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  • Leveraging Military Experience for Franchise Success

    Lieutenant Colonel David Robinson completed his due diligence and selected ARCpoint Labs as his franchise of choice. There couldn’t be a more suited military candidate for this franchise opportunity. David’s 23 years of military experience as a communications officer with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan and his current position as a Reserve Battalion Commander at Ft. Carson, CO made him more than qualified to run a successful medical testing franchise. His history of supporting military members through his role as a Unit Prevention Leader (UPL) and through his involvement with the Army Substance Abuse Program(ASAP) has also helped him to see the importance of utilizing drug testing services for the military through his new franchise in Boulder, CO.

    Not only has David’s military experience complimented his franchise choice, his civilian sector experience has also greatly positioned his company to offer services and solutions which will benefit the community. Currently, David is very involved in the civilian sector through his position as a Reserve Peace Officer in which he volunteers his time 2-3 shifts a month. He is actively involved on the board of  Colorado Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). His training includes conducting Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE). David anticipates that his new franchise will address the needs of the law enforcement community and the possible need for DNA & Forensic testing in the future.

    David was able to make the decision of selecting ARCpoint Labs through the support of Veterans Business Services (VBS) and will continue to receive support with his goals to capture government contracts as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOB). As a Service Disabled Veteran he is capable of bidding on any drug testing contracts and is eligible for government set aside contracts as well. His MBA and 15 years experience in government contracting within the Satellite Operations industry is sure to compliment his business plans with ARCpoint Labs. David was able to work with the ARCpoint Labs National Accounts group, who have supported his plans to attempt to capture government contracts in the Department of Transportation, Department of Defense, and local government agencies. David was able to finance this opportunity through a home equity loan, personal saving and a VBS Grant that was provided to assist him in the startup costs of the franchise. VBS is very proud to be able to promote his success and continue to support him with his government contracting efforts in the future.

    ARCpoint Labs is a full-service national third-party provider/administrator providing Accurate, Reliable, and Confidential drug, alcohol, DNA and steroid testing, employment/background and wellness screening and corporate wellness programs. The company is nationally recognized and affiliated with the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) and Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association (SAPAA) and has developed a comprehensive program incorporating the many aspects of federally mandated and non-mandated testing. ARCpoint Labs has been in the drug and alcohol testing business for over eighteen years and has over sixty years of combined staff experience.

    For additional information about ARCpoint Labs please visit http://www.veteransbusinessservices.us/product-item/arcpoint-labs/

  • Retired Marine Finds Perfect Fit at Archadeck

    For former Marine Kyle Faulkner, owning an Archadeck Outdoor Living franchise fit perfectly with his background, seeing that he’s a third generation carpenter. Both his grandfather and father owned construction companies that specialized in building residential homes, so once Faulkner was done with the military, Archadeck just seemed like a good fit.

    “I started out doing construction from the time I was really old enough to swing a hammer,” Faulkner said during a recent interview from his headquarters in Raleigh, NC, where he is the CEO and owner of the Raleigh-Durham territory of Archadeck. While his father and grandfather specialized in houses, Faulkner, as part of Archadeck, has a more niche specialty. The company designs and builds outdoor living areas like decks, screened porches, patios and sunrooms. It’s part of the Outdoor Living Brands family of franchises, along with Renew Crew, Mosquito Squad and Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. Faulkner has been with Archadeck since October of 2013 when he purchased a small portion of the Raleigh territory. In early 2014, he took over the entire Raleigh Durham area and has been in operation for a year. The franchise was recommended to him by a family friend who also happened to be a business broker who knew about Archadeck. “He knew it kind of fit my background, which is in construction,” Faulkner said. Once he found out about the franchise, it was just a matter of meeting with Rob Haislip, the Vice-President of franchise operations with Archadeck Outdoor Living, and a lucrative partnership was forged.

    Looking for Stability

    Prior to joining Archadeck, Faulkner spent eight years in the Marines in the engineering field hopping back and forth between the US and the Middle East. All that instability made him yearn for a place to settle down into a more stable position where he could establish some roots rather than being deployed for a year at a time and being stationed somewhere new every couple of years, which meant picking up stakes and moving.  “It’s difficult to have a family and to have that grounded base that I wanted to have,” he said. “I saw lots of my friends raise their kids from thousands of miles away and get to see them only on holidays and I knew that that’s not what I wanted.” So, after eight years in the Marines, he completed some schooling and ended up moving back to North Carolina from San Diego to take over the Raleigh Durham territory. After he made the decision to leave the Marines, Faulkner said, he wanted something to call his own and owning his own business seemed like the best way to accomplish that goal. And joining a franchise means they can provide assistance with getting the business up and running, he explained, while still allowing the franchisee room to grow and make changes that they think are necessary.

