Paint Your Way to Success

**FRESH COAT PAINTERS** [] ( [] ( Fresh Coat Painters serves residential and commercial customers from more than 120 locations nationwide. The company offers a 24/7 customer service center, online scheduling, in-home color design consultations, and detailed quotes. All painters are bonded and insured employees. Fresh Coat was founded in 2004 by Ralph Martin, a veteran, as part of Strategic Franchising Systems, based in Cincinnati. Currently, about 25 percent of its franchise locations are owned by veterans, and more than 25 percent of its corporate employees are veterans. In the last year, Fresh Coat has been included in Bond’s Top 100 Franchises and named to Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® list. Fresh Coat is a member of the International Franchise Association, VetFran, and Minority Fran; and is listed in the Small Business Association’s Franchise Registry. As a $100 billion industry, the painting industry offers opportunity for individuals to recognize significant returns. Fresh Coat is always looking for new franchise owners and has been growing over the past few years. Fresh Coat is a portable, home-based business; and franchises can be started almost anywhere in the United States. Its next area of expansion focus will be the western United States, primarily California, Colorado, and Washington. Fresh Coat dedicates 10 percent of its recruitment budget to recruiting veterans. The company recruits at military job fairs and networking events and promotes its opportunities through publications such as _Search & Employ®._ The company offers discounted franchise fees and financing assistance to veteran franchisees. Fresh Coat understands the business and cultural benefits of actively recruiting military. The camaraderie and relationship-building that veterans experience in the military set them up for success as franchise owners. Veterans succeed through franchise ownership because the training, discipline, and focus instilled in the military transfer smoothly into the process-driven structure of franchises. ###A VETERAN SUCCESS | JORDAN GALLIMORE Through Jordan Gallimore, a veteran of the United States Army and a franchise business consultant, Fresh Coat has formed strategic partnerships with local military offices. For example, the company provides entrepreneurship learning opportunities through a partnership with the Ford Hood Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) Jordan Gallimore served in the Army for 12 years, separating as a staff sergeant. His performed his main duties as a human resource specialist and recruiting station commander. He’s now a Franchise Business Consultant with Fresh Coat Painters, connecting with potential franchise owners to help them achieve their goals of becoming a business owner. He started working at Fresh Coat in July 2014. He credits his military experience and opportunities for helping him find civilian employment. “Through Army Recruiting Command, I was able to do a lot of networking and community service, allowing me to meet and connect with business professionals in the field,” he said. “My experience in human resources also provided me with great perspective into customer service, which is really what Fresh Coat is about.” He said that it is never too early for active-duty servicemembers to start networking, and it is important to take advantage of any education opportunities in the service. “Good networking skills have provided me the biggest help since I transitioned into civilian life,” he said. “Following the plan was crucial in the military,” he added, “and that is just as important when running a franchise. The skills that you learn in the military are instrumental when navigating the franchise system. The franchise lays out a clear plan and model for you to follow that resonates with a lot of veterans.” A great work ethic also pays dividends in both places, according to Gallimore. “One thing you have to encompass in your attitude is that failure is really not an option,” he said. “It wasn’t an option in the military, and shouldn’t be in civilian life, either. The military teaches you great work ethic that can transfer to any job and make you successful.” Gallimore immediately felt comfortable working at Fresh Coat. “When I was interviewing with companies determining the right fit for me and my family, Fresh Coat felt like a home,” he said. “The company has a personal, family environment where I feel comfortable and treated as an individual, rather than just a number. Fresh Coat does a great job of building relationships with its employees, within its corporate offices and with franchise owners. “A conversation I have with all potential franchisees is to make sure the company you’re franchising with is a good fit. You have to evaluate the business model and ensure it’s going to give you what you need professionally and personally.” Gallimore advises servicemembers who are planning to leave the military not wait until the last minute to decide their next step. “The biggest piece of advice I can give is to start early in the process,” he said. “If you know you are getting out in a year, start looking at future careers and setting goals. This allows you to be proactive in your decision with a company, instead of reactive. You can make the best choice for your family and not be reliant on what options are left.” Doing your research is also important. “The biggest thing I could recommend for someone looking to be a franchisee with Fresh Coat is to do your due diligence,” said Gallimore. “Come check us out. There are no commitments in initial meetings. I would recommend franchising to veterans looking to finally achieve their dream of being able to own their own business. Our franchisees find a great sense of empowerment being their own bosses and taking control of their lives.”