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K & K Painting and More - Columbia-based business consultant helps woman build her dream business

K & K Painting and More provides much more than just residential and commercial painting finishes. They are known for their quality of work, affordable project completion, integrity, and strong customer relationships.

Based in Quinby, SC, a suburb of Florence, SC, K & K Painting and More's Owner, Nita Kirk, started her business in February 2021 leveraging her 20+ years of professional painting experience. The foundation of Nita's business is based on high-quality painting services, unmatched customer service, integrity, and effective communication. Nita also offers free job estimates within a 15-mile radius of Quinby and affordable upfront pricing. Nita's tenure in professional painting has enabled her to build a business model that makes sense for her and her quickly growing customer base.

Nita shares more on how her business does things differently.

“We apply a wide variety of finishes to both residential and commercial buildings. We remove old paint and nails, and apply long-lasting and high-quality paint that our customers can enjoy for many years to come,” Nita says. “Just as important as our quality craftsmanship, is our authenticity - our “More”. Namely, the relationships with our clients are genuine and we care about their happiness. Knowing our clients and asking them the right questions help us to understand what is important to them and their project ensuring a successful project completion and a happy client. We want their input. In fact, much of my new business is a result of client referrals which tells me our clients are all around happy with our services.”

Nita shares why she started her business and how SCORE has helped her business get off to a great start. “Having so much experience in the industry, I paid special attention over the years to what was working and what was not working,” Nita said. “I always dreamed of owning my own business and developing my own best practices. I also felt that there was a better way. Behind the scenes, I am blessed with two beautiful granddaughters who continue to inspire me every day. Their future is important to me and I'm motivated to teach my granddaughters important life lessons through my business and demonstrate that you can create your own future doing something you love.”

As Nita was preparing to launch her business, she was introduced to SCORE Grand Strands through the Florence Chamber of Commerce. Nita contacted SCORE Grand Strands for start-up assistance with business planning, entity establishment, business budgeting, and marketing. Certified SCORE Mentor Gary Washington was aligned with Nita to help her start her business from the ground up. Gary, based in Columbia, joined SCORE in early 2021 and is the ideal mentor supporting Nita as his career includes leadership roles in all aspects of Business Consulting Services, Retail, Construction, Services, and Certifications. Gary's expertise as a business owner and experience acquiring government contracts has proved to provide immense value to Nita as she is now also pursuing the expansion of her business to the government sector.

“SCORE has been a foundation and vessel to the success of my business,” Nita said. “My SCORE Mentor, Gary Washington, has been invaluable helping me launch. In fact, we have now met over 12 times in just 6 months. If you are thinking about opening a business, you need to contact SCORE!”

Gary said that Nita embraced change as the COVID Pandemic forced shutdown.

“She is a positive, 'Can-Do-Attitude' person,” Gary said. “She is willing to see her customers' needs as more than a service project but as a continuing business relationship. She mirrors a clear understanding that repeat business helps create and maintain profitable benchmarks. She is smart, respectful, and a remarkable professional that can pave the way for many and build upon generational wealth. A pleasant person to work with and learn from.”

Nita did have to make many adjustments due to COVID, including increased response time, flexibility to meet client requests, ensure complete reliability, identify new ways to market her business, and implement and execute rigid COVID Safety Protocols for her and her business.Nita is a forward thinker and is already planning for the future of her business. Some of the initiatives she is working through include increasing social media visibility, continued education of new trade products and methodologies, and the desire to increase her staff.When asked if Nita would share any things she would have done differently and any advice she's open to sharing with new business owners, Nita's response was, “From a business perspective, there is nothing I would do differently. Why? From the highs and lows of the start-up, we would not have built the foundation of our business as it exists today without the continual learning from the journey. For new business owners, I urge them to never limit themselves to achieve their ultimate goals! Also, never stop networking, and especially take care of your clients.”

K & K Painting and More can be reached by calling (843) 687-7599. SCORE Consultant Gary Washington can be reached by calling (803) 238-4542.

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