Jeff Hill - CEO of SilverStar Garages

Date: APR 10th, 2013

Topic: Interview with a CEO

BeTheBoss: Tell us a little about your concept.

Jeff Hill: SilverStar Garages is Canada’s first mobile garage renovation franchise. Canadian homeowners are changing the way they see their garages. More and more people want a beautiful yet functional garage. SilverStar Garage franchisees are supplied with the skills and products to service this ever growing housing trend.

BTB: When did you get involved with SilverStar Garages?

JH: We started our company in the Fall of 2010. Ben Wood (SilverStar co-founder) had 6 years painting experience and was looking for a way to stand out from the crowd. He discovered what would become the SilverStar coating system, a unique and advanced concrete coating system. Concrete coating evolved into a full service garage finishing company that is SilverStar Garages.

BTB: What was your background prior to starting SilverStar Garages?

JH: In 2007 I graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a degree in Marketing, upon graduation I worked as a marketing rep for Canadian Pacific Railway, after a few years I moved back to Lethbridge and worked as an International Marketing rep for Green Prairie Int. I marketed forage products across Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In 2010 Ben Wood also graduated from the U of L, throughout university Ben worked as a painter for College Pro. Upon graduation Ben started his own painting company. In a desire to stand out from the crowd he began researching concrete coating systems, this research eventually turned into an idea for a full service garage renovation and coating company. Ben approached me with the concept and the rest is history!

BTB: What are the main benefits of your opportunity?

JH: SilverStar franchisees have the benefit of being a part of a new growing segment in the home service landscape. The garage is the “last frontier” in home renovation. SilverStar franchisees will benefit from innovative products and services in a low competition environment. A SilverStar Garages franchise is low cost with high margins and unlimited growth potential. As any of our customers would tell you, to have a SilverStar Garage is to stand out from the crowd.

BTB: Describe your ideal franchisee.

JH: Our ideal franchisee is a goal orientated and motivated. We can develop the skills you need to be successful, what we can’t develop is someone’s “motor”. A franchisee with big goals and the drive to achieve them will excel within our system.

BTB: Tell us a little about the garage renovation market.

JH: 30 years ago, developing one’s basement was not an automatic upgrade for new homeowners; today it is commonplace. We feel the garage is the last frontier of home re-finishing. More and more Canadian understand the value of a finished garage. Not only is a finished garage more aesthetically pleasing but it adds living space and functionality. In the next few years the need to finish ones garage will continue to grow amongst Canadian homeowners.

BTB: What have you learned while growing SilverStar Garages?

JH: Growing any business has its challenges, one of the biggest challenges we have in both our home market and while franchising is educating the market about what we do. As I mentioned, garage renovation is relatively new in the home renovation market. We continually need to educate our customers about the benefits and the products that we offer.

BTB: Do you have a mentor?

JH: When we originally began we had strong mentorship from a giant within our industry, we are so excited that this same mentor joined as an equity partner in the development of franchise. They bring over 14 years experience in coating and garages. Growing up both Ben and I were huge basketball fans, we both see Michael Jordan as a huge inspiration. Jordan wasn’t the most talented or athletic. He became great through hard work and determination. We try to “be like Mike” in this regard. Nobody will outwork us.

BTB: What advice do you have for people looking at getting into business for themselves?

JH: Research, research, research. When we started the company we looked at everything we could that might validate our idea. We looked at our market, home stats, and our competition. We went to trade shows, read blogs, magazines and watched home reno shows. Any investment that requires not only your money but also a your time should be taken seriously. Look at what your goals are, what you would enjoy doing and what company best fits the two.

BTB: Why should someone consider purchasing a SilverStar Garage franchise?

JH: A SilverStar franchise puts you in a profitable, niche business. Our management team has over 18 years experience in the Garage industry. We have seen it all; from 200 square foot single car garages to 30,000 sq foot coating jobs. SilverStar Garages is a low cost, high margin, niche business. We have proven the concept in both small and large markets. We have the tools to make you successful in a booming industry.