The International Franchise Association reports that about 15% of franchises in the US are owned by a military veteran. If you have a friend or relative who’s a veteran, you will not find these statistics surprising. Veterans make great franchise owners!
The reason why veterans make great franchise owners is simple. There are many similar skills learned in the military that are needed to run a franchise. In the armed forces, everyone is in uniform, and this philosophy is carried in the foundation of a franchise. Every person working for a franchise must operate within bounds of very specific brand-compliance standards. Each franchisee works for the greater goal of the franchisor or parent company just as every soldier in uniform works in unison on behalf of the entire battalion. And, just as soldiers do, employees of food and some retail franchises most often wear uniforms.
Below are a few reasons why veterans make great franchise owners.
1. Veterans are Easy to Train
Running a franchise requires one to learn and understand the operations and procedures of the business. You must adopt the franchise's corporate culture and customer service standards. Likewise, most people who have served in the military are accustomed to this process. Veterans are easier to train because they have been through rigorous training before and are familiar with learning military drills and operations.
2. Follow Systems and Rules
Replication of quality across the franchise system is parallel to the success of a franchise. Every franchise location must offer services or make products to exacting specifications as required by the franchisor. Veterans, more than anyone else, understand the need to follow a system as military operations require chain-of-command precision. The ability to adhere to rules and follow systems makes former military officers strong candidates for owning and operating a franchise.
3. A “Bigger than Self” Attitude
Nothing keeps a soldier in line longer than being part of a greater cause. Defending the country is so important to them that they are ready to put their lives on the line for it. Also, soldiers have formed a tight bond with their brothers and sisters in arms and share a great sense of pride for their country.
In the same way, business has its ups and downs and times of gains and losses. For someone to overcome challenges, they must be resilient and flexible.
Such endurance comes from an inner conviction of belonging to a franchise that has a worldwide reach. In short, veterans replicate a sense of patriotism in loyalty to their brand. When they run a franchise, these heroes put their best foot forward and remain true to the brand.
4. Commitment and Hard Work
Serving in the armed forces requires more self-driven commitment than most other careers. It is a job with a lot of challenges. The soldiers must keep fit and train every day. Also, they must follow certain drills without stopping. This kind of discipline in the military instills virtues such as commitment and hard work in the soldiers. For this reason, it is common for veterans to put their all into their franchise and work hard to make it grow.
5. Stress Management
Running a business can be stressful. It involves taking risks and problem solving. In some cases, people cannot handle stress well. But veterans are determined and driven.
During their time in the military, veterans faced worse circumstances than their business could ever pose. Soldiers fought in combat. They survived near-death situations. They lost their friends and colleagues and yet still live on to talk about their experiences.
So, they are ready to run a business. They will not give up too easily until their mission is complete. And, these veterans are proficient at managing their emotions, a priceless ability they learn in military training.
Those soldiers who get promoted are usually generals and learn leadership skills first-hand. Generals learn how to command and control their soldiers.
Even still, soldiers often have responsibilities. Each member of a military squad has an area they are responsible for where they gain leadership skills. This creates a sense of teamwork among the ranks.
With this experience, veterans understand how to manage people and situations. They know how to control personnel and equipment and how to get results. These skills are transferable when running a franchise.
7. Results-Oriented Planners
Every military operation from humanitarian aid to combat has to be carefully planned. Just as soldiers thoroughly prepare for each operation, franchise owners must methodically plan to reach their business goals. Veterans offer franchisors a rich background in time management and detailed planning skills. For these reasons, veterans have a head start as prospective franchise owners.