Episode #11 – Business Lessons Learned From Starting A Painting Franchise W/ Burgess Perry

Transcript:

Well, happy Friday, everybody, and welcome back to another episode of the Service Legend podcast. I have an amazing guest here with me today. Burgess Perry, welcome to the podcast.

Yeah. Hey, thanks for having me, Ryan. That was a that was a really great intro. I think I’ve seen it a few times, but that was really cool. That was awesome.

Yeah, man. Well, shout out to Marco, my, our, our CMO and my business partner at at the marketing company. He helped put that together, the editing, different things. So shout out to Marco. Well, let me do an introduction. You know, I don’t feel like you’re as prevalent on the front lines of the industry as much. I think you’re like a hidden gem, if I may. You know, I like to think of you as like a hidden gem because you’re, you know, for many, many, I would say probably about five different reasons. You know, I’ve been following you around you now for a couple of years, and I’ve been inspired by you, by what you’re doing. But I don’t think as many people know you as as as they should. But Burgers Perry, founder of Paint Corpse, he served ten years in the US Army as a combat medic and nurse. And then after kind of separating from from that, he switched gears and started to pursue entrepreneurship, which great decision, by the way, had no experience in the painting industry. But he immersed himself in learning what systems and processes the top performers used to succeed.

And now he’s perfected his own system. And BRS now has grew his business to 12 service vehicles, 26 service technicians, and just five short years. Man, it’s incredible. And now he’s really developed this, you know, this formula and he wants to share it with everyone. And so what an amazing thing for all of us tuning in. And you’ve actually taken this this system that you developed, that you’ve come up with your IP, etc., and you’ve created franchise models within your business. And we’ll get into that here in a little bit. But Paint Corpse is modeling off of the success of their affiliate force franchises for veterans, the largest pavement marking brand in the country, and the first to franchise exclusively to veterans, which again, I want to dive into that again. That’s freaking awesome. And you guys also have match one epoxy floors up and coming brand as well as field ops and athletic field markings. That is also growing. So you have all these all these brands, you’ve got four brands collectively under the Veteran Service Brands, Umbrella Man. That is freaking awesome. Yeah. There’s a lot to talk about today.

Yeah. Yeah. So I’ll just kind of go back a little bit. A little bit about myself there. Sorry. Yeah. But five years ago, I started at the time was a different name. We due to trademarking we did change the name to pink core, you know, similar to like Marine Corps, but Pink Core. So we did that earlier this year. We’ve seen some great success. We currently have six locations who have officially launched. We have quite a few more in the pipeline. And so we’re looking at potentially ten this year and then 20 thereafter is kind of our goal and just kind of keep growing with it, right? Just keep scaling us. That’s kind of why we’re all in business. So that’s pretty core. However, we’re also part of an umbrella, which is which is called the Veteran Service Brands and you just mentioned it. So we have G Force which has close to 50 locations and that’s going to be pavement and line striping. And then we have two new brands, Mach one, which is epoxy floor, similar to to to what you have going on there in Arizona. And then we have field ops, which is athletic field markings, and each one kind of have their own niche. So for example, field ops has a very low cost start up and things like that. And then Pink core of course is one of the higher cost startups, but you know, you’re looking to scale. It’s more of an owner manager versus an owner operator model. So that’s kind of how we have that that set up based on the Tampa location success. But yeah, so that’s Veteran Service Brands. I just kind of wanted to explain that a little bit and put it out there, but yeah, what else do we.

Yeah, no, I appreciate that. That’s awesome. And before we get into the Tampa location, because that’s the proven model there, could you just break down like before you got into and this is kind of a curveball, I guess, from the questions here, but could you break down like leading up to getting into the into the painting business, maybe just talk about your experience there, like what led you there? Why did you choose painting? Because you could have been a lawyer. I’m sure. You know, you’re a smart guy. I mean, you could have been anything, I imagine. Just talk us through that a little bit.

Yeah, sure. Yeah. So, you know, I joined I joined the Army at a young age, 18. Right. I was 18. Joined the Army. It did ten years there, active duty. I was a combat medic. And then I went to nursing school and kind of went inpatient care, ICU trauma nurse and things like that. Got out around ten years, right about the ten year mark. Spent a few months trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to start a business. And in that in that time frame, I painted my neighbor’s house. So that just kind of stuck, you know, I didn’t know anything about painting. I was like, Well, it can’t be too hard. I’ll just go to Home Depot and pick up a brush and a roller and we’ll do it.

So pick up a brush and roller, baby. I love that.

Yeah. And so that’s that’s what I did. And, you know, I made some money. I think it was like 1200 dollars that week just to put it in my pocket. I’m like, you know, this this could be it. So soon after, I looked at a lot of industry professionals, you know, not to namedrop too much, but Chris Berry, Idaho painter, Nick Slavic, a lot of those educators in the industry, you know, I just picked up from them. I learned from them in a lot of the processes and stuff and took that and kind of worked with it. Develop my own processes and things with some military experience, you know, the structure and things like that. So we’ve kind of adopted from here, there and everywhere and put together a pretty good business model.

I love that. And so it sounds like you learned a lot about structure from the military. My my older brother is retired military. My younger brother is retired. And they both have kind of a part here at Cardinal. And I’ve got a bunch of friends and family that are the veterans as well. And you guys have my utmost respect for serving this amazing country, number one. But number two, I mean, I. Clearly you guys learn structure there, discipline. You know, I imagine that that helps you now.

Yeah, for sure. And we, you know, we model a lot of our teams, for example, inside of the company are very similar to to what you would see in what we would consider a line unit in the Army very similar. So you’ll see that in a lot of other businesses as well, especially veterans and they kind of model after that. So we went for that. It works well and things are pretty good with it.

