Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A. Rite Painting: is a high end residential/commercial painting contractor, focusing primarily on previously painted surfaces. We are located in Kenmore, WA and we service: Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Bothell, Edmonds, and Mill Creek.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
1. Mark Lane: President of Rite Painting, started painting houses when I was sixteen, this allowed me to get through collage with no debt. Graduated from Western Washington University, with a BA in Economics/Finance in 1990. After collage, I spent a year skiing in Sun Valley, ID where it met my wife. I finally settled into a career as an outside sales person for 12 years, primarily selling to the electrical industry. In July of 2003 I started by company and we’ve been in business ever since.
2. President of the Seattle King County PDCA 2016-18
3. Major projects to note: Pier 54 downtown Seattle, Extreme Home Makeover, Public Storage, Pembrook Meadows 48 building town home community. Numerous single-family residences throughout Puget Sound.
Q. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)?
A. I was tired of working for someone else who took credit for my successes and through me under the bus for my failures.
Q. How did the idea for your business come about?
A. Mostly by accident, I was looking to buy a business and fell back on my painting skills in the meantime. Our company started becoming too big to be a fallback position, so Rite Painting was born.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
A. Set your business up to be saleable, from day one. In other words: accounting, CRM, field communication, etc.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. Flexibility, Leadership, Team Building.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
A. Hard work, and the ability to change quickly.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business?
A. Our primary source of revenue is through our raving fans. Our customers promote us by word of mouth and Facebook. We also get a large number of our customers from, the chamber of commerce, rotary, and Letip. Finally, our website drives a lot of business our way.
Q. What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A. Word of mouth.
Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?
A. Our company has always operated at or near debt free.
Q. How did you obtain investors for your venture?
A. No partners or outside investors besides my partner and wife.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A. Be accountable, work harder than then everyone around you, and always maintain a proper balance between work and family.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
A. We will quadruple our company over the next three years; all the systems are in place to exponential growth as well.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A. Starbucks, Howard Schultz has done an amazing job of getting more profitability out of a simple thing like a cup of coffee better than anyone in the universe. In addition, Starbucks goes out of the way to ensure employee’s come first. Where else can you work 20 hours a week and get full benefits?
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
A. Mission critical, without talented workers we’re merely just another painting contractor.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
A. Depends on the idea, usually not very long if it’s preforming outside of the expected parameters.
Q. What motivates you?
A. Time! I’m in the process of laying out systems that will remove myself as the owner. In other words, the company will operate and make decisions without a central decision maker.
Q. What are your ideals?
A. Work hard play hard!!
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
A. Surround myself with people who are way smarter than me and ride off their coat tails.
Q. How do you define success?
A. The ability to do and have time to, whenever I want!!
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
A. Do what you say you’re going to do. Stay top of mind after the positive experience.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A. Anytime we finish a project and the client is thrilled.
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A. Ability to think independently.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization?
1. It’s a fun/hardworking culture we try and balance both the best we can.
2. Paint it Forward: last fall we painted the interior of a home for a single mom who had been through a rough divorce and a brutal car accident.
Q. How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
A. It’s how I live my life so it was a natural fit.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
A. Never Dull (sorry two words)
Q. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
1. Hire more employee’s sooner.
2. Let unwanted employee’s go quicker.
3. Put in systems and automation sooner.
Q. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A. If anything, it’s improved it.
Q. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
A. Not delivering on a project.
Q. How did you decide on the location for your business?
A. It’s where I live
Q. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
A. Somewhat, work hard, and change before your forced to change.
Q. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
A. Lee Iacocca – I’d like to know how he was able to revolutionize every company he ever worked for.
Q. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
A. My Dad
Q. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
A. Rich Dad Poor Dad
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A. Trust without verification and advancing employee’s too soon.
Q. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
A. Hiking, biking, water skiing, snow skiing, kayaking, and camping.
Q. What makes you happy?
A. The outdoors
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
About Rite Painting: Rite Painting has been serving the Puget Sound for over 10 years. Home of the 7 Year Material AND Labor Warranty! We used the best paint and the best available painting tools on the market. Whether you are painting a room or an entire house, our goal is to make every painting experience a positive one! We give you detailed estimates in a timely manor. We finish on time, as promised followed by Spotless “don’t-lift-a-finger” cleanup. Book an Estimate!
Company Name: Rite Painting
Address: 7534 NE 202nd Pl. Kenmore, WA. 98028
Contact No.: (206) 229-8313