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712 Innovations Member Spotlight: Josh Barr - Graystone Painting & Refinishing

Friday, August 24, 2018 1:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


Tell us a little more about yourself and your business.

I am originally from Eudora, KS and moved to Topeka about 10 years ago. It was originally a temporary move for school, but I met some great friends, married my wife, and was very fortunate to work for two great organizations so now Topeka is my home. Growing up my brother James and I worked in construction. It was great money while we were in high school and gave us some skills to gain employment as adults. We have wanted to start our own company since I took my first business course in high school, but life happened, and we went down our separate paths. James stayed in the trades as a painter and I gravitated towards sales, getting some great experience with Laird Noller Dealerships as a Business Manager. I feel our business is nothing groundbreaking but is built on some very basic principles the have helped us be successful very quickly: be honest, do what you say you are going to do, and deliver a quality product. This may seem simple, but many contractors miss the mark, and this has created a lot of opportunity in the Topeka market. We have also brought some much-needed technology to an industry that hasn’t been known for it. Bajillion Agency did an awesome job on our website; you can request a quote from your smart phone any time, day or night. Our Instagram is linked up with our site, so you can view our work and get ideas for your project at the same time. Also, when you get an estimate from us it isn’t just a piece of paper with a total at the bottom. We have state-of-the-art estimating software that allows us to be much more accurate and detailed with our bids. Customers in today's market want information now and they want to be able to validate you from the comfort of their living room. If you have great online reviews, lots of pictures of previous work, and make communication easy, you can really separate yourself from the competition.

Request a quote from Graystone today!



How long have you been a member of 712 Innovations and what programs/resources do you utilize?

We joined 712 Innovations back in January of 2018 when we were still working out the details of our business plan. Karl Klein with the Washburn Small Business Development Center recommended we check it out and after our first tour we knew it was the place for us to get this thing off the ground. Although they have a lot of awesome technology and resources available, I would have to say our greatest resource has been other members. There are so many different types of businesses in 712 that it really opens up a lot of doors. We have gained a lot of referrals from members and been able to get free advice on topics in which we didn’t have much knowledge. Sometimes it’s just great to be able to bounce ideas off someone that may have a different viewpoint because of their business or life experience.  


How 712 Innovations has impacted your business?

712 Innovations has really given us the gift of community. We have had opportunities and made introductions that would not have been possible without that kind of environment. It has also given us a great professional atmosphere for meetings and interviews that fits the budget of any start-up.

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