Military Spouse Magazine

MAR 2019

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To learn about franchise oppor tunities with JDog , visit jdog In 2012, Jerry and Tracy began hiring vet- erans to be a part of their existing business and, two years later, the company took on outside investment from Julip Run Capital and began selling franchises to veterans and their families. Today, JDog is a successful multi-million dollar company that has franchisees across the United States, many of them near military installations. WORKING AS A MR . & MRS. "If you would have told me we would have been working so closely in a business, I wouldn't have believed it," said Tracy about her business partnership with Jerry. "Working with your spouse has challenges, especially now that we are on a larger scale." The spouses are not only co-founders of the business, but, when they sold their ter- ritory to take the business national, Jerry became the CEO and Tracy became the vice president of the company. But don't let those titles fool you! The couple works in many capacities to make the business success- ful for themselves and their franchisees. "Jerry and I work together as brand ambas- sadors, at black-tie events, networking as Mr. and Mrs. JDog," said Tracy, who, along with Jerry, wears many different hats. "I'm the des- ignated HR person, I do the work coordinating for the franchises. I'm also in the veteran hiring space, making connections with veteran orga- What I'm most proud of is our mission - for veterans, for mili- tary families, to give them a new mission. Now that we are in this space, it's our mission and our responsibility, said Tracy. nizations that have veterans looking for employment, national relationships, too. I help the local territories of our JDogs find local veteran hiring resources. I also teach two classes in the JDog training…" Tracy said that working together as a couple means it is important to have clear roles "Even though Jerry and I have some dual roles, I have my lane here at HQ and Jerry does, too," said Tracy, who recommended that couples who start in a hands-on role together work to sepa- rate the workload and make the work distribution even as the business grows. What else makes for a successful business and personal life when you work with your spouse? Making sure you have the same mission and goals, communica- tion, and trust, said Tracy. She also said that it is important to be able to "shut the business off and take some time for yourselves to remember what it means to be a husband and wife." Maybe it is a date night or having morning coffee together and not talking business. Tracy said this is an area they are working on, especially since the business consumes so much of their time. But the passion they have for what they do, and each other, is apparent. "I'm proud of my husband," said Tracy. "I'm proud to be his wife on this journey. It's been amazing being by his side and helping him build JDog." H J-DOG IS GROWING! This year, the brand is looking to expand beyond junk removal to other service related opportunities to possibly include carpet cleaning. Their focus is on existing veteran- owned services businesses that might line up well with their existing brand direction. ON BEING A JDOG COUPLE "You have to love it and have a passion for it," said Tracy, when it comes to owning a JDog franchise. A typical day involves building and market- ing the brand in the region of your franchise. From back office work (like scheduling work and hiring veteran employees) to executing on the actual jobs (which means haul- ing the junk), JDog couples are often co-owners sharing the workload or one of them works part-time in the business. Tracy has worked to mimic the positive camaraderie found in the military spouse community. in the JDog spouse community, includ- ing a Facebook group that the JDog spouses use to stay in touch, their own JDog shirts, and reaching out to spouses right from the starting point of considering a JDog franchise. "You better be on fire about it because you'll be living and breathing the business day after day," said Tracy, on the importance of a spouse being on board when buying a franchise. KATIE YURICK VETERAN SPOUSE (ARMY) Office Manger at Southern Lancaster County, PA AMY STROOP MILITARY SPOUSE (ARMY, RET.) Office Manger at Hanover, PA 20 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / MARCH 2019

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