Retiring from the military and finding a rewarding career in civilian life can feel like an impossible mission for many veterans. It’s not uncommon for service members to have spent most, if not all of their adult life in the military. You receive your discharge papers and the next day your entire life changes. Suddenly, it feels as if someone flipped a switch and you have to start your life over with little guidance or direction.
Veterans and Franchises Make an Incredible Team
Military service encourages veterans to develop an incredible set of skills. Unfortunately, many veterans return home to find themselves in a catch-22. They have a tremendous amount of valuable skills, but it can be hard for them to find opportunities to showcase what they are capable of.
How do you put your skills to work if you are not given the opportunity? It’s simple, you create your own opportunity. Entrepreneurship can be the ultimate equalizer. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to fit into a box created by the rest of society. You have the freedom to reach your goals using the plan that works best for you.
Starting a business as a franchisee has proven to be a great way for veterans to start their civilian careers and take control of their future. 6000 veterans or their spouses have opened a franchise since 2011. Veterans make up 14% of the US population, but account for 7% of total franchise owners.
Why Franchises are a Great Fit
Even as adults, some of us crave the occasional Quarter Pounder or Big Mac, while other folks turn up their nose at the idea of eating McDonald’s. Love it or hate it, one thing is sure, you know what the experience is going to be when you walk into a McDonald’s restaurant. A trip to the McDonald’s on the corner is a great example of why franchises are a great fit for veterans looking to start a business or find a job as a civilian. When you go to McDonald’s, you know what to expect because there are protocols for everything from cooking the food to filling the paper towel dispensers in the restrooms.
Following procedures is second nature to most military members. Almost all aspects of military life; flying an F-15, making your bed, or cleaning your rifle for example, are driven by documented procedures. Success in a franchise isn’t about blindly following procedures, it’s about making the most of your training and using procedures to tackle challenges as they appear.
The United States military has some of the best training programs on the planet. These incredible training programs are one of the many reasons veterans are great candidates for owning a franchise.
Dick Mueller, a franchise consultant with FRANSELECT and a Senior Mentor for the Veteran Transition Forum, said that today’s veterans are better informed about franchises as they get ready to leave active duty and franchisors are eager to have the opportunity to discuss franchise ownership with them.
Opportunities for Everyone
Veterans often struggle to find a way to convince traditional employers that the skills they possess will bring value to the company. Many military skill sets don’t directly translate to corporate America. Franchises offer opportunities most corporate jobs just can’t match. It doesn’t matter what set of skills you have, there is a franchise out there that will benefit from what you have to offer. Whether you have skills in accounting, mechanics, or woodworking, there’s an opportunity for you to use those skills to build a successful and rewarding career, and a financially lucrative business.
There is no Substitute for Incredible Leaders
It doesn’t matter if you’re the business owner or an employee, every business benefits from great
leaders. Good leaders help everyone around them become better at their jobs. They motivate their
team to support one another and to continually strive to be better. Whether it’s a McDonald’s or a
global technology company, having people in your business that make those around them better is
invaluable. Great leaders aren’t born, they’re made. Great leadership comes from overcoming adversity
and learning from the experience.
When most people think of a great leader they don’t think of a 26-year-old young man. However, a
successful business owner recently spoke of his encounter with a 26-year-old veteran. The former
soldier was quiet, confident, and exuded an heir of leadership. The mid-20s is a time when most are
finishing up college and trying to figure out what to do with their lives. This particular young man had
already led a platoon of soldiers. His leadership skills were not taught in a classroom, they were forged
under fire. Veterans possess a tremendous amount of valuable skills that can be an asset to any
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