FedEx announced that Rumi Spice, a veteran-Owned business, is the grand prize winner of its sixth annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

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Rumi Spice

Rumi Spice Wins Grand Prize of $25,000, Plus $7,500 in FedEx Office Services

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FedEx recently announced  that Rumi Spice – a Chicago-based business that sources and brings to market premier saffron from the fields of Afghanistan – is the grand prize winner of its sixth annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. Rumi Spice will receive a $25,000 grant, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office® print and business services to help them continue to grow their business both in the U.S. and internationally.

“We had many qualified entries into the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest this year, but Rumi Spice really embodied what we look for in a grand prize winner,” said Scott Harkins, senior vice president, Customer Channel Marketing at FedEx. “Not only did they see and pursue a viable business opportunity, but they have a demonstrated passion for connecting Afghanistan to the international marketplace. As a global company that connects people and possibilities around the world, FedEx appreciates this and we look forward to helping them take their business to the next level.”

The idea for Rumi Spice was born after co-founders Kimberly Jung, Keith Alaniz and Emily Miller, all former Army officers who served in the military in Afghanistan, connected with international tax attorney Carol Wang of the Afghan Rural Enterprise Development Program. They all saw the need to provide alternatives to opium farming and felt the only way to a sustainable future was through economic empowerment of the Afghan people. Since 2014, when it was founded as part of a startup program at Harvard Business School where Kimberly and Emily were students, the company has been working with rural Afghan farmers to grow and harvest top-quality, sustainably-farmed saffron. More than 1,900 Afghan women then work to hand-process the saffron during the five-week harvest season each year. Finally, the saffron is shipped to Rumi Spice in Chicago where it is packaged and sent to Michelin star restaurants and consumers all over the U.S.

The Rumi team, which aims to bring people together through food, is committed to empowering Afghan women and bolstering the Afghan economy by reinvesting in the local community, ultimately promoting peace and stability in this war-torn country.

“We are very excited to have been named the grand prize winner of the 2018 FedEx Small Business Grant contest,” said Kimberly Jung, CEO of Rumi Spice. “This grant will not only help us improve our supply chain logistics as we transport saffron out of Afghanistan, but it will help build a sustainable future for peace through the economic empowerment of rural farmers across the country.”

In addition to the grand prize, FedEx also awarded Drop Water of Menlo Park, Calif., $15,000, plus $5,000 in FedEx Office services.

The following eight businesses received $7,500 grants and $1,000 in FedEx Office services, as well:

“It’s an honor to award our print and business services to this year’s FedEx Small Business Grant Contest winners,” said Tracy Brightman, senior vice president of Human Resources and Communications for FedEx Office. “While these entrepreneurs are a driving force in the success of our economy, they’re also giving back to their local communities and we’re proud to fuel their contributions.”

The 2018 contest garnered more than 7,800 entries from candidates across the United States and more than 660,000 votes. Since its launch in 2013, more than 21,000 small businesses have entered the contest in the United States alone. The contest has now grown from one country to eleven countries and the grant pool for the U.S. contest has grown from $50,000 to more than $120,000 in total prizes.

FedEx. Solutions that Matter.® Helping Small Businesses.

The FedEx portfolio of services allows small businesses to gain access to the global marketplace and to shipping, logistics and printing solutions. For more information on how FedEx helps small businesses, please visit the FedEx Small Business Center at fedex.com/smallbusiness.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $64 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 425,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.

Defense News Lists DynCorp International to 2018 Top 100

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DynCorp

McLean, VA – (August, 2018) – Defense News has included DynCorp International (DI) in its Top 100 for 2018 list, ranking DI at number 54 according to 2017 defense revenue figures.

In 2017, DI’s total defense revenue was $1.5 billion and made up 75 percent of the company’s total revenue for the year.

Data for the Top 100 list comes from information Defense News solicited from companies, companies’ annual reports and Defense News staff research.

About Defense News

Defense News provides the global defense community with the latest news and analysis on defense programs, policy, business and technology through its bureaus and reporters around the world. Their coverage circulates to top leaders and decision makers around the world.

About DynCorp International
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on over seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.

From Service to Startup: Cars, Charity, and Community Service

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Gary-Peterson

Your first business plan. Your first employee. The training course that gives you an edge in the marketplace. Finding a mentor. Receiving the capital you need to expand your business. The turning point when long, hard hours begin to pay off in steady streams of income.

