February 10, 2017

Meet the Team: Mike and Lynette McNairy of Douglas County, CO

Armed with years of expertise in the automotive industry, this dynamic couple decided that it was time for a change. Learn about how Mike and Lynette discovered Creative Colors International and what their experience has been like since launching the franchise.

What was the catalyst for deciding to own a Creative Colors International (CCI) franchise?

Mike: Honestly, it was Lynette. At the time, we owned an auto repair and collision shop with another partner for eight years. Lynette is a bookkeeper and was managing the books for us. She was the one who was interested in trying something new and started to explore options. I had pretty much accomplished everything I had wanted to with the auto repair shop and Lynette was very excited about Creative Colors International, so my partner bought us out of the business and we opened the franchise.

Lynette, what was the process like on your end?

Lynette: Once I decided that it was time to make a change, I worked with a coach through The Entrepreneur Source who helped evaluate my skills and interests. We discussed my goals and what type of a business I may want to develop. From there, we looked at several franchise options to find one that was a good fit.

What were the things that most attracted you to Creative Colors International? Why not a different franchise?

Lynette: For me, it was about being out and meeting with people. I wanted to find something more hands-on that would allow me to use a bit more creativity. It needed to allow me to work flexible hours without being tied to my house or any one location. I also wanted it to be scalable, so I could start the business and grow it to three or four employees in a short period of time.

Mike: Lynette was very excited about Creative Colors International, and I wanted her to find something that she was would enjoy doing. Having been in the Air Force for 21 years and owning the repair shop, the other thing which interested me was the Franchise is very supportive, yet not overly restrictive.

How did the decision impact your lifestyle?

Mike: We have the chance to work together and see more of each other, but aren’t constantly with one another. I also enjoy the freedom to go out and do things locally, such as serve as an Adjutant at the local American Legion Post and on the board for the Douglas County Veteran’s Monument Foundation.

Lynette: Since I’m the technician, I’ve been doing more of the hands-on work, so the flow of my day has changed. I enjoy working with the customers and having that flexible schedule which allows me to create my own workflow. For instance, it snowed last night, and I stayed in until it was safe to head to the job site later in the day.

What tips can you offer to someone who is considering the Creative Colors franchise?

Lynette: My biggest tip is that you should like working outside! If you don’t enjoy being outside, this is not for you. Also, focus on an area of specialty that you enjoy working. Our experience was automotive, so that was a good fit for us. However, there are many directions in which you can take the business.

Mike: What you put in is what you get out! You’re going to work hard in the beginning to get good at it, but it will be worth it in the end.

What is it like when you do a repair job?

Lynette: It’s interesting to think about because you don’t realize the impact the repair will have on someone. When I was first practicing, I worked on my parents’ chair which was probably 30 years old. The repair looked good and they were just so happy to have it restored! You don’t realize just how ecstatic people are to be able to enjoy and use their things again. That’s one of the things that I really love about the business — the people are all just so happy with the results when you’re done.

What is it like working with the other franchisees?

Mike: Everyone is always willing to help. In this company, they are very tight with each other and the perspective is that there is enough work to go around, so everyone offers support and is willing to talk you through any aspect of the business.

What is next for the two of you with Creative Colors?

Lynette: Well, it’s only been a year and we’re already considering if it is time to hire another technician. That’s been the plan all along, but we’re excited that it is already happening.