Success After Service: How the Military Prepared These 4 Veterans for Franchise Ownership

An Army Captain. A Marine Corporal. A Master Sergeant with the Air National Guard. A Sergeant in the US Marine Corps. As veterans of the U.S. military, these men were made to lead. But when they retired from active service, it was time to find a new outlet for their leadership skills.

When they found O2E Brands (the umbrella company that includes 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, You Move Me, and Shack Shine), they knew it was the perfect fit.

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Veterans make up 9% of business owners in the United States*. Franchise ownership in home services in particular offers freedom and flexibility that other franchise systems (like restaurants or stores) don’t. Our veteran franchise partners aren’t stuck behind a counter or desk all day; they’re out in the field interacting with customers and employees.

The military provides the perfect foundation for exceptional franchise owners. Veterans know how to lead teams, work with proven systems, and have the passion, integrity and driving force to succeed — no matter what. A franchise also relies on established systems, and requires the same level of diligence and leadership that these men applied to serving their country.

Mike Sandness, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING franchise partner in Minneapolis, spent 20 years serving the Air National Guard. He says that his role as Master Sergeant equipped him with the tools to run a business.

“The strong guidelines and structure of the military taught me to be a professional yet firm leader,” says Mike. “There are definitely tough days, but if you go in with your eyes wide open, then you’ll be prepared. This is true in both the military and in business.” Read Mike's story here.

Andrew Wilson, a Captain and You Move Me franchise partner in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, agrees there are parallels between the two experiences. Both the Army and a franchise rely on structure, organization, and proven results.

“In the Army, for every unit or position you hold, you’re not the first person to do it,” he explains. “There are established systems that you need to follow in order to be successful, just like in franchising.”

He also says that franchising facilitates a smoother transition into owning a business: he can develop his entrepreneurial skills while having the support and expertise of experienced franchisors. He doesn’t have to waste time developing his own systems, manuals and marketing materials; the franchise infrastructure takes care of all of this so he can focus his energy on his strengths. Read Andrew's story here.

For 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise partner Rob Harris, it comes down to leadership and discipline. Harris entered the Marines shortly after high school by way of Parris Island. Within a year and during the Desert Shield/Desert Storm conflict, he was in charge of junior Marines on a daily basis. Having this level of responsibility at a young age taught him the value of professionalism and integrity — which are core values of everyone at O2E Brands.

“In the military, you have to show up, every day, no excuses,” Rob says. “You have a job to do and your people always come first. This translates directly to leading a business: to support your team, you need to be an engaged and present leader.”

Adam Snouffer — a former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, and Shack Shine franchise partner in San Antonio, TX .

Now a franchise partner with Shack Shine in San Antonio, he's put his leadership skills toward something he’d always been dreaming of: business ownership. As an franchise partner, Adam is focused on finding and hiring the right people. He's also very committed to hiring veterans in his business as he experienced first hand how tough transition can be to go from warfighter to civilian. Adam finds solace in others achievements, and sees ownership as a way to help facilitate his ability to impact people's lives. Read Adam's story here.

As our franchise partners prove, your military training can go beyond active duty. Click here to learn more.