This was my first year as a franchisee of Student Works Painting in Winnipeg and with out a doubt was the best and most challenging experience of my life. Running my business was tough at first. Especially once production started, with the numerous challenges I had with painters and organization. It took me a while but with lots of help from my awesome DM Miranda I was able to get my business on track.
Going in to the summer I was very confident and felt I was doing very well. I was one of the highest booked rookies in the preseason and couldn’t wait for production to start. Miranda started me on production the 3rd week of April and I was the first rookie franchisee to start production in Manitoba. I was so excited to get a fast start at producing towards my goal that I got a bit carried away and tried to more than I could handle in the beginning. I overwhelmed my self with too much work and responsibilities by starting my second crew just after a week of producing with my first. I spread my self too thin trying to be at both jobsites and training in two places at once which backfired on me soon enough. I spent numerous hours at jobsites doing lots of touch-ups on my own. I learned that getting a good slow start and making sure my crew was trained well should have been my top priority in order to succeed. Also that after 1-2 weeks of painting you should know weather your painter is going to workout and if not let them go RIGHT AWAY. The summer is too short to be wasting your time with unreliable painters and I know first hand that they will lose you money.
I found that training somebody on how to paint using proper skills and techniques was the easy part. The hard part was finding people who were actually willing to do the work day in and day out and cared about the work they were doing in order to minimize mistakes. The biggest trouble I had with my ‘bad’ painters was there lack of paying attention to detail and keeping the jobsite clean. This resulted in me having to go clean up their mess and do numerous touch-ups to fix their imperfections. Anyone can paint but not everyone can be a painter, so when hiring I learned to look for people with a good work ethic and interest in doing well rather then people who have painted before.
Another problem I had in the beginning was staying organised… I learned how important it is to follow student works systems and do it their way because I tried to do things my way at first and it back fired. I was very disorganised on the job site, at organising painters, and managing clients. It took me a while to catch on but I stated using job site checklists, production planning effectively, making sure to keep in touch with clients everyday, and planning 1-2 days ahead of time. Once I started this everything felt so much easier with less stress and managing clients was much easier. I didn’t figure it out until the last month that I ran my business but once I did, profit started coming in and everything became so much easier. I know that carrying on from my last month of production in to next summer will only get better from here and will be much more profitable.
Looking at what I have written above its safe to say that my summer did not go anything like I had planned it to. However, Thanks to Miranda I was able to finish the summer off right and have finally made it past the learning curve. Miranda is a great DM and I can’t thank her enough for teaching me everything I know about running a business. She helping me get through all of the adversity that I had faced this summer and is always very accessible whenever I need her. She is always there for me whenever I need advice on how to fix mistakes or problems, to talk, and most importantly guide me to success. I learned so much from every mistake that I made and any challenges that I had faced because of her and she always found a way to find good in a bad situation. I can see that there are many good things to come in the future as a part of Student Works Painting I can’t wait for next summer and the success it will bring!