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Why This Insurance Executive Left His High-Paying Job to Invest in Fresh Coat

Brad Burgess, an Ohio-based owner of the residential and commercial painting brand, recently purchased his second territory.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 6:18PM 03/14/23

When Brad Burgess decided it was time to take control of his destiny and invest in himself as a business owner, he started looking at different career paths. Around the same time, he happened to be remodeling his house and was struggling to find a qualified and reliable painting company. Soon, Burgess discovered Fresh Coat Painters, the 170-unit residential and commercial painting franchise, and started looking more into the company and the franchise opportunity. The rest, he says, is history. 

Before Fresh Coat, Burgess spent 25 years in the insurance and data analytics space. “That has really been my life,” he said. “I worked with a couple of great companies within insurance, selling data to underwriters so they could get a better idea of properties on their insurance books. I managed around $30 million in revenue within the largest insurance carriers across the U.S.”

But Burgess says being responsible for that much money can get taxing after a while, especially when you are working for someone else.

“Even though I had great success, it wasn’t my success,” said Burgess. “In sales, you are only as good as last quarter. I didn’t have control over the customers I worked with, and I was always unsure of the future. I wanted to build something for myself.” 

Burgess began looking into the franchising space, and after realizing how difficult it was to find a good painting company in his market, he came across Fresh Coat Painters. “I really learned about the brand out of necessity,” he said. “I needed a reliable painter, and I couldn’t find one. I knew it shouldn’t have been that hard to find a good painting company, and when I discovered Fresh Coat, it felt like a great opportunity to fill a gap in my market.”

The more Burgess researched the franchise opportunity, the more he loved what he saw and knew he could leverage the brand’s proven systems and support to succeed. 

“Humans are inherently mavericks — we all have our own way of viewing things,” said Burgess. “As a first-time business owner, it can be fun and exciting, but you don't always know what questions you should be asking. With a franchise like Fresh Coat, you can have that entrepreneurial mentality but still have a system to fall back on, whether it be the quoting software they provide or the established relationships with vendors and suppliers. Ultimately, from a business perspective, I knew the margins were there and there wasn’t a market leader in my area. I wanted to be that leader.” 

Burgess bought his first territory in the Medina County area of Ohio in late 2020 but continued in his corporate insurance position. Soon, Burgess says he realized he couldn't put in the necessary time he wanted because of his career. So, he decided to double down and purchase the nearby Hudson territory in order to build up his business and make it his sole focus. 

“I met with the original Hudson Fresh Coat owner and made him an offer two years ago,” said Burgess. “We talked back and forth and came to an agreement in July of this year. Hudson is one of the leading organizations in the Fresh Coat system. That's the nice thing about franchising — having other franchisees that you can talk to and learn from.”

Since then, Burgess says everything has been going great, and he is excited to continue bringing a new level of professionalism to homeowners in his community. “We are very focused on growth and making things more effective,” he said. “We are on track to bring in over $2 million this year, and we hope to achieve $3.5 million next year.”

Now, with plans to cross the 200-unit mark this year, the Fresh Coat team is looking to help more passionate and qualified entrepreneurs like Burgess to achieve their goals while expanding the brand’s footprint across the country. The Fresh Coat team has identified several markets that are primed for franchise development, including Florida, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Missouri.

“In order to be iconic, we need to be industry-leading in our customer service, our franchise system, our business model and our size,” said Fresh Coat President Tara Riley. “In five years, we want to be the number-one painting company in the U.S. We know that means we have to find the right franchisees, help them grow profitable businesses and continue to expand our footprint. Now, as we achieve those goals faster than ever, the time has never been better to join the Fresh Coat team.”

The total investment required to start a Fresh Coat franchise ranges from $53,850 to $76,750, including the $44,900 franchise fee. For more information, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.