I’ve had the honor of working with a number of veterans and military members – listening to their inspiring stories and learning from their collaborative efforts and distinct backgrounds. I am consistently impressed by their commitment to become involved in our brand as entrepreneurs and to start their own journey within the franchise network. And, like many other franchise owners, providing an opportunity for veterans remains a top priority for our brand today.
Military veterans truly resemble the ideal franchisee across all industries. They are goal-oriented, carry vast leadership capabilities and bring forth experience in adapting and planning for the strategies needed to be successful. I’ve found that the best way to encourage veterans to live up to their potential as franchisees is to provide them with a business model that works best for them.
Here are a few critical elements to ensure that veterans get the most out of their experience as franchisees.
Prioritize support and resources
On a number of occasions, I have met with veterans in our franchise system who expressed that owning their own business has always been a long-term goal. Many of these retired military members had already built the work ethic and adaptability to become business owners, but faced a sizeable problem across the board. The veterans who had spent years overseas found that they grew unfamiliar with the common business practices and resources required to build a successful company. They had the right ideas and goals, but they didn’t know where to start. That’s why a thorough franchise model is critical in the process of bringing veterans on to your team.
Providing necessary support and essential resources should be the backbone of your franchise model. Veterans already carry the motivation and diligence to be successful, but they also need an extensive support system to tap into in order to fully bring their ideas to fruition. Points of contact for every aspect of the business and a list of trusted vendors they can collaborate with are just a few examples of how you can provide your veteran franchisees with everything they need to unleash their full potential.
Keep a diverse network
Veteran businesses are known for their longevity and employee retainment. Throughout the course of their military experience, veterans work with people of all backgrounds and from various areas of expertise – communicating and collaborating with individuals from all over the world is simply something they’ve been trained to do.
To aid in the efforts of becoming a long-term business and generate successful employee retention, it is important to provide military veterans with a network of diverse and experienced team members. Within our brand alone, I can think of a handful of veterans who have benefitted from meeting others in the network and collaborating with individuals whose backgrounds and strengths vary from their own. Whether it’s with fellow franchisees, members of the executive team or administrative professionals in the system, veterans can work to the best of their abilities when they have a melting pot of ideas and roles to work from.
Open doors for development and growth
One of the most inspiring characteristics I have seen among veterans I have worked with is the unwavering leadership potential they carry. Many of those who entered the armed forces at some point in their lives are natural-born leaders, especially those who sought titles of officers and lieutenants.
When looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity, veterans want a system that allows them to grow and expand their leadership abilities. The discipline and work ethic they earned while serving directly translates into their business ventures, and if presented with the ability to move up the ladder, veterans are better suited to be successful. This opens doors for newcomers to dive deeper into the world of franchising, and for single-unit owners to explore the scope of multi-unit opportunities.
In conjunction to the development aspect of the business, many veterans look for a legacy they can be proud of. The Two Maids & A Mop franchise model, for example, caters to family-focused entrepreneurs and allows them to pass their business onto younger generations. Veterans are often interested in an enterprise that can be inherited, which can be traced back to the importance of business longevity. If your franchise model has windows of opportunity for individual development, as well as strategies to keep it running for generations to come, you are more likely to appeal to the needs of veterans who are in search of their own entrepreneurial venture.
Ron Holt is the founder and CEO of Two Maids & A Mop, a fast-growing franchise concept that specializes in professionalized home cleaning services. Holt founded Two Maids & A Mop in 2003 with the grit, hustle and perseverance that the brand is still known for today. Over the next 10 years, Holt grew the brand from one corporate location to 12 and in 2013, the brand began franchising under Holt’s leadership and today has over 80 locations across the country.