Military Training: Foundation for Small Business

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Businessman in a pink shirt using a computer.

Charles Granda, a U.S. Army veteran, used his experience and schooling in airfield management to transition to the private sector as the owner of Remodeling and Repair LLC. Granda learned a variety of skills during his 11-year military career, but perhaps none more useful to him now as a small-business owner.

Describe your business.

We remodel houses, specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and additions.

Who are your customers?

Word-of-mouth referral customers throughout Las Vegas, Summerlin and Henderson.

How did you become interested in remodeling?

My mother got bored with the looks of our house and ripped walls out, and when my dad got home from work, we would remodel those rooms. Before I joined the military, I was a licensed electrician, and my boss purchased properties in the Philadelphia area, renovated them and rented them out. After the military, it just seemed like a good idea to run my own remodeling business.

When did you join the military and why?

I was stuck in Philadelphia and wanted an adventure. I joined with the hopes of making it through the selection process and going into the United States Air Force Special Ops. I joined combat control and never looked back. I had adventures all over the world.

Describe your military experience.

Once I made it through basic training, it was off to the selection course. I passed with flying colors, then the schools: air traffic control school, jump school, scuba school, survival school, combat control school, Army Ranger school. The first three years in the military were eaten up with schools. Now off to my team. Everything I learned was put into practice and refined to become a combat control operator. I worked throughout middle America and the Middle East in my 11-year career.

How does your military experience help you manage your business?

I have a degree in airfield management and went to numerous leadership schools. It was easy to convert the experience of supervising troops to the civilian world of running jobs.

What makes your business unique?

I not only run the business, but I get out on the job to get my hands dirty.

What obstacles has your business overcome?

Competing against non-licensed contractors.

How can Nevada help veterans who want to open their own businesses?

Have the resources easily available on the local and state-level websites.

What have you learned from the recession?

Always keep a good nest egg for hard times. Downsize and take on smaller jobs to continue as a business owner. Diversify.

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