Forbes Coaches Council

Why Franchising Is A Logical Career Path For Veterans

For those who have served their country and are trying to determine their career path after the military, franchising presents a great option. Veterans make excellent franchise owners, and many franchisors have programs designed to help them purchase their own franchises.

It’s something to remember for those military members looking for their next chapter, or for people who have friends or family who were in service and feel stuck in their careers. The skillsets that one develops in the military are far more transferable than one may initially think.

Franchising has a system that’s similar to the military. At first glance, it may not seem that owning a burger restaurant chain or a big brand name oil lube service is anything similar to being on active duty. That said, franchises become successful because the same business model is executed flawlessly in multiple locations across the country. Franchise owners need to be very good at working within a chain of command, which is a concept that should sound familiar to anyone who has served in the military.

The franchisor establishes a system and a franchise owner simply needs to follow it. This is the same concept as an officer who follows a military code and works within a system.

At the same time, a franchise owner is an independent business owner who makes numerous important decisions that are separate from the franchisor. In many ways, the military works the same way.

Franchise owners must have a strong will and be independent thinkers, much like those who have served in the military. They both often need to think on their feet and take charge of a challenging situation. A franchisee has bills to pay within a budget, scheduling issues to address with employees and interactions to navigate with customers who at times are not completely satisfied. A franchise owner needs to be able to make difficult decisions and think for him or herself.

Much like someone in the military, a franchise owner also needs to be somebody who is calm and steady and not easily rattled. In the early days of the business, an owner is going to be tested. Scheduling issues can be a problem if employees don’t show up on time and a manager hasn’t been hired to deal with those issues. The franchise owner may have to wear different hats, whether it is spending time with customers or handling paperwork behind the scenes. They also need to remain calm under fire, as customers may voice their complaints in person or on social media.

Franchising requires a high level of system understanding. After a military person or franchise owner has been trained, they need to be able to carry out their mission. An established franchise business thrives because it’s able to execute the same procedures over and over and over — and still have the same positive outcome. Just as officers practice certain maneuverability procedures repeatedly until their unit has its outcome down to an exact science, a franchise owner and their team of employees need to be able to do the same thing, performing in a superior fashion and identical to how all other franchise locations are executing the same procedures around the country or world.

People who had a positive experience in the military will likely find a natural comfort level in franchising. Just as an individual who isn’t good at taking orders or being a team player will never make it in the military, the same philosophy applies to franchise ownership. Somebody who loved their military experience, is disciplined and considers themself a leader should consider investing in a franchise or starting their own business.

The most recent numbers, according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, indicate that there are 2.52 million veteran majority-owned businesses in the United States. Clearly, business ownership is working for a lot of veterans. Owning and operating a franchise can be extremely satisfying and provide the next challenge in life for a high-achieving individual. Franchise owners who are capable and driven can make a big difference in their customers’ lives and help their local community.

As we honor those who have served our country, it also gives us a chance to recognize how many veterans have taken the next step in their lives and accomplished the American Dream by becoming successful franchise business owners.