Dear Future franchisees,
Student Works Painting has easily been the hardest, yet most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. This job is exhausting and requires constant hard work and dedication. I came into this summer having been a painter & crew chief for the past franchisee in Salmon Arm, BC and having completed two years of my business degree. Business school only helped me in a small underlying way, however being a painter and having experienced some additional responsibilities as a crew chief was hugely beneficial to my success this year. At the age of 19, I am running my own business and will produce just shy of $200,000 in painting. Crazy, I still can’t really believe it.
How did I do it? I followed the Student Works systems. I know it sounds cheesy and like I’m being paid to say this, but they really do work. I booked countless jobs this summer because I was simply “more professional” than the other companies that the client had received quotes from. Not because I was cheaper (many times I was the more expensive option), not because I had 20 years of painting experience (or even been alive for 20 years), but because I did a super solid first call, followed up the day before the estimate to confirm, arrived on time (this is HUGE), actually measured out the house and explained our estimating process, presented the estimate on the spot and answered all of the client’s questions and concerns. All very simple things that anyone can do IF you are committed to applying the systems and want to do your job well.
What sucks about SWP? My work-life balance was terrible from February to September, my girlfriend hates Student Works, but luckily she’s still around. From May to July I literally worked 10-14hr days every single day of the week. I ran myself into the ground to stay on top of marketing, sales and production until I had enough work booked to keep my painters busy for a while. That being said, it is what you make it. I chose to set my goal high and dedicate every second weekend to driving an hour and a half back to my area to build my business and once production came around I let my painters run me instead of the other way around. Next year my goal is to improve this aspect of my business and to take back some of my summer freedom by delegating responsibility better and using my time more wisely. I would suggest that if you find yourself at a set-up meeting with your DM in the spring, that you make work-life balance one of your goals as well.
As the summer continued things became easier and ran more smoothly. I’d be sitting at the beach in my small town and people would approach me wanting painting done instead of me going door to door, I went 22/24 on estimates in the last month which means the time I was putting in was being used efficiently, and my painters were good enough that I could set them up on the job and not have to return until the final cheque was waiting for me. This is the turning point when you look back at all the hard work you’ve done and think to yourself, it was good not giving up. Then, by the time you’re sitting on the beach in Mexico sipping on a cold beer knowing you’re making money off of the jobs being produced back home, life seems pretty damn good. All in all, Student Works Painting will be the most difficult experience of your life so far, yet it can be the most fun, most rewarding, and most importantly the most educating, if you want it to be.