Chem-Dry Franchise Honors Veterans With Special Service

ABC News affiliate in Tampa Bay profiles Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchise owner who volunteers time to clean the graves of soldiers

Carpet cleaner scrubs veterans’ gravestones at cemeteries in his spare time

In a moving segment entitled, “Carpet cleaner scrubs veterans’ grave stones at cemeteries in his spare time,” WTVS, an ABC News affiliate in Tampa Bay, Florida, profiled Andrew Lumish, a Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchise owner who spends his Sundays cleaning the graves of soldiers.

The segment opens with Andrew grabbing his cleaning supplies out of his Chem-Dry branded van in the Lutz Cemetery, and the camera follows as Andrew begins meticulously scrubbing the gravestone of Alvin Goodwin, an American soldier who lost his life in the Vietnam War.

“He was 18 years old when he was killed in South Vietnam,” Andrew says in the segment. “To me, he’s frozen in time. My son is older than Alvin Goodwin was when he was killed in South Vietnam in 1967.”

Andrew is a self-described history buff, and he cleans the soldiers’ graves year round. In the article accompanying the television segment, the ABC News affiliate makes clear that Alvin takes care to use materials that won’t damage the gravestones:

“Lumish has done research to find products that will clean limestone, slate, marble and granite without damaging the stone,” the article states. “He’s a history buff who researches the lost veterans who served in conflicts dating back to the Civil War.”

To Andrew, cleaning the graves of soldiers is not only an enjoyable way to use his tools as a Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchise owner, it also allows him to reflect on our country’s great past.

“Lots of people like to go to the beach and do different things,” he says in the segment. “I like to do this. I think about their families and what they might have talked about at the time. I think about their lives. If they can put their lives on the line to fight for our country, this is the least that I can do.”

Since Andrew first started cleaning the graves of soldiers two years ago, WTVS reports that Andrew has cleaned an estimated 250 graves.

Why Chem-Dry is a great business opportunity for veterans

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 are a good match.

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 licensing fee, opening the possibility of franchise ownership for veterans who might not be able to afford it otherwise.

Chem-Dry is the opportunity to make the American Dream your reality


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.

Chem-Dry is the world’s largest carpet cleaning franchise with more than 3,500 locations that serve 10,000 homes a day. It is Entrepreneur magazine’s top-rated carpet cleaning franchise and one of its Top 10 choices for low-cost and home-based franchises. Our hot carbonating extraction process delivers a faster-drying, deeper, healthier clean that appeals to homeowners and business owners — and the process can be used to clean tile and stone, upholstery and other surfaces, as well as carpet.

We value the American drive to entrepreneurship, as we believe that communities are improved when passionate people go into business for themselves. Andrew’s success as a carpet cleaning franchise owner has allowed him to give back by cleaning the graves of soldiers, which in turn, strengthens his community and strengthens his business.

Chem-Dry is a firm believer that the better you do, the more you can give back — and the wide majority of Chem-Dry franchise owners are operating lucrative businesses. In 2014, Chem-Dry surveyed 216 franchise owners and found that the average annual revenue per franchise owner was $272,782. Of those owners, 67 franchisees met or exceeded this average. While the average job was worth $254, the average annual revenue per franchise was $95,955, and 95 owners met or exceeded that average.

A tested business model with many potential revenue streams

Master franchisee Alan Cox decided to franchise with us in his home country of Trinidad and Tobago — where carpeted floors aren’t often found in offices and private residences. Why? Chem-Dry cleans far more than carpets.

“One of the biggest challenges for us is that we do not have carpets, and Chem-Dry is very much known for its strength in cleaning carpets,” Alan says. “We see opportunities beyond that, though. We see the ability for the cleaning of sofas and rugs and drapes, and the floors in all the houses that have tile and other hard flooring surfaces. Things do need to be cleaned professionally, and we’re confident that Chem-Dry’s products will lead the way in all of those areas, not just carpets. We have some exciting plans together, and Chem-Dry has been very open-minded in our suggestions on how to penetrate the commercial market here.”

Chem-Dry’s ability to offer multiple revenue streams to our franchisees holds true in North America.

“I would highly recommend tile and stone cleaning to anyone interested in diversifying their revenue sources and adding business,” says Tom Messina, a carpet cleaning franchise owner in Southern California. “I started offering tile and stone cleaning about seven years ago, when Chem-Dry first began to offer the service. The equipment paid for itself almost instantly. It’s been a big contributor. Every year, it adds about 10% to our bottom line.”

According to CoStar, a company devoted to analysis of the real-estate market, there is 40 square feet of office space per capita in the United States, as well as 56 square feet of retail space per person across the country. Hotel space is so vast that CoStar cannot determine just how much of it exists! However, CoStar reports that in Las Vegas alone, there are more than 102 million square feet of office space. With so much office, retail, and hotel space — all of which needs to be cleaned on a regular basis — Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchise owners can prime themselves for long-term success by tapping into those markets.

“Our carpet cleaning franchise owners are really taking advantage of the commercial cleaning opportunities,” says Ed Quinlan, Vice President of Franchise Services with Chem-Dry. “Right now, 20 percent of profits for the average franchisee comes from cleaning commercial flooring, but the more established franchisee can bring in 80 percent of their profits from cleaning commercial flooring. Many of our franchisees have day crews that work the residential jobs during the 9-to-5 workday, and night crews that use the same equipment to clean hotel, retail, hospital, and office spaces.”

Learn more about Chem-Dry

For in-depth details about the Chem-Dry franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

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