Corporate America Convert
Former Senior-Level Exec Trades the Boardroom for Brushes with CertaPro
April 01, 2008 // Franchising.com // (Cornelius, NC)---After working for over two decades for various building materials corporations, Jace Gates found that even the best office perks – like flying on the corporate jet – did not give him the personal and financial satisfaction he was looking for.
For 17 years, Gates worked for building materials manufacturer Louisiana-Pacific Corporation in roles ranging from financial analysis to business development before accepting a position with London-based Hanson PLC as the general manager of sales and distribution for North and South Carolina. Though Gates enjoyed his work, traveling four days per week and having to uproot his family at a moment's notice did not sit well with him. Gates knew there had to be a career out there that would allow him not only financial fulfillment but personal satisfaction and flexibility as well. He found all of the above in CertaPro Painters, the largest residential painting company in North America.
Gates knew that a painting career would be a big change, but his prior work experience in sales and marketing management proved extremely helpful in getting his business off the ground. Unlike Gates, not everyone looking into owning their own small business has prior management or other corporate expertise, which is why he stresses the importance of thorough evaluation not only of the business but the business owner – you – as well.
"Many people want something they can really call their own but few fully grasp what that means," said Gates. "Anyone considering owning their own business or buying a franchise must first understand who they are and what they are capable of, then evaluate the market they'll be entering and the customer base they'll be reaching and lastly, decide which marketing strategy will be most effective in growing their new business. While other factors do come into play, understanding these three aspects helps make the transition from employee to employer as smooth as possible." Gates currently services the North Charlotte area from his offices at 18849 Old Statesville Road in Cornelius but may expand his territory in the future.
Oaks, Pennsylvania-based CertaPro Painters, an evolution of Canadian-based College Pro Painters, is the largest painting company in North America and the only large-scale, full-time, franchised commercial and residential painting business in the home improvement industry. CertaPro franchisees establish large-scale, regional painting companies backed by CertaPro's proven track record as the "Brand of Certainty" and a customer referral rate that exceeds 95 percent. CertaPro Painters has over 300 franchisees and more than 385 locations worldwide including the United States and Canada in addition to franchises in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Portugal and the Dominican Republic. The company expects to open 80 locations this year alone, working towards the goal of having more than 450 locations by the end of 2008. Though corporate America was Gates' home for much of his professional life, he is finding business ownership much more rewarding.
"CertaPro has extremely strong marketing appeal and brand awareness and is very proactive in meeting the market's needs," said Gates. "Given my professional background and my personal goals, CertaPro was a perfect fit for me and, depending on who you are, it could be the perfect fit for you, too."