Each year, hundreds of thousands of veterans say goodbye to the military to begin life as a civilian. For younger veterans, that transition can be difficult.
A recent study by the Department of Veterans Affairs defined veterans ages 18-34 as a “vulnerable population” because their unemployment rate has been 20 percent higher than that of non-veterans. That’s a shameful statistic considering how much veterans have to offer.
According to a recent story in the New York Times, “companies that employ former military members rank them high in self-discipline, teamwork, attention to detail, respect and leadership.” These are certainly desirable qualities. However, if employers continue to take a pass on hiring young veterans, they should take a serious look at showcasing their skills as entrepreneurs in the world of franchising.
Vetfran, a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association to bring more veterans into franchising, reports that one in seven franchise businesses are owned and operated by veterans of the U.S. military. More than 66,000 veteran-owned franchise businesses in the U.S. directly provide jobs for 815,000 Americans and generate more than $41 billion in gross domestic product.
So why does franchising make sense for young veterans?
Strong Leadership is a Must
The military has spent centuries creating leaders that can benefit the private sector. More than that, many veterans fail to consider the leadership training they’ve received and how it can translate to success as a business owner. Franchisees are part of a system with unmatched support, but they are responsible for leading their franchise’s day-to-day operations. Hiring, training and managing a staff are all part of running a successful business, and strong leadership skills will help an owner guide their team to success.
Being in business for yourself is an adventure that will include good days and bad. While most franchise owners are plenty capable of handling the good times, it takes some fortitude to weather the tough times. Veterans are used to facing some of the worst situations on the face of the earth. They’ve learned how to show courage in the face of trouble, control fear, assess situations fully, then act decisively in order to survive. This is a valuable quality when guiding a business through the ebbs and flows of the everchanging American economy.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Franchisees are part of a larger system all working toward a common goal. Veterans thrive on teamwork, and similarly, franchises thrive with a great team in place. The military teaches recruits how to be leaders, but it also teaches them how to follow. Veterans understand how to play multiple roles for their teams, and as a franchisee, wear multiple hats. They will be managers, accountants, marketers, human resources and the cleaning crew, sometimes all in the same day!
Franchises Work Within Proven Systems
Veterans are familiar and experienced when it comes to procedural execution and working within a system. There are few organizations in the world that match the systematic method of success seen in the United States military. New enlistees are told when to eat, when to sleep, how far to run and how high to jump as they become accustomed to functioning as a soldier.
Working within a system and executing procedures is what makes franchising such a successful entrepreneurial path. Franchisees are taught where to locate their business, how to build out the location, what type of marketing works best, how to find the right employees and much more.
The Price is Right
Along with the fact that many franchises offer substantial discounts to veterans that are awarded a franchise, there are several business-to-business franchises or home-based franchises with a total investment of under $100,000. Younger veterans aren’t as likely to have qualified for a military pension, nor do many of them have much in terms of assets. In fact, according to CNN Money, the median net worth for someone between the ages of 25-34 is under $9,000. Getting into a franchise without breaking the bank makes sense.
Start Early, Enjoy Late
A veteran who enlisted in the military at age 18 could have a 15-year military career and be back to civilian life by age 34. That means they’d have 30 or more working years to put toward building a business. Thanks to the proven successful models of franchises, many offer the added bonus of scalability. That means if you can successfully run one franchise unit, you could likely run more. Starting your path to franchising early gives you lots of time to learn the systems, grow your business and reinvest profits into additional units.
Franchise business consultant Jim Judy has spent the past 20 years in the franchise industry, gaining insightful knowledge and a keen eye for opportunity. His passion is developing relationships with current and hopeful entrepreneurs to assist them on their journey to franchise business ownership. Jim leverages his experience, success and close relationships in the franchise industry to provide valuable consultation free of charge to entrepreneurs looking to explore the benefits of a franchise.
To learn more, call 919-233-3534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org