Veterans are an often misunderstood facet of the workforce. That’s why increasing numbers of veterans buying franchises is such a wonderful thing—it helps provide veterans with new opportunities to use the skills they honed during military service for their own growth and benefit.
In 2018, there were 19.2 million U.S. veterans—about eight percent of the population, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment among those veterans was 3.5 percent last year. For Gulf War II vets—those deployed from September 2001 to the present—the rate was 3.9 percent, the same as the national unemployment rate.
Employers are increasing their commitment to hiring military veterans, a 2017 CareerBuilder survey notes, with 40 percent of nearly 2,500 hiring managers and human resource professionals planning to actively recruit U.S. veterans over the next year.
Reasons for hiring veterans stems from what they learn during their military service, explains the Society for Human Resources Management in its “Employing Military Veterans” toolkit: leadership and teamwork, problem-solving and decision-making, honesty and attention to detail, and global perspectives all being cited as positives.
Those same attributes make veterans ideal candidates for entrepreneurs, specifically in the franchise community.
Veterans have always been drawn to the franchise business model, and franchisors have long recognized that entrepreneurial veterans are some of the best qualified, motivated, and successful prospective franchisees out there. Even though veterans account for about 7 percent of the population, 14 percent of franchisees are vets. Veteran franchisees are more likely to hire veterans as employees, and 65 percent of franchisors have indicated that their rate of hiring veterans has increased in recent years.
Veterans emerge from service with strong leadership skills and a thorough understanding of teams. Military experience includes leading and motivating people, improving processes, and accomplishing a defined mission. Like the military, successful franchisees and employees accomplish their mission with a team. Military vets have the unique qualities that make them ideal candidates for franchise operations.
- An established franchise business operates on proven systems and defined procedures. Executing systems and following procedures with precision is emphasized in military training and leads to success in franchising.
- Franchises provide training. The military has extensive training and teaches very specific skills to be used to carry out very specific tasks. Franchises also have comprehensive training and support built into the franchising process. This means a veteran can enter a completely new field and is more likely to succeed by following the franchisor’s proven business model and completing the training program.
- Much like the military, franchising is built upon clearly defined systems, set structures, discipline, and effective teamwork, which is why veteran franchise opportunities can help position veterans for success. But with all of the franchise opportunities for veterans now available, sourcing out the best franchises for veterans can be overwhelming.
Doing a quick internet search on veterans and franchises, one can find all sorts of information and opportunities for veterans. The US Small Business Administration offers a plethora of resources for veterans, and its Boots to Business entrepreneurial training program teaches skills to succeed in business ownership. The International Franchising Association’s VetFran offers discounts, mentorship and training for aspiring veteran franchisees. The Military Times publishes an annual list of the top franchises that also includes some interesting information and statistics on franchising. These are just a few of the many resources available.
Transblue Franchise Company welcomes veterans to look into our franchise model. With a franchise fee discount for veterans, our construction project management business offers veterans a great opportunity to “Work the Mission” by offering construction management for local residents and businesses, backed with the know-how and reputation of a national company with nearly 15 years’ experience. In our model, veterans are likely to be successful franchise business owners because:
- They are good at setting goals. If you set goals, and even more importantly, set up an accountability system for meeting those goals, your chances of success go up ten-fold.
- They are used to managing people. Military service provides some of the best management training available. From the very start of your career, you learn how to mentor and motivate others.
- They are used to risk and taking on great challenges. If business ownership were easy or risk-free, we would have more business owners. Soldiers learn the importance of taking calculated risks and weighing the possible outcome against the price of failure or inaction.
We have loved working with veterans because once they commit to an action, they implement. They also understand systems and procedures and are willing to put them in place at the very beginning of their business.
The Transblue franchise system is a perfect business idea for veterans thanks to the unique abilities that our ideal franchisees have in common with veterans, such as:
- Working as a team. Veterans know that the success of an organization relies on every member working together to build a team and a business that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
- Executing a plan. The Transblue Franchise Company provides our franchise owners with a proven business plan and ongoing support, but franchisees bring their own expertise and motivation to craft their success.
- Thriving under pressure. Veterans know things don’t always go according to plan and have the flexibility to respond.
- Working hard to accomplish a goal. Business owners dream of a self-made life, but not all have the commitment and work ethic needed to accomplish their goals like veterans do.
It’s also true that military veterans are more likely than the average person to embody the “entrepreneurial spirit” that animates and maintains our nation’s economy. A key ingredient of their success is the team-first mentality that ex-military men and women bring to the commercial world.
Franchising represents a great opportunity for veterans, and veterans represent a great opportunity for franchisors. With the unique skills of each, we can form a lasting, beneficial business partnership.
Vince Ortiz has over 20 years’ experience of managing businesses within the construction and facility industries, including owning his own franchise and being actively involved in the franchise industry for 10 years.