Next Day Access | www.nextdayacess.com |
Ramping Up the Business |
Published in the March/April 2013 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Launched in October 2011, the Next Day Access franchise business was born out of a need to service and grow the customer base of American Access, a manufacturer of modular ramps for wheelchairs. American Access, headquartered in Bartlett, Tennessee, has been shipping its products nationwide for more than 16 years. Next Day Access franchisees offer such products as wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, pool lifts, ceiling lifts, bathroom safety equipment, and vertical porch lifts for residential and commercial environments.
Next Day Access is currently serving Columbia, South Carolina; Dallas/Fort Worth; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Savannah; and Memphis; and an additional 10 markets are in various stages of franchise development. Two of Next Day Access’ initial six franchises are veteran-owned, and much of the established business consists of Veterans Affairs hospitals and insurance agencies.
The company offers training and start-up guidance via its NDA University, a week-long program. Franchisees learn operational functions of the business – including home assessments and product installations – as well as practical business tactics, such as marketing through relationship building.
Master Sergeant Dawson Baker spent 23 years serving in the United States Air Force. During that time, he performed a large variety of functions, from providing support, servicing, inspections, and maintenance on aircraft support systems to leading, mentoring, and developing airmen in the areas of professional and personal development.
His wife, Master Sergeant Tonya Baker, served 20 years in the Air Force and was responsible for a range of duties from advising officers and airmen on military personnel issues and programs to managing selective re-enlistment and career airman re-enlistment reservation programs. She did one tour in Iraq.
The Bakers now serve together as franchise owners and operators of Next Day Access in Columbia, South Carolina. The couple acquired and launched the Columbia franchise in 2012, and they have since completed the NDA University program. The Bakers’ understanding of the meaning of service was a key driver in finding a place in the civilian world. They were eager to continue serving others, and the franchise enables them to help individuals with disabilities, many of whom are veterans.
The Bakers rely on basic skills and characteristics gained in the military – integrity, excellence, time management, discipline, commitment, personnel management, dedication, and money management. Deeply ingrained leadership skills have enabled the couple to succeed beyond their military careers, and they intend to utilize their ability to make sound decisions, as well as accept responsibility for those decisions – good or bad – during this next stage of life.
The Bakers advise others who are preparing to enter civilian life to continue their education and seek positions that will enable them to grow as leaders. Find new challenges and excel at them, they say. They also advise veteran job hunters to get a good idea of what they want to do in the civilian work force, and to convey clearly on their resumes how their military experiences, skills, and specialties apply to the jobs they seek. In other words, veterans should market themselves effectively to civilian hiring managers.
What do the Bakers have to say to veterans who are considering the franchise business? Motivation and a willingness to accept new challenges are the keys to success.