From the military into franchising: making the leap

It’s an increasingly common journey: transitioning from the military into franchising. While veterans accustomed to order, a sense of duty, and ownership over their career may not find satisfaction in a traditional job, many thrive as franchise owners.

Skills and characteristics that help with a move from the military into franchising

It’s not surprising that veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Members of the military are often natural leaders. Their training makes them especially adept business owners. They know how to effectively evaluate and manage risk and capitalize on opportunities. They work well under pressure. And these characteristics make them desirable franchisees. Wearing multiple hats as a franchise owner can create stress and pressure that veterans may handle better than those without military experience. And most veterans can handle situations where resources are stretched thin, a skill that’s invaluable in a for-profit business.

Finding resources to help with the jump from the military into franchising

There are dozens of government, civilian, and business programs that are accessible to veterans. This can give veterans an advantage when seeking out advice, finding financing, and pursuing franchise ownership. For example, the franchise industry’s VetFran program recognizes the suitability of franchising as a career for veterans. VetFran provides financial assistance to honorably discharged veterans looking to start a franchise business. It offers fee discounts as a way of thanking them for their service. More than 600 franchise companies participate in the VetFran program. It has helped thousands of veterans transition from military service to business ownership.

Many VetFran member companies have progressed from seeking to thank veterans to now actively recruiting veterans as part of their long-term plans for growth. They have learned that former military personnel often make great franchisees. Soldiers value teamwork, loyalty, and discipline. Their training in leadership, planning, and following a proven system to produce strong results serves them well. All of these characteristics are desirable when companies search for prospective franchisees. As an increasing number of franchise companies design assistance programs to attract veterans, it’s a win-win in the franchise industry.