Franchising can be the best solution for veterans.
Unemployment levels are higher among recent combat veterans than among the population as a whole — 10%, according to recent government figures. In some cases, analysts say, these vets are taking a well-deserved break before getting back into the civilian work world, but sometimes it’s just harder to get a job.
A job hunter whose resume lists skills and experience like “fighter pilot” or “operations officer” can leave human resources workers confused and unable to see where that job hunter would fit in the organizations. Many companies now do a first screening with an online application form, and these automatic systems may use algorithms that look for specific words. Without those terms, a resume or application form may never be seen by a human being.
That’s just one reason that a franchise can be the perfect career choice for a veteran.
Veterans often make great franchisees because they have been trained to follow systems with a high level of responsibility and initiative. While people who choose to open a franchise because they want to be their own bosses may chafe at having to follow someone else’s plan, veterans are used to following systems. They’re also used to being in command, and have the discipline and work ethic to succeed on their own.
Specific programs designed to support veterans are in place. Boots to Business, an entrepreneurship training program from the Small Business Administration, gives vets an overview of the skills they need to get into business for themselves, including franchise businesses.
VetFran, part of the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, consists of more than 650 companies offering special support for veterans. Founded in 1991 by Don Dwyer and later gaining support from the IFA and from the White House’s Joining Forces program, VetFran provides training and resources for veterans seeking to start a franchise business.
The companies that take part in VetFran choose their own ways to support veterans. Some examples of VetFran offerings;
- 7-11 gives a 20% discount on start up costs.
- Batteries Plus Bulbs has a special program, Ownership with Honor, which funds almost 85% of total start up costs.
- Little Caesar’s has a veterans program providing discounts and credits of as much as $68,000.
- AAMCO Transmissions gives an $8,000 discount to vets.
- CruiseOne offers financing and a 20% discount on the franchise fee.
- Abrakadoodle helps vets find financing.
- FreshCoat gives vets a $2,000 discount.
Discounts and financing help are the most common kinds of support offered by VetFran corporate partners.
Sprigster even has a crowdfunding tool for veteran franchisees. There aren’t many projects in place yet, but this could be a powerful resource for the right vet. Fill out an application form and you can seek funding from the crowd. The program is called “Boost a Here,” and it works the same way Kickstarter does.
So veterans have some strengths (and weaknesses) that align with franchising, and they also have access to some great resources and support. Many of these opportunities are available to the spouses of veterans, too.
Is franchising the right choice for you? Explore our Veterans section.