When Cliff Hudson decided to start his own Fresh Coat franchise eight years ago, he knew nothing about the franchising or painting industries. But by working with a supportive corporate team and network of knowledgeable franchisees, Hudson was able to successfully get his business off the ground.
Now, Hudson continues to grow his Fresh Coat business throughout the Tracy, California area. 1851 Franchise recently spoke to Hudson to learn more about his life-changing decision to invest with Fresh Coat, as well as his advice for other entrepreneurs looking to follow in his footsteps and break into the franchising industry.
What was your perspective about franchising prior to joining?
Before breaking into the franchising industry, I didn’t have a good grasp of what it was all about. But because I have a MBA, I’m inclined to do a lot of research before jumping into anything new. I liked the idea of joining a franchise system because of the support system that it offered, and thought that the painting industry would be a good fit for me. My gut was definitely right—Fresh Coat brings a respectable brand name and level of legitimacy to my business that it wouldn’t otherwise have. They really helped me transition into the business, and that’s what franchising is all about.
What is the top thing you think people don't understand about franchising?
Even though you’re buying into a franchise, you still need to learn how to run your own business. Working as a franchisee gives you the unique opportunity to work on a business rather than in it, and that’s definitely a key to your success. That’s what stood out to me when I first bought into Fresh Coat—I didn’t want to buy a job, I wanted to buy a business. Understanding the industry and knowing my role as a local owner has made all the difference.
How has being a franchisee changed your life?
I really love owning my own business. And now we’ve grown to the point where that business ownership is helping other people realize their professional dreams. It’s very rewarding when I get a call from a bank or someone asking about my guys so they can buy a home or a car. That’s how being a franchisee has changed my life—it’s put me in a position to help other people support their families.
Why did you decide to franchise with Fresh Coat?
As I was looking at other franchises in the industry, Fresh Coat simply stood out as the best option. Its strong reputation and superior services were something I needed in order to get my business off the ground. The cost of entry was also very good—I didn’t feel like it was prohibitive. I didn’t have to spend all of my money right off the bat. And Fresh Coat’s military discount was also attractive to me.
Why should other entrepreneurs buy a Fresh Coat franchise?
The support from the corporate team and other franchisees in the system is second to none. Being a part of Fresh Coat is like being in a family—you can grow your business with the help of people who have come before you and experienced their own successes and mistakes. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel when you can learn from other people in your same shoes. When I first got into franchising, I didn’t have any knowledge of the industry, so that support system has been invaluable.
What advice would you have for someone looking to become a franchisee?
It’s absolutely essential to learn and understand all the aspects of the business, including building it from the ground up and the numbers behind it that make it run. For Fresh Coat franchisees, this business isn’t about painting a house. Instead, it’s about getting the right people on your team and following the right business model. In order to be a successful business owner, you have to set the correct standards.
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