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Johnny Brady–Franchise Owner
Military Branch: United States Air Force
Years Served: 2005-2017 (USAF Reservist 2017-Current)
Highest pay grade: TSgt
Post-secondary education : Criminal Investigators Training Program (CITP); Federal Law Enforcement Center, Brunswick, GA.
When did you purchase your franchise? 1 April 2017
When did you “open for business”? 1 May 2017
How many employees do you currently have? 3
Where did you grow up? Walton, Kentucky
Why did you enlist in the military? To serve my country.
Please describe your job in the military: As an OSI agent, I am a trained Federal Law Enforcement Officer. My job was to investigate federal level crimes committed by USAF employees, family members, and crimes committed in the base jurisdiction.
What were some of your duty stations? Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia; Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.
Which duty station was your most memorable? Hawaii because of the totally different environment and it was my first duty station as an agent.
What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? When me and another agent saved an Airman’s life by stopping her estranged husband from going through with his plans to kill her and their two children.
Why did you decide to separate or retire from the military? I wanted to be a daily presence in my kids’ lives and be my own boss.
What was your exit plan? To start my business a few months prior to separating from the military, in order to still have my steady paycheck while I was working on the start-up.
When did you become interested in owning your own business? What about it appealed to you? I’ve always wanted to have my own business. The ability to be my own boss and control how my business was ran appealed to me.
Why did you choose the franchise route, as opposed to starting your own business from scratch? Starting a business from scratch is more complicated than starting a franchise. As a new business owner and family man, I liked the pseudo-safety net of a franchise. It allowed me to venture into the small business world with the support and branding of an already established company.
How did you research your franchise options? While researching starting my own business, I came across an article talking about the top companies that were veteran friendly. Garage Force immediately appealed to me.
Why did you choose your franchise? It was the most appealing to me as a person who already had a lot of experience in flooring.
Do you have a partner or partners, or are you the sole franchise owner? Sole owner.
Why did you choose your location? My wife and I were stationed in Dayton, OH, liked the area, and saw potentional for the business.
How did you finance your franchise? Garage Force took care of everything.
What difficulties did you have to overcome to become a franchise owner? Navigating all the different advertisement options for a small business and what would work best for my company.
Is this your only job? Yes.
How many hours a week do you typically work? 50-60
What challenges have you faced since you became a franchise owner? How did you overcome them? Hiring an employee and finding the right balance of advertising and budget. I spoke with other business owners in my area and thoroughout Garage Force. I took their advice and tailored it to my needs.
Can you share your revenues for the most recent full year of operation? Our first year my business grossed approx.. $125,000
How would you quantify/characterize your success so far? I think I’ve been successful thus far, however, I’m looking forward to further building and expanding.
Has your military training and experience helped you as a franchise owner? Can you give a specific example? Yes. The military taught me discipline and failure was never an option. I apply this everyday to my business and continually adapt to new and unique situations in order to provide customers with 100% satisfaction.
Describe a time when your military skills/training helped you out of a tough spot as a franchise owner: The military taught me to be resourceful. When purchashing equipment/supplies etc., I tend to take a lot of time to research products before spending.
Please describe your typical day: We’ll usually get to a jobsite between 0800-0830. We’ll unload equipment and prep the floor for the coating. We’ll usually have the coating done around 1300 or 1400 (depending on size) and take a lunch break to allow the coating to dry. After a one-two hour break we’ll prepare and add a topcoat to the floor. After cleanup, we’ll usually clean up the site and pack-up. Typically around 1700. After that, I’ll usually have a quote or two to give to potential customers.
Do you have a “typical” client? Majority of our clients are homeowners.
What do you like best about being a franchise owner? The ability to be my own boss, but have the backing of a established company to rely on for advice and additional training.
What’s the biggest challenge? Transitioning from a steady paycheck twice a month to a part-seasonal, part-performance based pay. It’s a whole different type of budgeting, professionally and personally.
What are your goals for your franchise? To be successful and continue to grow.
Is your franchise a good option for post-9/11 veterans? Why or why not? Yes, because the military gives you a good foundation (work ethic, discipline, ethical values) to run a business. Couple that with Garage Force’s willingness to work with vets and train them, it’s a good fit.
What about being a franchise owner has surprised you? All the different types of advertising that’s out there. It can be a bit overwhelming, but I’ve learned referral business is the easiest and the best.
If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently? Nothing.
Would you recommend franchise ownership to other post-9/11 veterans? Why or why not? Yes. Same answer as above, Garage Force is a great option for veterans.
What three tips would you give to transitioning service members or veterans who might be interested in becoming a franchisee? Have a plan, thoroughly research your options and your state’s business requirements (licensing, insurance etc.), and have a cushy savings for that first year of business!
What do you do to relax? I like to spend time outdoors. Hunting/fishing/or just playing baseball with the kids.
Are you married? Children? Married for almost 10 years and have three kids. Two boys 5 and 3, and a newborn girl.