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A Day in the Life

Exams are done, and you’re excited to relax for the summer months… but after 3 days you’re bored out of your mind. So you’re searching for “summer employment”… and things are looking grim. What about being a summer entrepreneur instead? That’s our world at College Pro, and here’s insight into the typical day of a College Pro entrepreneur.

8:00 am – An entrepreneur needs an early start in the morning, which means that there is typically coffee involved in a functional day. Luckily, Sherwin Williams paint stores have this covered, and have coffee in store for the College Pro Painting entrepreneurs to grab while they pick up their paint for the day. Considering this daily trend, it’s no surprise that the paint store employees know the College Pro team by name.

8:15 am – Double check your schedule for the day. Entrepreneurs have to stay on top of this, a lot happens every day – and memory alone is enough.

8:30 am – At the first official stop of the day, paint is dropped off and customers are greeted, while crews are briefed on their responsibilities for the job.

9:00 am – A quick stop at the bank, because keeping track of finances is one of the most important responsibilities an entrepreneur can have (a little more coffee doesn’t hurt either).

9:03 am – Pull over to plug an address in to the GPS; a busy entrepreneur’s best friend.

9:30 am – College Pro entrepreneurs are typically students, and they (like anyone) need regular coaching. That’s why it is so important to keep up with weekly GS&R (goal setting & review) meetings with College Pro to make sure that goals are being reached and questions are answered.

10:00 am – Estimate number 1 of the day… success, job booked!

11:00 am – College Pro entrepreneurs in their 2nd or 3rd summer often have production managers to help run the business smoothly (as they continue to grow their business), and it’s important to have regular meetings to make sure that everyone is on the same page (plus, some more coffee)

12:00 pm – College Pro entrepreneurs control a limited turf for their business, so it’s inevitable that certain lunch spots will be regular favourites, either way, it’s time for food.

12:30 pm – Pop over to Dollarama to pick up a receipt book; did I mention, organization is key!?!?

1:00 pm – Check up on some crews that are close by to make sure everything is on track for the day.

1:30 pm – Trip to Starbucks to log some information online and manage a few bookings and scheduling conflicts (coffee anyone?)

2:30 pm – Visit a customer to follow up on a job and ensure that everyone is happy.

5:00 pm – Another estimate for an interior paint job. After about 20 estimates, they become second nature for a College Pro entrepreneur.

7:00 pm – The final estimate for the day, it’s time to book a big job!

7:30 pm – Realize that this schedule doesn’t include the many, many phone calls made throughout the day to fellow franchisees, crewmembers, customers, managers, and the paint store…but all in all, this was a pretty quiet day.

10:00 pm – set alarm to do it all over again tomorrow!

The life of an entrepreneur is non-stop… but it might just be the way of the future!

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blog_1

Franchisee makes a difference in Seattle

When Magnolia homeowner Clay Newlin, decided to create a clean and modern look for his recently purchased home, he turned to College Pro Painters, and Franchise Owner Trey Cranney, for his exterior house painting.

Clay liked that College Pro Painters is a business managed and crewed by mostly college students. Trey Cranney, a junior in the business school at Gonzaga University, painted with College Pro Painters last summer.  After undergoing a through and rigorous selection process, Trey was chosen to lead the Queen Anne and Magnolia area College Pro Painters’ franchise. Trey is learning hands-on the ins and outs and ups and downs of running a small business.

“It’s rewarding to take what I am learning in my business classes and apply that to helping homeowners receive a high quality paint job and experience. I love the customer relations part of my work,” said Trey.

College Pro Painters provides intensive training for its franchise owners, and, as a 41 year old program developing entrepreneurs, invests and stands behind delivering a guaranteed top quality product.
Homeowner Clay Newlin enthused, “I am really happy with the job College Pro Painters did.  Working with Trey was really enjoyable. He takes great pride in his work and it shows”.

Great work Trey!

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estimate

2014 College Pro Season Underway

As the new year began, so did our team of 2014 College Pro Entrepreneurs.

We came together for our annual Leadership Conference to work on core skills, share best practices and spend time with our peers.

Our CEO, Tony Valle, framed the event with two key pieces: (1) Brand Experience and (2) Promises.
“We are only as good as a Brand as the sum of our promises kept” he said, and went on to challenge the group to really deliver on the promises they make in their communities around North America.

Apart from our general sessions, each entrepreneur engaged in 3 advanced skill sessions to help grow on the success of their 2013 business to achieved their 2014 objectives.
Sessions Included:
—Business Planning
—Maximizing Performance & Productivity
—Leading Performance
—Marketing 2.0
—Financial Management
—Recruiting & Leading Employees
—Advanced Selling

So, who makes up College Pro you ask?  This zany group of focused, innovative and hard working people.  Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but for those who take it on and really make a run of it, it can be life changing.

We’re excited for the business season ahead.