It’s the moment you realize you had an idea that worked—an idea you turned into a business. A dream that became reality.

Each of these pivotal moments—no matter how big or small—is a moment that matters in the veteran entrepreneurship journey. They represent growth, employment, service, delivery, and freedom.

In the United States, nearly one in 10 businesses—or approximately 2.5 million—are veteran-owned. These veteran-owned businesses contribute approximately $1.4 trillion to the nation’s total sales/receipts per year, making them a critical pillar of the American economy. The SBA works to empower these veteran entrepreneurs by providing the resources and access to opportunity required for business ownership. Since its inception in 2013, SBA’s Boots to Business (B2B) and Boots to Business Reboot program have served over 60,000 service members, veterans, and military spouses. From breweries and used car dealerships to software consulting and IT sales, these Boots to Business graduates have transitioned from service members to business owners.

Gary Peterson is a retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Major and owner of One Community Auto in New Mexico. Peterson’s One Community Auto is the product of a lifelong passion for automobiles combined with his post-service mission of giving back to the community. Since its inception, the business has grown exponentially and was named one of SCORE’s 2017 Small Business Champions.

Bringing Business to Life

Peterson joined the Air Force out of high school and served approximately 23 years before retiring in Albuquerque. A few months after retiring, Peterson actually worked as a Business Advisor at his local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Albuquerque.

“Gary Peterson is one of our most successful business owners,” said Richard Coffel, Director of the New Mexico VBOC. “Actually—he got the bug to start a business while working here at our VBOC as the Business Advisor. By helping other veterans, Gary saw how to conquer most of the challenges when starting a business and applied these newly learned traits to start his own small business.”

During his tenure as an advisor, Peterson decided to take the Boots to Business course, dusting off a business idea he had temporarily put on the shelf.

“I’d always been a huge car nut and had an affinity for fixing them up. Plus, I was a transportation and mechanical guy during my time with USAF,” said Peterson. “I loved community service and had this crazy business idea that combined the two. Taking Boots to Business—both the in-person and eight-week follow-on—helped me put my ideas together in a comprehensive business plan.”

“I came on board as Gary’s replacement, and found him to be one of the most knowledgeable, hungry entrepreneurs I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Coffel. “He is constantly seeking higher and higher challenges.”

For Peterson, Boots to Business opened the door to several SBA resources that were integral to his business success.

“Before B2B, I didn’t fully understand how to operate and grow a business. B2B helped me start my business and most importantly, connect me with resources I needed in the startup phase—such as bookkeeping, financing, and marketing,” said Peterson. “It opened my eyes to what it takes to be a business owner. Once I decided to pursue business ownership, B2B gave me the direction I needed and the steps to take to get started.”

Peterson tapped into the SBA ecosystem, harnessing the power of SBA resource partners to make the most of his business concept. After connecting with the Albuquerque Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) (link is external), Peterson also developed relationships with the local Small Business Development Center (link is external) (SBDC), SCORE (link is external), SBA District Office, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (link is external) (PTAP). Peterson’s sister, who helps with front office operations, even leveraged the Women’s Business Center (link is external) on behalf of One Community Auto.

“B2B started this chain reaction of business networking for me,” said Peterson. “I’ve worked closely with my VBOC—in fact, they’re the ones who recommended SCORE’s Emerging Leaders course. All of the SBA resources have continued to mentor and provide me with the tools I need to grow.”

The One Community Auto Motto: Everybody Wins

A unique idea to say the least, One Community Auto is a used car dealership that raises money for local charities through refurbished car sales. Once One Community Auto receives a car donation—usually a rundown model—they refurbish and then sell the donated car at their Albuquerque retail lot. They characterize the business model as a win-win for every party involved.

“Generally, when charities go through auctions, they only receive 1-20% of the sale,” said Peterson. “When the charities go through us, they’re able to receive 55-60% of the car sale. The car donor receives a much higher tax deduction as well.”

In the end, the donor receives a higher tax deduction than they would via a traditional charity auction; the charity receives a higher percentage of the sale; and the new car owner purchases a vehicle for a lower price than they would from a traditional used car dealership.

2017 Small Business Champion and Beyond

When Peterson first started One Community Auto in 2013, he was the sole employee, had one charity partner, and a total year one revenue of $26,000. Within four years, his business has grown to partner with 16 local charities and employ five people (including one part-time veteran). Now a fully profitable business, Peterson intends to expand One Community Auto and its services across the state of New Mexico—ultimately aiming for a nationwide presence with franchise units in every state.

