Nick May

S4 E2 – Running a Successful Family Paint Business: Gina Koert

Family First

Today on The Brush we have Gina Koert of Shamrock Painting Inc. Gina Talks about running a family business that has now stretched two generations! Gina also talks about the commercial side of painting and gives insights and tips from maintaining employees to commercial practices.

S4 E1 – Rebranding & Hiring via Facebook: Andrew Gaudet

Third Time’s a Charm

Today on the brush we have Andrew Gaudet of Raven Painting, in Canada! Andrew is back for his third time on The Brush. Andrew goes over hiring workers on Facebook to his recent re-branding.

S3 E12 – How to Sell a Million Dollars Using Facebook: Nick May

Join Nick as he talks live from Denver all about Facebook and how to use it to make more money.

S3 E11 – The Pros & Cons of Franchising: JD Mason

To Franchise or Not to Franchise

Today on The Brush we have JD Mason of Emerald Pro Painting! JD stopped by the office to check out Nick’s operations at Walls By Design and the two sat down for a great chat on the pros and cons of franchising.

JD grew up in Utah, about 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, and loved being out in nature. He’s got three kids, two boys, and a girl, but he and Nick both agree that weathering the teenage years has its challenges. Now, he’s based out of North Carolina and is expanding Emerald Pro Painting across the country.

JD spent ten years in a paint store as a paint manager and outside seller, and he loved working with contractors. Five years ago, JD was recruited by a national franchise group and he did corporate training for them. He then started his own company with some of the systemized approaches he learned in corporate and focused on commercial and light residential work. But he had a non-compete contract with his former employer, a huge national franchise, and he found himself relocating to North Carolina, which he really liked and adapted to.

Emerald Pro does cabinet refinishing, exterior painting, and interior work, and JD loves getting creative with customers to fit their need. His model is starting with a subcontractor who moves into a full-time staff position. Right now, with his training here in Denver, he has ten franchises! He loves fine-tuning the systems and training and team building and all of that, so he’s in the right business. But it can be frustrating when franchisers don’t follow the system.

Listen to learn more, and connect with JD via email at jd@emeraldpropainting.com

The Business Brush Updates

Want to grow your business? Connect with Nick May and painters all across the country for

S3 E10 -Digital Marketing Strategy: iMayMedia

iMayMedia Web and Marketing with Tyler and Chandler

Welcome back to The Brush! Today we’re ecstatic to have two members of Nick’s iMayMedia group to talk all things digital. It’s a great look at iMayMedia, our new media company specializing in audio, video, web, and digital marketing.

Gone are the days of canvassing, mailers, and cold calling. Now, being successful in the digital space is the kicker in getting new clients and growing your business. We’re talking SEO, SEM, web development, concise writing, and creative solutions to showcase the unique aspects of your paint contracting company.

On the podcast you can also get to know Chandler, iMayMedia’s web developer. She’s originally from Nashville and became an expert on web development — wait for it — on her own time. Tyler’s been a mainstay at Walls By Design and iMayMedia for years now, and will be speaking again at CRANK 2.0. Don’t miss it!

The Business Brush Updates

To connect with other paint contractors, grow your business, make more money and free up more time to spend with friends and family, join The Business Brush Facebook group!

Don’t forget, CRANK 2.0 is quickly approaching. It’s a one-stop-shop for growing your business, here at iMayMedia headquarters in Denver, CO. Click here to learn more.

As always, reach out to Grant@imaymedia.com to be featured on the show.

Thanks for listening!

S3 E9 – Growing Pains + Finding Success: Christian Militello

The Pains of Success

Today on The Brush we have Christian Militello of Militello Painting. He’s a contractor based outside of Philadelphia and a family man with a really interesting perspective on hiring, time management, and building a business.

In his free time, Christian is into softball, golf and coaching his kids’ sports teams. He loves to hang out with family and friends at the beach and in the Poconos. As for his favorite car, he’s partial to ’57 Chevys.

His family has ties in industry: his grandfather was a Korean war veteran and became a jack-of-all-trades handyman, and the knowledge was passed down to Christian. In high school and college, Christian played baseball instead of going to class many days and hoped to become a professional athlete. When that didn’t work out, though, he fell into painting and was surprised to find that he enjoyed it so much. After a few jobs, he worked as a painter for a friend he knew through baseball. Luckily, the two maintained a friendship that has lasted to this day. Chris did learn a few things when painting: how he should act as a boss, the pros and cons of being in charge, and how to weather tough times.

Today, Chris employs eight painters and is partnered with Angelina, his wife, who has worked with him for about seven years sending out invoices, answering phones, doing payroll, and so forth — all while raising the three kids! He also has three foremen and could use a crew leader. But he’s slated to hit about a million dollars for the first time ever this year! (And the first million is the hardest to hit. It took Nick about 17 years.)

The two chat about growing pains, like adding new expenses and staffers that aren’t directly income producing. Chris is focusing on being present at expos and events, starting a sales training program, and putting more thought and energy into hiring. They also dive into hiring processes, training, and marketing strategies.

Thanks for coming on the show, Chris! To learn more, visit his Facebook page and head over to www.millitellopainting.com! Don’t be a stranger — reach out to him to learn more!

The Business Brush Updates

Want to come on the podcast? Reach out through the Facebook page or directly to content manager Grant Stringer at grant@imaymedia.com.

Head over to The Business Brush Facebook page to get involved and grow your business.

And don’t forget about CRANK 2.0! Click here to learn more.