Yeah, that’s incredible, man. Okay, so just tell us a little bit about the business and maybe you could start with just your the location that you own specifically. I think it’s Tampa is where you started there, right?

Yeah.

Okay. Just tell us a little bit about that business. Kind of how long that business was was in, has been in business, maybe approximate revenue, team size. I know we kind of went over a couple of things, but the employee service, you guys offer interior extra or things like that.

Yeah. Yeah. So I can’t go too deep into revenue because of franchised attorney situation there. But you kind of mentioned the size we’re close to 30 employees, 12, 13 service vehicles, something like that. We have a general manager who kind of just runs runs the day to day operations. We have some office staff. We have a sales team as well to include a residential and a commercial estimator. And then underneath that, we we typically stick to those two or three person team squads or whatever you want to call it. So we have a team leader and then different titles depending on the company, but apprentice painter or helper or painter, one painter, two different classifications. But essentially that’s kind of our build out. We take that and then we just replicate that. Same in field team structure.

Yeah, that’s pretty incredible. And then what type of services do you guys normally offer? Is everything, you know, exterior and interior cabinets. You guys doing a lot of staining, decorating or different things like that, or what’s the mix of services there?

Yeah, so we definitely try to keep things simple, but we do offer interior exterior and high end cabinet refinishing. I think at this point in the industry a lot of professionals are using some of those two part polyurethanes and and things to refinish cabinets. So we’re probably all using the same stuff at this point, but those are our three services. But within that we’re we’re very selective. We’re kind of looking for those, those ideal projects. And if it falls outside of that realm, then that kind of falls into our pre qualifying process. So we may refer that out or passing along or something like that.

Yeah, that’s awesome. Okay. So you guys keep it pretty specific with with the offerings. So you guys don’t just do anything for everyone, it sounds like.

Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Okay. I think that’s huge to point out because, you know, I think with the structure you have in place, the systems, the policies and the success that you’re having, you know, I think a lot of painting contractors right now and sometimes we do what we’ve got to do when we start out or whatever. But you know we we don’t niche down and Tanner Mullen talks about this a lot Tanner and I are actually putting on a webinar next next Thursday around painting sales and it’s like you know there’s so many painting contractors, we’ll just do anything and everything that anyone wants, you know, and and we find ourselves in a in a world of trouble when it comes to producing that work, you know, and our painters get mad because morale is down, because we’re doing this one day and then this and then that and then that. There’s no system. And so I think there’s something really beneficial and a lot of merit behind, hey, we do exterior, we do interior and we do high end cabinets, boom. That’s what we do. So I like that answer. I think a lot of people can learn from that. Is that something that you guys take into, you know, in into the system with a new location? It’s like, hey, here’s a service that we’re going to offer, here’s how we’re going to do them, etc..

Right? Yeah. And yeah, we absolutely do. And to kind of tag along with that, you know, I think referral partners are very key in that. For example, we do get a lot of projects where drywall, repairs and stuff are are part of that project. So it’s kind of up to our sales team to, to navigate that, use our referral partners, get them in, make that customer journey and experience just as streamlined as possible. So but again, you know, we’re not going to take on the re texturing, the drywall, the wood repairs. You know, we’re always going to use referral partners for that, that type of love.

That love that. So and then this business, when did you start the original business? What what year.

It was 2017.

Wow. Now’s a good time to start to imagine. Well, hey, you had a couple of years before before 2020 happened, right? So.

Yeah.

There’s a lot of business that started in 2020. Right. And it’s like that’s all they knew. You know, I think a lot of businesses now, you know, as we go through a potential down economy, you know, in all these things, I think you might have some leverage there because, you know, you’ve got some experience before any of that went down, whereas there’s so many companies that just started like in 2020, 2021. And when they experience this, you know, and like how do we market, how do we hire, etc.. So I imagine you’re a little bit more prepared for this.

Yeah. So no, that’s a great point, especially when it comes to lead flow. You know, I think maybe the past year or two lead flow is just been handed out there for the most part. There’s just been so much work going around. So hopefully everyone can kind of adjust and realize, you know, you do have to get out there and knock on some doors and and really put in some work to kind of keep keep your business, your business at that healthy level and keep that that pipeline full.

Yeah. 1%. So. I’d like to ask. So you started in 2017. When did you guys transition into this thought or concept of, hey, you know what, we could franchise this? Like, when was that exactly?

Yeah. So, you know, I guess a friend of mine, Jack Child, who owns G-force as well as the Veteran Service Brands Umbrella, he started G Force at the same time. I started the painting company. So right around five years ago and and somewhere around there, maybe a year later. So about four years ago, he he kind of talked to me about it and say, hey, what do you think about franchising your painting business? And at the time I said, you know, I don’t think I’m ready, know we’re young, we’re still developing. We don’t even have a training program at this point. Right. So there was still so much to do. So about a year and a half ago, I was like, Hey, I think I’m ready. Let’s do this. So we did.

Wow. It’s incredible. Okay, so about a year and a half ago, so 2017 to mid 2020 about seem like that.

Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

So it took so a couple of years. So that’s, that’s really cool. So you’ve, you’ve really dialed in a lot of these things. So with the Paint Corp’s franchise and you know, I want to quickly clarify. So if there’s people listening here that own painting companies like are you are you guys acquiring these companies and then turning them to locations or is it more of like your traditional franchise? Maybe just give some context to it. Maybe anyone that’s listening that might be interested.

