Color Masters Painting Inc.
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In 2006, Zeb Hadley founded Color Masters Painting Inc. as a commercial and residential painting company. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, Color Masters works with general contractors to provide top-notch quality and services to clients.
Taking the first step
Hadley began his company as a power washing firm in 2003. While still in college at North Carolina State University, Hadley began by going door to door offering his power washing services. Within a few months Hadley was working for general contractors in the local Raleigh area and was forced to hire two employees to help keep up with the increase in demand due to the expanding housing market.
In March 2006, Hadley began subcontracting out residential paint jobs. Once again, within months, the demand for his paint services grew exponentially and he hired eight employees to aid in the demand for his services.
By 2008, Color Masters was serving hundreds of central North Carolina homebuilding contractors and residential customers. When the economy and the local housing market began to decline that same year, Hadley viewed it as an opportunity to diversify and hired a commercial painting estimator to recruit new, profitable work.
Color Masters has grown into a national company serving clients all over the United States. “We have 100 employees in the field and 15 in back office management,” says Hadley. “We provide our workers with new, safe trucks for the amount of traveling that we do. I’ve acquired contractor’s licenses that allow us to work in more than 40 states.”
With a 15 percent overhead, Color Masters produces a volume of work that allows the company to remain competitive. “We are able to work with smaller margins, which helps us to compete with smaller guys that might not have the same amount of overhead,” Hadley explains. “Most of our work is retail, but we do a lot of local commercial work as well such as schools, universities and hospitals.”
As of May 2015, Color Masters has more than 65 contracts with one of the largest box retail stores in the country. “We’ve also been working on a church here in Raleigh that is a multiphase project,” Hadley explains. “We’ve been awarded that contract for more $100,000.” The company is establishing itself with big brands and recently completed jobs in Virginia and West Virginia with Kroger – one of the largest supermarket chains in the country.
Color Masters self-performs 90 to 95 percent of its work. When the company does hire subcontractors, it relies on a solid network of companies it has grown to rely on and trust over the years. “When we have training days they actually come here to our safety training sessions and they are taught skills just like one of our employees would be,” says Hadley.
One of the most valuable assets that Color Masters has gained over the years are its loyal clients. Customers know that they are able to call on the company when in a bind and Color Masters will be there to help out in any emergency situation. “The fact that in certain situations we have the capability to help our customers out at the last minute is one of my favorite aspects about this company,” says Hadley. “We have a lot of clients that really depend on us and in some situations they can’t choose Color Masters because someone underbid us. However, it is not uncommon for them to call on us to come finish a job that someone else started, knowing that we will take care of their needs without raising the original price.”
The plan for the near future for Color Masters involves substantial growth. The company projects a 20 percent increase in annual revenue in the next two years and a 50 percent increase by 2020. With cautious optimism about the economic future of the country, Hadley says that the only way to survive is to show up and do your best every day. “It’s a different world we live in today, so it can be tough to gauge what’s going to happen next,” Hadley explains. “We try our best to do what we do every day and if something out of our control challenges us, then all you can do is your best to adapt and survive and be prepared for the next new challenge.”
While Color Masters, Inc. progresses into the future, the company’s proven track record is testament to its ability to adapt and survive. By continuing to impose the business practices that have allowed the company to thrive, Color Masters will continue to set the bar in quality and service while continuing to be a leader in the industry.
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