“We jumped to No. 1 in residential painting services, and we earned accolades from Entrepreneur magazine which placed us among its Top 500 franchises overall and within its Top 100 for both low-cost and top home-based franchises. We anticipate similar results in 2012.”
Brozek said Fresh Coat’s success in attracting new franchise owners and in earning the praise of industry observers stems from its commitment to professionalism and client services.
“Our owners are business people, not painters,” Brozek said. “They focus their attention on promoting and growing the business while their experienced employees – never subcontractors – complete the jobs to the client’s satisfaction. By hiring our own painters, our owners can assure quality for the client while protecting their brand and reputation. It’s a model that has proved successful repeatedly throughout all our markets.”
Those markets span the U.S. and Canada, with new franchises launched from coast to coast. Among the most successful new owners in 2011 was the company’s Rookie of the Year, Eric Stavropoulos.
After starting Fresh Coat Painters of Hartford County in Connecticut, Stavropoulos experienced so much success that he launched a second franchise just six months later. That franchise serves areas just west of Hartford in and around Torrington, Conn.
“We hit the ground running,” Stavropoulos said. “I’m confident we’ll continue to have success because of my team’s talents and commitment. We’re booking jobs all winter long, and we’re already booked for most of April for exterior work.”
Success continues for franchise owners, as Chris Holtmeier can attest.
Holtmeier opened his Fresh Coat Painters of Loveland, Ohio, in 2006 and now employs experienced painters who work full-time all year long. His business has “grown steadily” through the years, he said, with 2011 being especially profitable when he doubled his staff and doubled his business.
“My referral base has gone way up,” he said, adding that Fresh Coat’s commitment to professionalism underscores his growth. “People want reliability. We’ve all heard stories of the person who didn’t respond to a job request, didn’t show for an appointment or didn’t provide a quote for the work. I find it’s pretty cut and dry: Show up. Do a nice job. Charge a fair rate. It’s not that hard to do, and the rewards continue to come.” Holtmeier said he has dozens of stories of jobs that started out small, then grew exponentially.
“I had one client who just wanted a hall painted,” he said. “Most painters wouldn’t even come out to look at it. She liked our work so much that she hired us to paint her next two houses as well as another property she owned. That $200 hallway turned into $15,000 to $20,000 in additional business.”
Both he and Stavropoulos credit the Fresh Coat business model as instrumental to their success.
“If you follow the system, it works,” Holtmeier said. “When I share my story, I try to make it clear that it’s not a one-shot-and-done business. It’s not some get-rich-quick scheme. It’s about doing the job well year in and year out. Treat people right, and rewards will follow.”
Stavropoulos said Fresh Coat’s initial training along with the ongoing guidance from corporate personnel have fueled his better-than-expected success in his first year.
“The support has been great,” he said. “Corporate really wants you to do well, and all my hard work has paid off. We blew our first year pro forma out of the water. At the end of November, we were 68 percent ahead of the projection for the year.”
Stavropoulos said he also appreciated that the company has continued to grow because the franchise owners themselves serve as valuable resources for one another.
“It’s great to be a part of the Fresh Coat family,” he said, noting he has reached out to more experienced owners for their insights and guidance. “With their long-term, first-hand experience, having them as resources helps boost my confidence that I can remain successful for years to come.”
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.