In this exclusive Q&A, we learn more about JDog Junk Removal & Hauling from its founder and CEO Jerry Flanagan.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Tell us about your background and why you started JDog Junk Removal & Hauling?
Jerry Flanagan (JF): I’m an Army Veteran and an entrepreneur at heart. My sole purpose for starting JDog in 2011 revolves around the American public’s support of current and former military service members and the belief that those who serve know how to get the tough jobs done.
Veterans, now more than ever, need post-military career options and that’s what JDog is all about – creating business ownership opportunities for military veterans and their families. JDog is the first company ever to have built a national military veteran brand that can dominate the retail segments it enters.
Our franchisees operate camouflage-themed vehicles and trailers, wear military style uniforms, and work to sort, recycle, discard and transport items for homeowners, commercial business and government offices.
FC: It sounds like you’ve recently had some pretty big names join the face of the business. Can you tell us about your advisory board?
JF: We have a JDog Joint Chiefs Advisory Board made up of highly placed military veterans and successful entrepreneurs who all advise the company and coach franchisees.
On the board is retired Marine Major General Douglas O’Dell, who was appointed by President George W. Bush as Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
We also have retired Army Captain Larry Liss, one of the most highly decorated helicopter pilots of the Vietnam War.
We recently added Forrest Pragoff, who spent time with the Delaware National Guard and was a General Officer and later President General of the nation’s first military veterans’ organization, the Society of the Cincinnati.
We are so proud to have caught the attention of these high-level military officials who help steer our national franchise in the right direction.
FC: Is the junk removal industry growing?
JF: The junk removal and hauling business is rapidly growing, underserved and highly profitable. Americans have a lot of stuff—excess stuff that’s piling up and creating anxiety for people who just don’t know where to begin. While junk removal may not be glamorous, it’s needed and profitable.
JDog franchisees help people de-clutter their lives and breathe easier. Plus, our customers feel good about where all that junk is going—it’s recycled, repurposed or donated to schools, hospitals or charities like Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity.
FC: What is the benefit of starting a national franchise that’s solely focused on military veterans?
JF: The first thing they teach you in the service is respect, integrity, trust and work ethic. Those skills were emphasized in my military training and they still guide me. I think that people who served make great franchisees, because they apply this same discipline to everything they do.
JDog franchisees all work with the priority of hiring other veterans to work in their business. The sentiment of brotherhood among veterans resonates with those who become franchisees and defines the operating environment of the company.
FC: How big is the franchise now?
JF: We are growing incredibly fast! We currently have 13 franchise locations in the U.S. covering six states – Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. We have another 7 potential franchisees ready to buy and over 1,600 franchise leads nationwide.
FC: What does it cost to get involved?
JF: The total initial investment range is approximately $33,000 to $88,400. This includes the franchise fee and purchase and outfitting of a vehicle and trailer.
FC: Do you give back to the community?
JF: Our franchisees work with local Veterans Affairs organizations to support the rehabilitation of veterans through our Compensated Work Therapy program.
We also support other veteran organizations through JDog’s donation program, which involves donating 10 percent of the company’s net income to a veteran charity as determined by the franchisees.
FC: What’s your best piece of advice for veterans trying to transition into civilian life – and possibly considering a franchise?
JF: In my experience as a highly trained and skilled military service member, trying to get a satisfying civilian job was extremely difficult and there were a lot of disconnects. Today, as I travel the country visiting veteran job fairs, I’m realizing that veterans and transitioning service members are not sure of how to best apply their skills in a civilian career.
The best piece of advice I can offer is not to underestimate your ability. Take advantage and apply all of your skills from the military in every possible setting.
About JDog Junk Removal & Hauling
JDog Junk Removal & Hauling is a national company that sells franchises exclusively to military veterans and veteran family members – people who understand the notion of service to our country, hard work, and dedication. The company is committed to offering its proven operating model to veterans and military family members, enabling them to realize the American dream of business ownership.
JDog currently has locations in Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee, and is actively looking for qualified franchisees to join the JDog movement nationwide. For more information on JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, please visit www.jdogjunkremoval.com.