Gabriel Toupin was working in the painting industry when the perfect business opportunity presented itself to him. Spray-Net, the painting company he worked for at the time, had a franchise territory available in the North Shore suburb of Montreal. Toupin, who had long dreamed of business ownership, jumped at the opportunity to own his own painting business.
“I always wanted to be my own boss,” he recalls. “Franchising was an opportunity to create my own schedule and have my own employees but with a system that has already been created and tested.”
Toupin was also a big believer in the Spray-Net concept. Unlike most painting companies, which specialize in interior painting, Spray-Net offers homeowners a permanent exterior paint solution. “When most people think of exterior painting, they think of wood but we actually don’t even paint wood,” says Carmelo Marsala, who founded Spray-Net in 2006 when he was just 19 years old.
Prior to becoming a franchisee with Spray-Net, Toupin worked for the company’s corporate head office, doing everything from sales and marketing to processing paint orders. Today, as a franchisee, Toupin’s primary role is to market Spray-Net’s services to prospective clients. His enthusiasm for the concept makes this his favourite part of the job.
“When I’m out there speaking to people, transmitting my passion for this company, that’s what wakes me up in the morning. I just love to make other people feel the way I feel about it,” he describes.
In addition to sales and marketing, Toupin’s day-to-day responsibilities include meeting with potential clients to conduct on-site estimates, managing and supporting employees, providing customer support and aftercare and working with suppliers.
Toupin says a major perk of being a Spray-Net franchisee is the ability to set his own hours and work from home. Franchisees also benefit from a complete turnkey system. “They give us all the tools we need to be successful.”
Although Toupin has many years of experience in the painting industry, he says you don’t need a painting background to succeed as a Spray-Net franchisee. “We’re not looking for someone to do the paint jobs,” he says, explaining that most Spray-Net franchisees hire professionals to do the painting. “We want someone who can get the jobs and make sure the jobs get done well. We want people who are going to be motivated and work hard, who will put in the time and effort that will pay off in the end.”
New franchisees receive one week of classroom training followed by unlimited on-site training. Toupin has nothing but praise for the support offered by head office. “They’re behind you 100 per cent in all of your decision making.”
Toupin’s advice to new franchisees it to follow the Spray-Net system. “Spray-Net has done all the trial and error. They don’t want you to go out and make mistakes, they want you to learn from the mistakes that have already been made.”