    Getting Started

    Getting started with Archadeck meant four weeks of training in Richmond, VA, going there for two weeks, getting a one-week break and then going back for two more weeks. During that time, they went through everything they could, Faulkner recalled, but it’s hard to fit everything you need to know about the business into four weeks. There are so many products available and so many things to learn about building codes and standards. For example, Faulkner’s territory encompasses 27 different jurisdictions that all have their own building codes and standards, all of which he has to know and follow while designing and building outdoor living spaces. Fortunately, Archadeck also provides ongoing support and training like making sure that if any assistance is needed with material or vendors or the aforementioned building codes, that franchisees get the assistance they need. Different people in the Richmond headquarters have different areas of expertise like drafting, building codes and inbound and outbound marketing. These specialists are there to help franchisees should they have any questions or need a hand. Archadeck franchisees also meet regularly for their annual meeting and regional meetings and are more than happy to share business practices and tips with each other.

    Working Balance into Life

    Although his work/life balance is far different than before, it still affords him the time to see his family. During his active duty time with the Marines, when he was in the States, Faulkner said, he would work six to eight hours per day, but he was off on the weekends and holidays and tended to take a lot of early days on Fridays. But, on the other hand, when deployed, the work was almost non-stop, seven days per week. Nowadays, he works on average about 10-14 hours per day, but does make a point to take Saturday or Sunday off to spend with his family. He still answers the phone, though. It always seems like he’s working, the Archadeck owner said, but he can now work from home or he schedule the work around appointments and other things because it also affords him flexibility to make his own schedule. As long as people are prepared for the amount of work it takes to make a successful franchise, he said, it’s well worth it to get into, especially if you seemed to be born for this kind of thing, like being a third-generation carpenter.

     

  • Ice House Success Story: Barry Hill

    For the last 14 years, Barry Hill, 36, and his wife Maranda, 34, lived the military life. Having been stationed on bases from Hawaii to Georgia to their current base of Camp Pendleton in Southern California, the U.S. Marine Corps couple endured four deployments before Hill was wounded in Afghanistan. Now, they are retiring earlier than originally planned and heading into a new life. “We didn’t really have a Plan B,” Maranda admits. “The original plan was to stay in for 30 years or more.”

    But they quickly found their new plan and now they are franchisees of Ice House America, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based business that franchises IceBorn ice vending machines. It was a business model the Louisiana natives thought was “cool” concept and one they could handle despite no previous business experience. “Whenever we were on leave we’d go home [to Lousiana] and over the last eight years we started noticing these ice machines in the Walmart parking lot and places like that,” Maranda says. “Our families are avid outdoorsmen and we would regularly visit one of the machines and like it from the customer’s point of view. We also noticed there were none on the West Coast.” There is now. The Hills opened their first unit on the San Ononfre Beach near at Camp Pendelton and have worked out approval for three more on the base, as well as other locales. The couple’s goal is to expand to 20 machines on various bases. It’s a business model that allows the couple to be self-employed while still living maintaining their lifestyle. “We wanted to be self-employed,” Maranda says. “We looked into a car wash and things like that, but we were always drawn back to Ice House America.” One of the reasons, Maranda says, was that Ice House America offered not only a veteran-friendly environment but also a franchisee-friendly environment. “A lot of the franchises we looked at dictated everything. Ice House America encourages you to own the machine and understands that if your location doesn’t work, you can move it to somewhere that will be better,” she says.

    Ice House America honors military veterans by offering service members a discount through the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program. Ice House America is proud to waive the startup fee and the first 12 months of royalties to all qualifying military veterans.

    About Ice House America:

    Ice House America, headquartered in Jacksonville, FL and founded in 2003, already has more than 2,700 installed and independently owned ice house locations in 27 states. There are over 100 corporate-owned Ice House locations, with the balance independently owned and operated.  In addition to being chosen as “Top New Franchises to Watch” in 2014, landing on Entrepreneur’s 2014 Franchise 500 list, IceBorn was named a 2013 Military Friendly Franchise by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Vetrepreneur.

  • Live 2 B Healthy Veteran Success Story: Air Force Master Sergeant Mark D. Templeton

    Working with residents of all shapes and ability levels, the Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness Team has witnessed miraculous social and physical benefits for elder care residents. We’re proud to bring senior fitness services to a full range of senior residential facilities, allowing them to support a healthier lifestyle for residents.

    Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness has also taken a strong interest in supporting Veterans interested in the Senior Fitness franchise model. Management has been interviewing Veterans who are separating from the Military who want to give back to their community and who have a commitment to helping seniors. Veterans who are retired or who are separating from the service could be a great fit for this low overhead, high profit margin opportunity.

    Not only is the franchise organization offering a great incentive to Veterans which is 10% off the initial franchise fee, but they have also partnered with Veterans Business Services who also provides an additional incentive to help Veterans work towards their franchise ownership dreams.

    Take for example, Air Force Master Sergeant Mark D. Templeton – Regional Owner for Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness, Southwest Houston.  Mark believes, “Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness, has a mission and vision that is closely aligned with his passion for senior fitness.  He believes, “ That with the right mindset, the franchise offers a realistic opportunity to grow a great business . My  21 years service experience has been very beneficial when it came to building the business from the organizational skills I learned to set up the business, to the communication skills I learned to networking and marketing of my business, to the confidence in setting and achieving my business goals. Unlike other franchise opportunities, I was not rushed to make a decision. The decision process allowed for a great deal of research and planning; it allowed me to demonstrate the potential for success to myself as well as to the company. “

    Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness invites all Veterans who are interested in a unique opportunity to seek us out and learn more about our franchise.

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