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SEP 2018

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16 G.I. JOBS | SEPTEMBER 2018 | GIJOBS.COM Damon Fogley Owner/Operator - JDog Junk Removal * Hays County, Texas, and Austin West, Texas (3rd territory under development in New Braunfels, Texas) Franchise Opened: October 2016 # of Employees: 10 Age: 37 Military Service: Captain (O-3) Army/Army National Guard (2002-2012) MOS: Infantry (11B), Transportation Officer (80B), Medical Service Officer (70B) Post-secondary Education: Bachelor's degree, sociology, California State University, Long Beach (2004) Master's degree, public administration, Texas State University (2014) When did you become interested in owning your own business? When I was younger I did small jobs here and there in the resale industry over the last 15 years, but nothing big. I had an online eBay store that was more of a hobby than a business. My niche was finding items of value, identifying them and selling them online through various e-commerce marketplaces. A fellow co-worker at EMS who was a JDog business owner would frequently post items he would get from jobs and I was interested in what he was doing with this stuff when the light bulb came on. Since JDog is exclusive to veterans and military family members, I thought it would be a great fit for me. How did you research the franchise? I thoroughly reviewed the FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document) and also set up a meeting with my local SCORE (nonprofit organization) representative to go over a business plan and startup funding options. I sat down with a mentor who specialized in franchises. She linked me up with other resources such as a business attorney and CPA/bookkeeper. Why central Texas? My first franchise location is situated in the fastest-growing region of the country. There is a lot of building and construction going on, which offered an opportunity for me to serve contractors – which is currently about 70 percent of the jobs we do. I wanted to conduct business in an area that had a stable economy and was veteran friendly. Texas is a very veteran-friendly state. How did you finance your franchise? I applied for a personal loan through USAA. I also was able to borrow some funds from my retirement account. What were the biggest difficulties you had to overcome to become a franchise owner? Since my background was in resale and recognizing the value of household items for resale and donation I was very prepared for the household junk removal jobs. However, contractor waste and scrap metal was a whole new world to me. I had to turn to other franchisees by making frequent phone calls and making numerous Facebook posts on our JDog franchisee Facebook page. I also travelled all over the country to do site visits to other JDog locations. What about being a franchise owner surprised you? I was surprised how much word of mouth can travel for repeat business and how valuable prior customers can be to the success of a business. We are frequently "tagged" on Facebook for referrals by prior customers because they had a great experience with JDog. In the beginning it was difficult finding new customers because we weren't established. Good reviews go a long way in this business. Q&A WITH JDOG FOUNDER JERRY FLANAGAN What makes Damon Fogley stand out? Damon Fogley has a great story. He is an innovative franchisee always finding ways to expand on revenue streams in his franchise territory. Damon has already added additional territories to his location in Austin, Texas, while serving on city council and working as a paramedic. Damon served in Iraq as an Army captain and continues to serve his community. Why do you only sell franchises to military, veterans or their families? Our military veterans and their families need a hand up – not a hand out. Our competitive advantage is when you call JDog for a junk removal pick-up, you will be serviced with RESPECT, INTEGRITY AND TRUST – the military way. What qualities make a good JDog franchisee? Respect, integrity and trust. Strong work ethic – outgoing personality. There is a lot of networking and customer service. It is a simple model; however, it is hard work. *Company is a paid client.

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