S3 E8 – Custom, High-End, New Build Projects: Dustin Zupancic

 Customize Your Business

Today on The Brush we have Dustin Zupancic of Dreamscape Painting! His firm specializes in high-end, custom, residential jobs and works closely with builders.

Dustin hails from outside of Vancouver B.C., and when he’s not working, he loves spending time outside with his three kids. He loves to cycle when he has time, but unfortunately, he’s recovering from a back injury and just injured his knee. Instead, he’s planning on brushing up on his salmon-fishing skills.

Nick met Dustin at this year’s PDCA in Galveston and had a great conversation on The Brush.

Today, Dreamscape is a team of eight painters, including Dustin’s Dad and brother-in-law, as well as a part-time office assistant and soon to be an operations manager. Dreamscape’s niche is the ultra high-end residential project. Last year, his team finished up a 17,000 sq. ft. house and put 11,000 hours put into it. And the year before, they worked on a project for two years! The rest of their work is medium-higher end homes, and Dustin is actually planning on servicing smaller homes to keep his guys busy.

Dustin says he’s excited to transition from his nitty-gritty oversight role and focus more on his vision for the future. A big challenge for him is scheduling with builders: in big-project situations, you have to have enough people to respond quickly to builders’ needs, but if you have too many people and projects get delayed, that can be a bad financial situation.

Listen to learn more, and connect with Dustin at www.dreamscapepainting.com and on Instagram @dreamscapeptg!

Come hang out with Nick and contractors from all over the country for CRANK 2.0! Over twenty folks have already signed up, and we can’t wait to connect with all of you. And don’t forget to connect through The Business Brush Facebook page.

See ya next week!

S3 E7 – All About the PDCA: Chris Shank

The PDC What?

Today on The Brush, Nick is joined by Chris Shank of the PDCA! He’s their education director as well as a deep thinker and overall excellent human being who is here today to break down his philosophy at the PDCA.

The Painting Contractors Association, or PDCA, is our industry’s membership organization whose mission is to help build businesses and connect folks with each other in a non-competitive way. The PDCA is a non-profit group, which means — as Chris says — that the PDCA is not trying to get any money from anyone! They are there literally to be useful.

Chris has had a really interesting path to his current position. He studied criminal justice as an undergraduate and earned his Master’s in theology and education, and has worked as a social worker and in various nonprofits over the years. He’s spent three years at the PDCA and quadrupled their educational content in that window.

Chris gets us up to speed on what the PDCA is up to these days: a “member to leader” series focusing on business leadership and getting people involved; various training courses; live webinars; themes for every month (next is industry standards); a podcast (Paint Ed, which Nick has appeared on!) and videos in a video catalogue. They also help with accreditation and connect contractors in a non-competitive and non-confrontational way to share knowledge. There are chapters, councils, and regional events as well as the national expo. Plus, Chris facilitates conversations that are intended to benefit business at specific levels of growth and revenue; it’s all about education to help people help themselves to the next stage.

He prides himself on being a great listener and on his ability to facilitate knowledge-sharing between paint contractors — although Chris emphasizes that he is in not the guy to give advice about how to run your business because he’s never run one himself!

At the PDCA, podcasts are free and membership is $399 per year — and Chris emphasizes that, even if the PDCA doesn’t have the answer to your business question, they’ll connect you with someone who does.

Chris prioritizes trust shining through in not only the PDCA’s role as a non-profit but in creating relationships in the industry. He says that in today’s “trust economy”, contractors who aren’t trying to extort folks will win the day and even forge relationships in the industry. That’s what we’re all about!

Head over to the PDCA’s Events page to get in the know, and reach out to Chris via email at CShank@pvca.org!

S3 E6 – Paint Stores 101: Linc Bigelow

Find Your Local Retailer

Welcome back to The Brush! Today, Nick continues his series of speaking to owners of paint stores and chats with Linc Bigelow of Colorize. Here’s the episode to learn more about how paint stores operate and how to cultivate a successful business relationship with them!

Linc is based in upstate New York, and loves the journey of raising his kids in that beautiful part of the country. Colorize is part of the Benjamin Moore network, and Linc points to a whole host of positives that they have brought to Colorize: an army of trainers, data analytics, and a ceaseless supply of paint. Now, 18 months after co-opening Colorize, Linc and his partners are opening a second store. Congratulations!

Linc offers his perspective on why Benjamin Moore should be everyone’s paint of choice, even though they are a bit more expensive than some competitors. All of their competitors are corporate, whereas BM stores themselves are independent, and that very relationship means that there is a challenge for independent operators like Linc: the BM product line is much more vast than anyone thinks it is, and Linc says it is their job to educate folks on why BM paints are the best. Because there’s no doubt that they are.

As for marketing, Linc says it perfectly himself. “We do a lot on social media, because that’s where all the attention is, and the price is right!” He adds: “Social media is kind of the way we’re approaching our stores. If you don’t have a lot of money to throw at it, you do have time and effort.”

Listen to learn more, and connect with Linc via Instagram @mycolorize and on Facebook.

Apply to The Business Brush group! We need folks who are engaged and active to ask the good, hard questions and help all of us learn how to run a great business. Join for conversations on marketing, video, sales processes, and even what books folks are reading! If you want to have a group of guys that will help you take your business to the next level — all totally free — apply to join the group today.

Connect with Nick via Instagram @nickmay.co, or on Facebook!

And give us a review on iTunes!