Veterans in Franchising january 2016
pestmaster offering a great opportunity
journal activity #1
small business impact
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V eterans in F ranchisin g S u pplement jan u ary 2 0 1 6 Our Veterans in Franchising special supplement has become a regular feature of Franchising USA. To share your story in the next issue, please contact Vikki Bradbury, Publisher Phone: 778 426 2446 Email: email@example.com
Contents Cover Story
News & Expert Advice
32 PestMaster Services: Pest Control Franchise Offers Great Opportunity for Veterans
34 Six Tips to Consider Before Going into Business with Family Heidi Morrissey, VP of Marketing and Sales,
Franchisor in Depth 40 WIN Home Inspection
36 Bitcoins for Franchises? Whatâ€™s next? Jim Mingey, Founder and Managing Director,
Veterans Business Services (VBS)
Small Business Impact: Understanding Your Life Theme Can Help You Keep Resolutions
Darcella K. Craven, Executive Director, Veterans Business Resource Center
V e t erans in Franchising
C over S tor y - pestmast er
Pest control franchise offers great opportunity for veterans Control Technology magazine, now has 30 locations — three corporate and 27 franchise — spread throughout 13 states that stretch from California to New York. The company performs Health Related Pest Control, pest control for Utility and Railroads, as well as Structural Pest Control for buildings. While the company has long-since established itself as a solid way for entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses, things didn’t start out that way. “I started it in my garage,” founder and president Jeff Van Diepen recalled during a recent interview from his home in Reno, NV.
Thanks to a solid franchising system and its experience procuring government contracts specifically set aside for small business and veteran-owned businesses, one national pest control company is giving veterans plenty of opportunity to own their own successful business. Started in 1979 in the small town of Bishop, CA, Pestmaster Services, a pest control company that has been ranked in the top 100 in the country by Pest
Pestmaster was started with no grand plans of expansion or launching the careers of like-minded entrepreneurs. Instead, it was started so Van Diepen could provide for his family and better himself. His original prognosis for the company was that he might be able to grow it to the point where he could hire an employee. That modest outlook has since been blown away, with Van Diepen having 20 employees under him now. And he wants to share that success with others.
A Nice Nest Egg Van Diepen doesn’t just want his franchisees to have successful businesses. His goal for franchisees is much longer-term than that; he wants to help franchisees develop their equity. The Pestmaster founder sold six locations in 2012 to a major pest control company — a multi-million-dollar deal that set
him up for life — and he wants others to be able to have that same luxury. And right now is the perfect time to do it, as Van Diepen said a handful of major pest control companies are snapping up smaller pest control businesses left and right so they can expand their footprint. This leaves anyone with a small pest control business in an enviable position. As an example, Van Diepen pointed to a franchisee in Kingston, NY, a veteran who has a contract with the West Point Military Academy. After 15 years, that franchisee’s business was recently appraised at $2 million. “It’s a pretty nice nest egg that veterans can anticipate growing over a period of time,” Van Diepen said. Veterans are an especially good fit for Pestmaster, which has been franchising since 1992, because of government “set aside” contracts. These contracts are ones the federal government sets aside for small businesses, veteran-owned businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. This means many lucrative pest control contracts are out of the reach of the major pest control companies and can be picked up by Pestmaster franchisees, like the one at West Point. “The real ‘sweet spot’ of our business model is being able to have a national footprint, with a consistent brand and ‘green’ program that cannot be duplicated by a ‘mom and pop’ pest control company, while at the same time, is insulated from competition by the large pest control companies like Terminix, Orkin, Ecolab, Rentokil,” Van Diepen said.
