Buzz Franchise Brands offers a unique opportunity to military Veterans in the exploding home services industry.
In 2012, things were a lot different at Buzz Franchise Brands than they are today. At the time, there were five employees, an emerging franchise opportunity and a lot of passion.
Over the next ten years, the team at Buzz Franchise Brands embodied its values of leading integrity, acting with purpose and being curious and innovative to grow into the multi-brand franchisor they are today. Now, the company has 57 full-time employees and three franchise concepts: residential home cleaning brand Home Clean Heroes, pool cleaning and maintenance brand Pool Scouts, and British Swim School, a learn-to-swim brand as the name implies.
Buzz Franchise Brands began its journey by franchising the outdoor pest control concept Mosquito Joe in 2013, eventually selling it in 2018. Since then, the company has sought to diversify its franchise development efforts in unique areas of the booming home services market, an industry currently generating over $500 billion in revenue annually and forecast to increase over 35% by 2026.
Focusing on attracting and retaining top talent at both the corporate and franchisee level is one of the reasons that Buzz has been so successful. But company leadership will also tell you that one of the common factors among some of their strongest team members is that they are Veterans or military family members.
President & COO Brian Garrison served in the Navy for 22 years in a variety of leadership roles, including command of an F18 squadron, before retiring in 2012. Prior to joining Buzz Franchise Brands, Garrison also worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he focused on operations and strategy in a variety of industries, including aerospace and defense, energy, financial services and government. Now, Garrison draws on his military experience to help direct operations for the companies under the Buzz Franchise Brands umbrella.
When it comes to why franchising is such an attractive opportunity for Veterans and a natural fit for their abilities, Garrison says, “Veterans more than most anyone else understand the importance of following standard operating procedures and training programs in order to be successful. They also know the importance of teamwork and being able to problem solve while working within the guardrails of a system. Since a good franchise consists of a strong brand, a proven system of processes and a well-functioning team, the military background is a natural fit.”
Home Clean Heroes
Home Clean Heroes, Buzz Franchise Brands’ newest franchise concept, wrapped up the first quarter of 2022 with a 102% increase in year-over-year sales. Notably, the brand also closed out its “Charter League” of initial owners by signing its 10th franchisee. The brand’s charter league consists of multiple Veteran franchisees.
Ewart and Lyndonna Strain, active duty and reserve U.S. Navy members, respectively, and owners of the Jacksonville, Florida location, are accustomed to following a proven system. During their research process, the Strains knew they wanted to work with an innovative company that offered an established business model, strong support infrastructure and excellent reputation. When the Strains discovered Home Clean Heroes, it aligned perfectly with what they were looking for in a post-military career.
“My wife and I are from the Caribbean, and we have both always wanted to start a business, but the military takes up a lot of our time,” said Ewart. “We have always looked at franchising as an opportunity, but we never knew which brand we wanted to work with. Our key goal is to create financial freedom and generational wealth so our children can continue our legacy. Franchising provides us with the flexibility of running our business and allows us to spend more time with our family.”
Pool Scouts, a 100-plus location pool maintenance and cleaning franchise brand, enjoyed its strongest year ever in 2021, and the brand has already seen a 61% increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2022 compared to last year. Several of its nationwide franchisees are Veterans who enjoy the combination of the franchise system and pool service industry.
Ron Hicks, for example, served in the Army for 24 years before deciding to transition into small business ownership.
“When I left the Army, I worked for the Red Zone test center,” said Hicks. “I ran the logistics of the company. From there, I started a photography company with my wife and after attending some classes, I realized that I wanted to own a small business after my retirement.”
As opposed to starting a business from scratch, Hicks says he quickly realized he would be better suited to follow a proven model — similar to how he thrived in the military.
“With franchising, there is already a path of how to run your business, and you have people working with you,” Hicks said. “Essentially, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. I looked at many different brands and looked at the pros and cons of each business. I wanted a business that would be sustainable and reliable and would allow me to provide a valuable service to my community.”
British Swim School
British Swim School has been dedicated to teaching water survival skills for over four decades. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the brand has rebounded to be stronger than ever, now operating over 215 schools across the US and Canada. The brand tripled its revenue in 2021 as it emerged from the worst of the pandemic in 2020, and is up over 100% year over year so far in 2022.
“All of our brands but especially British Swim School offer Veterans an opportunity to get out from behind a desk and break from the typical 9 to 5 corporate schedule,” said Garrison, who ran British Swim School for more than two years. “Plus, there’s the added bonus of connecting with their local communities and really making a difference. To a Veteran, there’s not much more you can ask for in a post military job,” he added.
Buzz Franchise Brands offers a unique opportunity to military Veterans in the exploding home services industry. Across all their brands, the company has seen a 92% increase in system-wide revenue year-over-year, while welcoming more than 15 new franchisees. Plus, with a leadership team filled with retired military service members as well as spouses and children of active duty and retired military members, Buzz franchisees can trust they have support from people who truly understand them.
“Buzz is eager to welcome more Veterans to our brands,” said Garrison. “We value the skills and experience our military Veterans bring, which is why all of our brands are part of the IFA’s VetFran program and offer a 20% discount of the franchise fee.