Yeah. So it’s just a traditional franchise model. When you buy into the model, we’re one, we’re veteran only. So there’s that. But you’re buying the brand. You’re you’re buying those systems as process processes, excuse me. And basically just that recipe for success with ongoing support, business coaching, you know, different types of support, their marketing, right? We have a full marketing team that that works with them closely as well as accounting and you know, all those pieces that that most of us have kind of, you know, over over the time we’re like, okay, well, let’s outsource it. What do we do? Let me learn it. Let me try to do it right so.

Or just not do it right. I think we’ve all seen that one, right? Yeah.

Like all the way down to job costing. Right. We have full built out systems and work work stuff based on job costing for each and every project. So, you know, very dialed in systems and basically that’s what they’re buying into. And I think a lot of people would, especially in the painting industry, if you already have a business, you’re like, why would I do that? And I think those are kind of the reasons, right? You’re basically getting a package ready to go proven and this is what you’re buying into.

Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah. I love the the, you know, like before we went live, just the concept of professionalizing these, these industries, you know, and taking them to the next level. And so I love that, that the franchisees that that work with you get to provide such a better level of experience to all of these all of these customers. It elevates, the community elevates and we can all charge more, etc.. I think it’s awesome.

Yeah.

So Pink Corp, so who is your guys’s ideal customer and kind of like the target market for you guys?

Yeah. So I mean, when our locations come to Tampa, to the training facility, we have a week of training. And one of the things that’s discussed there is, is what you just mentioned. And so usually usually what I say in that portion is, you know, you never want to be the lowest price in most cases. You don’t even want to be in the middle. You want to be that highest priced contractor. You want to sell on value versus versus price. And and so we really go into sales and talk about that using different sales, reverse sailing and different approaches there. So our ideal customer is is really that customer looking for the customer experience, they’re looking for the quality, they’re looking for that, that warranty and just a hands off. It’s like, okay, I know, I know you’re going to take care of it. Here’s the project. Thank you. And that’s it, right? Just just moving through without issue.

And so I can tell you what to do, when to do it. Here’s the paint you use. And how much did you pay for that? And, you know.

Yeah. So, you know, we do talk about like red flag customers, how to identify what to do when you do identify those and you know, basically how to back away from projects. So that’s kind of I think that’s just as important as winning a project is. You kind of need to know when to say no on projects.

Yeah, yeah. It’s such a huge thing. And so I imagine so. The customer that’s most likely going to be be sold on value and on experience versus on, you know, being the the guy that’s available next week, the guy that’s available at the lowest price. You’re you’re trying to build that value to find those higher end customers that really appreciate the quality and the experience that you guys are bringing to the table and the systems and the processes like given that. So I imagine customer journey is a big part of what you guys what you guys offer.

Yeah. Yeah. Excuse me? Yeah, for sure. And that’s. That’s just going to be part of that project management, you know, that the entire customer journey and just taking care of them, building that relationship. And ultimately even at the Tampa location, if you look at kind of our sources, our top is is either referral or repeat customer and those kind of go back and forth. So even if we’re paying for ads and stuff, we still want those two to kind of be at the top. And that just kind of shows that a, that customer journey is very important.

Yeah. And in just three years, two or. Well it’s not been three years I guess it’s been. Five years, but it’s been a couple of years since you franchised. And so, like what’s incredible about that though, even is like a lot of companies can take ten, 15 years, it seems like, to get that level of referral business, you know. So that’s really cool that you guys are focusing on that. What are some ups that you guys have in place? Unique selling propositions that you guys have in place to position yourself in the eyes of of your customers?

Hmm. Can you give me an example? Would be a good example.

Yeah. Like a good a unique selling proposition could be like for Cardinal. Could be. We have a seven steps or a seven step process to a 100% satisfied customers. And we go over that. I don’t have a brochure in front of me, but so we have that in place. But also it could be a 50 year written warranty and that word written could kind of differentiate us a little bit. But I’m sure you guys have some amazing ASPs.

You know, we don’t really. Not that I can think of. Yeah. I don’t think that’s something we really focus too much on at this point.

You guys have. Like what sets you guys apart? Like, so, like, if I’m like if Ryan Davis and my wife Kristen were at home chillin, getting a quote from paint corpse here in Phoenix, like, why would we choose you guys over, you know, whatever company in town? You know, there’s probably a hundred, right? Like, what would separate you guys? They’re like in the eyes of of my wife and I, they’re yeah.

Yeah. I mean if you’re referring to on the residential side of things. Yeah. You know, probably the warranty. I know, I know there’s a lot of professionals in our industry who have some type of warranty, but, you know, like.

Like a tell like warranty, right.

That might be the case. But yeah. So I think the warranty, you know, we do a free touch up warranty. I know other obviously I’ve I’ve taken some of these from other professionals that work for them and was like, oh, we should also do a five year warranty. So, you know, in our local area for the Tampa location, that’s not something many of our competition do. So that’s kind of one of those things that sets this location apart. We are veteran owned. So, you know, obviously with other veterans, there’s an immediate trust factor at the moment. The door opens and that’s obviously a nice quality focus. I think we have we just have hundreds of reviews, right? So we always push for reviews. We have an automation set up for that. I think that’s that’s crucial not just for organic ranking and three pack, but also customers. When they do find you, that’s that’s something, you know, especially in 2022, most people are going right to those reviews, looking for those not five stars and see and seeing what happened there. So that kind of sets us apart, you know, especially at the Tampa location, you know, other painting companies have reviews, but do they have 304 hundred reviews? Most likely not. You know, not not always. Right. Maybe a couple. But so there’s that we’re pretty active on social media. So before and after photos, you know, like 2 to 3 times a week, things like that. So we’re kind of doing all that we can to kind of social proof, show the customer, Hey, look, you know, here’s our customer, here’s here’s all we’ve done, here’s what we’re constantly doing. You know, we have, what, 300, 500 customers a year that are satisfied. So, you know, just kind of showing that up front.

