SP55: Restoring Your Brand: Nick Slavik

Screenshot 2016-06-26 08.57.50Nick Slavic, of Nick Slavic Painting & Restoration is a former Army Paratrooper who volunteered for two tours overseas after the 9/11 attacks. He fishes with a spear, grows his own food and has an accounting degree. I met Nick in early 2016 and immediately had a respect for him as a person and a businessman as I watched how he was building his brand.

Show Highlights

  • Nick calls himself a “Proprietor.”
  • Started painting in his dad’s business at about 12 years old.
  • After a disagreement with his father he went out on his own in 2007.
  • Nick’s philosophy is “Remove all excuses,” followed closely with, “Lead by example.
  • He has been called a “hipster”, but Nick considers himself more a man out of his time.
  • Nick still advertises pretty heavily in traditional newspaper ads which is still pretty effective in his area. He models them on “old-school” advertisements with a modern edge.
  • He works regularly with local photographers styling marketing images intentionally to look more traditional. This helps catch attention on modern social platforms like Facebook.
  • Nick knows his target market is 45-70 year old women and he adapts his marketing to appeal to this audience.
  • Nick differentiates himself from the competition by making the passion he has for this work abundantly clear to the homeowners he meets.
  • He defines “success” as “you supply the best coatings and best finishes, you have the happiest customers and if you can call your life happy, you call it happy.”  Nick feels this is truly his life’s calling and all three are important.
  • Nick’s biggest leadership fail is failing to use the third 8 hours of a 24 hour day.
  • Nick’s top tip for other business owners is to use the third 8 hours of the day. 8 hours each day is for sleep, 8 hours for trade, and Nick believes it’s important to be intentional about how you use what he calls the “third 8”.
  • Nick truly believes that if you’re passionate about the work that you do, it’s easy to devote this much time to your business. He believes that his passion for his trade is no different than an artist’s passion for creating, or a musician’s passion for music. One of his pet peeves is people not respecting someone’s passion for their trade.
  • Nick finds novice painters and puts them through a journeyman/apprenticeship program.  He fully invests in each employee as though they’ll be with him their whole life, even if they’re just staying for the summer.
  • He feels that contractors place too much value on marketing keywords and hypnotic sales sheets when the bottom-line, most crucial factor to succeeding in a contracting business is authentic trust. Your clients need to trust you and that just takes time.
  • Nick’s rule is perfect the product and experience before you focus on marketing and SEO. Get the foundation right, before you expand on your marketing. Focus on the long-game.
  • Join him Saturday Mornings at 10am CST, “Ask a Painter” on Facebook live from his deck. You can submit questions.


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