Did You Know? College Pro President Rodney Larmand Started As A Franchise Manager

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Most students’ summer jobs are pretty much the same.

You show up. You put in your hours. You go home. And then you do it all again the next day. No matter how hard you work (or don’t work), you still get paid the same.

There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s how most people earn their living.

“I did very well as a student running a business. I became a GM to help coach and guide others to have an experience similar to mine.” —Rodney Larmand, President, College Pro Painters Canada

But some of you may be longing for a summer job that offers a little more…

A little more earning potential. A little more experience and responsibility. A little more risk and, in turn, a little more reward.

The experience and responsibility was what first appealed to Rodney Larmand about being a College Pro Franchise Manager when he was B.Comm. student at the University of Guelph. “We were all going to graduate with a commerce degree, so I wanted to get a bit more of an edge,” he says.

It was the earning potential – the reward – that kept him coming back, though. After a very successful summer running his own student painting business, Rodney returned the following year to continue his franchise. “I wanted to be able to pay for my own university. I returned for the ability to run my own business and make a good income.”

But then, he just kept coming back. He returned the following year as a Field Advisor. And the year after that as a General Manager. And as a Vice President of window cleaning and painting divisions in the years to follow.

He has been with College Pro since 1989 and, today, is the President of College Pro Painters Canada. “I did very well as a student running a business,” he says. “I became a GM to help coach and guide others to have an experience  similar to mine.”

College Pro’s “pay it forward” company culture

Unlike most presidents, Rodney has seen and done it all at College Pro. He has held every major role at the company, and understands both the challenges and opportunities for success at every level.

You may not know it, but almost everyone at College Pro has advanced within the company in a similar way, constantly learning from their superiors and passing on their knowledge to the next generation.

“As a Franchisee, General Manager, Vice President or President, you’re always working and learning from others sharing experiences and better practices, so even if you haven’t experienced something yourself, when you’re faced with a similar experience or circumstances you have a better idea of what to do,” Rodney says.

Did you know? College Pro’s CEO, Tony Valle, started as a successful Franchise Manager too! Click here to watch TalentEgg’s behind the scenes video with Tony.

Better practice learning and due diligence

College Pro calls this “better practice learning” and it starts before you even become a Franchise Manager: you are encouraged to do your own due diligence and speak with former Franchise Managers – successful and not-so-successful – to learn whether it’s right for you before you sign a franchise agreement.

The company does its due diligence on candidates as well, says Rodney. After you apply online, you’ll be asked to participate in at least three behavioural interviews, as well as an online assessment and reference checks.

“We’ll speak with family members and past employers to get a good picture of how they’ve handled certain situations in the past,” he adds. “Past behaviours do have an impact on predicting future behaviours.”

Think you can be the boss this summer? Take College Pro’s quick assessment test to see if you are cut out to be a Franchise Manager.

What it takes to be a successful College Pro Franchise Manager

Rodney says College Pro evaluates candidates so carefully because it takes a certain kind of student with a high level of motivation and drive to be successful.

Rodney (centre) poses with College Pro President’s Awards winners and CEO Tony Valle (far left)

“One of the things students who are looking at this position need to know is it’s not a position where you just show up – it’s your business. You own it. It’s 24/7,” he says.

Through extensive training and ongoing mentorship, College Pro equips Franchise Managers with the tools they need to succeed. However, Rodney says, the company and the General Managers who meet with franchisees on a weekly basis can’t force you to get out of bed each morning and follow the business plan that you’ve created. Every day you decide what and how you will achieve your goal.  It is very exciting to have the level of control in your success.

“You set this business plan – a weekly schedule of what you need to accomplish for the entire year,” he says. “Successful managers follow the plan and track it so they can learn and adapt along the way.”

A former Franchise Manager shares his experience: While he was an engineering student at Queen’s University, Gordon Gibson ran a successful student painting business, winning Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year awards. Find out what made him so successful.

That’s the trick, Rodney advises: the more estimates and other prep work that you do in the spring, the more successful you’ll be during the summer painting season.

“If you work really hard and follow your business plan, I know you’ll be successful,” he says. “But if you just work hard and don’t follow your plan, I can’t say if you’ll be successful. If you don’t work hard and you don’t follow your plan…well, you probably won’t be successful.”

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About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.