“Less toxic was always better and that’s continued to steer the decisions we make as a company 37 years later because we’re striving now to utilize materials that are essentially nontoxic.” - Jeff Van Diepen, founder and president, Pestmaster
A small business is defined in the federal arena for pest control business as $11 million, Van Diepen explained. The big guys are doing sales up to $1.5 billion, so they are disqualified from playing in Pestmaster’s “sweet spot.” Pestmaster Services also happens to be a General Services Administrations (GSA) contractor, only one of 70 pest control companies that are on the federal supply schedule with the GSA. When the GSA has a contract, they’ll put out an e-buy, Van Diepen explained. Only the 70 pest control companies that are associated with the GSA will be able to bid on that contract and when Pestmaster is notified of a new available contract, it pushes those GSA contracts out to franchisees to bid on. Another thing that makes veterans ideal for Pestmaster franchising, the company founder said, is that their skill sets are often complementary to the franchising model, with set systems and protocols to follow. Once they understand the system, he noted, they are usually successful working within that system. And Pestmaster helps them master the system as quickly as possible, with a week of training when they come on board in Reno, NV and then one more week of training at the franchisee’s home territory. Following that, there are three two-day
training meetings per year that keep their skills fresh. Pestmaster also provides marketing support and discounts to veterans, plus it’s a business that can be run out of a home for the first few years until it gets established. Franchisees need not be in major markets to make it work either. “Even in a town of 15,000 people, it was a successful model,” Van Diepen stated.
about pesticides in the environment and as he grew his business, he remained aware of the pesticides he chose. “Less toxic was always better and that’s continued to steer the decisions we make as a company 37 years later because we’re striving now to utilize materials that are essentially non-toxic,” he said. The menu of services Pestmaster provides is broad and they are meant to be reoccurring, which is good for franchise owners.
Pestmaster puts an emphasis on green strategies and non-toxic solutions to pest control, something residential, commercial and institutional customers appreciate.
Between contracts that are only available to them and a franchise that aims to help them grow not only their business but their equity, veterans have a superb opportunity waiting for them at Pestmaster.
Van Diepen said he was always concerned
V e t erans in Franchising
V e t erans in Franchising
Heidi Morrissey, Vice & President of Marketing and Sales at Kitchen Tune-Up Jim Mingey, Founder Managing Director, VBS’
Six Tips to Consider Before Going into
Business with Family “One major key to success with the family business is knowing when you should seek outside expertise.” about working effectively with family members.
Here are six tips to consider before going into business with relatives:
Define specific roles Family businesses can often
Not everyone can go into business with members of their family. Consultants call this the rule of thirds: only about a third of businesses make it to a second generation, a third of those live to see a third generation, and on and on. This said, there is no shortage of familyrun businesses on the Fortune 500 list. As an executive at a successful, nearly 30-year-old family-owned and family-run business – one where the founder is also my father – I have learned a thing or two
begin and evolve organically with little discussion on specific roles. However, it’s important to outline individual
responsibilities in the business. During
your strategic planning meetings, discuss your strengths and set expectations for
who will handle each part of the business. You may want to write classic job
descriptions so you have something on paper that clearly defines each role.
Planning is everything Every business must do strategic
planning when laying the groundwork
- and a family business is no different.
Take time to discuss systems and long-
term planning, but avoid the temptation
to do so around the dinner table. Instead, set up formal meetings and draft official documents. Set individual expectations
and define specific roles. The strategy plan
set by individuals within a family can form a powerful vision for the future, which will guide the business forward.
Work to meet the bottom line
When a family business is in financial trouble, the line between family and business is easily blurred. Make sure every member of the team is clear on the objectives and how to track them. You can work toward this by regularly sharing and analyzing financial data - make it part of your daily update meetings as well as long-term strategic discussions. Also, coming prepared to all meetings with specific, pre-planned agendas will help keep your meetings on track. Another key component to meeting the bottom line is setting standards for vacations and time off – and sticking to them. Although the entire family may be going on a vacation for spring break, who is going to hold down the fort? It’s important to always keep your business objectives in mind, even when planning vacations. Lastly, make long-term planning part of the day-to-day conversation. Not only do you need to focus on the present, you should always be planning for the future, which includes discussion on succession.
Focus on productive communication
It’s amazing the number of things that can be lost in translation within internal
communications in any business, let alone a family business. You may think you have such a close rapport that you understand exactly what your relative means, but it’s possible you are on opposite sides of the spectrum.
public relations practitioners, human resources consultants or individual counselors.
beginning for us. We are taking the vision my father had when we started the company to the next level.
