United States veterans are especially poised to join the franchising industry, having learned qualities such as discipline, organization and problem solving—all of which translate well when it comes to running a business. In recognition of this, Mosquito Joe leverages veterans’ skills to help vets transition to the civilian world and grow their brand. Met with record-low entry costs, superior customer service, the brand’s proven model and corporate support, more and more veterans are finding that becoming a Mosquito Joe franchisee after military service holds great appeal.
Franchisee and veteran James Newcomer sites his 20 years of air force experience as one of the most influential reasons he’s a good fit for franchising.
“You learn discipline in the military, like a boy scout mentality but on a deeper level. I was the go-to guy in the office in the military. It’s up to you. You’re ahead of the game,” Newcomer said.
Newcomer worked as a contractor and consultant before signing on with the Mosquito Joe concept this past May. Today, he’s the proud owner of a Mosquito Joe business based out of Granite City, Illinois.
“I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny,” he says of why he decided to enter the franchising industry and chose Mosquito Joe. “Everything is a very focused effort. We’re educating customers on how they can enjoy outside again with an added layer of defense against mosquito borne illness.”
Jeff Huckabee, who served four years of active duty in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, also signed on with Mosquito Joe earlier this year. In 2017, Huckabee has plans to work with the YMCA school system and landscapers to grow his business. "The skills I gained from the military have been helpful while starting a new business,” says Huckabee.
Eric Strumpf, who retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of service just last week, opened his Mosquito Joe location in April of 2016. While running his own business has come along with its own set of challenges, Strumpf feels confident about the work he’s done within his first year, already having garnered around 500 customers. He credits a lot of his early success with Mosquito Joe to his experience in the military and the brand’s operational flexibility.
“I’m trying to have more time with family and at home,” says Strumpf of why the autonomy that comes along with running a Mosquito Joe franchise was attractive to him. “The business absolutely lends itself to that. It can be run out of the house and there’s an off season, which can lead to challenges, but at the same time allows you to shift your focus back to the home and back to the family.”
Strumpf advises veterans considering entering the franchise industry to “have faith that their discipline and attention to detail they gained in service will serve them well,” and to always try to provide the best customer service.
Newcomer, Huckabee, and Strumpf all agree that one of Mosquito Joe’s most attractive qualities is the level of support available, on both the corporate level and from the fellow Mosquito Joe franchisees nearby.
“The franchisee right next door and I are very integrated in terms of marketing approaches since our territories overlap,” says Huckabee. “There’s a good support system out there.”
Strumpf stresses the importance of the support he received before even committing to Mosquito Joe. “I had a list of several franchisees who were willing to talk to people considering joining and I had good conversations. There’s always someone to talk to,” says Strumpf. “Franchisee veterans are also willing to be mentors and they’re wonderful. Once you’re on board, there’s a large network of franchisees to reach out to.”
Newcomer agrees. “Franchisees are like a family,” he said. “As the brand grows, there are more advantages coming to the franchisees. Corporate seems very involved in trying to enhance that. You reach out to corporate and franchisees and they want to help you out. Everybody wants the brand to grow.”