Grant Achieves a Work-Life Balance as well as a Great Income with Coating Worx Franchise
Painting a Rosy Picture
Name: Grant Green
Franchise: Coating Worx
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I’d been researching franchises for some time and Coating Worx – a leading industrial and commercial painting contractor franchise – seemed like a good fit for me. As someone who has worked outdoors or on-site for most of my career, I found that being able to do just that with this franchise very appealing. I’m not an ‘office jockey’ by nature, so being desk-bound really wouldn’t have suited me at all. I enjoy being hands-on – driving out to do site inspections, interacting with clients, managing people, troubleshooting problems etc. and that, together with the support I’d get from the brand and the respect I have for the franchisors as businesspeople, was the driving factor.
What did you do before taking up a franchise?
I was in farming for several years and then worked in the offshore oil and gas industry for many years after that.
How did you raise the finance?
Fortunately, I had access to liquid capital which enabled me to purchase my Coating Worx franchise.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
As someone who had no previous experience in the paint contracting industry, the training and support Coating Worx has provided me has been invaluable. The franchisors are astute businesspeople and only too willing to pass on their extensive knowledge, both of paint contracting specifically and business in general, to franchisees – they’re only a phone call away if I need to pick their brains! I describe them as my ‘wingmen who keep me on the straight and narrow’! I find Coating Worx’ affiliation with premier paint brands Plascon and Dulux useful – being associated with these long-standing brands not only lends a certain credibility or gravitas to our business, but also provides us with a support structure, when we need it. The Coating Worx online quoting system is also a great tool – easy-to-use and saves me time (and therefore money!).
What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?
I do site inspections before 9am and then head back to my office to catch up on quotations, follow up on sales leads and take care of the other administrative tasks that go with running a business. In the afternoon, I head back to site for another inspection and also to drop off equipment or supplies, and so on.
What challenges have you faced?
Not winning every single contract I quote! However, I’d call that more of a disappointment than a challenge – sometimes, even with the best preparation and a sense of certainty that a particular job will be coming your way, it doesn’t! This is a competitive industry, so learning to pitch a job just right takes some doing – that is, that pricing your services either too high or too low can chase customers away. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned is that people don’t necessarily choose the lowest quotation – they go for the reliable brand, the one which offers them experience and back-up. With Coating Worx, they know that all compliments and complaints can be raised with our head office and they will be resolved. We’re no ‘bakkie brigade’ outfit!
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
It’s changed my life hugely. As an offshore oil and gas worker in places like Scotland and West Africa, I had an unusual work schedule which took me away from home for extended periods. This meant that I was missing out on all those special moments as a parent – sure I got the photos when I was away, but it’s not the same thing! Now, I have a better work-life balance and I get to come home every evening and be a real part of family life.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Firstly, don’t rush into things – I spent nearly two years researching this franchise before I finally committed. Then, make use of the franchise resources at your disposal – the expertise and back-up of the franchisors and the experience of other franchisees. Don’t come into it thinking that you’re going to shake things up – a franchise works for a reason so there’s no need to re-invent the wheel. Cultivate patience – it will take you a year or so to observe and figure out the patterns, or business trends, of your industry. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day! Always be professional in your dealings with people and recognise that first impressions really do count.
What are your plans for the future?
This franchise has been really good to me, so I’m planning on sticking around for some time! Soon, my wife will join me to provide administrative support which will allow me to focus more on building the business.
Would you do it again?