How the Competition Works

We train 50 Canadian business students to run their own summer house painting business. We teach you everything you need to know and provide the mentorship to get you up and running. You hire staff, create a marketing plan, generate leads, schedule the service and handle all the financials. When the work is done, you solicit reviews from your clients to appear on your profile page on this website. You enter your leads and sales data daily and you are responsible for posting a bi-weekly video blog on your Scholars Edge personal YouTube channel.

Our panel of business experts will review your posts, customer reviews, revenue generated and financials. From these metrics, we will rank your performance against all of the student competitors. Every two weeks, our Dean’s List will be updated on our website.

What Should you Expect Financially?

Running your own summer business will make you some pretty good money. How much? Check out our Students’ 2021 Financial Expectations.

Scholar's Edge Financial Expectations 2021

Based on the level of sales you achieve; you can ultimately increase your share with more revenue. This schedule is laid out at the bottom of the page and all kickbacks based on hitting higher sales are paid out at the end of the summer.

Below Average Average Above Average Excellent Top Business
Sales $75,000* $100,000 $125,000 $150,000 $200,000
Branch Managers Gross % $48,750 $65,000 $81,250 $97,500 $130,000
Paint, Materials - 15% $11,250 $15,000 $18,750 $22,500 $30,000
Labour (incl burden)- 30% $19,500* $30,000 $37,500 $45,000 $60,000*
Kickbacks $0 $2,500 $5,000 $10,500 $23,000
Gross Profit to Student $18,000 $22,500 $30,000 $40,500 $63,000
Car and Gas $2,300 $2,500 $2,750 $3,000 $4,500
Marketing Expenses $1,000 $1,200 $1,500 $2,000 $2,400
Equipment Resale -$1,200 -$1,500 -$1,500 -$1,800 -$2,400
Net Profit to Student $15,900 $20,300 $27,250 $37,300 $58,500
*60k and 80k businesses it is expected that an Operator paints a bit, thus lowering labour costs.
*SEP share decreases on sales after $50k. See schedule layout in PDF download.

The sales numbers above and percentages on labour and paint are based on averages from the past five years. Student Operator profits will vary based on the ability of the Operator to control costs. SEP does not guarantee profits. Download the Full Report.

What Do we Expect From You?

We’re going to invest a lot of time and energy in our students and we ask that you respect the following commitments.

TRAINING
Your attendance at our company training seminars is mandatory to be in a position to successfully run your business.

These training seminars include:
  • Kick Off Training 2 days – First week of Feb
  • Production Training 1 day – March
  • Hands-on Training 3 days - late March/early April

Please note with our program you are never required to miss school.  Your education is number one in our books.

TIME COMMITMENT
Dependent on your business and financial goals, the average student will commit 20 hours per week during the preseason and 70 plus hours per week during the summer. Additionally, a student should spend their full reading week getting their business going.

ENTIRE SUMMER COMMITMENT
We are making a commitment to your business with our training and field support and financial support. This is not a summer job that you can quit on at a moments notice. You will have employees that work for you and customers that are counting on you.  It is this kind of responsibility that makes this experience awesome and better than anything else you can do over the summer. If you do decide to leave the contest early, you’ll be responsible for the cost we have invested in you to that point. We’ll discuss this with you in detail in our interview process.

COMMIT TO THE SYSTEM
Scholars Edge has constructed a business management system over many years in this industry.  This experience has allowed us to offer a tried, tested and true system that works.  To be successful an operator must fully commit to the system, period.

COSTS
All expenses below are tax deductible.

  • Vehicle Expenses:
      You are responsible for having your own vehicle. You will need part time access to a vehicle during the preseason and full time access over the summer. In addition to this you will be responsible for your own gas and vehicle insurance costs.
  • Cell Phone Expenses:
      You will need a working cell phone with data to properly manage your business.
  • Equipment Costs:
      Scholars Edge will provide you with a line of credit at the paint store to purchase equipment such as ladders, a roofing harness a pressure washer and a paint sprayer if necessary. These purchases can be sold at seasons end.
  • Misc:
      Student Operators will on occasion purchase food or drinks for their employees, in addition to paying students to help them market their business.

COMMUTING OPERATORS
Operators who do not go to school in their area should make a minimum of two trips home during the preseason to get their business started.

SCHOLARS EDGE EVENTS
Your attendance at our fun and charity events is strongly encouraged. Our culture is what defines our company. You’ll have a blast and you’ll meet lots of like minded individuals.

What Can You Expect From Scholars Edge?

Helping students to succeed is our reason for existing as a company.
These are our commitments to your success:

SCHOLARS EDGE BUSINESS TOOLKIT
Upon being hired you will receive access to our state of the art company database known as "Edgemanager". Once you receive this you will have access to our company manuals that walk you step by step through all of our proven company systems. In addition to this you will have access to all our company marketing, sales and production forms, as well as our painter and safety systems. Included in your toolkit will also be clothing so you look the part, as well as your start up marketing kit.

YOUR OWN BUSINESS COACH/ADVISOR
Each successful candidate is assigned a District Manager (“DM”) who becomes your personal business coach/advisor. They actively support you every step of the way – from building a business plan, to dealing with staff challenges. You’ll have weekly phone meetings with your DM to discuss progress, talk through issues, and of course regale your latest success stories! And anytime you are in a pinch or have a question, you can call your DM with your one-off questions.

Our District Managers have several years of experience in our industry, so they’ve been through it all before. They will be an invaluable sounding board and are in this with you.

BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT TRAINING
One of the highlights of the Scholars Edge Management Program is our comprehensive, high-impact business training weekend. The weekend focuses on the various management and entrepreneurship skills you need to successfully run your business.

