Jumping into business ownership can be a daunting prospect for anyone – especially for a husband-wife team with no industry experience. But, for two military veterans, whose first date included jumping out of a helicopter together, starting a business from the ground up was not something that even mildly fazed them.
Beating the Odds Stacked against Them – and Becoming Better for It
After years in the military, SpeedPro franchisees Ann and Borg Siburg were unintimidated by the potential ups and downs of business ownership. The couple opened their SpeedPro franchise in July 2009 – during one of the worst economic climates in recent history.
“Although we started our SpeedPro business at the bottom of the recession, we not only survived but actually thrived because of the lessons it taught us,” Ann said. “Our day was done when we were finished with each of our clients’ quotes. That kept us up at 2 a.m. some nights, but we knew it was a huge differentiator for our business, and that it would pay off in the end. It definitely has, and we are so lucky to be partners in our own successful business for almost a decade.”
While that kind of strong work ethic dedication is not easy to come by, it’s all Ann and Borg have ever known – they were both children of military officers. Ann’s dad was in the Army Reserves during WWII, and Borg’s dad was a career air force officer.
“The military has always been in my blood – I’ve always believed in serving my country,” Borg said.
Borg graduated from West Point in 1980 and became an artillery officer, stationed in South Korea for a year before switching stations to Fort Brag.
In college, Ann was a member of the ROTC and received her undergraduate degree in chemistry, going on to run airborne operations at Fort Brag – where she met Borg.
Trading in Camo and Commanders for Business Suits and Bosses
The couple eventually got married and began working in corporate America. After a few years, however, Ann and Borg realized they wanted to do something more.
“I wanted to work with Ann in something we would both enjoy,” Borg said. “We looked at different franchise opportunities, but we had a few boxes the businesses needed to tick. Not only did we want something we could enjoy together, we also wanted something that wouldn’t be harmful to the environment and that was more B2B-focused.”
The Siburgs looked at multiple different franchise opportunities but soon realized SpeedPro was a great fit.
“Even though the economic climate wasn’t favorable when we first opened up, we found the whole opportunity – the work, the clients and the business as whole – very rewarding,” Borg said. “It’s awesome to work with integral people you trust, and you also get a great amount of satisfaction from growing your business.”
Coincidentally, one of the Siburg’s largest clients is a sizeable firm run by an air force veteran who served in Vietnam.
“We really meet some of the best people through our business, but it’s always even more exciting when you work with a vet,” Ann said. “You have a different connection with them, and it’s just great to connect with people who have had similar life experiences – whether you meet them through business or not.”
Staying True to Their Military Roots
Ann and Borg are still actively involved in their veteran’s community. They offer veteran discounts and regularly support military and veteran events with their business. Borg is involved in the alumni association for academy graduates, serves on the executive committee for AUSA in Phoenix and creates the graphics and signage for different events, like the local West Point parents’ golf outing.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to use my business to help out the community and promote these events that are really important to me,” Borg said. “Especially as a business owner, it helps a lot to have a strong presence in your community.”
While the couple has a great deal of community support behind them, they maintain a strong work ethic is the primary factor driving a profitable and successful business.
“My advice for other business owners would be just to never give up, and put as much as you can into your business – it will pay off,” Borg said.
“When you wake up, do the best you can that day – in everything you do,” Ann added. “Never stop trying, and have integrity. Whenever we say we’ll do something, we do it.”
For information about franchising opportunities with SpeedPro, contact us today.