As a college student Carlos Cubas was hired as a painter in small odd jobs by a local painting company. That experience served as inspiration to create C & C Painting Contractors, Inc. in 1994.
Cubas set out to build a company that offered the best painting job possible. Being open to changes and opportunities, C & C Painting now offers services in the residential, commercial and industrial markets, as well as waterproofing, wallpapering, minor drywall and carpentry services. The business has grown from an initial crew of one to 17, with sales that surpass $1.2 million.
In 2012, C & C Painting was accepted into the Growth Acceleration Services program at the Small Business Development Center at USF. The business received a complete review of their operations, estimating and cost control measures, marketing and online presence. Armed with new knowledge, Cubas was ready to implement the change that would positively impact the company’s bottom line.
“The changes in our procedures made after the consultation we received from the SBDC consultants led to an improvement in the profitability of our business plus we are better prepared for the future challenges associated with growth,” Cubas said.
A year after changes were implemented, C & C Painting continues to increase its sales with larger projects where they are the prime contractor or subcontractor, adding to their portfolio of clients. In recent months Cubas and his team have secured projects in Cannella and Boyette Springs Elementary Schools and secured the re-painting contract for Skypoint Condos in downtown Tampa.
Their relationship with area prime construction companies also improved. One of those relationships was with DeLotto General Contractor. DeLotto gave C & C Painting the opportunity to paint the newly constructed Glazer Children’s Museum. “This was the project that catapulted us from a small to medium size company and proved we could do larger projects,” Cubas said.
Since then, they continue to work with DeLotto General Contractor, as well as Sierra Construction on a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) project. Most recently C & C Painting secured a subcontracting participation with Rodda Construction for a new construction project at Polk State College in Bartow.
Their quality work, along with being a certified minority business enterprise (MBE) and a small business enterprise (SBE) have provided them with unique opportunities, such as being one of Moffitt Cancer Center’s preferred vendors. Currently operating in its second year of a multi-year contract, C & C Painting has secured essential visibility in the marketplace.
Cubas continues to be inspired by the positive remarks he gets from clients, as well as his belief that being a business owner gives people the freedom to make their own decisions and allows them to grow as much as they are willing to work. That freedom comes with a price though for small business owners.
“You never stop working as it is in your mind,” he said. “Not only do I work hard to bring enough to care for my family but I need to make sure we stay busy enough to care for the many families that are impacted because they are part of our crew.”
When looking back at all their achievements and hard work, Cubas says he wishes he would have learned how to think more strategically, like a growing business rather than a small business. This change in thought allowed him and his team to go after projects that otherwise would have been considered out of their reach. He also implemented the use of technology to better help with operations and cost control.
In addition to changes in procedures implemented through the Growth Acceleration Services program, Carlos credits the SBDC for teaching him the value of being a certified entity and, “how to use such designation to grow my business.”