Retired U.S. Air Force Veteran Terrance Turner tells of his experience after winning a Unishippers National Franchise
As many veterans unfortunately experience, one of the greatest challenges transitioning back to civilian life is
finding a job. It’s incredibly overwhelming returning home without an obvious, paved career path waiting for you and a lot of veterans struggle with how to start the process and move in the right direction.
When I retired from the U.S. Air Force, the first thing I did was search through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Approved Franchises” list for logistics franchise opportunities. During my 31+ years in the military, I served as a Logistics Superintendent for the Air Force, a Master Scheduler/Planner for the Crestview Aerospace Corp, and a Logistics Manager for the Department of Defense regarding foreign military sales; thus, I knew logistics was the route I wanted to take.
After nearly a year of thorough research, I came across an opportunity with Unishippers, the first and one of the largest small package and freight third party logistics franchises in the nation. The franchise was hosting a Veterans Franchise Giveaway contest in support of the International Franchise Association’s Operation Enduring Opportunity and VetFran program, both of which strive to help veterans gain employment through franchising.
In collaboration with USA Cares, a charity that provides financial and advocacy assistance to post 9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel, veterans and their families, the purpose of the contest was to award a deserving, qualified military veteran a free Unishippers National Franchise. To participate, each veteran had to create a two-minute video explaining why we were interested inowning a Unishippers franchise, why we were deserving of a free franchise and how our military experience would help us become successful.
Given my extensive background in logistics and passion for the field, the concept and contest aligned perfectly with my personal and professional goals, and I set out to make my case to the Unishippers team. After reviewing over 50 entries, a panel of judges from Unishippers corporate selected five finalists, including myself, and flew us to Unishippers headquarters in Salt Lake City for a special Discovery Day where we met executives, department leaders and the judges.
On Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2013, – a day I will now never forget – I was officially announced as the winner of a
free national franchise. Since launching my business six months ago, I’ve had a unique advantage of being able to leverage my former relationships with freight forwarders and military base transportation management officers for business, diving into an untapped sector for the Unishippers system. I’ve been working with freight forwarders since 1992 so I’m able to use my knowledge of their needs and services and speak their language, so to speak, to attain their business and grow my own.
Throughout this, my first entrepreneurial experience, I’ve found the qualities I acquired during my time of service – discipline, following a structure, being patient, remaining calm – have translated into strong business skills for running a franchise as I’m able to put these qualities to use and get to know my customers on a deeper level, even when it’s over the phone. Being a franchise owner has been such a rewarding experience so far and I’m incredibly appreciative of the opportunity Unishippers provided through the contest.
Over the next two years, my primary goal is to continue expanding my client base by developing additional military- business relationships.
Operating a national franchise, I’m able to work from anywhere and sell to businesses across the country, which means I’m also able to use my role as a small business owner to give back to the veteran community and hire retired logistician veterans from around the U.S. as sales consultants.
Following Unishippers’ example, I’m very eager to pay it forward by reaching out to other deserving, qualified veterans for employment in the near future.
For more information: https://www.unishippers.com