When we say we’ll show up at 7 o’clock, we actually show up at 7 o’clock. Once we started delivering a great product with solid employees at reasonable prices, we began getting tons of referrals and repeat business.
Cincinnati, Ohio (PRWEB) February 28, 2012
When Cliff Hudson launched his business in 2008 in Tracy, Calif., he thought the so-called “down economy” would give him time to “learn the business slowly and figure things out.” Instead, from Day 1, Fresh Coat Painters of Central Valley has been “growing and growing and growing by leaps and bounds” – so much so it recently captured the company’s award for Franchise of the Year.
Bernie Brozek, president of Fresh Coat Painters, said the experience of Cliff and his wife, Virna, exemplifies what the company founders saw as the major strength of the painting industry.
“Painting is always an essential service,” Brozek said. “In a slow economy, people are enhancing their current homes or maybe trying to sell or simply moving into a new space. In a booming economy, people are building new homes, expanding existing ones, or simply upgrading what they have. Regardless of the situation, painting comes into play. No matter the economy, it’s always in demand.”
Cliff said he faced a lot of naysayers when he opened, but the need for “quality” painting services quieted those voices very quickly.
“Everybody thought I was out of my mind,” he recalled. “Then we started operations, and clients were impressed simply because we returned their calls. Buyers told us they were shocked at the number of painters who had no method for contact and, when they did, they never received a callback.
“The professionalism continued when we did what we said we would. When we say we’ll show up at 7 o’clock, we actually show up at 7 o’clock. Once we started delivering a great product with solid employees at reasonable prices, we began getting tons of referrals and repeat business.”
Initially Virna quit her job and handled “mostly everything except the painting,” she said, noting that her 20-plus years in the medical industry taught her much about client service.
“It’s about relationships,” she said. “People want to do business with people they know and trust or people recommended by people they know and trust. We do our best to make sure every client is satisfied.”
Both agree that the commitment to quality spurred their explosive growth.
“Virna now has an office assistant, and we have four times the number of painters we thought we’d have,” Cliff said. “We’ve more than doubled revenue each year, and we expect we’ll do the same this year.”
Despite their successes, though, both said they were surprised by the Franchise of the Year recognition.
“We knew we’d had a good year, but when you’re in the trenches, you don’t know what everyone else is doing,” Cliff said. “When they started handing out awards and those were going to other people, I looked at Virna and said ‘I guess we’re not getting anything this year.’ Then when they started talking about the Franchise of the Year and listing some of the accomplishments, Virna leaned over to me and asked ‘Didn’t we do something like that?’”
Brozek said the couple merited the attention.
“Virna and Cliff embody what is great about the Fresh Coat community,” he said. “They are successful themselves, and they’re always happy to help their fellow owners by providing advice based upon their vast experience. They’ve also had this success in large part because of their ability to balance their work relationship with their life at home.”
The Hudsons shared that knowledge during the National Conference.
“We explained our growth, the hows and whys,” Cliff said. “And we also talked about being married with a business and what that’s like. It’s important to understand boundaries and take time for each other – at least two hours two times a week to just reconnect, with no talk about the business, the kids or anything except each other.”
Cliff said the franchise system does provide a way for owners to support one another. “Usually people just want to talk it through and get confirmation that they’re on the right track. Those relationships are valuable and since we’re not in competition, we have no problem sharing our knowledge.”
Both he and Virna also value the relationship with their employees.
“It’s my job to provide leadership,” Cliff said. “Success is not an accident. It’s about lots of pieces coming together and being managed. It’s about creating jobs and keeping jobs, so everyone has a place.”
Virna takes the calls when banks or other lenders want confirmation of employment.
“When I get one of those calls, I think ‘Wow, this is why we do this,’ she said. “We’ve got employees who are building better lives for themselves. They’re buying a home or purchasing a vehicle. We’re providing the jobs that are allowing them to do it, and that makes me feel good.”
To learn more about Fresh Coat Painters of Central Valley or to schedule a free on-site quote for residential or commercial projects in Tracy, Stockton, Manteca, Livermore and their surrounding California communities, call 209-390-4326 or visit http://www.freshcoatcentralvalley.com.
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. For more information, call 866-708-9355 or visit http://www.freshcoatpainters.com.