Co-Founder Tracy Flanagan Shares the Mission Behind the Veteran-Centric Franchisor
Tracy Flanagan says that veterans are the strongest people you’ll ever meet. And she should know. Not only is she married to Army veteran Jerry Flanagan (above), but together they created JDog Brands, a 300-unit home services franchisor that exclusively partners with veterans and military family members.
Although veteran unemployment is generally lower than civilian unemployment, many veterans still struggle to find work. The U.S. Department of Labor shows that the veteran unemployment rate dropped to 2.7% in October 2022, down from 4.1% the prior year. But the Flanagans aim to lower that percentage even further (to under 1%) by providing opportunities for veteran business ownership and employment.
While there are many resources for veteran entrepreneurs, the Flanagans have created something trully unique with JDog. Their extended family of veteran entrepreneurs makes a difference every day by helping fellow veterans transition smoothly to civilian life. Tracy describes the impact that JDog business owners make as nothing short of incredible.
Through JDog, the Flanagans have empowered hundreds of veterans to launch their own businesses. In turn, those JDog franchise owners have employed fellow veterans in their communities. They have created a franchise company based on respect, integrity, and trust that follows the principles of hard work, dedication, and community service. Here, Tracy shares the mission and vision behind this veteran-centric brand.
1. Please share the goal and vision of JDog.
For veterans returning from service, transitioning to civilian life can be difficult. For those with entrepreneurial passions, carving out a lane to first-time business ownership can be just as challenging. JDog Brands, the nearly 300-unit home services franchisor behind both JDog Junk Removal & Hauling and JDog Carpet Cleaning & Floor Care, was created in 2011 with a unique mission to solve this issue by providing veterans with a reliable path to successful, first-time business ownership. JDog Brands was built on military values, with respect, integrity, and trust at its core. These values are upheld through all JDog communications and jobs. Our goal is to lower veteran unemployment to under 1% with a JDog in every zip code.
The military encourages a lifestyle of honor, courage, and service, which can, unfortunately, be the opposite of many modern work environments.
2. Why do you franchise exclusively to vets?
The military encourages a lifestyle of honor, courage, and service, which can, unfortunately, be the opposite of many modern work environments. That is why many veterans find it extremely difficult when trying to transition into civilian positions post-service. We offer job and business opportunities to lower the veteran unemployment rate.
After declaring bankruptcy during the Great Recession, my husband Jerry, a veteran himself, saw this firsthand. He set out to create a recession-proof company that could provide lucrative work opportunities that aligned with the skills, needs, and values of veterans. We decided on the junk hauling industry, establishing JDog Junk Removal & Hauling as a welcoming space for veteran entrepreneurs and quickly building a trusted reputation in their local community.
3. How has JDog impacted veterans and their families?
It has been an incredible experience watching the JDog family grow. We’ve watched veterans who were either unemployed or extremely frustrated proudly launch their own businesses and also bring employment opportunities to their communities. We’ve given veterans the ability to own or work on something they are truly passionate about. They give back to other veterans and their communities in the most selfless way possible. The impact these business owners have made is nothing short of incredible.
4. What do you want veterans to know about JDog?
That we’re here! We offer franchise opportunities for veterans and military family members, who we find share these same values on which we created our brands.
If there is a veteran-owned business in your community, make sure you’re supporting it.
5. What are some common misconceptions about veterans?
I think a lot of times, veterans come out of the service and people assume their skillset doesn’t translate to anything other than what they were trained to do in their military positions. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Veterans come with those skills yes, but also an amazing foundation to be franchise owners. They bring passion, determination and loyalty to their jobs, and are proven to be successful at following a model. They are the reason JDog Brands has seen the success it has.
6. Anything else you would like to share about veterans in franchising?
Veterans are the strongest people you’ll ever meet. If there is a veteran-owned business in your community, make sure you’re supporting it. Jerry and I couldn’t be prouder of every single owner in the system and what they bring to the veteran and franchising industries.