Yeah. I mean, you guys have reviews on Google. I mean, dude, 250 to 5 stars. I mean, dude, that doesn’t just happen randomly. I mean, you guys are putting out some some great work, obviously. But also that’s what’s funny about like even on the marketing side too, like for service legend, we can do amazing work if I have bad communication and you know, and bad systems and we’ll lose clients or we can have amazing systems, amazing communication. We’re talking to you all the time and but we don’t have the good results. And, you know, people will cancel. And so it’s this, it’s this, it’s this dual setup of, hey, we do amazing work, right? We have ethics. Like we just know what we’re doing so we can paint your house and we can make it look beautiful. But also we’re I’m going to communicate with you. I’m going to send emails and text and we’re going to follow up. And, you know, expectations are going to be clear not just with me, but with our crew lead, etc.. And so it’s that mix. And I can I mean, without even knowing you too personally or being, you know, just flying out to your location. I mean, 232 reviews, all five stars. I mean, hats off, bro. Like like that’s a game changer right there. So congrats to that. I think a lot of people overlook that and I’ve even done it myself when we first start out, you know, we, I think the long term side of the business we don’t necessarily focus on. And and I really like what you are doing because it’s not just you get some leads and then make some sales. It’s like, no, no, no, let’s focus on our reputation, on our long term value. So I love that man.

Yeah, for sure.

So what type of marketing do you guys do? Like, what’s the mix? Just like overall?

Yeah, I think that’s key is mix.

But yeah, there’s many people that would say, hey, like, well, what’s better, Facebook or Google? I’m like. Yeah. It’s doable.

Yeah. So we do have a mix when it comes to commercial. We’ve, we’ve, we’ve seen better results with, with AdWords or previously known Google ads. We’ve seen better results there. As far as getting commercial repaint, obviously, there’s there’s plenty of other avenues to go on the commercial side of things, whether it be local business exchanges or various websites that that you can just bid directly that way. So and then on the residential side, typically a mix of either mailers which which are kind of hit or miss Facebook ads, which have always been pretty great. Although I will say over the past year or so, they have kind of trended down for us. I mean, that’s just something that we’ve experienced. So we may go back towards mailers, door hangers and try to try to go that way and see if we have better ROI. Other than that. You know, I think that’s about it. We also obviously, we’re we’re really big on networking chamber businesses. You can you can land some pretty great jobs that way. Plus, you’re kind of embedding yourself in the community. I think every painting company should be in at least the chamber and and I. Right.

Yeah, I really like that. One of my mentors, Brandon Vaughn, he owns a company called Wyze Coatings, and then he’s on a power company, owns a company now. But he always talks about those those small efforts of going to the events at Chamber of Commerce, being I like actually getting into the community. And, you know, I think a lot of times when painting companies are smaller, like let’s say they’re doing 600 grand a year or 400 grand a year, whatever. And they feel like what I’m seeing is like they feel like I need to run Facebook ads and that and that’s their only marketing channel and they’re not out in the community building their actual business because building the business, in my opinion, isn’t just marketing running leads and then making sales. It’s like it’s kind of the things that like what you’re talking about. And I think that’s what speaks to some of those reviews too, where you don’t just have 20 reviews and you know, you got 3.7 stars. And it’s because you’re all your customers, all your community, all your network isn’t just coming from this one channel or something like that. And then. What marketing drives the most leads like. Let’s say overall, maybe this year like today because obviously I want to keep it fresh for the listeners is what’s working best right now for you guys.

So we, you know, for the Tampa location, we rely a lot on organic traffic at this point, whether that be your your Google business profile, you know, if you build that correctly and post and geo tag and photos and reviews and and all these things, you know, keyword rich content and stuff like that, you know, over, over a year plus or so, you’re really going to see some results. Like you’re going to see 7100 or 150 calls per month if you put in the work. Right. That’s a long term game, but absolutely worth it in my opinion. But if you’re looking for like those immediate leads, obviously, you know, Facebook ads, there’s quality concerns there. Right. So you may only be closing 25% or 35%, whatever it may be. And then, you know, that’s why I say be and I and chamber that’s that’s where you’re going to get your your your best ROI just across the board. But I think if you mix it all together, you’ll have a pretty good system in place.

Yeah, for sure. And so I’m curious, like since 2017, what marketing efforts have you guys stopped doing that that you’re just like, man, this is this is trash. Like whether it’s next door YouTube ads or just anything that you’re like, man, like, I would like, don’t do this.

Yeah. So when I first started, I was pretty big about let me just post in all these community Facebook groups and just this big ad spill pictures. Right. And at the time, I’m like, well, this this has to work. And to be fair, it did work. And and I think that does work. Obviously, we steered away from it. I also don’t think it helps you grow to to a much larger level and get the clientele you’re looking for. But that’s just personal opinion. So that’s something we’ve stopped is just kind of spreading it across 12 posts twice a week. And all these all these pages, these buy and sell pages and random stuff like that.

Yeah, I see that a lot. Like posting in the Facebook groups now. Is there. Is there any like. Like specific guerrilla marketing or offline marketing that that does not work? Like door hangers. Like I know you mentioned calling and cold calling things like this. Is that something that you guys used to do before that stopped and then you guys are doing it again? Or is it something that’s brand new?

