10. What does an average week look like?
College Pro is a system that is designed for full-time college students. The College Pro spring-time commitment is equivalent to being involved in a varsity sports team, being an active member of student politics or having a significant part-time job. Summer becomes a full-time position, and a franchisee’s time is very dependant on how fast they learn, lead, and implement changes.
The rookie College Pro franchise managers who have completed their first training session (which usually takes place in the winter time, on a weekend) will be out in the field marketing their business and doing estimates. Our typical franchisee would spend approximately three weekends a month (some more, some less) in their area doing estimates.
We encourage all our managers to take on the College Pro challenge of leadership, as well as citizenship. During spring break, we ask our franchisees to forego their typical spring break to go and learn how to paint while giving back to community organizations and individuals who are not able to afford paint services. We coordinate this training, and it usually takes place in a more moderate climate during March. We find that this is a win/win situation. Our people are trained on painting while connecting to organizations and homeowners in need. We encourage our franchisees to bring this charity work back to their communities in some sort of project during the summer, and to encourage them to have their painters apply for the College Pro "Working for Humanity" scholarship.
During the summer, our typical rookie franchisee is very busy the first 3-4 weeks of the summer. They are getting their equipment, training their painters, gathering their supplies, and learning hands-on (most of them for the first time) on what it means to hire and lead employees. Our first year franchisees are often surprised to find out that "everyone doesn’t just do what you’d like them to do!" This is often the most challenging time for our rookie franchisees as they are working with clients and employees for the first time, while continuing the marketing of the business. It’s not unusual to see the franchisees working 60 – 80 hours a week as they "get used to" their new responsibilities.
Typically, once the franchisees gain some experience and skill in balancing their workforce, clients and marketing, the job becomes more manageable. Some franchisees never quite implement an effective time management strategy and stay working 60 – 80 hours a week all summer, while some do a great job of hiring, training, and setting up of expectations of their work force, and move into the 40-50 hour a week part of the job after a few weeks.
The more effective franchise managers are working 20 – 40 hours a week later in the summer, as they have already booked most of their jobs, and have trained their painters.