Beyond the Click Ep 5: Nathan Cashwell : Five Star Painting Greensboro


On this episode of “Beyond the Click” we’ll talk to Nathan Cashwell of Five Star Painting Greensboro. Check out the episode!

Listen to Episode 5

Beyond the Click Episode 5 Nathan Cashwell

Rob: [00:00:00] Beyond The Click is a show about small business marketing and more for attorneys, dentists, and other small businesses. I’d like to welcome you to the show today and who do we have on the show and what’s the name of your company? 

Nathan: Yeah. I’m Nathan Cashwell. The company is Five Star Painting of Greensboro.

Rob: Great. Welcome to the show, Nathan. 

Nathan: Thanks Rob. 

Rob: How’d you get into painting? 

Nathan: Well, I’ve been in construction design construction for about 20 years and just got tired of running the roads doing construction work all over the southeast. I. And was always looking to kind of start my own business. And then when we moved in 2013, I realized it was hard to get ahold of good contractors. So painters was one of ’em, you know, plumbers, electricians, and, you know, I just kind of had a light bulb that, [00:01:00] you know, with, with my background and and, and knowledge, you know, I could start a. Company that, that would be able to, to bring professionalism, you know, to one of those industries. And painting was one that fit really well with my background and knowledge and, and skillset. So it just kind of made sense and actually pulled the trigger in 2015 and we opened our doors in 2016, so it was kind of a longer process than plan, but it all turned out all right. Sure. 

Rob: Yeah, it sounds like, it sounds like you, you, you did, you had an interesting path how you were able to mesh your interests and background with a franchise in the painting industry, if you will, I’m sure you’ve seen all kinds of things. What are, what are some common problems and what are some trends that you see with your projects or in the industry in general? 

Nathan: Common problems. You know, I think there’s a misconception that paint is paint. . There’s lots of difference [00:02:00] in paints. Paint and primer is one of those misnomers, you know, that that’s a nice selling tool for Lowe’s and Home Depot. Okay. But people don’t understand what it actually means. You know, it’s not. Primer and paint mixed. It’s really just thicker paint. So you get better coverage and, and stuff like that. So I think, you know, understanding about the different types of products and processes and how to go about it correctly is, it’s different from the DIY. Mm-hmm. Just. Paint on the wall to a professional who wants to do everything right. You know, be professional, treat the client’s home or property, you know, the way it should be treated.

Sure. There’s a big, you know, gap there. Trends, you know, lately interiors, there’s a lot of white on white on white, okay. And, you know, and designers are kind of pushing that. And then high sheen where there’s a lot of sheen, it’s almost a mirror finish. . That, you know, that is, it’s beautiful, but I don’t think people understand the cost that comes along with that.

It’s very, very expensive to [00:03:00] do. And the white on white on white, we’ve done a number of those. I’m not particularly not a fan. It, it kind of takes on a institutional look and you don’t have definition between wall, ceiling and trim. You know, and a lot of homes, trim is, is, you know, beautiful. It’s decorative, it’s meant to stand out. You know, not only that, it’s typically more expensive ’cause you gotta do, ’cause white doesn’t have colorant in it, so it takes more coats to cover something. And then also it’s white. So if somebody touches it or it’s much more likely to get dirty or dingy and you know, I, if people wanna do it, that’s great. But I just try to give them some of this information upfront and if they still wanna move forward, you know, great. We’ll be happy to do it. 

Rob: So white on White on white? Yeah. 

Nathan: Okay. 

Rob: Yeah. Can’t say I’m much of a fan of that either. 

Nathan: It’s I mean it’s, you know, we’ve done some that I, it turned out it looked better than I thought, and that has a lot to do with, you know, scope and and scale and everything. . You know, it’s, like I said, it’s trendy. It’s, it’s called a trend for a [00:04:00] reason because it’s not gonna be in style for, for a long period of. 

Rob: Yeah. Here today, gone tomorrow. 

Nathan: Right? Sure. 

Rob: So, turning to kind of projects and, and kind of what can happen on them. Tell us about a client project that went sideways. And how you turned it around. 

Nathan: Yeah. Those are always ones you, you want to remember because you don’t wanna do again, but you also don’t wanna remember because of painful. One of ’em is a client, you know, was out of town. And we were painting while she was out of town. And we got the colors confused.

So what, you know, that she has children and they wanted specific color. So we got the, the bedrooms flipped, so. Everything, you know, was looking good, but then once, you know, I stopped by and started saying We got this backwards, so we were able to do it. We let her know what had happened and yeah, the extra cost of the paint material and, and the labor.

And she was fine with it. She appreciated our [00:05:00] honesty and forthrightness and you know, it turned out great and the kids came home. Happy. She was happy. So yeah, it was one of those that, you know, it wasn’t the end of the world, but luckily we were able to catch it, you know, and, and get it taken care of and let them know this is what happened and .

You know, we could have hidden it, but you know. They were trusting us and we were wanting to know what was going on. So, yeah. 

Rob: Yeah. As small businesses owners, we have opportunities to learn from our mistakes and Sure. 

And implement new processes and checks and balances. And ultimately, if we’re lucky enough, like you are, you can.

It’s changeable. It’s only paint, right? 

