Aaron’s | A Disciplined Approach |
Published in the September/October 2012 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Rex Neal is an Aaron’s franchise owner in Valdosta, Georgia, and a proud member of his local VFW. He served in the Marines from late 1968 to June of 1970, spending most of his tour of duty as an equipment supply specialist in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged as a corporal. He opened his Aaron’s showroom in December 1993; at that time, he was the sixth franchise owner in the Aaron’s system.
Aaron’s, founded in 1955 and headquartered in Atlanta, is a franchise and a lease ownership and specialty retailer. The company provides name-brand furniture, household appliances, consumer electronics items, and computers.
Today, there are more than 100 owners and 700 franchised stores across North America. Neal, whose general manager is also a veteran, is responsible for leading his team of 12 employees, serving as the primary liaison with the Aaron’s home office, and ensuring that his business is a good corporate citizen within the community. Neal himself has spent time at the Hopes and Dreams Riding Facility in Quitman, Georgia. The facility was founded in 2008 as a therapeutic horse-riding venue for wounded warriors, veterans, and active armed forces personnel.
At Aaron’s, Neal applies the leadership skills learned in the military as he manages people, makes sure the showroom is well stocked and properly merchandised, motivates employees to serve customers, and focuses on the mission to operate the business profitably. When hiring employees, one of the first attributes he looks for on a resume is military service.
Neal advises veterans transitioning to civilian life to “take the positive things you learned in the military like discipline, self-motivation, and your never-quit attitude to finding the job or business opportunity that is best for you and your family. Keep your head high and your feet moving forward.”
Neal knows that Aaron’s can be a good fit for veterans. “You will use your problem-solving skills, your duties are well defined, and the lifestyle benefits are your reward for serving your country,” he said.