The following Business Plans reflect a financial range from the minimum acceptable performance to more aggressive plans for your student run summer business:

Below Average
  • Sales $90,000
  • Paint/Labour/Fees $70,000
  • Gross Profit $20,000

Operating Costs

  • Car & Gas $3,500
  • Marketing $5,250
  • Equipment Resale -$1,200
Net Profit $12,450
Average Business
  • Sales $164,200
  • Paint/Labour/Fees $116,600
  • Gross Profit $47,600

Operating Costs

  • Car & Gas $5,000
  • Marketing $6,500
  • Equipment Resale -$1,500
Net Profit $34,000
Excellent Business
  • Sales $250,000
  • Paint/Labour/Fees $175,000
  • Gross Profit $75,000

Operating Costs

  • Car & Gas $7,000
  • Marketing $9,000
  • Equipment Resale -$2,500
Net Profit $62,000
Top 5%
  • Sales $345,000
  • Paint/Labour/Fees $231,500
  • Gross Profit $113,500

Operating Costs

  • Car & Gas $8,000
  • Marketing $12,000
  • Equipment Resale -$4,000
Net Profit $98,500

It is a painting business but it is NOT your job to paint. The successful applicant's responsibility is to run a business. Student Works provides all the training, support, systems and marketing materials to ensure the success of each successful applicant.

As a testament to our success and theirs, many people return for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and even 6th summers of running a Student Works business.

Financial Notes:

  • Cost of Goods Sold: labour, paint & materials, royalty, administration fee.
  • Net Profits based on actual results from past years.
  • Student Works provides each student with a line of credit to finance equipment & paint purchases at the beginning of the production season.
  • An Owner/Operator’s current vehicle with roof racks is usually adequate transportation. Some people prefer to purchase a van or truck to be re-sold at season’s end.
  • Royalties are charged at a declining rate throughout the summer. Details will be provided at the information sessions.

Business Questions

I have no managerial or painting experience. How do I know I will succeed?

Fewer than 20% of our new Owner / Operators have had any previous managerial or painting experience. You must begin by recognizing what it takes to be successful. While your friends are relaxing on spring weekends, you will be setting up your summer. When exams are over and papers are in, the hours will be longer than any job you have had before. With our training and guidance, your success is based on how much effort you put into your business.

Thousands have gone before you and have been successful. Like you, they were university and college students, not super-human. What made them successful was their desire to stand above the crowd and lay the foundations for their future.

How do I make money?

As you will be running a business, you make money based on the profit that your business generates (see financials). Every two weeks at the same time you pay your painters, you may withdraw profit from your account. Expect to draw your first profit cheque four weeks or $20,000 into production. Most of your profit comes in the last two months of the summer (July, August).

How do I find employees?

Student Works provides recruiting materials and the training necessary to source good people. The main ways are through networking, putting up posters, classified ads, job fairs, booths, student employment organizations and various websites.

How do I find clients?

On top of the extensive list of past clients we have for each area, Student Works will provide you with marketing materials and a system for using them. If the marketing systems are being followed, leads for jobs will be found.

How much money do I have to pay Student Works up front?

Student Works does not take any money up front. We charge a percentage on sales through the summer plus an administration fee. Due to this fact, it is important that we find the right people, as we invest a lot in each individual prior to seeing any revenue. We cannot succeed without our Operators succeeding.

Do I need equipment?

Standard painting equipment is needed, such as ladders, drop cloths, brushes etc. There are a few options available to students. Some will buy used equipment from past Operators; some will use the line of credit that we establish on behalf of all Operators. When your summer(s) are over this equipment can be readily re-sold usually for half to three quarters purchase price.

My studies are my number one priority. How can I put in 15-20 hours per week while still in school?

At Student Works we have all been through this program and were once all students with school at the top of our priority list. We specialize in helping students to manage their time around their school and extracurricular commitments. In fact, a number of students put in far more than 15-20 hours per week as they have set their goals a little higher and yet they still excel in school. Students who have gone through the program almost without exception find their marks go up due to the much better time management and organizational skills they develop.

I’m not a business student, can I do this?

We sign people up from all faculties. The experience gained from this is invaluable in all respects and will help a student in securing post-graduate employment in virtually any field. Doctors, lawyers, architects, administrators, teachers; they all may run their own businesses some day.

What is the Business Model?

A business franchise is a business model where the franchisor (Student Works) grants the franchisee (You), the right to market services under the franchisor’s business systems and trade name, in return for fees and royalties. Business systems may include; sales and marketing, accounting, supplier relationships, service delivery procedures. Every franchisee can do well. Just because one franchisee does great does not mean all are going to do well. You get what you put in and sadly some people just don’t follow the systems, don’t put in the effort and don’t see success.

For Parents

How long has Student Works been around and are they affiliated with any organizations?

Since 1991. We are members of the BBB throughout Western Canada, all painters are covered by various provincial WCBs, and we are one of two National Sponsors of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

How do you select franchisees?

Many of our franchisees return for second, third or fourth years of running their business. They are also encouraged to refer their painters or any friends who they think will benefit from a summer of learning how to run a business.

Student Works recruits out of all the major universities in Western Canada and interviews thousands of students each year before we select the few who we think will fit in to the SWP family and be capable of the challenges of a busy summer.

What is my child's initial investment?

Expectations are set that the average franchisee will spend roughly $1500 in the pre-season (February to April) on marketing, mobile phone and vehicle expenses. All franchisees need access to a vehicle by February 15th and full time access to one by their production start after exams are over.
After the preseason, the cost varies drastically depending on ones goal and if they are purchasing equipment used from previous Operators or through the line of credit at the paint store. All equipment is owned by the Operator and may be sold at a later date.
No money is paid to SWP at any time during the preseason. We don’t start to cover our costs until production begins in May.

What are the risks or costs associated with any property damage that might occur?

All SWP franchisees are covered by $5,000,000 in liability insurance. The franchisee's portion of the deductible is $3,000.

Is there a chance of failure?

Of course, it’s business!

Statistics show that 56% of businesses in Canada fail within the first four years (according to the Small Business Association). Not so with franchise businesses however, where the fail rate is a mere 10%.

If one works hard, follows our system, and uses the support that SWP provides they will be successful. In fact, SWP doesn’t come close to breaking even with a franchisee until the midway point of the summer. We have to do whatever possible to make our people successful!

What does Student Works provide?

Forms, systems, business kit, lines of credit at paint suppliers, experience, a proven name in the industry since 1991, insurance, payroll service, government remittances, business training, paint training, safety training, and most of all:

a District Manager who has done it all before and will stop at nothing to help!

What kind of summer might my child expect?

A busy one. A stressful one. A rewarding one!

Running a business is not easy but then again most things worth doing aren’t. The idea behind Student Works was to create an opportunity to learn more about business and life in one summer than previously possible. It’s an opportunity to make money, but more so it’s an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to get experience that will put the best students ahead of their peers.

Starting Your Own Business is a Stroke of Genius