They say if you do something you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. I’m here to tell you, they couldn’t be more right.
When I started JDog Junk Removal & Hauling in 2011, I didn’t set out to create a U.S. Military Veteran brand, and I definitely had no idea what a positive force the business could become in the lives of Veterans.
Originally, it was a way for my wife and me to make some extra money on the weekends. Over time it became something much bigger—a way for me to inspire and motivate my fellow Veterans. It became my life’s mission.
The Veteran difference
JDog is a mission-driven company. Our team is focused on empowering Veterans and giving them business opportunities and a familiar culture in which they can thrive in the civilian world. We are the only franchise system that requires franchisees be military Veterans or Veteran family members.
The military breeds hard workers and promotes familiar values like respect, integrity, and trust—values that are woven into the very fabric of the JDog brand. People who have served in the military understand the importance of punctuality and properly groomed appearance, and this sets them apart as business owners and employees.
JDog’s experience is that customers value these attributes and will always choose a Veteran business for a service when they have the option. It’s a win-win. More franchise organizations should consider specialized programs for Veterans because of these considerations.
Most Veterans still say “Yes, Sir” or “No, Ma’am” because it’s been ingrained in them as a sign of respect. We extend that respect to the homes and businesses we’re working in and even to the items we’re hauling—items that today might be someone’s junk, but in the past were treasured items for the customers we’re serving.
In addition to our Veteran franchisee requirement, JDog also hires as many Veterans as possible because we understand the challenges they face. Transitioning from the military to the civilian world is often fraught with obstacles. The built-in support system and chain of command of the military is suddenly lost, and the civilian work environment is unfamiliar.
Working in the JDog franchise system provides a familiar structure for Veterans to once again work with others with whom they have served. The resulting camaraderie is inspirational and enables Veterans to work alongside others who understand what they’re going through and can support each other in both personal and professional matters. They rediscover the ethos of brotherhood and sisterhood they experienced in the military and they can flourish once again.
Behind every soldier
At JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, we recognize and honor the role a Veteran’s family plays in military service. Military families are often extremely close and they extend to neighbors, friends, and distant relatives—in effect, a support system that military spouses can lean on.
We felt it was essential to replicate that support system within JDog, and so we created JDog Spouses, a group my wife Tracy leads. Whether families are involved in the day-to-day operations of the JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchise or not, the JDog Spouses organization provides advice, resources, and other help to balance family challenges while growing a JDog Junk Removal & Hauling business. It’s yet another tribute to our military roots and another way we’re promoting the best elements of military life.
A future for Veteran business owners
JDog’s vision is to empower Veterans through business ownership, creating financial and career opportunities that enable them to serve their local communities and realize their life goals. When we started this business seven years ago, we couldn’t have imagined that our humble, two-person operation would transform into a national American-owned, Veteran-operated organization with 180 active locations serving more than 36.6 million Americans.
But it has, and more importantly, we’ve started a movement, creating business and employment opportunities for Veterans and military family members nationwide.
Jerry Flanagan is an Army Veteran and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, a national Veteran brand dedicated to empowering Veterans through business ownership.