“Gary has utilized every resource available to him, including the VBOC, SBDC, and SCORE,” said Coffel. “He has learned so much in such a short time that we actually put him on a contract to teach the Boots to Business course at our military installations. His ability to relate to the young entrepreneurs at these classes has proven to be current real-time experiences that students can tremendously benefit from.”

For veterans seeking business ownership or self-employment, Peterson provides a few key takeaways from his own entrepreneurial journey.

  • Create a business plan as soon as possible. Even if the plan is preliminary, a one-page business model canvas helps you at least sketch out your ideas. “If you’re still taking courses, focus them on business-related topics like marketing, accounting, sales, public speaking and so on,” said Peterson.
  • Take advantage of all available resources. Get help early with resources, especially those offered by the SBA. “The easiest thing to do is get some help and mentorship through VBOC, SBDC (link is external), SCORE (link is external), and other similar organizations. They can guide you through everything you need to do to be successful,” said Peterson. “They want to see you succeed.”
  • Use your military experience to guide the way—and don’t forget to take care of yourself. “The military teaches you how to be mission-focused, disciplined, a problem solver, and also a team player,” said Peterson. “Most importantly, the military teaches you how to take care of yourself in order to withstand stress. Use what you learned to carry you through your business ownership journey.”

If you’re a veteran, service member—including National Guard and Reserve, or a military spouse interested in starting, purchasing, or growing a business, tap into OVBD’s resource network today. To learn more about Boots to Business, or to sign up to attend the next two-day course in your area, visit sba.gov/B2B.

Source: sba.gov

Starting a Business? Steps every entrepreneur needs to know

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Two young men reviewing business documents

Confused about the planning, legal and regulatory steps you should follow?

Did you know that home-based businesses are required to hold permits to operate legally in most states? What about incorporation?

Many new businesses assume they need to incorporate or become an LLC from the get-go—but the truth is, more than 70 percent of small businesses are owned by unincorporated sole proprietors (although even this group is required to register their businesses).

So, variables aside, there are still some fundamental steps that any business needs to follow to get started. Below are steps that can help you plan, prepare, and manage your business—while taking care of the startup legalities. Not all these steps will apply to all businesses, but working through them will give you a sense of what needs your attention and what you can check off.

Write a Business Plan

Yeah, yeah, you know you should write a business plan whether you need to secure a business loan or not. The thing is, a business plan doesn’t have to be encyclopedic and it doesn’t have to have all the answers. A well-prepared plan—revisited often—will help you steer your business all along its growth curve. Try to think of your business plan as a living, breathing project, not a one-time document. Break it down into mini-plans—one for marketing, one for pricing, one for operations, and so on.

Get Help and Training

Starting a business can be a lonely endeavor, but there are lots of free in-person and online resources  that can help advise you as you get started. Check out what‘s offered at your Small Business Development Centers; SCORE, at score.com (which offers free mentoring services); Women’s Business Centers, your local U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) office, or DisabilityIn.

Choose Your Business Location

Where you locate your business may be the single most important decision you make. Many factors come into play such as proximity to suppliers, the competition, transportation access, demographics, and zoning regulations.

Understand Your Financing Options

You may choose to bootstrap, fall back on savings, or even keep a full-time job until your business is profitable, but if you are looking for an external source of financing, these resources explain your options.

Decide on a Business Structure

Going it alone or forming a partnership? Thinking of incorporating? What about an LLC? How you structure your business can reduce your personal liability for business losses and debts. Some choices can give you tax benefits. To help you determine the right structure for your business, the SBA can provide an overview of your options, information on how to file the necessary paperwork in your state, and the tax implications of your decision.

Register Your Business Name (“Doing Business As”)

Registering a “Doing Business As” name or “trade name” is only needed if you name your business something other than your personal name, the names of your partners, or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation.

Get a Tax ID

Not every business needs a tax ID from the IRS (also known as an “Employer Identification Number” or EIN), but if you have employees, run a business partnership, a corporation or meet certain IRS criteria, you must obtain an EIN from the IRS. You’ll also need to start paying estimated taxes to the IRS; visit irs.gov for more about this process.

Register with Tax Authorities

Employment taxes, sales taxes, and state income taxes are handled at the state-level. Visit sba.gov to learn more about your state’s tax requirements and how to comply.

