John is a jack of all trades. From serving in the Army to working at Lockheed Martin to running his own business, one thing has remained constant in his professional life: the business of fire extinguishing.
John first experienced the fire extinguisher business during his time in the Army. From 1963-1966, while stationed in South Korea, a medical issue prevented John from getting clearance to work in the field, so he remained on the base working with fire extinguishers. During this time, he got certified with the National Fire Protection Association to work with fire extinguishers, a fact which would serve him well in the years to come.
After his release from active duty in 1966, John continued his work in the business. He got his state license to work with civilian fire extinguishers, which he says wasn’t a problem because of his experience in the Army and the referrals he secured from that work. Shortly afterward, he began working for Lockheed Martin, and, in 1993, he added another full-time endeavor to his career. While continuing to work for Lockheed Martin, he began running his own fire extinguishing business, servicing clients as large as the University of Texas.
For medical reasons, John retired from Lockheed Martin and his business when he qualified for retirement benefits in 1998. He then spent several years working on a music career, working mostly with nursing and retirement homes. However, after the music equipment became too heavy for him to manage himself, he decided, in 2010, to get back into the fire extinguisher business.
John started “It’ll Work Fire Extinguishers” in May 2010. In his own words, “We sell and service fire extinguishers to residential, commercial, restaurant, and industrial businesses.” As a result of his previous experience owning a business, John says that it only took about one year for business to pick up. Though he says that "It’ll Work" is operating with about 60% of his previous client base, business is growing along with the economy, and he anticipates significant growth in the coming years.
John’s loan will allow him to purchase a "Supercan" into which he dumps the fire extinguisher’s chemicals after service. He will also purchase a Dry Chemical Extraction pail with a mechanism to fill the fire extinguishers. Finally, he will make a down -payment on his insurance, pay the state registration fee for the business, and, as he says, will “probably do mail-outs (advertisements) with the rest.”
This loan will take John’s business a long way and will allow him to continue providing safe and reliable service to all of the clients in his community.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.