Marine Veteran Finds Success in Sir Grout Franchise

Former Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Freeman Shares His Path to Small Business Ownership

After 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Joseph Freeman chose a Sir Grout franchise for a new chapter in his career. “I focus on the work and customer service, and corporate has my back on everything else,” the retired Gunnery Sergeant says.

Freeman chose an industry niche that’s growing steadily. The global market for tile and grout cleaning services is projected to have a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% from now through 2030, according to But Sir Grout offers the bonus of additional services: stone restoration and repairs as well as the application of protective coatings and sealers to almost any hard surface, from steel and tile to concrete and various types of stone.

Top-Noch Services

“I chose this brand because all of the services we do are top-notch,” says Freeman, whose Sir Grout unit is in Crystal Coast, N.C. “And between the national call center and the website, customers can easily find me. By myself, I could not replicate the efficiency and productivity of these corporate resources.”

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He sees Sir Grout as an excellent business model for veterans. “They know how to execute based on a plan. And they’re adjustable. Adjust ability was the most crucial skill I learned during my military service. Be like water when everyone is like rock. You have to be flexible and be able to adjust plans on the fly.

Transition from the Military

“For those same reasons, veterans perform well in corporate America, too. But the big attraction of franchising is that I can be my own boss, have a network of support, and have Small Business Administration funding that provides working capital to get my franchise off its feet. 

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“Once I left the Marines, franchising made sense because I already owned a welding and fabrication business, and franchising would help me break into a different market quickly while continuing to oversee my other business. Some brands require the owners to spend a lot of time on marketing and administrative tasks, but Sir Grout handles that load so I can work on building my business,” says Freeman, who enlisted because of 9/11. “I decided to join the Marines after I watched the twin towers fall. The moment I was eligible to enlist, I did so. I went to recruit training in 2003 and have done a stack of different jobs in the 20 years I served.”

Rewarding Work

Today he’s always gratified to see the fruits of his labor with Sir Grout — transforming worn, dingy, dull and stained materials back into pristine condition and applying products to keep them looking like new. Freeman is confident that his Sir Grout franchise, which opened Sept. 4 of this year, has a bright future. “I intend to add a new technician and a new truck to help out with the workload as my business grows.”

Like all Sir Grout franchisees, Freeman received extensive prelaunch training. The learning process starts with online coursework on operations, products and procedures. Next franchisees go to Sir Grout’s training facility to learn more about operations and sales; they also drill down into individual services and products. The final training segment, stone restoration, gets particularly intense, with roughly 45 hours of instruction.

For more information about the Sir Grout franchise, visit

Why Sir Grout Franchise?

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Benefits of joining the Sir Grout team are:

  • A national call center and website referrals help franchisees build their customer base.
  • Multiple revenue streams extend beyond grout/tile cleaning to stone restoration as well as the application of slip-resistant and high-durability coatings for homes and businesses.
  • As a home-based business, Sir Grout franchisees have minimal overhead.
  • Because of the brand’s fast, odorless processes, franchisees enjoy loyal, repeat customers who refer their friends.
  • Sir Grout provides comprehensive pre-opening training followed by ongoing support, with technical and operational advice available by phone every day.
  • The trusted brand puts persuasive marketing materials at franchisees’ fingertips.
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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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