A multiple winner of the Diamond Award in the Parade of Homes of the Association of Home Builders of Brunswick County, N.C., Alex García prides himself on having some of the most important builders of Sunset Beach, N.C., among his clients.
As owner and founder of García and Associates, he says the key to his success resides in his company’s quality work and professionalism and, especially, the Sherwin-Williams® quality products he uses. We sat down with García to learn how he has become one of the top painting contractors in his area.
How did you get started in the painting industry?
It’s hard to believe, but I never worked in construction or anything related. I worked as a bank employee when I lived in Guatemala, and in the United States I became a car salesman in Raleigh, North Carolina. Working endless hours at the dealership I noticed that my most successful Hispanic customers worked in construction. One of them who had a painting business asked me one day to temporarily manage his business and I said yes. It was a big opportunity for me. After a short time, not only had I learned the basics of the business but also wanted to open my own company.
How important is Sherwin-Williams to the success of García and Associates?
The builders that I work with require Sherwin-Williams. Not one of them wants another product. ProMar® 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex for interior and SuperPaint® Exterior Latex for exterior are the usual products I use. ProMar® 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex Semi-Gloss or ProClassic® Interior Acrylic Enamel are my options for interior trim. Our partnership with Sherwin-Williams is a key element of our success. Sherwin-Williams has stores five minutes away from any of my jobs and they have the product ready for me when I get to the store. My sales rep is there whenever I need him, and Sherwin-Williams stores offer unparalleled support when problems with customers arise, something that does not happen with competitors that operate under a franchise system.
How do you advertise your company?
We are focused 100 percent on residential painting, so the important thing for me is that our jobs must speak for us. Almost all the houses we have submitted to the Parade of Homes contest have won the first prize year after year. That is great marketing for us. That’s why the quality of our work and our attention to detail are our most important priority. And, of course, the presence of our workers. They are always dressed in white as they should be. Forget about coming with red t-shirts to work on a site.
What’s the best business advice that you’ve ever received?
It came from my father: Think of your workers, he said, you have to treat them as if they were part of your family. And it is true. Yes, I provide them with a job, but I am nothing without them.
Read more of what pro painters have discovered on the job in the PPC What I’ve Learned archive.