Apply for Permits and Licenses

All businesses, even home-based businesses, need a license or permit to operate. The SBA provides a guide explaining permits and licensing and includes a handy “Permit Me” tool that lets you determine what your permit and licensing needs are, based on your zip code and business type.

The SBA is one of your best resources for establishing, operating and growing your business.

Source: SBA

How to Recruit Veterans to Your Business

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Veteran looking at iPad

So many businesses today have discovered how much veterans have to offer their company and are scrambling to hire as many military veterans as possible.

With more and more service members transitioning to civilian life every year, many businesses are searching for those well-educated, well-disciplined, professional men and women.

Not so long ago, it was veterans that were having trouble finding suitable work, today, this has changed. Companies are competing to get the best of the best, trying to promote themselves as military and veteran friendly, and attract veterans to their door.

Whether you are trying to recruit a veteran on your own, or are working with a recruiting firm, there are several practices that will help your company attract veterans. They are:

  • Become known as a military company. You can do this by simply attending and sponsoring military events. For example, attend military job fairs, post jobs on military job boards, and sponsor military events. This will help you become known as a military friendly employer and when searching for jobs, they will look to you.
  • Network with military groups. Whether you volunteer to speak for a military group, or attend other social functions, it is important to network with these groups. These will be great resources to you when it comes time to hire for a position. Make sure that you allow your military staff to participate as well. When they network and keep in touch with fellow military veterans, they will be great sources of referrals.
  • Build your brand towards being an organization that is military and veteran friendly. This can be done in a multitude of ways; the key is making sure that you are known in the community as a veteran friendly business.
  • Take the time to set up your job ads and job descriptions to relate to military jargon. It will be easier for veterans to understand how their skills will relate to your job when you break it down for them in words they understand. This will also help them in their transition to civilian life.
  • Use your current employees, who are veterans, as mentors and trainers within your organization. Again this will help your new veteran employees to feel more comfortable during their transition. This kind of comfort will translate for you as well, as they will tell other veterans looking for position.

If you are looking to recruit veterans into your business environment, consider these implementing these practices into your business culture. When you do, you will become known as a military and/or veteran friendly business and will have more candidates than you can hire.

Source: absolutelyamerican.com

Why is U.S. Veterans Magazine a top magazine for veteran entrepreneurs?

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Career Tips

Some of the most trusted individuals in American society are the brave men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. In fact, 87 percent of citizens say they have confidence in the military, making it the highest rated institution in the U.S., according to this NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll from January 2018.

That said, it comes as no surprise that veterans make great entrepreneurs and that reputable and relevant publications like U.S. Veterans Magazine are a top magazine for entrepreneurs. The magazine exists to celebrate the accomplishments of veterans and being a veteran entrepreneur is one such accomplishment.

It makes sense that military service members are a natural fit for entrepreneurship– they are some of America’s best leaders and they have a dedication and loyalty that is unmatched by most. Because of their integrity-focused background, mission-oriented nature and call to fulfill a higher purpose, veterans are primed to run a successful business.

Despite having the right mindset, there has been a steady decline in the number of veteran entrepreneurs in America. According to a survey by the nonprofit Bunker Labs, young veterans are significantly less likely to become entrepreneurs than veterans from previous generations. The report finds that fewer than 5% of veteran business owners belong to the generation that served after 9/11.

As veterans pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, it is important that they continue to feel supported, respected and represented and that is what makes U.S. Veterans Magazine a top magazine for entrepreneurs.

The magazine covers the most important veteran news, including up-to-date statistics on workforce diversity, as well as business-to-business trends. Topics include business, career, and disability news and articles on education, finance, government, health, lifestyle and transitioning to civilian life.

U.S. Veterans Magazine also links companies and government entities to qualified career and business candidates from the ranks of the nation’s veterans. The publication highlights immediate and lucrative employment as well as business and supplier opportunities for veterans, transitioning service members, disabled veterans and veteran business owners.

If you’re a veteran looking for advice on how to start your business, or need training on how to become an entrepreneur, U.S. Veterans Magazine has resources to guide you down the right path.

The informational articles and links to suppliers and partners that support veterans are accompanied by featured articles about celebrity veterans like comedian Rob Riggle.

All of the stories shared by U.S. Veterans Magazine illustrate the inspiring and honorable qualities of service men and women and this is why many select it as their top magazine for entrepreneurs.