You’ll learn essential business management skills such as:
  • Recruiting Strategy and Interview Skills
  • Motivating Employees
  • Running a Profitable Business - Cost Control and Profitability Analysis
  • Time Management
  • Estimating, Costing and Pricing
  • Production Management
  • Training your employees
  • Client Relations
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Production Management
  • Safety training

MARKETING AND SALES TRAINING & SUPPORT
As part of our training, you’ll also learn essential marketing and sales skills.  The Business Ownership Experience provides a full-scale marketing program for you to utilize, but you are empowered to create a marketing strategy and promotional material that works for you in your local area.

Sales skills are important for any small business owner, and with the Scholars Edge Business Ownership Experience, you’ll build the interpersonal and professional sales skills you need to do a top-notch sales presentation.

FIELD TRAINING
As a Scholars Edge Operator, you’ll need to have painting knowledge and technical skill required to train your staff, oversee production, make accurate estimates and speak knowledgeably to your potential customers.  Our program will provide you with comprehensive training on paint technology and painting technique with our “How to Paint” training.

BUSINESS TRAINING – February (Two Days over a weekend)

Here we teach you everything in the classroom before going into the field:
  • Business Plan
  • Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring and Employee Management
  • Time Management
  • Marketing
  • Estimating, Sales and Safety
  • Profitability

PRODUCTION AND PROFITABILITY TRAINING – March (One Day)

  • Production, Paint, and Safety Training
  • Profit Training
  • Client Relations and Problem Solving

PRODUCTION PAINT TRAINING - April
3-day Hands-On Paint Training – the longest in the industry.

SAFETY SYSTEMS
Our safety teachings and methods are the strictest in the industry. We have also hired an outside safety company to ensure that all Operators and Employees are educated and have passed a safety test that encompasses all aspects of our work.

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

  • Bookkeeping:
      Scholars Edge has developed a database that tracks all of your revenue and expenses.
  • Database:
      Our Operator database allows you to manage your customers and leads, email invoices, enter time sheets, perform payroll and track your profits all in one place.
  • Preferred Scholar’s Edge Branded Clothing and Marketing Materials:
      Scholars Edge will supply you with branded clothing as well as marketing materials such as flyers, business cards, vehicle signs, lawn signs and personalized marketing flyers. We also supply painter recruiting materials.
  • Payroll:
      Our program will take care of all payroll processing for all your workers. Filing government remittances for EI, CPP, Income Tax Matching as well as sending out T4s at the end of the year.

ASSURANCE BACKING
Being part of an established organization, Scholars Edge provides your painting business with certain assurances and guarantees that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to provide on your own without a substantial investment of money and time.  You can have peace of mind knowing that you and your employees are protected.

  • Warranty:
      We provide a written three-year warranty to all of our customers.
  • Workers Compensation Coverage
      We arrange all the necessary workers compensation coverage for each business.
  • Liability Insurance:
      We arrange five million in liability insurance on all projects.
  • Lines of Credit:
      Due to our size and credibility, we are able to arrange a line of credit on your behalf with approved suppliers. As a Scholars Edge Operator, you can take advantage of our long standing relationship with Dulux and Sherwin Williams paint stores, and take advantage of excellent volume price discounts.
  • Licensing:
      Scholars Edge will take care of all necessary provincial and municipal licensing.
  • Better Business Bureau Affiliation
      We are proud members of the Better Business Bureau and currently maintain an "A +" rating.
How are Student Competitors Ranked?
There are 6 areas the panellists will be reviewing to determine the bi-weekly Dean’s List Top 10:
  • Sales
  • Profitability
  • Quality of video blog
  • Client reviews
  • Amount of executive involvement
  • Client Reviews
Strategies for moving up the list

Consider how you can improve your performance in each of the categories that the panelists will be reviewing. Don’t ignore one in favour of the other. They each involve critical components of business success. You do have to do more than just produce excellent numbers. You need to present your business well, to communicate effectively, perform outstanding work and to be as autonomous as you can.

Video Blogs

Each competitor will be responsible for posting a bi-weekly video log entry where they will briefly discuss the state of their business, the issues they’ve dealt with and the successes they’ve enjoyed. It’s not all about the wins. We want to see how you’re developing, learning and strategizing too. There’s no such thing as smooth sailing in business ownership! Check out what our Scholars Edge Alumni Youtube Channel to see what past students have done.

How are the Panelists selected?

We look for individuals with outstanding reputations in the market for smart and brave entrepreneurship. They have to care about the development of students, and commit to a summer of advising them in best practices.

What are the Panelists’ roles?

Our distinguished Panelists will be involved from training straight through to the Dean’s List trip in November. You will be introduced to them through Zoom during one of our weekly online huddle meetings and thereafter they will be offering ongoing assessments of students’ progress, plus commenting and advising through a monthly video blog post. Each Panelist will select one of the students to participate in a business experience day. To see this year's Panel, CLICK HERE.

What are the Prizes?

CHAMPION'S TROPHY - To be presented at the Mentorship Dinner in September.

SCHOLARSHIPS – Awarded to the Top 3 on the Dean’s Final List.

  • 1st place - $3,000
  • 2nd place - $2,000
  • 3rd place - $1,000

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE - The Top 3 finalists will be invited to visit the business of a chosen panelist.

THE DEAN'S LIST TRIP The top 10 students on the Dean’s Final List will be invited to join us for an all-inclusive trip in October.

What other Rewards or Recognition can I earn?

Being in our competition is a great way to raise your profile. In addition to promoting our students and the competition on our website and through our social media channels (Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn), there will also be Student Awards handed out at the completion of the program.

For more details, check the Awards page here.