UNO business major starts successful painting business

Photo courtesy of Tanner Schmit
Tanner Schmit is a sophomore studying business entrepreneurship. He’s started a successful painting business called College Works Painting.
Mitch Lienemann

Earning a college degree is a lot like painting a house. First, the desired end result has to be determined. Then comes priming oneself for the work ahead. Finally, after the hard work, both painters and students walk away with a lasting end result.

University of Nebraska at Omaha sophomore Tanner Schmit knows about the lasting benefits of painting and attending college. The sophomore business entrepreneurship major started his own home painting service called College Works Painting.

Schmit started College Works Painting after developing a desire to start his own business, just like his father did before him. He said his father is his role model.

“It’s awesome having him as a role model and a career advisor,” he said. “Every time I’m with him we end up talking business or [about] just anything that’s happening with the economy and stuff like that.”

Schmit grew up in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. He decided to move to Nebraska because his dad started his business in Omaha.

“I was familiar with the area, and it was pretty new and exciting,” he said.

Schmidt’s decision to attend UNO was also inspired by a family member: his brother, who started at UNO two years before he did.

“When my brother started school here two years before I did, that really gave me a chance to see the campus,” he said. “When I was a senior, everything kind of fell in place and it [UNO] was the right fit.”

In high school, Schmit was a four-sport athlete competing in soccer, football, hockey and golf. Schmit especially excelled at hockey, where he received 1st team all-state honors and was the Minnesota Athlete of the Year. Schmidt said the hard work he put into sports has definitely translated over to his business.

With the summer rapidly approaching, many people are scheduling to have their homes painted by Schmit at College Works Painting.

“I’m planning my summer out as the spring moves along and have already booked about 10K worth of jobs,” Schmit said. “I hope to get somewhere around 60K by the time summer rolls around and keep booking from there.”

The demand and notoriety for College Works Paintings has continued to grow to the point where Schmit must hire a team to help him with the projects.

“I will hire a couple of crews for the bulk of the painting but will help out my crews whenever I am not meeting with clients or setting up estimates,” Schmit said.

Schmit said that this summer, when he’s not working for College Works Paintings, he’s going to spend his free time golfing.

So does Schmit have any other business ideas hidden up his sleeve?

He said yes, he plans to start some more businesses on the side while in school, though he’s keeping quiet about his ideas for now. He said he’s soaked up all the entrepreneurship information that he could in his past two years at UNO.

Schmit’s early success with College Works Painting gives a new, more exciting definition to the term “watching paint dry.”