What do you do when you have been out of work for a year and nobody is hiring?
Ask Stuart and Tina Nokes.
“We just decided, ‘Let’s stop begging for a job and give ourselves a job,’” Stuart said.
That “job” involved taking over a business they had helped their son, Ryan, start a few years back. That business, the Five Star Painting Loudoun franchise they run out of their Ashburn home, was just named the best out of 150 franchises in the nation by its umbrella company, Neighborly.
Stuart and Tina received their award in September during the company’s annual international conference in Grapevine, Texas.
“It’s based on an algorithm of revenue growth and customer satisfaction reviews,” Tina said.
“We are truly honored by to be recognized by the Five Star Painting program,” Stuart said. “This has become a family business, as all of our sons have been involved in some way.”
The Nokes are from California and the whole family — including all four sons — have attended Brigham Young University. Stuart worked in the medical management business, being transferred to Northern Virginia from Florida. Tina holds a degree in advertising and had been home-schooling the boys when an economic downturn forced Stuart into a spotty job market.
Ironically, they had helped set up their oldest son, Ryan, with the Five Star franchise when Ryan had lost his job in telecommunications.
“They had given him a severance package, and we helped him get started,” Tina said. “Stuart had been out of work for a year, just doing some consulting and business coaching, and Ryan had gotten married and had a chance to take over some existing territories in Ohio.”
Tina had already been working “part-time” for Ryan, doing estimates and scheduling while the last two boys finished home-schooling.
“She was winning half the jobs,” Stuart said. “She was doing really well with it, so we started talking about buying it.”
They took over the business in 2014 and have seen it grow every year.
“We just set really high goals for the business and we continue to achieve them,” Tina said.
They said the other half of the equation — customer satisfaction — is something they take seriously, anyway.
“One of the things that’s unique about our business is we assign a project manager to every job site,” Tina said. “They check the job throughout its duration, and they walk through it with the customer, looking for touch-ups or anything they need to fix, before the painters leave.”
Formerly known as Dwyer Group, Neighborly operates more than 3,000 franchises across 21 service-based industries. In addition to Five Star Painting, Neighborly oversees Molly Maid, Glass Doctor, Mosquito Joe, Mr. Electric and Mr. Rooter. Five Star Painting Loudoun is one of more than 190 Five Star franchises in the United State and Canada.
The Nokes say they maintain high-quality standards by following systems and processes that they have developed and improved each year.
“We have eight crews that go out every day and they are all trained, experienced painters,” Tina said. “We rely on the technicians from Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore. We have them come to our meetings, and they will go out to a site with us if there are problems.”
They said they also have grown the business by moving into related areas, like decks and cabinets and helping homeowners add touches like crown moldings and wainscoting.
“Part of our success is the strength of the county itself,” Tina said.
“People in Loudoun County care about their homes,” Stuart said. “Loudoun County is growing and we are looking forward to growing with it.”
For more information, call 571-384-3937 or visit FiveStarPainting.com.3 comments