Nathan: It’s only paint. I tell people that if there’s a, there’s no such thing as a paint emergency, ? It paint doesn’t do much. So if it’s an emergency, you gotta call 9 1 1 or a plumber. If there’s a somebody other than us, we come in last. So there’s really no paint emergency, 

Rob: right. although I, I’m guessing some clients might act like there is a paint emergency. 

Nathan: [00:06:00] Sure, sure. And I, I understand. You know, it’s, it’s their problem. I’ve had worked in, at my house and, and, you know it’s a tricky thing. You, you know, you’re trusting somebody to do, treat your home or property the way, you know, you want it to be treated and right. So I understand, but you know, also having experienced knowledge and professionalism, you know, to, to kind of ease minds really does. It does help in the long run. 

Rob: Yeah, definitely. What marketing has worked best for your business? And I know that you, you’re in a franchise, so it’s kind of a, a special situation where, where you might have, where a an independent business owner might have some more freedoms in terms of how they advertise and what they do, and all of that, like how is that for you and what’s worked? 

Nathan: Yeah. It’s a good question. Because we are franchise, you know, we, we have to you know, have everything run by the franchisor and, and [00:07:00] approve, or they have to be part of the process. They don’t do any advertising for us. It’s all on us.

Okay. So it’s, you know, it’s local. I’m local. Sure. Everything is local except for the logo is, you know, is. Logo. Right. You know, starting out online was, you know, really the, the way people learn about us and still is the way a lot of people learn about us, but, you know, word of mouth, you know, once we get into the neighborhoods that, you know, we do some work in and people start to have signs and we got our vehicles wrapped and Yeah. You know, word of mouth obviously is the least expensive and, and usually comes with the most trust because, you know, their friend or their neighbor recommended us. 

Rob: Sure. 

Nathan: Finding us, you know, the, the average person finds us 95% of the time with a Google search, most likely. You know, we try to track all that, but a lot of people, they either, they either saw us and didn’t remember that they called the phone number from the sign or they go home and they Google. And so Google’s what tracks their, [00:08:00] their interest and not necessarily where they originally saw us. So it’s, it’s one of. You kinda have to have a feeling in terms of what’s working and track. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I’m sure in that situation you kind of have like a intake form that asks ’em kinda how you heard of us kind of a question. Yeah. Just so you know, you kind of backs up your feeling, yeah. And then we, we ask once we get on, you know, for the consultation, you know, how’d you find us? How’d you hear? Because if, you know, somebody referred us, you know, we’d like to know that too. 

Rob: Referrals are always great. 

Nathan: Oh yeah. For any business. Absolutely. Absolutely. So as we wrap up 

Rob: here, I have one final question. What’s a question I didn’t ask you and how would you answer?

Nathan: What’s a question you didn’t ask me? So what sets us apart, you know, from other, other painters? 

And that’s a great question. Thank you for asking that, Rob. . My knowledge and and background is one thing. So I’m bring, you know, a lot of knowledge and not only of painting aspects of construction. [00:09:00] So, If people are having a lot of work done, I can help them figure out when’s the best time for us to go, you know, and, and help them also find other, you know, reliable contractors that they can do work with. Mm-hmm. That we’ve worked with or clients have worked with. So we bring that to the table. But also trust you know, we a big part of our, of our business model is, is customer service.

Sure. You know, we’re, sometimes I say we’re a customer service company that. Provides painting services. So, you know, we wanna make sure that we’re, we’re understanding what the client wants, they’re understanding what we’re gonna do, right? We’re both on the same page in terms of expectations. You know, we, we have the top-notch crews that, that know what they’re doing and, and.

Really do a great job for the clients. And, and also, you know, we have a project manager and sometimes it’s myself. Sometimes it’s somebody else on the team that, you know, is, is part of the process throughout the, the whole process from the beginning to end? Yeah. We do a five star walkthrough at the end, make sure everything’s taken [00:10:00] care of, you know, if we need to do any touchups we can and, and just communication throughout the process.

We can communicate with you as much. Or as little as you want. . And somebody wants to be texted every time, you know, every day, a couple times a day, that’s fine. If they’re like, Hey, just, just do it. We trust you. Just get it done. . Then we can do that too. So it’s really a customer service experience that we’re providing. And at the end result, you know, you. Wonderful paint project or staining project or whatever it may be. 

Rob: Yeah. It sounds like a really excellent point of differentiation. Yeah. Just the communication from my experience with contractors of all kinds communication is key. In fact, I was expecting somebody yesterday and they never showed up and they never called.

Yeah, so, so I think, yeah, it can be, it’s in some ways it’s easy to differentiate yourself. In some ways. It might be hard for others. Yeah. To differentiate themselves. 

Nathan: Yeah. And unfortunately, you know, [00:11:00] when people hear contractors, I think that’s more of their experience, so that’s what they’re expecting.

So it kind of takes a little bit more to get out of that, you know? No pun intended, but not be painted with that brush. 

Rob: Painting service as opposed to a painting 

Nathan: contractor. Exactly. Right. 

Rob: Well, Nathan, thanks so much for joining us on the show. I wanna invite, invite, People of all kinds in small businesses, large businesses, to subscribe wherever they get their podcasts or watch a show on YouTube. Thanks again, Nathan. 

Nathan: Thanks Rob. 

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