When a retired Army musician researched the best franchises for veterans, FASTSIGNS stood out among the rest. Despite never having worked in the civilian sector other than a few random jobs in college, Steve Adrian said the decision was easy to become a FASTSIGNS owner.
Adrian and his wife are owners of a FASTSIGNS in Lynchburg, Virginia where they provide sign, graphics and visual communications services to local businesses. Adrian utilizes some of the skills he gained during his military career and does everything from business development and installations to large project management. When they were evaluating franchises, they liked what they found in FASTSIGNS.
“We liked the business model and wanted to work for ourselves. FASTSIGNS gave us the autonomy we wanted but without the risk normally associated with starting a new business on your own,” said Adrian. “Lynchburg was an available market, which was perfect for us since that’s where we planned to live when we left the service.”
Adrian prepared for retirement from the Army and was in a good position to obtain a loan from the Small Business Administration. He advises other veterans to look ahead and consider how they’ll transition from military duty to their next career. “Start preparing at the beginning of your military career, not the end,” he said.
Veterans should also consider the reputation of the franchise they are considering . Are they recognized in the industry as being “military friendly” and do they have a strong track record with veterans?
Recently, FASTSIGNS was honored with the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award at a ceremony at the Pentagon. The Freedom Award is the highest recognition presented by the Department of Defense to employers for their exemplary support of National Guard and Reserve members. FASTSIGNS International, Inc. was one of 15 employers from across the nation receiving the prestigious award.
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. Business Consultant and Air Force Reservist Stephen MacKenzie and his family were in attendance with CEO Catherine Monson, who accepted the award on behalf of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. MacKenzie nominated his employer for the award because of the personal and financial support provided during his most recent deployment overseas.
“We were honored to be in Washington, D.C. with the other award winners and their guests,” said Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. “There were very moving stories of the sacrifice of the citizen soldiers and their families, as well as of the great support and caring by their employers and coworkers. My hope is that more companies will be motivated to do the same thing for the veterans, service men and women, reservists and National Guard members they employ.”
Over 10 percent of FASTSIGNS franchisees are military veterans. Veterans possess a number of valued skills and a wealth of experience essential to corporate positions and successful franchise business ownership. As part of the commitment to veterans and to the military, FASTSIGNS International offers incentives to military veterans, including a 50 percent reduction on the initial franchisee fee (a value of $22,500) and a savings on royalties and advertising fees for the first year.
FASTSIGNS International is a proud participant of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program (Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative), which assists military veterans by helping them access franchise opportunities through training, financial assistance and industry support.
Franchise Research Institute has named FASTSIGNS a top sign and graphics franchise and has awarded the company certification as a 2015 World-Class Franchise for four consecutive years. FASTSIGNS was also recognized by USA Today, Military Times magazine, G.I. Jobs magazine and Franchise Business Review as one of the top franchises for military veterans.
FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the largest sign and visual communications franchisor in North America, and is the worldwide franchisor of more than 630 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS® centers in nine countries including the US, Canada, England, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®).
FASTSIGNS locations provide comprehensive sign and visual graphic solutions to help companies of all sizes and across all industries attract more attention, communicate their message, sell more products, help visitors find their way and extend their branding across all of their customer touch points including décor, events, wearables and marketing materials.
For information about the FASTSIGNS franchise opportunity and specific veterans incentives for veterans, contact Mark Jameson at email@example.com or 214-346-5679, or visit www.fastsigns.com.