If military service has taught you how to execute procedures, honed your leadership skills and convinced you that giving orders is better than receiving them, then why might know the best career path for you. You should buy a franchise.
Franchise businesses continue to grow faster and create more jobs than the rest of the economy, producing an estimated 200,000 new jobs in 2014. According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), a new franchise business opens every eight minutes, every business day.
Franchises have a Track Record of Success
Unlike mom-and-pop businesses, franchise owners do not have to conceive of a concept and build a business from scratch. “Most people look for a franchise because they want a business in a box,” says Anthony Lolli, CEO and founder of Rapid Realty, a real estate brokerage specializing in apartment and retail rentals. “Plug-and-play and just go into business and not have to worry about five to 10 years of struggling to be successful.”
A franchisee capitalizes on the franchisor’s expertise and experience, following a proven script for success. In return, the franchisee pays the parent company an initial franchise fee, as well as ongoing royalty, marketing and other fees.
“The franchisor has already figured out everything from the ground up and how to build your customer base and knows the most efficient way to do business,” says Marine Corps veteran Kevin Blanchard, coordinator of IFA’s VetFran program, which helps transitioning service members enter the industry. “In many cases, you don’t have to have training in any particular field to run the business. You do have to have good leadership skills, understand management, be very disciplined and execute a system very well and constantly. That’s exactly what the military teaches.”
Franchises are a Great Fit for Military Veterans
Another reason franchise companies believe veterans have what it takes to succeed in the industry is because military members are used to following standard operating procedures when performing military duties and routines. “We love military folks because they just follow our system,” says Fresh Coat Painters’ President Bernie Brozek. “They do a great job.”
Associate Professor James Hop, chairman of Franchising Management at Northwood University in Michigan says service members’ leadership skills also set them apart from their civilian counterparts. “Veterans tend to have leadership qualities that not everybody has,” he says. “Leadership is an important part of business. If you are going to be a franchisee, you have to understand how to direct people, to motivate people, to lead your organization. You are going to get marketing support and an operations manual. You may even get some logistical help. You still have to run the business. That takes leadership.”
Veterans have Proven to be Successful Franchise Owners
Anytime Fitness National Media Director Mark Daly says veterans are proving to be successful Anytime Fitness operators. He cannot think of a single military-owned franchise that has closed. “They understand that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to be successful,” he says. “If you have a proven model and if you follow the business model and work hard and dedicate time and resources to the venture, you will be successful.”
While Anytime Fitness has a failure rate of less than 2 percent, unsuccessful franchisees typically share common shortcomings. “Speaking more generally, those who don’t succeed either don’t follow the business model, don’t work hard enough or sit back and wait for members to come to them instead of actively reaching out into the community and engaging in projects like health fairs and sponsoring athletic events,” Daly explains.