For more than three decades, Tony Shiflett worked in finance and accounting, most recently as the vice president of finance for a direct marketing company. That all changed last month when he opened CertaPro Painters of Columbia on Centre Park Drive, a franchise of the largest painting company in North America. Shiflett says the transition satisfies a lifetime dream: being his own boss. Before, his experience was largely with manufacturing industries, but he says he saw the writing on the wall: “The manufacturing environment in Maryland has been diminishing in the last few years. “With increased company downsizing … I decided that future employment stability could be best achieved by business ownership. When I discovered the opportunity to own a CertaPro franchise, it met all of my needs.” Shiflett says entrepreneurialism appears to run in the family. “It took me 30 years to finally make the leap to business ownership,” he says. “Before I could incorporate my new company my 15-year-old son beat me to it and incorporated his own business one month before I did.”
More about Tony Shiflett
Resides in: Sparks
Education: B.S. in Accounting, Master’s in Finance, both from Loyola University Maryland
What is the biggest change switching from a white-collar to a blue-collar role?
“My white-collar role at the executive level for public manufacturing companies had been to help grow top-line revenue and bottom-line profit. Owning my own business is the same white-collar role but instead of growing sales and profit for shareholders I’m doing it for myself.”
Why pick a franchise rather than starting from scratch?
“Franchises provide an incredible amount of support and industry knowledge that help move the business at a faster pace than if doing it from scratch. They assist in developing marketing strategies and production processes that lay out a road map for franchisees. This support and business model guidance is priceless when venturing into an industry you might be unfamiliar with.”
Recent vacation: Cruise to Bermuda.
Favorite movies: “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II”
Favorite quotation: “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” — Gen. George S. Patton