When I entered the business world I was ready to apply the skills I worked to develop in my seven years of service in the U.S. Marine Corp: leadership, self-discipline and good old-fashioned hard work ethic.
Many of my fellow veterans return to civilian life with the same goal and skills – skills I believe are particularly well-suited to the franchising world. Many of those veterans look to open their own business as a second career and many consider franchising. In fact, The UPS Store® found in a recent survey, that 63 percent of veterans and active duty service members who envisioned a second career as a small business owner considered owning a franchise.*
At The UPS Store, we are always seeking strong individuals who are ready to take on the rewarding career of franchising. I have seen firsthand how the drive and discipline gained in the military can be a great advantage for veterans looking to own their own business and open a franchise. Of the 4,500 The UPS Store locations in the U.S., more than 250 are owned by veterans and that number continues to climb.
Partnering in the Veterans Transition Franchising Initiative (VetFran), The UPS Store offers franchising opportunities that allow veterans to own their own business. VetFran offers benefits to veterans that can help them become franchise owners. At The UPS Store, qualifying veterans receive $10,000 off the franchise fee for a new The UPS Store location and 50 percent off the initial application fee.**
With skills such as leadership, self-discipline and a hard work ethic, veterans have all the qualities needed to be a successful business owner. In fact, 54 percent of service members from that same survey felt confident that the skills they gained in the military help them to be successful in the civilian world.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Veterans know the value of teamwork. They know that the success of the organization is dependent on the hard work of every team member. The same is true in business. It takes all members of a team working together to create and sustain a thriving business. From managers to print experts, every role in a franchise is essential to keep things running smoothly.
Additionally, veterans know that every team or business needs a leader to thrive and grow. It’s essential for franchisees to be able to lead teams of employees, and clearly communicate expectations and business goals. Similar to the order and structure in the military, it’s crucial for employees to understand what’s expected of them to be successful. This can also give employees a sense of ownership, which makes them more invested in the company.
Ability to follow and execute a plan
Veterans are used to taking charge and executing a plan for success. In business, specifically with a franchise system, it’s the same process. Franchising allows individuals to start a business with a proven game plan and resources.
At The UPS Store, we’re very proud of our comprehensive training because we believe it helps set our franchisees up for success. From our survey, we know that 68 percent* of service members feel that training would help them overcome their concerns about transitioning to the civilian workforce. I know from personal experience that veterans have a lot of great skills that lend themselves to running a business, but the training provides an opportunity for them to develop the business knowledge and day-to-day operational skills needed to own and operate a store. The training focuses on developing business acumen including human resources, marketing, operations, sales and financial management. However, just like it’s done in the military, it’s up to the franchisee to learn and apply their training to their store to create their own success.
Thriving under pressure
Veterans are no strangers to stressful situations. In my time with the military and with The UPS Store, I know that things don’t always go exactly according to plan. It’s essential to be able to course correct and come up with a new plan. Quick thinking and the ability to stay calm under pressure are skills that veterans learn during their service that come in handy during challenging times. Employees will look to a leader during a high-pressure situation. It’s important for franchisees to set the tone and keep a level head to set an example for employees, while also directing employees toward the solution to the problem.
Hard work and discipline
Finally, discipline and hard work are both things that are learned in military service that are essential to being a successful franchisee. The opportunity to be self-made is appealing to any business owner, but without drive and focus there is no guarantee that a business will be successful. It’s important to be passionate about your business and push yourself to succeed. The ability to work hard to create your own success is something veterans understand and appreciate.
At The UPS Store, we believe that any franchising organization will benefit by having veterans in their ranks. We are proud to support America’s military men and women, and we encourage other franchisors to do the same. Find out more information about veteran franchising opportunities and the VetFran program today.
Veterans have done their part to protect the American dream, and they’re ready to make their own career dreams come true in the next chapter of their career. What embodies the American dream more than owning your own business?
By Tim Davis, President, The UPS Store, Inc., Former U.S. Marine Corps Captain and Gulf War Veteran