Franchise Ownership Provides Strategic Bridge for United States Veterans

Franchise Ownership Provides Strategic Bridge for Veterans
Franchise Ownership Provides Strategic Bridge for Veterans

When we take time this Veterans Day to express our gratitude to those who have served our country, we’ll likely use terms such as courage, integrity, perseverance and leadership. In the business opportunity space, these same words also describe ideal franchise candidates. Because U.S. military veterans possess such a drive to succeed, it makes sense for top franchise companies to actively recruit America’s finest to start and grow their brand once their time in active service is finished. 

YES - THEY WANT YOU and intelligence suggests there has never been a better time for U.S. military veterans searching for a bridge to a successful civilian career to seize the moment. But mapping out a strategic plan to find the right franchise can overwhelm even the most well-trained soldiers. With more than 4000+ franchise brands across a broad spectrum of industries, how do you build your bridge to career and financial independence in your own franchise business? 

Here are some strategic maneuvers to maximize your chances of success:

Utilize Existing Intelligence
Resources abound for veterans looking for opportunities to lead their own team in the civilian world, most of them cost you only your time.
  • The International Franchise Association (IFA) website is filled with educational information that provides basic information about franchising.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) regional offices offer free seminars on starting and running a successful small business.
  • Through a partnership with the SBA, leading universities and state economic development agencies, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) help guide entrepreneurial hopefuls and existing business owners.
Take Early Inventory of Your Finances
It’s never too early to assess your balance sheet, determine your monthly budget, evaluate your credit score and review your financial assets. Armed with this information, you’ll be better prepared to evaluate your options and take full advantage of various programs aimed at assisting veterans with funding a new adventure.

VetFran is an IFA sponsored program that provides targeted access to information about opportunities in franchising to our nation’s veterans and their spouses. Their “toolkit’ includes much of the financial information needed to get started on a sensible budget.

Meet Successful Veterans in Franchising
One of the most strategic ways to learn about franchise life after serving our country is to talk with others who’ve walked in your shoes - veterans who are starting, growing and running their own franchises. Here are a few recent examples of veterans who worked with our team to find their perfect business opportunity.

Robert Parrish served as an Audio Visual Field Technician for the U.S. Army. His training led to a successful technology-focused corporate career. When I first met Robert and his wife Lisa, they were looking for their next chapter. Having raised their children and wanting more time to spend with six grandchildren, Robert decided it was time to lead his own team but initially didn’t consider franchising is More Than Just French Fries.

“My wife and I jokingly looked at restaurants, but after learning there are so many options outside of fast food, we broadened our scope and chose a franchise that fit our family perfectly.” I helped them explore, evaluate and choose an international franchise brand in the apparel, sign and promotional products industry. The excitement is building as they are finalizing build-out plans for their new Cumming, GA Instant Imprints location. Robert knows the drive to succeed and leadership skills he honed during his military training will serve him well as a franchise owner.

“Veterans have that ‘I’m in charge’ mentality. They understand the steps to execute their mission and they follow it precisely,” says Robert. But it’s not just about following marching orders. The military instills a high drive to succeed beyond expectations that translates into the generation of ideas for process efficiency and innovative solutions to everyday operational challenges.

“In the military, you’re trained to have a certain mindset; see the positives and the opportunities in everything and get after it.

For 15 years, U.S. Army National Guard veteran Bo Crawford set his sights on one day owning his own business. “I had the desire to be my own boss and be ULTIMATELY and TRULY the owner”, Bo explained.

“I decided to buy into a franchise quite simply because I didn't have any original ideas to create on my own or start my own business, so franchising to me was the best option to open my own business.”

In early 2017, he officially opened his own kids haircuts franchise in Tucker, Georgia. Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids is even offering holiday specials like five haircuts for the price of two! Bo’s business is not only growing, it’s become a powerful vehicle to change lives in his community.

Pull in Tactical Experts
Robert Parrish suggests veterans don’t try to explore this terrain on their own. You need to take the experts with you in the foxhole. I happen to know one veteran and multi-brand franchise owner who has been in that foxhole with me from the start - my Dad and Vietnam War veteran, Phil Kuban. After his service, he returned to climb the corporate career but later chose to venture into business brokerage and franchise consulting. Today, one of Phil’s passions is educating veterans about the many parallels between franchise ownership and military service. “As franchisees, just like being in the military, franchisees work together as a unified force to grow the brand and get the job done. No one is a lone ranger.”

If you or a veteran you know are looking for the bridge to more financial independence and the freedom that comes with business ownership, Bo Crawford suggests the time is now. He advises fellow veterans to “be confident in yourself and don’t be afraid to take the chance and invest in yourself.”

Want to explore a bridge to financial freedom and independence at the helm of your own business? Our local franchise experts can help at no cost to you. Reach out to our team today.


Leslie Kuban is the owner of FranNet, an Atlanta based Franchise Consulting Firm. Kuban and her team offer more than 60 years combined franchise industry expertise. Her personal experience as a franchise owner gives her a unique perspective to help her clients assess their real opportunities, risks and timing to make sound decisions about buying a franchise opportunity. Kuban is a guest lecturer for the MBA and EMBA programs at Emory University, Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University; as well as, a founding member of Georgia State University Franchise Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. 

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