Over the last five years, a quarter of our franchise owners have been veterans, which ought to tell you something.
Chem-Dry is an outstanding business for veterans because it rewards the characteristics common among men and women in uniform: a capacity for hard work and service; respect for authority and the property of others; and an ability and willingness to follow proven systems within an organization to reach specific goals.
According to research by the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration, 14 percent of veterans are successfully self-employed — the highest percentage of any identifiable group of Americans. So veterans and entrepreneurship in general make for a good match.
But Chem-Dry is an especially good choice because of our in-house financing package, which helps entrepreneurs with little access to capital, and because our franchise owners don’t need a tremendous amount of technical skill to get started, just a willingness to work hard and learn. Chem-Dry is a member of the International Franchise Association and participates in the IFA’s VetFran Program, which offers veterans a 10-percent discount on the initial license fee, opening the possibility of franchise ownership for veterans who might not be able to afford it otherwise.
“Cleaning carpet is a pretty simple thing. I knew it was something I could easily pick up and do at my pace. I didn’t have to wait six months for certified training,” says Sean Tinsley, a 20-year Chem-Dry veteran in Smyrna, Tenn., who bought his first Chem-Dry franchise straight out of service in the Air Force and now presides over a seven-location, six-figure-income empire.
“Coming out of the Air Force, I didn’t have a degree, and aside from being an aircraft mechanic, I didn’t have lot of skills. This was something I could learn by following people who had already succeeded. Veterans are disciplined. If you have self-discipline and can work hard, and you also want to work smart, this is an opportunity for you to reach your potential.”
Who Makes a Good Chem-Dry Franchise Owner?
Good customer service and people skills, good organizational skills, an ability to follow and implement a system and the willingness to market your business are good starting points for successful Chem-Dry franchise owners. Here’s what a few of our longest-tenured franchise owners have to say:
“The best person to own and operate a Chem-Dry business is someone who has some experience running a customer-oriented business and is financially sound. The carpet stuff you can learn. I can teach anybody to clean carpet and the chemistry of it, but I can’t teach someone to love dealing with customers and knowing how to deal with customers.” — Paul Moen, Moen Chem-Dry, Summerville, S.C.
“An organized person who is not afraid to put himself out there. When I think about this business and how to succeed, it takes a lot more than knowing how to clean carpet. You have to be able to market, and know how to manage resources and people. Beyond that, it’s not about creating yourself a job. In order to create a successful and profitable company, you can’t look at it as, ‘I bought myself a job.’ You have to think, ‘This is a business that can be very profitable if I manage the business and myself and my employees properly.’” — Kati Buckland, co-owner, Chem-Dry of Albuquerque and Chem-Dry of New Mexico.
“I think top performers in the Chem-Dry system are people who go to convention and go to the regional training sessions and use the webinars and keep up with the literature in our industry. A lot of it consists of educating yourself and using the materials Chem-Dry provides which are excellent.” — Derek Acker, Chem-Dry of Wichita.
“You’ve got to be determined and willing to work hard and multitask. It’s hard work and it’s rewarding in the end. Our customers are happy with the results, and you have to be willing to go the extra mile to beat out the competition and have the push to make sure you’re doing a good job.” — Joe Weiss, Chem-Dry of Washtenaw, Ann Arbor, Mich.