1851 Franchise: Why did you decide to join the military?
Robert Rummells: Military service runs strong and deep within my family. My brother was a Green Beret during the Vietnam War and was actually missing in action the entire time I was in second grade. My dad was a World War II veteran. As a kid growing up in Iowa, my first dream was to become a professional football player, so I ended up played for a semi-professional team in Los Angeles. When I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the NFL, I decided to move on to my second dream, which was serving in the military. Eventually, I became a U.S. Army Ranger in the 1st Ranger Battalion based at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. While serving, I was part of the U.S. Invasion of Panama and Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War.
1851: What was the most valuable thing your military experience taught you?
RR: The most valuable thing my military experience taught me was how to be a leader and accomplish a mission under any and all circumstances, regardless of weather, lack of sleep, or the toughness of the enemy.
1851: What is it about Mosquito Joe that attracted you to the brand?
RR: After 22 years of service, I retired from the military. The first thing I did was governmental contract work, and during that phase of my life, I realized I needed to go into business for myself. I spent a lot of time researching franchise opportunities online, and there were seven companies I found during the due diligence process, including Mosquito Joe. I had a list of qualities I was looking for in a franchise partner, and every brand besides Mosquito Joe fell short. Unlike the other franchises, Mosquito Joe fit the bill because it offers extensive training, has a supportive and smart corporate team I could see myself working with for years to come, and locked up territories that would set me up for success. I decided to partner with Mosquito Joe just 15 days after my first meeting with the corporate team.
1851: What advice would you give to veterans who are looking to get into franchising?
RR: Do your due diligence. Look for a franchise partner who you can trust no matter what the circumstance or situation is, and never write a check before meeting with the corporate team face-to-face. Those are all good pieces of advice for my brothers and sisters in uniform who are considering franchising.
1851: What does franchising mean to you?
RR: Financially, franchising has allowed me to do things I had only ever dreamed of doing. There were so many nights I laid in a patrol base in the jungle dreaming of seeing beautiful places around the world and thinking of all the things I wanted to accomplish. Franchising has given me the time and money to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it.
1851: What would you like to achieve in franchising within the next 5 years? In 10?
RR: I would like to continue working with Mosquito Joe for the next 10 years. Eventually, I’d like to posture the company for a possible sale or keep it running by hiring a field manager and office manager to take care of business day-to-day.