We recently had the pleasure of talking with Steven Padilla, owner of Prime Coating Services in Fort Worth, TX. Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Padilla was able to launch a successful new business earlier this year. He explained how aggressively marketing his services and choosing the right powder coating equipment helped his company get off to a great start.
Q: How did you get started powder coating?
A: I was working for a company that did metal finishing and blasting. We also did painting. I always wanted to venture into powder coating because I thought it was something that was going to be a fruitful endeavor. The company I was working for was owned by my parents. I finally convinced them to back me so I could start powder coating on my own and they agreed, so we moved forward. I got my equipment in from Reliant last year. I held off officially starting the business until 2021, and it’s been going good since then. Things are going well, and it has been a very lucrative endeavor for me.
Q: You’re still a relatively new company. What were some of the obstacles you faced when you were first starting?
A: Obviously, getting my name out there was a challenge at first. It was important to let people know I was in business and that I could give them professional quality work even though my new shop was just opening up. Luckily, because of the work we did with my parent’s company, there were some customers who already knew me and the quality of work I did, and they were willing to give me a shot. Word of mouth about my work has spread and I’ve had customers come in based on people talking about me to them. Also, I had to get active online. Although Google doesn’t bring in a lot of companies, they do bring in a lot of walk-ins and individuals with yard furniture and knick-knacks they want coated. Overall, I think good word of mouth has been the biggest help to our early success.
Q: What do you think makes you unique? What sets you apart from your competition?
A: Probably speed of service. Also, our quality is good and we give people the finished product they want. If someone wasn’t satisfied with a product, I’d be happy to redo it for them at no cost. Luckily, I’ve never had to do that. Blasting is one area where we take advantage of the fact we can go faster than our competition. Other companies in our area typically quote around 4 weeks for blasting and I tell customers, “We can get that done for you in a few days.” Speed of service is an area where I get an edge over some of the other guys around here.
Q: What made you decide to buy Reliant equipment?
A: I’m glad that Reliant works directly with their customers. It’s nice to be able to talk with the same people whenever I have a question or issue. I bought my equipment back when Reliant was still working with resellers and distributors (NOTE: Reliant now only sells factory-direct). I don’t think buying from a reseller added a whole lot for me. But, talking to them did get me started looking at Reliant as a company. It seemed like they made high-quality equipment. The best thing that happened when I was shopping for equipment was when I saw a Reliant booth and oven in person. I saw that equipment, and I knew how long the user had been in business, and it looked like good quality equipment that had held up well. The price point was very fair. I got a lot of bids for other brands that were astronomical. Some bids were over a hundred thousand dollars more for the same size equipment I have now. Once I saw Reliant products in person, I knew it was professional quality equipment and I knew I could work with it and be successful–and that’s what made me go ahead and do it.
Q: You’ve had the equipment running since early this year. Can you give me an idea of how it’s helped your business to thrive?
A: Well, without the equipment there is no business. Without the oven and spray booth there is no powder coating service I can offer. It’s the centerpiece of everything I do. It’s 99% of the reason I have been so successful, because it’s the way I do all my work. The other 1% is me going out to promote my business and find work. Without the Reliant equipment there’s no way I could do what I do at the size that I’ve been doing it lately and get it done for my customers. The biggest thing for me and the success of my business has probably been the equipment I got from Reliant.
Q: What are your future plans for your business?
A: Right now I’m still a one man shop. It sounds crazy because I’ve been doing really well, but so far I’ve been able to manage it single-handedly. I’ve been working to build up a financial foundation where I can bring in other people and not have to cut them off because work gets slow or the money isn’t there. The future plan is for me to take on a few employees and hopefully move into a bigger building. Work has been going well lately and it looks like I may have outgrown the building I’m in now. I may also be looking into getting a bigger oven and bigger spray booth. I’ve had a few jobs I couldn’t do because of the size of my equipment. My future is focused on company growth all the way. I’ve got new people calling me every day, I’ve got new customers walking in almost every day, and I’m looking forward to growing. My plan is to get some new employees in here and get some more equipment through Reliant in the future. For the money, I think the booth and oven may be the best buy I’ve made so far in this whole thing.
Thanks again for your business and for taking time to talk with us, Steven. We’re extremely happy that you’re getting good results from your Reliant powder coating equipment and enjoying success with your business!
If you need high-quality powder coating services in the Fort Worth area, please visit Prime Coating Services at www.pcspowdercoat.com to learn what they can do for you. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/