Veterans are proven leaders, and as a community, they’ve shown they can deliver on their entrepreneurial pursuits. ‘U.S. Veterans Magazine’ believes we need to turn around the shrinking military entrepreneur rate in America and we can do that by empowering the best-trained and most-trusted people in the country.

Whether you are a veteran just starting out, or have seen your business evolve into a well-known, veteran-owned brand like FedEx, GoDaddy, Walmart or Nike, U.S. Veterans Magazine is a resource on your journey as an entrepreneur.

This publication tells the stories that are going to empower veterans to reinvigorate America with a different kind of service to their country and that is what U.S. Veterans Magazine is about.

 

Tips for Veterans Who Want to Be Franchise Owners

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Veteran Enterpreneurs

Veterans and service members are looking into ownership of franchises like never before.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly a quarter of all veterans are interested in starting their own businesses. Franchises are a very popular route to go for many of them. With the business framework already in place, opening a franchise is an easy way to enter the market.

Franchises are so popular that the International Franchise Association reported that 1 of every 7 franchises in America is owned by a veteran.

The number of veterans owning franchises may be so large because of all the help available to make business ownership possible. There are many tools veterans and their spouses can use to help make the decision to buy one of the numerous franchises.

Also hundreds of companies offer incentives for veterans to become a franchise owner. Here are a few things you need to consider if you are interested in franchises.

Veterans are buying into franchises at a record pace. Here are a few things to consider if you are interested in owning one.

Is buying into a franchise a good decision for my military family?

Many veterans and military spouses dream of owning their own business. “My husband wants to own a small bar when he retires. He has talked about it casually for years. I have always wanted to own a coffee shop. While we both dream of these things, I have to wonder if either of them will ever become a reality.”

Do you dream of owning a business? Would it be one of the thousands of franchises in America?

The first things you need to do when considering opening a business is to decide if owning a franchise is the right thing for you and your family.

Ask yourself the following four questions:

  1. Are you passionate about the industry you are considering?
  2. Is this merely a hobby you enjoy or will you actually like to take this on as a business?
  3. Is there room in the market for this business?
  4. Is this the right time in your life to open a business?

Think about your family’s circumstances, financial stability and viability of franchise ownership. If your family decides that owning one of the franchises available is the right move, then you need to look into how to choose one of the franchises.

How Do I Become a Franchisee?

Start your research with the U.S. Small Business Administration. They have a veterans business outreach center (VBOC) program. They offer services to help veterans with business training, counseling and referrals. This includes workshops on business development for issues such as being self-employed. There are business counselors available to help on a one-on-one instance as well.

The VBOC program also offers a feasibility analysis to help veterans determine if a business will be successful. They will review your business plan in doing so.

There are 8 things to do to own one of the franchises available in the United States. First, decide which type of franchise you would like to own. Next you should look to see what franchises are available in that industry. You will want to take into consideration the requirements to own a particular franchise in that segment. You should also research the market in the place you wish to open your business.

If all looks well, then you can send an inquiry to the franchise. You’ll need to fill out an application for the franchisor. They will want to see if you are a good candidate to own one of their franchises. When you get a reply, if it is positive you will need to think of the next steps. This will start with finances. You need to decide how you will fund purchasing a franchise.

What Incentives are Available to Veterans for Starting a Franchise?

Most businesses require a buy in and you might not have the startup money for it. Luckily, many businesses offer incentives and discounts for veterans to open one of their franchises.

There are 650 franchises listed with the International Franchise Association that offer these incentives and discounts for veterans and their spouses.

The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, VetFran has helped 2,089 veterans become small-business owners with their financial incentives.

Politicians are getting into the spirit of veteran-owned businesses as well. The Veteran Entrepreneurs Act of 2017 was introduced at the beginning of the year. Its purpose is to provide entrepreneurship training to veterans and their spouses. The bill would amend the Small Business Act to include a female veteran’s business training program as well as one for disabled veterans. An outreach center will provide financial assistance including financial management, marketing advice, training and technical help.

Author
Kimber Green
Source: MilitaryShoppers.com

Ready for Take-Off: G-FORCE Launches National Veteran Franchise Initiative

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G-Force

BEDFORD, N.H. G-FORCE™, one of only two Veteran-focused franchise brands and the only one of its kind awarding franchises exclusively to Veterans, is ready for take-off. The New Hampshire-based concept, which provides expert parking lot striping and other pavement marking needs, seeks to provide business ownership opportunities to hundreds of military Veterans across the country with its one-of-a-kind franchise opportunity.

