Thanks to Operation Enduring Opportunity, military veterans have more franchise opportunities than ever before. What is it that makes a veteran a superior candidate to run a franchise? First, their military background has been training them since boot camp to follow numerous rules and regulations – things that franchises are notorious for having. Second, leadership training has taught vets how to recognize positive qualities in other people and how to develop these characteristics for the betterment of the entire team.
Pair Your Skills With a Franchise
One of the best parts of owning a franchise is that you usually don’t need too much background experience to be successful. Instead, you need the right skill sets, like leadership, communication and attention to detail. How do you know which strengths you have? Think about the talents you used in your military job to figure out a perfect franchise match. You can also use the skills translator tool at Military.com to help you figure out what business opportunities your expertise will complement.
Some military veterans are lucky enough to have job training in a field that’s useful in civilian life, too. This is a huge bonus when finding a franchise. For example, if you were an electrician in the Air Force, an electric company franchise is a great pairing. If you were a cook in the Navy, consider opening a food service franchise. So long as you enjoyed what you were doing in the military, you should be able to glean enjoyment from your franchise as well.
Find the Franchises That Want You
Various companies prefer that veterans become franchise owners because they’ve had so much success with military owners in the past. How do you find these companies in the sea of available franchises, though? MilitaryFranchising.com has a searchable franchise Matchmaker Tool. You’ll be able to find out which franchises are working the hardest to recruit military veterans. It’s always encouraging to work for a franchise that appreciates military veterans.
Learn About VetFran and Operation Enduring Opportunity
Consider owning a franchise that’s partnered with the VetFran program – more than 500 franchises currently participate. VetFran was founded in 1992 by the International Franchise Association (IFA) and offers financial incentives and other types of support to veterans who were honorably discharged. VetFran not only helps veterans with the initial fees of setting up a franchise, but it’ll also provide industry training and franchise ownership mentoring. In 2011, VetFran began Operation Enduring Opportunity, which strives to recruit 75,000 veterans by 2014.
Set Realistic Expectations
Military veterans have a leg up on the competition thanks to their excellent background and training. However, it still costs quite a bit of money to start a business and you can’t expect to make a ton of money back over night. Owning a business is a long-term commitment and it could take a while to reap the monetary benefits. If this is going to be a problem, it may not be the right time to go into business for yourself.
Depending on the opportunity and your most conservative estimates for growth, it’s very important to know how long you can go without taking a paycheck from the business. Even if the business is doing well, if you can’t pay yourself enough to meet your personal expenses, draining a strong business of cash can quickly bring it down. So before you dive in, make sure you have a plan (and a back up) to give yourself the greatest possible chance at success.
Candace Allen is a professional blogger that provides news and information on the top franchises and franchise areas such as cleaning franchises and travel franchises. She writes for FranchiseExpo.com, the best place to find the top franchise opportunities and businesses for sale.