Also keep in mind that time in the office should focus on business discussions, not personal issues. Although you may work with family, it’s best to keep a solid line between family and business discussions. As aforementioned with setting up strategic planning meetings at the office - not at the dinner table - the opposite applies for discussing personal matters at the office.
Although succession planning is important, avoid letting it completely overwhelm you and dominate the daily management conversation. If you feel that your family business will last through several generations, carefully and sensitively consider your options. Evaluate each person’s top skills and how you can groom them to learn everything else. The process is successful if you keep an open mind.
Heidi Morrissey joined Kitchen TuneUp, a family-owned kitchen and bath remodeling company with 170 locations nationwide, in May of 2003 at the urging of her father and Kitchen Tune-Up founder, Dave Haglund. During her tenure, she has helped the company undergo a full rebranding and activated the National Advertising Fund. Heidi has significantly grown the sales and marketing departments, allowing her to get out of the day-to-day tasks and concentrate on growing and strengthening the Kitchen Tune-Up system.
Hire outside consultants
One major key to success with the family business is knowing when you should seek outside expertise. There are several periods when consultants can significantly impact business practices, such as during growth, longterm succession planning, or if you are experiencing unresolved conflict. This may include an outside board of directors,
Avoid letting succession stress overwhelm you
These tips will help ensure that your family business is productive, successful and long lasting. It’s a significant source of pride to work for the family business. Not only do I genuinely like my coworkers, but there is also a common sense of trust, values and a true caring. I have worked side-by-side with my family members for more than 10 years with zero plans of slowing down. In fact, it is just the
After working with the Home Office for more than a decade, Heidi interacts constantly with each individual franchise partner, all of whom she knows by name. Heidi is passionate about bringing an outstanding level of assistance and guidance to each franchise owner. www.kitchentuneup.com
V e t erans in Franchising
V e t erans in Franchising
Jim Mingey, Founder Founder& &Managing ManagingDirector, Director,VBS’ VBS
Happy New Year!
A new financing tool expected for Veterans Seeking Franchises in 2016
Bitcoins for Franchises? Over the past three years Veterans Business Services (VBS) has taken a comprehensive approach to supporting Veterans interested in franchising. We have spoken with thousands of Veterans interested in starting a franchise or a small business. VBS has partnered with educational institutions and organizations which support Veterans and our goal is to provide comprehensive business services which accelerate the franchise acquisition process. And we’re now very excited about new ways to finance franchise opportunities for Veterans that will become reality in 2016.
“More Veterans will now be able to meet the criteria franchisors utilize to evaluate whether they are a good candidate financially.” After interviewing many Veterans in
the past we realized very quickly that
access to capital was usually the biggest roadblock for most Veterans. All the
franchisors who market their franchises on our business marketing platform
have to provide incentives specific for Veterans. Some of the franchisors we
represent provide unique competitions and
franchise give-a-way programs. Some even wave the initial franchise fee based on
performance markers but these franchisors are few and far between. Also rare so far are franchisors which provide Veterans
methods to access equity investments from the general investing public for a franchise acquisition.
Crowdfunding expected to explode in 2016 In the next 60 days the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will consider and adopt final rules that would allow the offer and sale of securities through crowdfunding. The recommended rules would give small businesses an additional avenue to raise capital and provide investors with important protections. If adopted, this would complete the Commission’s major rulemaking mandated under the JOBS Act. Subject to some restrictions, the new rules will permit a company to raise a maximum aggregate amount of $1 million through crowdfunding offerings
“Veterans can use Chroma.fund to create their own ChromaCoins™ to help finance a franchise acquisition. And State and local crowdfunding sources can help a Veteran get started right now.”
in a 12-month period. The new rules for crowdfunding investments, including an investment for a franchise acquisition, will become effective in May 2016. VBS expects to channel thousands of new leads to our franchise partners who can now be more responsive to the Veterans. VBS can now provide more finance solutions for franchise acquisition goals. More Veterans will now be able to meet the criteria franchisors utilize to evaluate whether they are a good candidate financially.