With one location already servicing various parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, G-FORCE™ hopes to open as many as 50 new units over the next 3-5 years. According to founder and CEO Jack Child, the expansion will be accomplished exclusively through franchising and will initially target various cities throughout California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas.

“We know the challenges many of our Veterans face when they return to civilian life and, while there are more resources and assistance programs than ever before to help, there’s always more that can and should be done,” said Child. “We want to do our part. We’ve created a one-of-a-kind, low cost franchise business opportunity just for Veterans.”

Child himself is a more than 10-year veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, having spent three years in the enlisted ranks of the U.S. Army and seven years in the U.S. Air Force as an officer and pilot. He also has seven years of experience in the pavement services and franchise industries.

With attention-grabbing, distinctive camouflage trucks and serviceG-Force trailers, state-of-the-art equipment and military-influenced logo and uniforms, G-FORCE™ has built its brand around today’s Veteran.

Founded in 2017, G-FORCE™ prides itself as the go-to resource for all things line striping and pavement marking – New Layout, Re-Stripe, ADA Compliance, Stencil Markings, Warehouse Flooring, Parking Structure Markings, Outdoor Basketball Courts, Athletic Field Markings and more. Other routine maintenance services G-FORCE™ franchisees may offer include: parking lot sign installation, sealcoating, crack sealing, hot and cold asphalt repairs, new paving, power washing and other property services.

“This is a stealth business that few know about, but one where the demand for our services is unquestionable,” said Child. “Look around. Parking lots are everywhere; strip malls, hospitals, office buildings, schools, municipal airports, town streets. They all require proper pavement markings by law. Somebody has to install them and somebody has to re-stripe them numerous times over.”

To augment the company’s growth, G-FORCE™ is seeking military Veterans, including active Guard or Reserve, interested in starting a business built on the values of integrity, reliability, respect, and precision, and one that ensures first class, military-style service. The franchise fee starts at just $5,000 and generally ranges between $7,500 and $15,000 depending upon territory size. The initial investment can start as low as $25,000.

G-Force“Veterans have the best leadership training in the world. In addition to coming from an integrity-focused background, they are mission-oriented and have a call to fulfill a higher purpose – all traits needed to run a successful business,” added Child. ‘With our low investment, G-FORCE™ is a more comfortable approach for Veterans to become entrepreneurs and answer the call.”

To date, G-FORCE™ has secured national corporate sponsorships for its Veteran initiative from GemSeal®, Sherwin-Williams®, Graco Industries® and The Pavement Stencil Company offering incentives such as a free traffic paint starter package and nationwide discount pricing for equipment and paints, over $7,000 in value, to each new G-FORCE™ franchisee.

To learn more on the G-FORCE™ franchise opportunity, please visit gogforce.com/parking-lot-striping-pavement-marking-franchise-opportunity/.

About G-FORCE

Founded in 2017 and franchising since 2018, G-FORCE™ is a franchise built by veterans for veterans that provides expert Parking Lot Striping, Pavement Marking, Sign Installation Services and more. Today, there is one location servicing various parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. For more information, visit gogforce.com.

Service Team of Professionals Franchise to Honor American Heroes with Initial Franchise Fee Giveaway for One U.S. Military Veteran

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STOPRestoration

Bloomington, IN. – Today, Service Team of Professionals, (STOP) pledged to honor those who have bravely served their country with a tribute unlike any before it. STOP, a leader in property restoration services, announced a heartfelt “thank you” to veterans in the form of an extraordinary initial franchise fee giveaway contest for one qualified U.S. military veteran.

After a review of all prospective veteran franchisee applications and essays, STOP will announce the potential winner on July 15, 2018. STOP will honor the selected winner by waiving the initial franchise fee, a $48,000 value, for a new STOP franchise. Winning veteran contestant must meet all of the franchise company’s standard franchisee qualifications. The contest is open to all retired service members, soon to retire, and honorably discharged veterans from any branch of the U.S. armed forces.

“It is very important for us to show our gratitude to those who have bravely served our country,” said Brian Clark, CEO of STOP. “We want to provide a path to franchise ownership for a veteran, and this franchise fee giveaway is just one way to go the extra mile to making business ownership obtainable for these brave men and women.”