If you’ve got somebody in your network that has the entrepreneurial spirit, connect them with us using the following link: http://collegepro.com/apply

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mike

3 Local Organizations Benefit from College Pro’s Donations

Events October 16-18:  3 Local Organizations to benefit from College Pro’s donations of time and supplies

3 of the US divisions of College Pro Painters are participating in 3 different events from October 16-18, in 3 different cities across the US as our way of giving back to the communities in which we serve.  We could not be more proud to have partnered with The Center for Victims of Torture in St. Paul, MN, the Autism Society of Illinois in Lombard, IL, and the Reading Food Pantry in Reading, MA for these events.

Alex Calof, College Pro’s Regional Business Manager for our Upper Midwest Division, and his team are donating their time to shop for and put together a donation box to drop off at the Center for Victims of Torture (www.cvt.com).

The Center for Victims of Torture is an organization in St. Paul, MN that works to provide supplies for victims in need.  Many of the torture survivors they serve are asylum seekers, so they do not qualify for any public services, and are not allowed to have paid employment during the months before they obtain work permits.  Their social workers appreciate having specific personal care items and storable food staples available to give to the clients.  Some of the personal care items include toothpaste, tooth brushes, soap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, and combs and brushes; some of the storable food staples include water packed tuna, sardines, green lentils, oatmeal, bags of rice, peanut butter and cans of tomato paste.

Casey Clark, College Pro’s Vice-President for our Midwest Division, and his team are donating their time to work with the Autism Society of Illinois (www.autismillinois.org) to help them put together important business packets for a mailing they are planning.

The Autism Society of Illinois (ASI) was founded more than 30 years ago for individuals with autism, parents, families, professional, corporate partners and friends. Their objective is to provide education, training, individual assistance and practical support for parents; increase public awareness of autism; offer a referral network of professionals. They understand that autism is a lifelong disability, and ASI is there to provide support and advocacy, and to increase awareness and acceptance throughout the state of Illinois.

Dave LeVeque, College Pro’s Regional Business Manager for our Great Lakes Division, and his team are donating their time to work with the Reading Food Pantry, and the Old South Methodist Church, to help them organize the food pantry and sort through the donated canned goods.

The Reading Food Pantry is located at the Old South United Methodist Church (http://oldsouthumc.org/transform-the-world/).  The “big white church on the green” is a center of community activity as well as Methodist worship.  An essential part of being United Methodist is the belief that what you do with your faith, here on earth, really matters, and they are passionate about social justice, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and caring for God’s creation.  The Reading Food Pantry serves food to the needy twice a week, and provides groceries for over 80 Reading families.

College Pro Painters has helped thousands of young entrepreneurs realize their dream of becoming small business owners over the years, and we have also been a very strong presence in the communities in which we serve, coming together to donate our time and do something good for communities across North America through a variety of local and national initiatives.  Since 2004 alone, our Alternative Spring Break events have taken place in Oklahoma City, Denver, Spokane, Tampa, New Orleans, Nashville, Bend, Pueblo, Louisville, Philadelphia and Kansas City, providing over $1,000,000 in services, equipment and materials.  We strongly believe in partnering with community organizations that strive to improve the communities in which they serve.

Thank you for embarking on these events to improve the lives of people in the communities in which we serve!

 

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entrepreneurs

Anatomy of a College Pro Entrepreneur

Since 1971, College Pro has been developing entrepreneurs across North America.
Our training program has long been called a “Real-World MBA”, and is the core of our fundamental belief thatentrepreneurs start here. Our mission is to provide exceptional leadership and management training to entrepreneurs through real-world business experiences. In over 40 years of successfully leading thousands of entrepreneurs through their very first business  experience, we have a highly effective process by which we systematically train, mentor and support them to succeed.

Before we ever get into training and devleoping a new entrepreneur, we need to select the right person.  Over the years, technology has changed as has the market, but the core characteristics that make someone a successful entrepreneur at College Pro have remained constant.

Here is an infographic showing the Anatomy of a Successful College Pro Entrepreneur:

infographic_entrepreneur_anatomy_2  Anatomy of a College Pro Entrepreneur infographic entrepreneur anatomy 21

If you think you’ve got what it takes, we’d be happy to share more about our program and connect you with College Pro alumni who are happy to share their story.

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blog_8

National Painting Week

National Painting Week kicked off yesterday, April 15.

Spring is often a time of renewal and new beginnings, and a time when homeowners really look at their homes through a different lens, thinking of creative ways to improve and refresh their homes without necessarily spending a lot of money.  Painting the interior or exterior of your homes can create an entirely different feeling of the space, and can be the most cost effective way to change the appearance and increase your home’s value.  In fact, according to the National Home Color Survey from Sherwin-Williams, 62% of homeowners are planning a painting project!

To help people jump-start their home improvement projects, Sherwin-Williams is celebrating National Painting Week starting on April 15, 2013, and they have create a website, NationalPaintingWeek.com,  which will feature color inspiration, painting ideas, expert tips, product information, and one-of-a-kind projects from 14 design bloggers.  You can also play around with Sherwin-Williams color visualizer tool here, and can actually pick a home style that matches yours and choose colors to use so you can visualize how your home will look once it is painted.

If you want some help or advice from the professionals, our College Pro Painters franchise managers can meet with you to provide tips and advice on what could work well with your particular exterior project.  You can schedule your free estimate by calling us at 1-800-32-PAINT, or 1-800-327-2468, or can schedule it online atcollegepro.com.