So what’s a Bitcoin and how can I use it? Some crowdfunding platforms are already available on a State level. For instance Chroma.fund is an investment crowdfunding platform that allows anyone in Oregon to make investments in local businesses. Think of it as a local market for stocks and bonds. But unlike Wall St. investments, people don’t need a broker to invest in businesses. For investors using Chroma.fund, just a credit or debit card is all that’s required. Chroma even offers limited edition virtual coins that are impossible to counterfeit. Investors purchase ChromaCoins™ with US dollars, but instead of receiving a paper stock certificate, they’re issued a ChromaCoin™ a tiny fraction of a single Bitcoin, worth
less than a penny. This ChromaCoin™ can serve as a counterfeit-proof record of ownership of the stocks and bonds purchased on Chroma.fund for local or regional franchises. Chroma.fund is the nation’s first Bitcoin blockchain-enabled investment crowdfunding platform. Veterans can use Chroma.fund to create their own ChromaCoins™ to help finance a franchise acquisition. And State and local crowdfunding sources can help a Veteran get started right now. When starting any business you need to be able to finance the entire amount of the opportunity which requires you to have good credit and equity capital to secure a loan. VBS currently has partners with financial organizations which convert 401K funds, finance experts who provide guidance on securing a loan, and microlenders to gain access to more capital. In 2016 we will begin helping Veterans access equity as well. VBS would like to extend its continued support to Veterans interested in franchising and we hope you visit our website at www. veteransbusinessservices.us to learn more about franchise opportunities, business resources, and educational programs which can support your learning process. VBS will be helping Veteran with crowdfunding & bitcoins in 2016. Have a great New Year and come talk to us if you want the best deal and advice when buying a franchise.
VBS’ Founder and Managing Director, Jim Mingey, is a decorated Vietnam Veteran raised from a proud military background. An entrepreneur for more than 35 years, Jim can relate on a personal level to the needs of the veteran small businessperson, and possesses the practical knowledge to implement his experience in today’s market. Jim participated in the EBV Program at Purdue University, is a graduate and former instructor at Boots to Business, is a mentor at American Corporate Partners, developed the first approved franchise training program for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program at Veterans Administration, and was instrumental in forming the first equity fund in the United States, The Veterans Opportunity Fund, exclusively for veteran owned small businesses and franchises. www.VeteransBusinessServices.us
V e t erans in Franchising
V e t erans in Franchising
Darcella K. Craven, Business Resource Jim Mingey, FounderVeterans & Managing Director, VBSâ€™Center
Journal Activity #1
Small Business Impact:
Understanding Your Life Theme Can Help You Keep Resolutions It is the beginning of the year and many of us have embarked on the tradition of reviewing our lives over the last 12 months and making a decision to do something, say something or be something better or different. We are excited about the opportunity to start again in this New Year and by March (or maybe some are more disciplined by August) we throw those resolutions out and decide to try again next January.
Creating resolutions is a strong and solid activity and it has a place. The act of thinking through what we want to accomplish is an excellent tool for helping us to accomplish things in our lives. Unfortunately, many of us set ourselves up for failure by not making sure that our resolutions match what we value. We propose, instead of making promises to yourself and others about what you want to do for next year, get a better understanding of what you value so you can create and keep meaningful resolutions through the year that will impact you and your small business. We can almost see your mouth turned up and eyes rolling. Military types are not trained to be concerned with the softer skills that are necessary to make it in
small business. Most of our training is about learning tangible skills, strategy and goal setting. Not many times in our careers have we been asked to describe the theme of the goal? Mostly the question is â€œwhat outcome do you want?â€? and that is generally a reference to the produced product, service or activity. So what is a life theme? Simply put, life themes reflect what you value. It is the words and ideas that drive you forward, give meaning to your life and inspire you to do something. Small business owners sometimes forget that the best way to ensure success in a business is to ensure they know who they are and what they value. You forget that you are a part of the wheel that is the company and if you are not doing well, the entire company can fail. It is extremely
“Simply put, life themes reflect what you value. It is the words and ideas that drive you forward, give meaning to your life and inspire you to do something.” important that you know who you are, what you want and what is important to you in order for you to understand how you contribute to the business and pivot when necessary. You can lose sight of why you went into business in the first place if you do not check in with yourself once a year. Completing this “life theme” activity will help you maintain focus, ensure you are producing what is needed for the company and staying true to you. Your plan does not need to be long – 3 to 4 pages tops. Here is an activity that you can complete to discover what your life theme is.