Yeah, something brand new. It’s something I’m looking at exploring because I do think it changes over time. Right. Everyone kind of gets on with with Facebook ads, for example, that gets completely saturated, the consumer starts to see it. And and you’re just not getting those returns that you once did. So just to kind of stay ahead of the game in marketing, we’re exploring back to cold calling. And to be honest, in most sales, I mean, cold calling is a win, right? So I want to see what that looks like in the painting industry, explore that, invest a little bit into it, see what those results look like as well as maybe some cold email campaigns and see what that drives in a local market.

They all now this start old logo I mean did you know scary. This guy is by the way nice. Obviously, we got a much nicer one now. All right here. But shout out to prolific brand designs they they redid our I mean look it from this.

Yeah.

This to to this right it’s a lot better but anyways like so I’m doing these too, so I’m going to be getting these rebranded for our guys. So when that base coats carrying an hour and a half or whatever, I’m going to I’m going to let them go hand these out. And we also going to redesign our our flyers as well and put like the employee name on there and start doing this as well. I’m glad you brought that up because it’s something that’s been on my mind to hopefully maximize the projects that we’re already at so we can door, hang around, maybe grab a customer or two. I have a customer at Service Legend that’s in Utah, and he says about every 50 doors that he puts a door hanger on and, you know, they’ll knock. But if there’s no one there, they’ll just hang the door. But every door, that answer. So every 50 doors that answer, he’ll get about ten estimate requests. And then out of every estimate request, he’ll close like two or three. So like, you know what? What’s our neighborhoods saying to us, right? Like based on that data, like it means that they want to get painting done, they want to get their floors done. And sometimes you go next to the door and you’re like, Hey, this is Ryan with Cardinal Concrete Coatings, and we’re doing Mrs. Davis house over here. And wanted to let you know we’re going to be over here for the next day and wanted to give you a coupon if you ever want to get your floor coated and just let us know. And like that’s like a little bit more warmer of a cold door or cold call. But still, it’s kind of like, you know. What’s our opportunity cost in these neighborhoods? Right.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And we’ve always used the I think it’s called a five around with door hangers for, for our sales team. Right. They go and do an estimate on side estimate and then they’ll quickly catch aa5 round door hanger. So we’ve always done that and we’ve always seen some results, but we’re looking to kind of expand on that and go a little bit further.

I like that. Okay. So this is a great question for you. So do you guys have any special initiatives to attract online reviews? Obviously, you guys said you guys use some automation maybe you could touch on or elaborate on, like what software that is, how you guys use that. But also anything you guys do offline, whether it’s a scheduler or office admin, something like that, to kind of push those those five stars.

Yeah. So we as far as Google reviews, that’s kind of one of our top priorities just for ranking factor, organic ranking. Yeah. So that is set up on automation. At one point, I think I was using go high level for that automation paired with with Zapier. I believe. However, we’ve kind of outsourced that to our marketing company and they they have their own whether it’s go high level or similar. Right. So but I know there’s a handful of ways you can automate that depending on what you’re you’re estimating software is, right. So that’ll be a factor in what integrations it can it can handle. We we kind of incentivize our office staff, you know, if they call and they’ll kind of push for a Facebook shout out. This is kind of we’ve only been doing this for about a year or so, but we’ve noticed that Facebook shoutouts to your business in the local, local neighborhood pages are huge for for business. You know, when you see that usually in the next two days, you’re you’re just going to get a flow of of scheduled estimates. So we’ll incentivize that. And usually we do $75 for the the office staff if they call and they they push and the customer’s like, yep, I’ll do a shout out and they do a shout out. They’ll, the office staff will take a snapshot, send it on our chat and then boom, a nice little bonus for them.

That’s cool. I like that a lot. I love I love performance based bonuses. You know, I think they’re huge, especially for team members that would never experience any of that. You know, like people that are in sales, obviously, they love that. But office staff, I imagine your staff love that, right?

Yeah. And we do that. You know, that’s a big thing. We do that across the board. We, you know, we have it on the sales side where there’s there’s incentives for for making sales on the spot. For example, they’ll get immediate bonuses for, for selling on the spot. Yeah. And, and then even, you know, on the production side of things we do, you know, I know a lot of companies will do quarterly or twice a year bonuses. We do monthly bonuses. So it it not only has our sales team really on top of their job costing because in order to do those bonuses, the job costing has to be complete. So it’s kind of a system in itself there. But we do bonuses for pretty much everyone in our company.

I like the sales on the spot if you don’t mind sharing. Like, is it an extra like 50 bucks or 25 bucks or what are you.

Yeah.

So the spot like like on the spot there.

Yeah. We just do 50, $50 additional if they, if they sell it on the spot and believe it or not we’ve had $300 in a week. So it works. But it’s great for us to if.

I was in sales, man, I’d be like, Man, it’s just fantastic. I mean, you pay for your car payment or your house payment just with doing your job really well. I mean, I love that man. Okay, cool. Now, what do you guys do and how do you guys use social media in the business? Not not from an ads perspective, but from an organic perspective. I was talking to you before we jumped on live. You and your wife were out doing something, taking a picture post on the business page. I think it’s really cool because it lets the community know, Oh, this is Burgess, this is his wife, this is their faces. They’re happy, they’re smiling. They’re they’re real people. But how do you guys strategically use social media within the business there?

Yeah. So, I mean, excuse me. So we kind of stick to projects, spotlights, employee spotlights, you know, just a general spotlights. And I think you can take that as as far as you want to, you could do business spotlights for for other local businesses. But we do our standard is 2 to 3 times a week. We want some social posting with some good photos. That’s that’s the key. Right? Good photos. So whether it be before and after photos, maybe your crew working photos or local community related photos, you know, so we just kind of follow that and just kind of keep content going. But we don’t want to we don’t want to five days a week, twice a day. So that might be too much, but yeah.

