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Owner of Evanston painting company ready to take company to the next level after graduating from SBA Emerging Leaders program

Dynamic Colors

After some 13 years with a paintbrush in his hand, Anthony Giangrossi decided to take a step back. Dynamic Colors, the Evanston-based house painting company he owns and operates, had the potential to grow into something much bigger, but Giangrossi knew he was stretching himself too thin when he was working so much in the field. In 2014, he hired more employees and decided to dedicate himself fully to the growth of his business. Since then, sales have more than doubled, and services and the company’s service area have expanded.

“The company is in the midst of growth and way ahead of my projections,” Giangrossi said. “This all led to my interest in Emerging Leaders to help guide me during this growth period and in the future.”

Giangrossi graduated in October 2017 from the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program, a seven-month executive education series for businesses poised for growth. Alongside 15 other Chicagoland entrepreneurs, Giangrossi attended biweekly classes on topics including reading financial statements, crafting a marketing plan, and accessing government contracts, among others. The course culminates with participants presenting a three-year strategic growth plan to their peers and a panel of experts.

 “Before the class, I had way too many goals and too much to do. I didn’t have anything smaller than a 10-year growth plan,” he said. “Everything I had in my head, it now has a place.”

For Giangrossi, Emerging Leaders came at the right time. While he previously was intimidated by his $1 million sales goal, the class equipped him with the tools to get there – and beyond. By studying his financials, Giangrossi actually found that his goal was a bit off, and he now projects he’ll reach nearly $2 million in sales and double his staff to 24 employees by 2020. He’s also worked closely with an accountant who served as a guest expert in the class to strategize on securing financing for a dedicated office space next year, instead of continuing to work out of his house.

“The hardest thing for a business owner is to look at your deficiencies,” Giangrossi said. “You have to accept it, change it, and move on. This program taught me to get out of my own way.”

One of the biggest benefits of the course is the relationships that participants build with one another. Small business owners frequently voice feelings of isolation, but SBA training opportunities such as Emerging Leaders offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to share their experiences and hear from others who have been there. Giangrossi said he expects regular phone calls with his classmates will hold him accountable and help him reach his goals.

Looking ahead as he implements his plan, Giangrossi says keeping open lines of communication with both customers and employees is a strategy that he’ll maintain, as it’s worked well in the past. He also would advise others in his position that it’s OK to make mistakes – holding back out of a fear of failure ultimately can hurt your small business.

“I get an immense satisfaction knowing everything I have, I’ve built it,” Giangrossi said. “The reason why I’m able to do what I do is because I work really, really hard at it.”

Company Name: 
Dynamic Colors
Evanston, Illinois