Exercise 1: Reflect on what you want people to say about you when you retire. Imagine you are at your retirement party. Who is in the room, where is it located and who is giving your going away speech? Perhaps you want to be seen as someone who is community minded and civically engaged. Or you prefer to be thought of as business savvy and quick witted. Make this picture clear in your mind. This is will help you later in this exercise.
Exercise 2: Review and label the items you possess. Take time and go through your home, car, and office. Gather up your DVDs, pictures, books and trinkets from each room and put them in one spot. Ask yourself: “What is the first word that comes to your mind when you see an item or group of items?” For example, the many law books in your library can be labeled “justice”. The pots, pans, cooking items can be labeled “comfort”, “celebration” or “health”. The collection of smiley faces can be labeled “joy”. Do this for each group you gathered. No more than 2 hours.
Exercise 3: Look at the other places in your life for the identified themes from exercise one? Do you see these same patterns in other areas of your life such as the slogan on t-shirts, Pinterest pictures, blog post you view or a wall calendar you really like? Look at the activities you do. Do you always make it to the Veteran’s day parade? Do you watch a particular show or DVR it to ensure you can watch it later? Are there causes or conversations you have where you are clearly passionate about the subject? Do not shy away from conversations where you were angry or sad. Your life theme may be hidden away in a difficult interaction. Put these items under the labels you have created above or create new ones. Example: You watch every Law and Order episode made. That might fall under “justice.” Once you have completed this exercise, compare what you wanted your reflection (Exercise 1) to be to the value labels you created. Do they match or are the things that you are collecting, reading and engaging in conflicting with this desired reflection? The themes you are displaying in your life now, will get you to a reflection that you may not want. This is the perfect time to begin to pivot in order to ensure that what you want people to remember about you is reflected in the values that you are following.
Exercise 4: Write your life theme and your reflection: Example: If you notice you have an abundance of items in law and joy. You might write a theme such as: My life theme is to keep justice and humor in the world. When people think of me I want them to smile and think about how honest I was with them.
Darcella K. Craven
This process can take several days (no more than two weeks) and might be challenging. That is good. It should be a significant task as it will help you to stick to your resolutions that you created because they are in alignment with what you value. This will help you make decisions in your small business as well. In another article we will discuss how to begin to integrate these themes into your small business decisions.
LOOK OUT FOR JOURNAL EXERCISE #2 IN NEXT MONTH’S ISSUE Darcella K Craven has over 20 years of experience in corporate, government, non-profit and military organizations. She is currently the Executive Director of the Veterans Business Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting Honorably Discharged Veterans, National Guard and Reservist and Active Duty personnel and their families with transitioning back into civilian life with starting and expanding businesses. An Army Veteran, she holds a Masters of Arts in Management from Webster University and is currently pursuing her Doctors of Management focusing on impact of military experience on small business decision making. Darcella has been featured in numerous articles for her transition from the military and the welfare system to an accomplished business woman and is actively involved in many civic organizations. www.vetbiz.com
V e t erans in Franchising
V e t erans in Franchising
W in H ome I nsp ection
One-Fourth of WIN Home Inspection Franchise Owners Are Veterans Discipline, multi-tasking skills, the ability to implement proven systems and form respectful relationships make vets ideal WIN Home Inspection franchisees. Armed with discipline, multi-tasking skills, the ability to implement proven procedures and the desire to help potential home buyers, veterans James Price and Dennis Lochard are successful WIN Home Inspection franchise owners. Price, 28, was not surprised to hear that WIN was one of the best franchises for veterans.
