Safe Ship Opened By Army Veteran

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Opening Safe Ship in Harker Heights is how retired Chief Warrant Officer 3, Scott Roach, became his own boss.

Safe Ship, at 220 Commercial Drive, is a shipping, packing and small business needs store that opened in June.

Looking to become his own boss after leaving the Army, Roach discovered the franchise and thought it was something he could get behind and make successful in Central Texas.

The store offers a wide array of products and services from copying and faxing to personal mail boxes and shipping services from DHL, FedEx and Lone Star Overnight.

The store also makes custom boxes for those who can't find appropriate packaging.

Roach talked with Killeen Daily Herald Business Editor Mason W. Canales about his experience in opening the franchised business.

Why did you decide to open a franchise store?

After 24 years of working for someone else, I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to be my own boss. Also, in the Army you move around a lot. I wanted to put down some roots, become part of the community and have a place to call home.

How long did you research your decision to open a Safe Ship? And why did you choose the franchise you once did?

I began looking since I got back from Afghanistan in May 2012.

Safe Ship was a very veteran-friendly franchise, and it looked like something that I could do, because I didn't want to get into the food industry.

They put me in contact with other owners, and they talked about their experiences. At end of that, it sounded like a good business and in doing my research of the types of businesses, this all fell into place.

I still had to do market research before opening. So I contacted the Small Business Administration and they put me together with the Small Business Center in Temple and they helped me do the research free of cost.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to open the store?

Securing a loan. I finally had to get a personal loan because I couldn't get a business loan. They wanted so much available cash in your account. I don't know if it was because of the economy or what.

They wanted a business plan, which was easy enough, because the corporation supplied a lot of those documents. There was a lot of time spent on the banks making the decision on the business loan. We waited weeks and months at a time.

What are some tips you would offer others looking to open a franchised business?

My tips are to find one that is veteran friendly if you are a veteran. Find one that is going to let you operate the way you want to operate.

Remain positive, because it is a nerve-racking process, and it is a long process. Don't get down, because it does get discouraging. Above all others, do your market research.

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Franchise 500: #371 (2014), #383 (2013),
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