By Rhonda Sanderson

Mark McMurray, 49, is no stranger to hard work and challenges.  After serving in the Marines he moved on to become an officer in the Navy where he served his country honorably for many years before moving on to corporate life.  He was a consultant to many large public corporations and small private businesses, both in house and as a management consultant. It was during those years spent consulting with small, branch based businesses that he decided to open his own business, Floor Coverings International of North Tampa.

He chose Floor Coverings International after much due diligence. The 150 plus unit franchise based in Norcross Georgia, offered many of the key elements McMurray was looking for.

“I liked the thought of providing a great product and bringing the mobile unit filled with samples of 3000 types of flooring to people’s homes. That’s great customer service and convenience. And I get to build a dedicated work team at the same time.  That’s something that appealed to me from my military background,” said McMurray.

Having advised many business owners Mark offers his own advice to others looking for the same opportunity Mark found via a franchise model.

“The potential franchise you end up with should be something that you are naturally interested in; they should have the kind of model that fits your management/leadership style, be in the right territory, be affordable, and have a trustworthy and supportive franchisor and network, and the ability for you to build on its value.  It’s not easy to find a suitable candidate with all those criteria!  I had heard of Floor Coverings International during my previous career and had heard great things about the culture of the company.”

After years of moving around McMurray says he’s thrilled to have embraced Tampa for the past eight years as his home. His mobile business has plenty of room for growth giving him the opportunity to work with his family too.

Most everyone knows that attention to detail is a priority in every branch of the military. That’s why Bristol’s Peter Hackett could not have made a more fitting choice for his second career. The 48-year-old Hackett became a Pillar To Post home inspection franchise owner recently after having spent 24 years in the Coast Guard. A keen eye is a requirement for every home inspector and Hackett had plenty of practice over the past two-plus decades.

“In the Coast Guard, I had a strong background in inspections for all types of boats,” Hackett said. “I also moved around a bit and was forced to work on my own homes. I feel this industry is a great fit for me. That’s my advice for veterans looking to get into business for themselves. What did you do in the service that you enjoyed and are good at? Then do your due diligence and check into franchise systems where you can apply all that great knowledge you learned in the military.”

Hackett serves residential and business clients throughout all of Rhode Island. Veterans made up 20 percent of Pillar To Post’s new franchisees in 2016, thanks in part to a 20 percent discount on its initial franchise fee to those who qualified, and the company’s award of five-star VetFran status from the International Franchise Association, one of only 100 franchisors of the 600 who participate in the program to be awarded five stars. “Pillar To Post offers a lot of support to help you get off the ground,” Hackett said. “I also feel they are the industry leader in providing innovation to the home inspection process.”

Rhonda Sanderson has been a Marketing/PR specialist in the franchise community for 36 years. Reach her at Twitter:@SandersonPR