STOP has long made it a priority to seek out high quality veteran candidates for its franchise opportunity. Men and women with military service often exemplify the very core values that STOP looks for in prospective franchisees, including commitment, teamwork, dedication, who value training and support and who are driven to succeed in their mission.

“The same qualities that allow someone to succeed as a member of our nation’s armed services often make them a perfect franchisee with STOP,” said Daren Clark, Director of Franchise Development. “We want to make sure that we’re attracting the best franchise candidates possible, especially veterans. We look forward to reading their stories and giving them the opportunity to open a STOP location in their local market.”

Starting April 15, 2018 with an entry deadline of June 15, 2018, STOP is inviting prospective franchisees to register on our website, submit an essay, submit a credit report, provide a personal Financial Statement as well as complete an assessment. The brief essay should focus on how an applicant’s background and career goals align with STOP’s mission and values and why they would like to become a member of the STOP franchise family.

A panel of judges from STOP will select the qualified veteran based on their contest applications, which includes the essay. Winning veteran contestant must meet all of the franchise company’s standard franchisee qualifications. Normally, STOP shows its ongoing commitment to veteran business ownership by offering a discount of $4,800 off the initial franchise fee for any military veteran seeking to open a STOP franchise. As a result, STOP proudly has 5 veteran owned franchises.

The announcement of the Veterans Initial Franchise Fee Giveaway comes as STOP is awarded Franchise Business Reviews Top 200 Award-Winning Franchise Opportunities for 2018. STOP was among 307 franchise brands, representing over 28,000 franchise owners, that participated in Franchise Business Review’s research. STOP franchisees were surveyed on 33 benchmark questions about their experience and satisfaction regarding critical areas of their franchise systems, including training & support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations, and financial opportunity. STOP’s level of satisfaction in areas which are crucial to the health of a franchise system, is why this recognition is such an honor. This achievement, in part, validates the relentless strength and integrity of the STOP brand.

To apply, veterans must visit www.stoprestorationfranchising.com/become-an-owner/ and submit the request for consideration. In the comments section please reference “Veterans Giveaway”. They will receive an email with contest rules and the required steps to complete their entry.

About Service Team of Professionals

Since 2008, Service Team of Professionals (STOP) has been helping clients transform disasters into peace of mind. We are the trusted name in restoration services with over four decades of experience. Our trained and incredibly supported franchise professionals understand how stressful water, smoke, fire, mold and bio/environmental damage can be. This is why we bring a depth in management and professionalism that makes the restoration process as easy as possible.

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Toymakerz Founder Goes Full Throttle with Tips for Turning Passion Into Profits

LinkedIn
David Ankin

Many experts say that your passion is something you would do for free because you love it so much. However, doing things for free doesn’t pay the bills or put food on the table.

People still need to earn a salary so that they can meet their needs, and some of their wants. The good news is that we don’t have to choose between doing what we are passionate about and earning a paycheck. When done right, the two can come together so that people can earn a living from what they are passionate about.

“Being able to turn my passion for cars and building custom motorized toys into a profitable business has been life-changing for me,” says David Ankin, inventor and star of the hit show ToyMakerz. “Every day I get to do what I love and I get to make a good living doing it. Being able to share my passion and creativity with the world is an amazing feeling, and at the end of the day I know that it’s also giving me a paycheck. It’s a win-win situation that I wish for everyone.

Ankin’s passion is for creating custom street machines. His one-of-Toymakerza-kind toys are street cars and hot rods that can be used on racetracks and for pure fun. Through following his passion, he has helped other adults be able to relive their youth and have some fun. His machines are so popular that they are typically custom ordered or snatched up immediately when they become available, with many collectors making the purchase.

While many people would have doubted that Ankin could have made a good living from following his passion, he has become a shining example of doing just that. He has surpassed what most people would have thought was possible. Following his passion, he has been able to create a business, find his target market, and also have a hit television show that showcases what he’s doing.

