Q&A with CertaPro Painters
Updated: Feb 26
Interested in learning more about a painting franchise? This month’s franchise education is Q&A with Chad Wright, GM of Franchise Development. Take some time to learn more about this painting business opportunity.
CertaPro Painters is a residential and commercial, interior and exterior painting franchise. We have been doing this for 28 years. For the first 10 years of our existence, we were pretty much only residential, then we started to get into the commercial, and it’s been booming. There’s obvious attraction to the commercial side. We haven’t really even scratched the surface. It’s about 40% of our revenues, but we cut our teeth on the residential side. We are in a $56B+ industry and really only saturate about 1% of the market share. We did over $450M+ in sales last year and bought $50M in paint from Sherwin Williams alone. Our opportunity is not about picking up a paint brush, it is about building a successful painting business through scalability.
Why CertaPro Painters?
Little overhead - our business requires no store fronts or inventory
Few employees (subcontractor model)
Potential to scale a business quickly through both B2B and B2C (no boundary restrictions for commercial)
National vendor partnerships with Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore
Sellable (Resales of successful businesses in our system are carrying a large dollar amount)
No Cold Calling
Largest in the paint services category with over 500 markets currently being served in US and Canada
Competition tends to be local, unorganized, and lacking systems
1. How did the franchise get started and what is the background of your executives? CertaPro Painters was conceived of and begun in 1991 by the leaders of FirstService Brands and its present senior management. The backbone of the company is its operational requirement to deliver the Brand of Certainty, to both its franchisees and its customers. Focused business planning, a technology platform that provides real-time information on local and national business performance, assertive local marketing, and national brand marketing have created an engine of growth and real excitement in a huge business category.
2. What sets you apart from your competitors?
In the marketplace, our biggest differentiator is really customer experience.
Most consumers would tell you the plumbing work I had done, the painting work I had done, that air conditioning work I had done, the workmanship was fine. They will also tell you in many cases, that the experience to get that work done was less than desirable. Contractors, not showing up on time, not communicating during the process, leaving a mess.
And so what's helped build our business is delivering the paint job and wrapping around it a great customer experience, where we have systems and tools in place for our owners, to let them lead the business, deliver a great customer experience, communicate throughout, technology in place to know where our crews are, so that they are showing up on time.
3. Why a franchise vs. a startup or existing business?
One of the features of our business model that does attract a lot of prospective owners and does differentiate us from many other franchise concepts in the marketplace is that the capital required for startup is less than most. We don't have the overhead that a storefront or retail model has such as real estate, or inventory, or a lot of employees. We don't need real estate. You'll need an office space as you scale, you grow, add staff, a place for those people to office out of, but not a retail location or the high rent that is associated with a retail location.
Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, two very strong vendor partners of ours, they carry our inventory for us, so we don't have to carry inventory either. This gives our owners the advantage of having less invested in overhead. In the end, it allows our owners to invest more in marketing and growth. They can scale very, very quickly, it also allows them to be profitable much more quickly than other businesses. 4. Can you describe a typical day of a franchise owner?
For a new franchisee, their first year they will spend the bulk of their time meeting with customers, performing estimates, and learning the fundamentals of the business. As they scale, their focus will switch to growing their market share and increasing the Commercial side of their business, and work more ON the business instead of IN the business.
5. Can you describe an ideal owner for CertaPro Painters.
Most of our owners come from strong corporate backgrounds. Assertive communicators that don’t want to be in a store front business or behind a counter will like what they hear in validation with our owners. Backgrounds in Sales, Marketing, or Management are helpful.
6. Can you describe what a candidate will experience while researching CertaPro Painters? We will conduct a series of webinars to help educate a candidate on us, the model, and the industry. We will discuss marketing and lead generation, how to recruit and retain staff and crew, as well as discuss the FAQs in the Franchise Disclosure Document.
The systems we have in place for a great customer service and follow-up are what drive the brand, and other contractors simply don't deliver a good customer experience. A candidate will see the differences in sales and marketing once they engage in the due diligence process----very different than the rest of the painting world.
7. Tell us a little about CertaPro Painters support and training program.
As a new owner with CertaPro Painters®, you will participate in training and development for the many aspects of leading the business. Beyond the comprehensive training (virtual and classroom), you are also assigned a member of our operations team to support you from the start - both in the field and via weekly web conferences. Most of our owners don’t come from the painting or contracting backgrounds - it's their leadership skills combined with our strong systems that allow them to grow a large professionally managed business.
8. What is the total investment for CertaPro Painters?
The total investment is $130k-$170k. The Franchise fee is $57,500 and you will need $80k-$100k for operational costs.
9. What kind of input will I have in marketing and advertising?
As the new owner of a CertaPro Painters® business, it is imperative to have strong lead generation in order to fuel the growth of your business. We support you in all aspects – from local marketing to national campaigns. You are also assigned a Regional Marketing Manager who will work with you to build a marketing plan and budget so that you can hit your goals.
There are numerous ways in which to market your business, TV/Radio, Digital, Direct Mail, and so on.
10. Do I have to own a brick and mortar location? If so, can you tell us a little about that.
We don't need real estate. You'll need an office space as you scale and grow, add staff, a place for those people to office out of, but not a retail location or the high rent that is associated with a retail location.
Interested in learning more about this opportunity? Contact us below.
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