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I think I think Gary Vee poses something. He’s a content guy. He says ideally you would post 5 to 7 times per day, per platform, you know? And I’m like, for most businesses, that probably sounds insane. But, you know, obviously it’s working for you guys to to have that consistency. I mean, I think that’s what’s most important is whether you’re posting once per day, five days a week or you’re posting three times a week, as long as you’re consistent. And you can start to develop that audience that can rely on your content and they can consume your time, your content, but also the Facebook reels and the Instagram reels and a tik tok right now that are really pushing beyond your followers are huge. And so I love that you guys are doing that in the business. Have you guys seen an impact like customers speaking up and saying, man, you know, it’s cool seeing you guys out there or whatever?

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I met a business owner today. I’ve never met him before, but he he knew me really well. So that’s kind of that kind of speaks on it, right? Like, oh, I see you on Facebook all the time. Know your business. I love the brand. Here’s a card. I just wanted to meet you and you know, and I was like, yeah, cool. You know, it’s great to meet you, too, I guess, you know? So. So I think I think social media is huge. I think, like you said, consistency and you’ll even without knowing, I think the results are there.

Yeah. One, 2%. I know it’s been big for us in the marketing side too. Just doing the podcast, putting out regular content and we’re not even close to where we’re where we’re headed here. We have a lot of plans for content in the marketing side, but I’ve already noticed we’ve landed probably almost ten new clients already this month and we land a lot of new clients. But the the like the common message that they’re giving us is thank you so much for the content. Thank you so much for the information. You know, your guests are awesome and their businesses are awesome. Were watching the podcast and going back and watching it again. We’re giving it to our management team to watch it and so we’re having some of that authority come into play for us, which has been awesome. But more importantly, the value is there for the for the customers, you know. And I think when they can see that value and like, I mean, I know for me, like if I was thinking about spending eight G’s on a, on a paint job and I saw burgers and his wife, they’re just normal people and they’re just they’re just over here at this event. It makes me feel really comfortable knowing that they’re there. People in the community, they’re just like me. I see their faces and yeah, just just creates that social proof, like what you were saying. So congrats on that. What type of follow up marketing are you guys doing to existing clients or unsold estimates, things like that?

Yeah. So we currently we have some email campaigns that are on automation. I think most contractors at this point do something similar. I would like to add text campaigns to that. Unfortunately, our current software doesn’t really support it, but so we’re working on a solution for that. I do think that’s that’s pretty crucial to have. But yeah, so just some, some good email campaigns that go out either after we completed the the project or even if they chose not to, to select us as a contractor, we’re still going to kind of keep ourselves top of mind.

Yeah. Just keeping them in your ecosystem, right? We’ve been doing that at Cardinal, too. Like, I mean, I’ve got to say, even though I’m a marketer and I’m a sales type of person, we’ve we’ve failed to implement proper follow up systems at Cardinal. And I think it’s because we’ve relied so much on our front end lead generation and how I could, you know, I feel like I could generate unlimited opportunities at any time and any, any day, any season. But that also puts a crutch in place because it has this culture of not relying on follow up as much and because it’s so easy to generate new leads. And I was talking to one of my coaches a couple weeks ago. This was last week on Wednesday. And he was talking about and he goes, do I think I think you could probably get like 60% more business if you would just follow up on these. And I’m like, okay, so I got with our team here and we’re trying to do those things. So do you feel like the follow up side? I feel like it’s a really missed component in our industry. Like I’ve seen like in the forums, like in the painting contractor Facebook group, people are saying, hey, look, if they don’t want to do business with me and they’re not going to call me, I ain’t following up. And I’m like. Bro. Like a beautiful woman. And you were single, you know, at a restaurant or whatever. And what are you going to think that she’s going to follow with you? Oh, did we follow up? Right. We reached back out, you know. Yeah. Do you feel like that has really helped you guys as business from like just increasing the close rates as well?

Yeah, for sure. Whether it be automated follow ups before we win the project or those phone call follow ups that were scheduled after we did an onsite schedule, follow up phone call, you know, whatever it may be, it may be the 10th follow up, but we’re going to we’re going to keep following up until they say no or or something along that line. So that is kind of implemented. We’re pretty big on follow up. But you know, you also mentioned something about coaching and I think that’s crucial for all business owners know. I’ve always had a coach painting industry related coach since I started for the most part, and even at this level, you know, a franchise coach. So I think, you know, professional athletes have coaches. So I think if you want to be successful in whatever you’re doing, you know, get you a coach.

Yeah, get you a coach, man. Get you someone that knows more than you. Right. It’s like I’m not sure where that fell through on on our industries. But, you know, I think it’s coming around for sure. You know, I think I think previously, like historically I don’t think the level of information was as accessible as it is now. You could probably find someone that’s literally doing, you know, $15 million a year in their business and pay 700 bucks a month to get access to them. You know, like 20 years ago, that wasn’t the case at all. I mean, you know, so and obviously, you know, I imagine you guys have that that level of coaching, mentorship, etc., within the franchise. Right. I think you’re mentioning something about that, too.

Yeah, we have we have an industry related coaching as well as kind of in-house coaching, if you will, on more so of our systems and processes that we use on various different things. But yeah, we have, we have coaching. It’s just ongoing support for each location just to kind of get them going really quick. And then as they scale in each phase of the business, someone that’s, that’s been there before is, is there to help.

