Military Training: Franchising is a natural transition for many veterans

In many ways, the military is one of the best franchise systems in the world. Men and women sign on, commit to being dedicated to a common cause, receive standardized training, and work within an established and proven system that gets results. So it's really no surprise that military training not only prepares soldiers for battle, but often for a life in the franchise business after they've served their country.

There are huge numbers of veterans returning from active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Each year more than 200,000 military vets make the transition from boots and fatigues back into civilian life, according to government stats. That's a lot of job-seekers and more and more of them are discovering - and signing on to - opportunities in franchising. The U.S. military helps former soldiers make career transition decisions, and other programs such as the IFA's VetFran and organizations like RecruitMilitary are also honed in on marketing to and recruiting veterans into the franchise business community.

Many franchisors are even taking their own initiative when it comes to identifying and signing up military veterans. "Military people have been exposed to systems, training, and teamwork, and that translates into small business ownership in the civilian world," says Tom Hofer, Vietnam veteran and CEO of Spring-Green Lawn Care. Hofer has been pleased with the veterans who have joined Spring-Green and says that system-wide franchisee performers at Spring-Green have consistently been veterans.

In addition to understanding how systems work, veterans are also characterized by a discipline, work ethic, and a willingness to "do whatever it takes" to get things done. These are all skills that come in handy when operating a franchise.

So it's no wonder franchisors are turning to veteran-focused recruiting efforts. Today, honorably discharged vets can expect to find dozens and dozens of franchisors offering them discounts and credits on everything from franchise fees and cost of equipment to reduced royalties and discounts with preferred vendors.

Here's a look at the most popular franchises among veterans:

Top 10 Franchises Popular with Veterans

Franchise VetFran Sales
Matco Tools217
The UPS Store152
Sports Clips126
Dunkin' Donuts84
CruiseOne70
Meineke Car Care Centers65
WIN Home Inspection50
Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.49
Mr. Handyman47
Snap-on Tools45

(source: IFA 10/10)

Be sure to check out Franchising.com's directory of franchise opportunities offering for more franchises that participate in the VetFran program.

Next time we'll profile a military veteran who is now carving out his own niche in the franchise world.

Published: December 9th, 2010

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