Here are some of Ankin’s tips for turning passion into profits:

  • Have the right mindset. You have to believe in what you are doing and that you will be successful. Remove all doubt and maintain a positive attitude. Use the laws of attraction to help bring you the success you are after by following your passion. Remember, whether you think you can or you can’t, you are usually right. The right mindset will see you through the tough times and keep you pushing forward toward success.
  • Find your people. There are people out there who will love what you have to offer. These people are your tribe. You just need to find those people, as they are your target market. Determine the best way to reach those people. If there is something you are passionate about, there have to be many others out there who feel the same.
  • Refine your message. Most people who make a purchase do so because what they are buying is going to make a difference in their life. Whether that difference is fun, relaxation, a way to earn more money, they need to know what it will do for them. Work on what it is that what you will be offering will do for your tribe.
  • Surround yourself with the right team. Very few people can do everything on their own, turning their passion into profit all by themselves. It’s important to hire and outsource to the right people who can help bring what you have to offer to the market. Find those who believe in what you are doing and understand how to help make what you are doing more of a success.
  • Find routes to bring it to market. No matter what your passion may be, there is always a way to bring it to the market. This has become increasingly easier with the Internet and rise of apps. For example, Ankin wanted to give his viewers an interactive app to ride along with, so when you are part of the ToyMakerz nation you can interact with cast and upload pictures of your toys via their app.
  • Have a marketing and PR plan. Every business needs to get their information out there to the masses. Have a plan for getting the information about what you are offering to your target market. Whether this is through online or offline routes, nearly every business out there has to engage in marketing or public relations in order to be successful.
  • Immerse yourself in social media. Social media today is a game changer for a business as everyone is using some kind of social media, which means you need to be there to reach your audience. Get to know what social media platforms your target market uses and start engaging that audience. No matter what you are trying to sell it is important to embrace technology. The tools in today’s technology world can help you reach people, engage them, and give you a platform to help lead you toward success.
  • Give back. Find ways to give back to those in your community and in causes you care about. The more you help be the change, the better off everyone will be. You help yourself when you reach out to help others.

Dave Ankin“When you love what you do and you believe that there is a market for it, then there is a great chance you will have success at it,” added Ankin. “Those who choose not to give it a try are letting fear make their decision. You can never succeed that way. Sometimes you have to be willing to take the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

ToyMakerz was founded by David Ankin, who is a former stuntman who used to do stunts with motorcycles, racecars, and also at Universal Studios for their Batman and Water World shows. Watching his father use metal to build things when he was growing up inspired him to go on to do the same. Today, he has earned praise for the eccentric one-of-kind street machines that he’s built. There is nothing idle about his work. Ankin has surrounded himself with a top-notch team, starting with business partner David Young (veteran of U.S. Coast Guard). Young manages the business side of ToyMakerz and serves as its President and CFO.

ToyMakerz partnered with Source Digital to develop an app, which is helping fans connect with the show. Enhancing the viewer experience with new digital brand integrations, the ToyMakerz app lets fans connect with the cast, score exclusive deals on anything they see on the screen while they are watching the show live, and share pictures of their own rides!

The ToyMakerz TV show is currently re-airing episodes from season 2 On Demand on Velocity. ToyMakerz season one is also available on iTunes and Amazon. ToyMakerz is produced by Los Angeles based production company, Lucky13Cinematic. For more information about ToyMakerz, visit the site at: toymakerz.com.

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About ToyMakerz

ToyMakerz is a company that makes adult toys built for speed. Some of their creations can be seen on the ToyMakerz hit television show focusing on the life and creations of Dave Ankin, a former stuntman who now makes toys for big boys. The show features the one-of-a-kind street machines that he builds. ToyMakerz is currently being aired weekly on Velocity. For more information about ToyMakerz, visit the site at: toymakerz.com.

About Source Digital
Source Digital (www.sourcedigital.net) specializes in content monetization strategies letting viewers dive deeper into their favorite programs. Industry-leading experts developed the Source Digital platform, offering a data driven, cloud-based engagement platform connecting a new generation of content viewers. The platform allows content owners to design and fulfill personalization and monetization strategies against their broadcast or streamed programs directly connecting to viewers, allowing them to instantly access and discover related experiences from their favorite device – smart phone, tablet, computer and TV.

 

 

Toys R Us founder, World War II veteran, dies days after chain’s announced shutdown

LinkedIn
ToysRUS

Charles P. Lazarus, the World War II veteran who founded Toys R Us six decades ago and transformed it into an iconic piece of Americana, died Thursday at age 94, a week after the chain announced it was going out of business.

Toys R Us confirmed Lazarus’ death in a statement.

“There have been many sad moments for Toys R Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus,” the company said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.”

Lazarus, who stepped down as CEO of Toys R Us in 1994, transformed the toy industry with a business model that became one of the first retail category killers — big stores that are so devoted to one thing, and have such an impressive selection, that they drive smaller competitors out of business.

Continue on to the Chicago Tribune to read the complete article