Yeah, that’s very cool. Okay. Do you guys do anything special on production day that creates raving fans? This question is really cool for like a project management or operations perspective here, I think. I think a lot of times we focus on making the sale, doing better marketing, and we don’t you know, we don’t focus as much on how to make the customer feel really happy. You know, there’s clarity on communication. Is anything specific that you guys do on production day that just kind of makes the customer feel welcome? You know, there’s clarity, expectations, things like that.

Yeah. So, you know, our model, we don’t have dedicated project managers. I’ll, I’ll say that we, we utilize the team leader along with the sales personnel the estimated hour so they’ll both be there day one to walk around with the customer. And that’s that’s not only just to kind of get everything on the work order, correct, but it’s it’s also there to establish and build relationship between those three or four individuals. So now as far as specifically, like do we say or do this? Not really. It’s more of let’s show up, let’s be personal. Let’s let’s build a relationship.

I like that. I’m hearing a theme, too, around building a relationship, whether it’s in the production day sales. I imagine that’s something that you guys focus on is really developing an actual relationship with the customer.

Yeah, I think it’s key because you know, you said the term raving fans and I think that’s going to be the way to get there.

Yeah. I mean, how do you end up with 200 something five star reviews if customers don’t rave about you or, you know, when you leave, they don’t call their sister and be like, oh, my gosh, like, you should see this fascia board. Wow. Like they repaired this wood and whatever, you know, like if you don’t have someone raving about your company like that, I mean, there’s no way you guys are going to have that many referrals. I mean, it’s just going to be impossible. And their Raven, I mean, they’re, you know, they’re talking about you to their sister or they’re, you know, when the husband gets home, they’re like, Honey, oh, my gosh. Like, I’m so glad we chose this company. And they’re just raving about us. And I think what’s really cool, like I want to touch on this a little bit is, is the relationship shot side because and it’s hard to do it as an owner, right? Like okay obviously a you and I know if we were talking to customer, we could probably develop this relationship and we could, you know, we could do so well, right if we sold this. And, you know, but as we as we scale the company like and maybe you could touch on this real quick as as we scale and as the owner is not involved as as much and customer facing stuff or whatever, how do we build that relationship still?

Yeah, that’s definitely tricky. And it’s it’s an ongoing thing. You know, from from the way we typically approach it is, is Monday morning staff meetings. And that’s just something we discuss often with the sales team and just kind of reinforcing that vision. And, and this is who we want to be and what are we doing to, to be that love that.

All that, man. Now, hiring related. Did you guys hire people? Oh.

Yeah.

You guys hire a veterans only? Or like, is it veterans only at the companies or is it veteran owned only?

Yeah. So veterans own only. We do have veterans, obviously, and we try to hire every veteran we possibly can. But that would that would severely limit our growth. Just being honest with you. Yeah. So we take what we can get them, but we also we hire across the board.

Okay. Now, how do you guys hire? Like, how do you interview? How do you on board? How do you train? You know, I imagine some of the training could be protected from IP perspective under the franchise, but share where you could share and specifically around like how do you guys like your hiring process and templates interview question and tech training? Like how do you guys find good people and make them great?

Yeah, there’s a lot that goes into it a lot. So I mean, we do have dialed in. Maybe it’s a ten page document with check boxes on from all the way from when you make the initial phone call and do a phone call interview all the way until their five year performance review. So we do have that kind of built out to kind of each employee has their own and we’ll go through that entire process up until the the fifth year mark and then we just continue on with those performance reviews. As far as acquiring them, I think that’s just like anyone else in the industry, right? We’re going to use whatever we can. Indeed, Facebook jobs, your local Sherwin-Williams Benjamin Moore store or whatever that may be now to keep them, to keep employees engaged, keep the culture where it needs to be. You know, we do a lot of things. So bonuses is one. We do Taco Tuesdays every month, right. So you quarterly outings and we usually go pretty big on those outings, you know, charter fishing.

Oh, your veterans, man. I mean, come on, do it. Like if you guys win, small man, I’d be. I’d be questioning the whole veteran thing. No.

Yeah. So so we really we really want to give back to our team, basically, and just give them everything we can. And that’s going to keep that culture and something I’ve always followed as I wanted to build a team that I wouldn’t mind working in myself, you know, in a job that I would I would mind coming to work every day. And, you know, it’s it’s hard work. We’re painting, it’s hot, it’s hard work. But, you know, I love this team. I love this company. So that’s kind of our goal and that’s kind of what we built it based on.

Yeah, for sure, man. Yeah, I love that. Okay, so if we can carry on about the culture thing, so how do you build an amazing culture? I mean, obviously you spoke to some of the things quarterly, quarterly outings, things like that. If you could share some more insights on that, because I think that that’s that’s part of the professionalism here that, you know, that we’re doing. You know, I hear all the time, and I’m sure you do as well within the forums and different, you know, just from clients whatever. And I can’t find great people, you know, I hired this guy and he quit and like whatever, right? I mean, you just hear it over and over and over again. And I, I actually asked a question online. I said, you know, is there a hiring shortage or does anyone just want to work for you? You know, and I’m like and because I saw that, you know, ask somewhere else. And, and I was speaking to myself too, you know, I think people quit. I fat people, you know, tell us the things that we’re doing wrong. And, you know, so it’s it’s not about people being perfect, you know, it’s just about, you know, my opinion. I’m having some humility here. But like, how do you build an amazing culture? Because it can you know, it seems like from the outside in that you guys have a great thing going. I’ve been inspired by seeing, you know, like the growth from you guys. How do you build an amazing culture to end up where you guys are at now?

