Augusta Economy

More News | Fort Gordon | Plant Vogtle | Savannah River Site | Editor

Firefighter runs lawn care franchise in spare time

Firefighter has help starting own business

  • Follow Local Business

When Charles Baldwin comes home from his job as a firefighter for Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue, he doesn’t exactly get to put his feet up and kick back.

Back | Next
Owner Charles Baldwin, worker Pedro Pano, and lead worker Michael Johnson at a work site for the Grounds Guys at Queensborough National Bank & Trust off Walton Way Extension.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Owner Charles Baldwin, worker Pedro Pano, and lead worker Michael Johnson at a work site for the Grounds Guys at Queensborough National Bank & Trust off Walton Way Extension.

Baldwin keeps busy on his time off with the Grounds Guys, a lawn care franchise he owns with his son Charles Baldwin Jr., who is in
training with the Air Force Reserve.

They were the first franchise to use the Public Protec­tors Franchise Advantage program. The promotion by parent company The Dwyer Group offered a 20 percent discount off the franchise fee for any current or former full-time law enforcement or firefighting personnel as a way to thank them for their service.

Doug Dixon, the vice president of marketing and operations and franchise development for The Dwyer Group, said the program follows in the footsteps of a similar program for military veterans.

Members of the military, law enforcement and firefighting communities are all used to following protocol and procedure, so they
make great franchisees, he said.

“You’re buying a set of best practices,” Dixon said.

Baldwin has always enjoyed the outdoors, he said, and had a lawn business on the side for years before buying the franchise a few months ago.

Over time, he has built a customer base of more than 80 clients.

Moving to a franchise operation excites him, he said, because it lets him focus on lawn care while being guided in marketing and other growth strategies.

“Not knowing how to market, not having systems in place, that really holds you back after a point,” he said. “Now there’s tools in place that I have here now that I didn’t have before, that helps me to grow the business.”

His job as a firefighter takes 40 hours of his week, but he does it in shifts of 24 hours on, 48 hours off. This allows him to have extended periods to devote to his business.

“It can be overwhelming at times, in terms of trying to work a full-time job and then have another full-time part-time job,” he said. “You’ve just got to be able to juggle it and have a good business sense.”

Saving lives and building a small business are things Baldwin is proud to be a part of.

“At the end of the day, you know that you did something that was worthwhile,” he said.

Baldwin said he feels fortunate to be not only working his dream career as a fireman, but also building his own family business with his son.

“It’s the American dream. Everyone wants to own their own business,” he said. “I think that’s so important, and it’s something I love.”

CHARLES BALDWIN

HOMETOWN: Franklin, N.C.

EDUCATION: Turf/grass management training from the University of Georgia

FAMILY: Children Brandi, Ashli, Charles Jr.

HOBBIES: Duck hunting, training labradors

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nothingbut thetruth
2
Points
nothingbut thetruth 09/16/12 - 06:10 pm
0
1
lol

this is the same man who was the police chief of harlem until he was caught shoplifting at walmart what an up standing citizen of our community apparently his last apperance in the augusta chronicle is over shadowed by this one here is the news 12 link on him ..... http://www.wrdw.com/home/headlines/38233109.html and his last showing in the augusta chronicle http://search.augusta.com/fast-elements.php?querystring=jerry%20baldwin&...

seenitB4
97601
Points
seenitB4 09/17/12 - 06:34 am
1
0
Congrats to the man

Great to see a WORKER trying to better himself----good luck & don't let naysayers pull you down.

straight shooter
50
Points
straight shooter 09/17/12 - 11:59 am
0
0
Second chances

i wonder nothing but the truth have you ever made a mistake or done something you regret in your life ?, ive know jerry for quite a number of years and sure he made a mistake and never tried to deny it, he paid the consequences for that action and now seems to be living life on the positive side, who are you to pass judgement or bring up some crap from the past, i bet you wouldnt want anyone bring up your embrassing mistake, please get a life and move on

straight shooter
50
Points
straight shooter 09/17/12 - 11:59 am
0
0
Second chances

i wonder nothing but the truth have you ever made a mistake or done something you regret in your life ?, ive know jerry for quite a number of years and sure he made a mistake and never tried to deny it, he paid the consequences for that action and now seems to be living life on the positive side, who are you to pass judgement or bring up some crap from the past, i bet you wouldnt want anyone bring up your embrassing mistake, please get a life and move on

straight shooter
50
Points
straight shooter 09/17/12 - 11:59 am
0
0
Second chances

i wonder nothing but the truth have you ever made a mistake or done something you regret in your life ?, ive know jerry for quite a number of years and sure he made a mistake and never tried to deny it, he paid the consequences for that action and now seems to be living life on the positive side, who are you to pass judgement or bring up some crap from the past, i bet you wouldnt want anyone bring up your embrassing mistake, please get a life and move on

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mayor's race historic, controversial

Hardie Davis is still waiting to take office after winning a mayoral race that featured no white candidates and saw one of his opponents drop out the day before the election.
Search Augusta jobs