Please click here for Sherwin-Williams’ press release on National Painting Week, titled:  Homeowners Looking For Colorful Home Improvements This Spring.

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deck stain

Tips on How to Stain Your Deck

Your deck can really suffer and take a toll from year-round exposure to the elements—wind, rain, sun, snow, and foot traffic.  Your deck’s finish will inevitably start to wear off, leaving the wood looking old, peeling, weathered, and battered.  If the wood loses its protective layer of stain, the harsh elements can eventually split or rot the wood.  For these reasons, maintaining your deck is extremely important, and it does take a bit of work.  If you have a weekend to spare, here are some tips for how to stain your deck.  If you are not the “do-it-yourself” type, College Pro Painters specializes in exterior staining and painting, and provides free estimates to do the work for you!

 Inspect your deck:  The first thing you need to do is figure out if your deck needs to be refinished.  It is sometimes very obvious that your deck needs a fresh coat of stain; however, the simplest way to test if your deck needs a fresh coat of stain is to drop several drops of water onto the deck.  If the water beads up, the deck is still protected and doesn’t need to be refinished now.  If a drop soaks into the wood, it means the old finish has worn away, leaving the wood unprotected. This means that it is time to stain.

 Get the necessary supplies and products:  If you have determined that the deck needs to be refinished, you should head to your local Sherwin Williams store for some advice on what products to choose.  If you have determined that you want someone else to do the work for you so you can actually enjoy your weekend off, the experts at College Pro Painters can also help provide advice on what products to use, and can provide a free estimate for the project.

 Prepare the surface:  Before you start the work, everything must be removed from the deck, including furniture and potted plants.  If you have any delicate or fragile plants near the deck, cover them loosely with a tarp or drop cloth.  Next you should sweep off any loose debris with a broom, and sand any splintered areas, repair damaged boards and hammer in popped-up nails.

 Clean the Surface:  Many different deck cleaning products are available, and some offer a special bleach formula for eliminating mold, mildew and algae. Be sure to follow the instructions on the cleaner to ensure you let it soak into the wood long enough (typically about 15 minutes).  First, clean the deck using a garden hose or a pressure washer to spray the surface of the deck, forcing away dirt, dust, oil and grease. Be very careful when using a pressure washer as the pressure you choose may damage the wood.  Apply the cleaner, and let it soak for the required amount of time.  After the cleaner has been allowed to soak, rinse the deck thoroughly with the hose or pressure washer, and scrub any tough areas with a stiff brush.  Let the deck dry completely before starting the staining process.

 Apply the Stain:  This is the fun part!  A big tip to ensure success is to not apply stain in direct sunlight as you want the stain to absorb properly and not dry too quickly.  You should start by applying a thin, even coat of stain using either a paint roller with an extension handle, or a spray applicator as that provides the most even application.  Be very careful and do not allow the stain to puddle as it can lead to uneven coverage.  Repeat this process until the entire deck is covered, using a paint brush to cover corners and other difficult areas such as steps, railings, board ends and cracks. If necessary, apply two coats of stain.  You should wait a couple of days to allow the stain to dry completely before allowing anyone to walk on the deck, and before putting any furniture or potted plants back on the deck’s surface.

 Clean Up and Regularly Maintain the Deck:  Once you have applied the stain, the last thing you need to do is clean up!  Clean up varies depending on the product you selected, so ensure you read the manufacturer’s product information carefully.  Keep in mind that a new deck should probably be refinished every six to 12 months; however, as your deck ages, the stain lasts longer so you don’t have to refinish as often.  If you have any questions on if it is time to refinish again, test the deck by dropping water on it to see if it is absorbed (the first tip above).

 These tips should help you if you decide to stain your deck yourself.  If you read this and decide that you would much rather have a free weekend to yourself, the experts at College Pro Painters can stain your deck for you.  Contact us at collegepro.com, or 1-800-32-PAINT (1-800-327-2468) and we will give you a free estimate!

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window cleaning

How to Properly Clean your Windows

For May National Home Improvement Month, Some Tips on How to Properly Clean your Windows

Nothing renews your home’s sparkle like bright clean windows.  This is a home improvement project that can instantly reveal the brightness and light you have been missing, and make a huge difference in how you feel about your home.

Window Cleaning all the interior and exterior windows on your home is also a home improvement project that you can do on your own if time allows, or you can choose professionals like College Pro Window Cleaning to do for you.

Window Cleaning is a science.  There are many ways to clean your windows, and the experts at College Pro Window Cleaning have created a “7+1 Step process” to ensure clean, streak-free windows.  They have created a “How to Clean A Window” video to explain the process steps below in detail.

  1. Wipe down frames and edges
  2. Wash the window
  3. Dry the 1st two edges
  4. Squeegee the window
  5. Dry the final two edges
  6. Wipe away any excess water from frames and sills
  7. Inspect
  8. Buff the glass

Following the steps above will ensure that you get a clean, streak-free window.  If your project is too large or time does not allow you to clean your own windows, you can contact the experts at College Pro Window Cleaning for a free estimate, www.collegepro.com or 1-800-268-4248.

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