Yeah. Yeah. So I did mention a couple of things there, you know, outings and things like that and really giving back to the team in the form of gift cards and different events and stuff like that. But, you know, pay days off. There’s, there’s a there’s a handful of things you can do to kind of put back into your team and and in a way, keep them happy and keep them engaged and keep them, you know, like you mentioned, raving fans of your company. But also, they’re so you know, we spend a lot of time on.

Team members, right?

Yeah, right. We spend a lot of time on sales for customers. But, you know, I think a lot of people neglect the other side, which is your team. And even in the hiring process, you know, in a way we’re trying to sell, hey, you want to come to this company and this is the reason why this, this, this and this so similar to to selling to a customer. You know, you’re selling to these individuals, these painters who, you know, you want them to be a part of your team. And yeah, so it’s a constant giving back just like you would with customers. If you’re following up with customers, you know, you’re following up with your team.

At times have changed, that’s for sure. You know, it’s but you know, it’s for the better. You know, you know it’s for the better we’re given. I like what you said, though, too. It’s like you try to focus on building a atmosphere, an ecosystem, a culture that you would want to live in. You know? And I think it’s so important as as we’re as as owners, as we’re building these businesses, you know, are we building them in such a way where if we work there, we want to be there, you know, and sometimes sometimes we have to take a hard look at ourselves and be honest with ourselves as business owners, painting business owners. Do we have a painting company? Whether you got four guys or 400 guys, would you really want to work there? Would you want to clock in 9 to 5 every single day, go out there, serve your customers, be happy, happy, happy. You know all this stuff, right? Like, would you want to do that? And if you’re honest with yourself, I think a lot of us would probably say no, you know. And have you ever felt that way, you know, where you want to work for Paint Corpse when you first started.

Yeah, of course. And you know, when I did first start, that’s what I was doing for the first few months, right? I was I was in the field painting and so I got to experience July in Tampa, Florida and things like that. So it really kind of showed me in a way like, okay, well, this is tough. So what can we do to kind of offset, you know, how hard this job is? Because anyone we hire, anyone we train, they’re really going to be giving it 110% and just out there killing it each and every day. So what can we do to kind of keep them keep them in the group, keep them in the team and stuff like that?

Yeah. Yeah. Okay, cool. So last couple of questions here. This one is my favorite one to ask honestly is what is the best advice you’ve ever received? And then what is the worst advice? So we’ll start with what is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Huh?

It can be professional. It can be personal. Whatever it is, whatever. Any mine.

Best advice. That’s a tough one. I feel like I should have been prepared for this. So best advice. Probably. Yeah, probably. Just don’t hesitate and do it right. Just throw yourself at something. Just. Just jump in there. You know, there’s in my past, especially in my military career, there was some opportunities that because I was scared, basically, I was scared I couldn’t do it or I wasn’t fit enough or, you know, I couldn’t run 12 miles without stopping, for example, Ranger School and then joining Special Forces. Those are two things. At the time, I was like, I don’t think I have what it takes, right? So I judged myself there. And then I had some friends who went Special Forces and basically they were like, you could have did it then, like and so that that really hit home. And so that was a huge lesson for me. You know, whatever I’m up against, just throw yourself at it. Just. Just get out there and do it.

I love it, man. Okay, so what is the worst advice you’ve ever received?

Oh, worst advice.

You probably heard a lot of it. Like, you know, if you’re anything like me. Yeah.

I’m not sure on this one. I’d probably be here for the next 20 minutes.

Hey, it could be not not signing up to be a patent course franchise. I mean, I mean, that could be one of the worst pieces of advice. Yeah.

I don’t know. Yeah, I don’t know. I’m going to have to pass on this one.

Okay. So last question here. What is the greatest insight that you can share with our audience that has helped you find success in your painting business? And again, those guys on here that are our friends that are I mean, there’s veterans on here, those guys making, you know, probably 300 grand this year that are still painting themselves, got to workers. And then you also got guys on here that are doing seven figures. But what’s an insight from you? I mean, you’ve built this amazing business. You’re starting to franchise it. You’re doing some amazing things for our community, for our state, for for our country here. What can you share with just one insight that would be beneficial to our audience?

Yeah. So, I mean, probably just just join something that’s bigger than than yourself. You know, it’s really going to reinforce your vision. And what you’re trying to do for me was joining Veteran Service Brands. And now we have a large collective veteran team with 500 plus years of combined military experience from every, you know, every branch of the service, all ranks, and just phenomenal group of business owners across the board. I’m able to see their success just and it’s just great. And you know, we’ve had G force send us big commercial projects and and vice versa. We’ve sent Mach one plenty of projects. And, and so just being part of something bigger than yourself and a big team, you know, whether it be all veteran or whatever your thing is. Right? Just, just be something a little bit bigger than yourself and and you’re going to find it. It’ll, it’ll make you wake up 4 a.m., 5 a.m., have coffee and really get to it.

I love it, man. Well, hey, there’s also some some resources for you. There’s the PCA is available. So if you’re if you’re by yourself out there, if you’re a painting contractor and you find this on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, whatever, and you’re listening to this on the replay here, just know that there’s a PC out there. There’s a family. There’s a community out there for you. There’s there’s Paint Corp. If you are a veteran and you want to get involved at a franchise level, we’re starting the service legend Inner Circle, so we’re going to be masterminding every single month together with guys like myself. Burgess You know, you know, things like that. There’s community out here, guys, and I love that you close with that here because I think so many times in entrepreneurship it’s lonely, you know? And if we’re not really immersing ourselves with others that are like minded, going in the same direction, etc., it can feel really scary out here, you know? So I love that, man. Thanks for the advice. Thanks so much for your time and we’ll see you guys next week. See you guys.