When Nate Alderette left his nearly 10-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps last year, the transition into civilian life was jarring.
As a sergeant, he was used to being in charge, people knew him, he mentored younger Marines and was often considered the go-to guy to get things done. But when his service ended, he found a new career that gave him the satisfaction of purpose was hard to find.
He contemplated rejoining, but took a job in Albuquerque, N.M. that paid decent but wasn’t fulfilling. It wasn’t until he received an email promotion from a veteran’s employment agency, that had thought of Office Pride as an option. The idea of running his own business was intriguing. Within a few months, he became the owner of Office Pride of Albuquerque.
Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services is consistently listed among the nation’s best franchises for military veterans on two prestigious lists, published by Entrepreneur magazine and Franchise Business Review.
About 10% of Office Pride franchisees and corporate headquarters team members are veterans.
Veterans are highly sought-after franchisees. Office Pride offers a 25% discount off the franchise fee to those who have been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces. Office Pride also is a five-star participant in the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program, a strategic initiative designed to offer incentives and support to veterans who are interested in franchise ownership.
Alderette says that while he never had anyone in his family serve in the military, he knew he wanted to serve his country.
“I just really wanted to serve the country,” he says. “I remember very specifically, they called over the intercom, ‘The Marie for recruiter is here. If you would like to see him, come down to the office.’ I kind of stopped there in the office for a second and right at that moment, I just didn’t go to class. I went to see the recruiter and figured out I am capable of doing this.
Following high school, Alderette found his home in the Marines, starting as a private as part of the Air Wing in the avionics division. He also worked as a calibration technician in Japan and in a managerial role at a base in Yuma, Arizona. But after a few years, he decided it was time to pursue a career outside of the military.
He soon learned civilian life was significantly different than what he had during his military career. He applied to numerous jobs, but nothing was a match, and he was becoming frustrated. At one point he wanted to go back.
“I was losing my mind,” he says. And then he received a notification about starting his own business as an Office Pride franchisee from an employment agency that works on recruiting veterans. He made the call but missed his initial appointment because of a confusion in time zone differences.
The opportunity Office Pride presented was enticing. He could be his own boss, have his own employees, be in charge of his business’ future and it was affordable.
“What I found attractive is that, as much effort as I put into it, is how much it’s going to grow,” he says.
Within a few months, he was operating his new location in Albuquerque and trying to line up new clients. Starting a business from the ground up took hard work, he says. But it wasn’t anything that he was unprepared to do. Several months into it and having a few clients under his belt he sees his hard work paying off with the great team that he’s developed, he says. “If you put in the hard work and keep hustling, it works.”