The Story of ChemCove: How It All Began

I can remember the exact day that I decided to open up my own consulting gig. I was working in a chemical sales role at the time, traveling all over the state of Florida. I just got back from a pretty successful customer visit, I mean I didn’t sell them anything…but they asked me a lot of questions about chemistry and technology and I could really shine, so that was a success in my book but not actually a successful sale. When I walked into the house, and I told my fiance about the visit and how I wished I could have more visits like that, he said I should start my own side gig to help more customers like that.

The title consultant didn’t come to me at first, it was more like a traveling coating chemist educator?? What a title. The truth is, no matter what title I have or had, I have always thought of myself as a teacher and resource for my customers. I love helping people, and when I can take something as tough as chemistry, and feed it to people in a form that is actually digestible and useable for them, that truly makes me happy.

A couple of days later, that same customer shot me a note and asked what were my consulting rates.


The Lightbulb Moment

Consulting…someone who gives expert advice, can be seen as an educator, and a resource for a company. Well, I guess that’s all the things I described above. Although sometimes consultants can bring up mixed emotions for people. They either love them or hate them. But I couldn’t think of a better way to describe myself, so I guess now I was a consultant for the coatings and chemistry world. I started by consulting a couple of times a month. I would visit companies after hours and even on weekends. It was incredible that people actually really wanted my help and would come in on their Saturday for it! After a couple of months of this, it really started to take a toll on me. I was traveling all the time for my sales job and traveling on the weekends for my consulting gig. My customers kept requesting me to come in multiple times a week for hours and hours, and I just couldn’t because of the time constraints. They would tell their friends in the industry and the next thing I knew, I had a wait list of people that wanted me to visit them. So I had a pretty tough decision to make.


The Start of ChemCove

I left my stable sales job in September of 2018 and opened my lab in October 2018. This gave me the ability to take on multiple projects that could be sent into the lab, and it also gave me the ability to do my own research projects. A big part of what we do is not only customer projects and formulation work, but we want to be a resource for companies by sharing our knowledge of the coatings industry. Knowledge is worthless if it is not shared. My goal is to arm you with all the tools you need to formulate or troubleshoot on your own, and if you ever need me, I am a phone call away.

The greatest gift in my career is the ability to make an impact. My clients often turn into my friends and colleagues, and I pride myself in that. I took a look at the paths available, and in the end, I decided to pave my own way.

Author

Niki Milanovic
Owner & Lead Chemist

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