“I think a WIN franchise works for veterans because we have the discipline to follow procedures,” said Price, who has had his franchise in Lubbock, Texas, since March 2012. He opened another in Austin, Texas. “It came naturally to me.” “The core makeup of veterans has proven to be a perfect fit with the WIN Home Inspection brand,” said WIN President Steve Wadlington. “Their inherent comfort in following a plan, the ability to execute it with strong discipline, and their servant’s heart for delivering true value to customers all work together to give them a competitive edge. WIN business owners help home buyers, home sellers and real estate professionals clearly understand the functional value of a home, and our veterans stand tall in the consistency and professionalism they deliver.” WIN Home Inspection is one of the
Strategic-Partner James Price on the job at his franchise in Lubbock, Texas. In business since 2001, StrategicPartner Dennis Lochard has a franchise in Twin Peaks, Colorado. His brother, Jim, runs another location in Fort Collins, Colorado. Franchising USA
fastest-growing home inspection franchises in the country, and it is ranked as a top franchise opportunity by Entrepreneur magazine, Franchise Business Review and by G.I. Jobs. WIN stands apart from competitors by offering a consistent, professional home inspection service that home buyers appreciate and real estate agents respect. Training, technology and marketing support help franchise owners develop loyal relationships in the real estate industry that lead to a steady stream of customer referrals.
Vets “at ease” with WIN “The biggest thing to draw me in was the low overhead,” Price said about being able to take advantage of the fastest-growing home inspection franchise company’s “WIN for America” program. Qualified, honorably discharged U.S. military veterans may be eligible for a discount on the initial franchise fee for a WIN Standard Designated Market Area. The reduced fee is $13,500, compared with the regular $19,500. Inspired by the International Franchise Association’s “Operation Enduring Opportunity,” which is a concerted effort to help veterans find jobs and start businesses, WIN committed $1.2 million in 2012 to finance its own program, “WIN for America.” In 2013, six veterans were recipients of both Gold and Silver level awards, allowing for 50% or 10% of their franchise fee to be waived. Price was awarded a Gold level award.
“We want to give back to the service members who put their lives on the line for us,” said Terry McGee, WIN’s Director of Franchise Development. WIN Home Inspection also provides veterans a way to own a business with a flexible schedule. James was able to finish college while learning to be an owner. “You control your hours. I pick when I want to work,” Price said. Lochard, 54, began his business in Twin Peaks, Colorado, in 2001 after serving in the Army for nine years and then working in the corporate high tech manufacturing industry. He tries to schedule three inspections a day, six days a week so he can retire early. Some people may feel intimidated by the business and technical detail involved in a home inspection business, but Lochard explained one doesn’t have to have a background in any one topic because WIN will “teach you everything you need to know.” WIN Strategic-Partners get startup training and annual training, as well as
ongoing support over the life of their franchise agreements. Lochard appreciates that the fastest-growing home inspection franchise has an intranet where any WIN franchisee can ask a question, and other franchisees will share their experiences. “I like being in business for myself, but not by myself,” Price said of the benefits of being part of WIN.
Why home inspection is a smart move for veterans Price enjoys getting to know homebuyers and notifying them of a home’s issues or potential issues in a way they can understand. The advanced home inspection franchise has proprietary software quickly and efficiently generate comprehensive home inspection reports for clients.
professionally inspected, and WIN Home Inspection franchise owners charge an average of $375 per inspection. The average revenue for a Strategic-Partner is $112,000 before fees. “It is a strong industry that will only grow from here,” Price said of the home inspection industry. He now has one inspector and an office manager working for him. Lochard brought his brother, Jim, on board to run his second WIN location in Fort Collins, Colorado. He believes WIN “is a great way to own your own business. You have the satisfaction of owning your own business, building the business from the beginning. There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment.”
“It is so rewarding helping a young family buy their first house,” Lochard said.
To learn more, visit: www.winfranchising.com
Home sales rose 19 percent from 2010 to 2014 and that number is expected to grow. According to the National Association of Realtors, about 77% of homes are
Contact: Terry McGee Director of Franchise Development firstname.lastname@example.org
V e t erans in Franchising
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