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Footprints Floors Celebrates Veteran Entrepreneurs in Military Appreciation Month

The veteran-founded and led flooring installation franchise provides a familiar environment and strong entrepreneurial opportunities for veterans seeking a new form of service in the civilian world.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 1:13PM 05/23/24

Founded by Air Force veteran Bryan ParkFootprints Floors, the 150-plus-territory flooring installation franchise, has consistently recognized the contributions of veterans, embraced military values and supported veterans’ entrepreneurial efforts. This Military Appreciation MonthFootprints Floors celebrates its veteran owners and the steps they are taking through business ownership with the franchise.

“The biggest lesson I learned from service is how to persevere. We did difficult things in the military between basic training, survival training and Air Force Academy classes,” Park said. “It’s difficult to be in an active-duty military role, and looking back on some of those hard days makes my current hard days fade away — they’re not that hard. There’s a confidence, strength, perseverance and moral fiber that comes from having done hard things in the past, and having already done those hard things allows me to better manage the difficult or seemingly overwhelming aspects of business ownership that I experience now.”

This same perseverance was a major benefit to David Weaver, who owns two territories in Phoenix, as he pursued ownership. Weaver served in the U.S. Army, worked in insurance and managed Airbnb investment properties prior to starting his franchise journey, but when the market became unstable and the general public began traveling less, he needed to pivot.

I had so much equity in the homes that selling them gave me the resources to do my next thing,” Weaver said. “Footprints Floors was so different from anything I’d ever done, but it seemed to be a good choice.”

While he also analyzed the business model and industry demand, Weaver noted that hearing Park’s story of persistence during his service and beyond was a major contributor to his ultimate decision to invest.

Footprints Floors has offered a similar soft landing to many other veterans looking to pivot after successful careers, and the company culture is often noted as an important deciding factor. 

“During the approval day, they pick you up at your hotel and take you to breakfast. We sat down, and both Bryan [Park] and Chris [Curtis] are veterans, and it just felt so comfortable,” Gene Hawk, who owns two territories in Florida, explained. “That was another big thing for me because you can feel comfortable with other veterans. You know what those people have been through, and you know that they’ve experienced something at least somewhat similar to what you have. Most of the time, you know what their values are, and you know you can trust these people. That was very comforting.”

After over three decades in law enforcement and 22 years with the U.S. Army National Guard, Hawk had experienced working among and alongside a range of people, but he emphasized the value of being around people with similar experiences. 

Within the Footprints Floors system, Hawk has opportunities to work alongside veterans and employ veterans. In the larger business ecosystem, he is able to take advantage of countless veteran-specific networking and support opportunities.

As the system expands rapidly nationwide, it continues to embrace veteran entrepreneurs seeking their next opportunity. With the skills they developed in the military and the personality traits that informed their success in the service, many veterans reflect the essential qualities necessary to succeed with Footprints Floors.

“For this line of work, you need the ability to sell and project management skills,” said Brian Stack, a Navy veteran and New Jersey franchisee. “Can you stay organized and manage multiple tasks simultaneously? Those are the big skill sets that, if somebody were asking me about Footprints Floors, I would say are the most important.”

"The military instilled in me a sense of responsibility for myself and my family, and a determination to get things done without making excuses," Park said. "This mindset is also at the core of Footprints Floors. When an individual possesses these intangible qualities, I can teach them everything they need to know about flooring. That's our key differentiator. When a franchisee brings them to the table, they're already set up for success."

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