at managing and coordinating personnel, but I didn't know marketing," he said. "But I'm following the plan, and I'm already getting requests for quotes and landing jobs. I've even gotten a referral from someone whose project we haven't done yet."
The reason, he said, was his professionalism during the bidding process.
"It seems to me that clients are getting more than they expect," he said. "First, I present myself in a professional manner. Then, I do an analysis of the project before I give them a quote, not an estimate. I don't think I realized how bad the industry is because I've been told that others didn't measure or anything, didn't ask any questions, wanted no specifics - basically gave them a price without getting any information."
Brozek said Forbes' observations demonstrate the need for professionalism in an industry with way too many fly-by-night operators. To support his success, Fresh Coat provides several client assistance programs including a 24/7 call center, proprietary EPIC estimating system, Paint Now-Pay Later 12-months-same-as-cash financing, Automatic Touch-Up for businesses, and fund-raising opportunities for charities.
"The EPIC system takes the guesswork out of providing quotes and timelines," Forbes said. "And the 24/7 call center lets people reach a live person anytime. It's great for me, too, because I can be out to dinner, get a text, and see that I'm getting business."
Being more available to his family and more involved with his community are among the other perks of operating his own business, Forbes said.
"I have an 11-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son," he said. "It's great to be out of that stressful office job and spending more time with them. They can hang out with me, and I can even take them with me when I doing certain projects for the business."
To learn more or to schedule a free on-site quote for residential or commercial projects in Greenville, Anderson, Spartanburg, Simpsonville, Greer, Travelers Rest, Easley, and their surrounding South Carolina communities, call 864-715-3928 or visit http://www.freshcoatgreenville.com.
Founded in 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fresh Coat Painters provides services for residential, commercial and governmental customers in more than 100 major cities across the United States and Canada. Fresh Coat is part of the International Franchise Association, the Small Business Association's Franchise Registry, VetFran and Minority Fran. For more information, call 866-708-9355 or visit http://www.freshcoatpainters.com.
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