Veterans and service members are becoming franchise owners faster than ever before. Over 200,000 veterans have already found opportunities in the franchise industry.
Going from being part of a team that is more like family than coworkers to starting over in a completely different career is tough for many. It might be even tougher if you plan on going into business independently and don’t have the training or funds needed to start.
The Small Business Administration reports that nearly 25% of the country’s 23.5 million veterans are interested in starting or buying their businesses. As a result, franchise businesses are restructuring their sales model to deliver results.
With such a large population of veterans looking to own a franchise, opportunities are available for former military service members to find franchise opportunities. Read on to learn more about how franchises are helping veterans start new careers.
What you will learn in this article:
- What is the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative?
- What is the Veterans Entrepreneurs Act of 2017?
- What’s behind the growth of veteran-owned franchises
- Why franchises are offering incentives for veterans
- What to consider before franchising
- How to get started as a veteran franchisee
- How to identify a valuable franchise opportunity
- How to find the right franchise for you
- Key takeaways
What Is the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative?
Don Dwyer Sr. created the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative in 1994. The VetFran program has been running for about 30 years with the International Franchise Association sponsoring it, and today, over 600 franchise systems provide financial incentives to former military personnel.
The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative has helped over 2,000 veterans become small-business owners by matching them with the right industry.
Furthermore, VetFran provides several resources, including mentoring, training, job placement, discounted membership, and financial benefits for veterans to help former military personnel transition from the military to owning franchises.
What Is the Veterans Entrepreneurs Act of 2017?
Veterans Entrepreneurs Act of 2017 amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow veterans access to tax credits, enabling them to handle the financial burdens of starting a franchise better. The legislation helps them achieve their American dream of becoming owners of small businesses by making them eligible for tax credits up to 25% of the franchise fee.
The law transformed how veterans qualify for business ownership. Its goal is to offer entrepreneurship training to veterans and their spouses. Beyond that, the bill amended the Small Business Act to include business training programs for female and disabled veterans. There are also newer tax incentives and management programs for hiring, training, marketing, and more.
The Growth of Veteran-Owned Franchises
Franchises are growing rapidly, and the International Franchise Association (IFA) reports that one of every seven franchises in the U.S has a veteran owner. This trend is partly because over 650 franchises listed with the IFA offer discounts, promotions, and other incentives for military families.
Government-backed entrepreneurship funding has increased in recent years as well. These trends have empowered returning veterans to own a franchise.
The number of veterans owning franchises is increasing because of this combination of support from the public and private sectors. To get started, veterans and their spouses should look for franchising companies that offer discounts. Keep reading to learn how to take advantage of these new incentives.
More Franchises Are Offering Incentives for Veterans
According to VetFran, business ownership is a growing career path for many military veterans because of their structure and chain of command background. Traits like sound judgment, discipline, and leadership translate well to running a successful company.
Franchises have become the prevailing career path for many service members. And because so many franchises today offer veteran incentives, the transition becomes easier once veterans return home and have the opportunity to invest.
By opting for a business model with an existing framework and market share, veterans can enjoy the benefits of a supported brand without sacrificing commitment.
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What to Consider Before Franchising
Narrowing the best franchise for veterans can be difficult with so many different options and incentives. Here are a few questions to consider before signing any contracts.
Q: Do you see yourself becoming a successful business owner?
A: The first thing you need to do when considering opening a business is to decide if owning a franchise is the right thing for you and your family. The best franchise to own will be clear and transparent about its offer.
Q: Is buying into a franchise a good decision for your military family?
A: Veterans and their spouses often find tremendous success in establishing a business venture together. Their commitment to a shared dream with shared responsibility is significant enough that they can overcome any challenge – financing, hiring, or just carving out time to research recurring revenue opportunities for veterans.
Q: Are you passionate about the industry you’re considering?
A: Because the armed forces have many career paths and specializations, veterans have a fundamental advantage in franchise research. The best franchise for veterans should take advantage of your existing skillset. Service members with experience training others make good hiring managers, whereas officers who deal with technology are better suited to I.T. franchises. The industry you pick should reflect your unique resume.
Q: Will your franchise be a “side hustle” or a full-time job?
A: As with any other business, the more you commit to setting a structured business plan, the more successful you’ll be. In any case, not all franchises offer the same hours. Some are much more friendly to part-time ownership – like fast food chains or private home care. However, the best franchise for veterans will use your talent on a full-time franchise for sale.
Q: What will the competition be like for your franchise?
A: Market share is one of the most significant factors affecting your potential revenue stream. Extremely competitive franchise models – like home cleaning or shipping services – will require much more elbow grease to get started. I.T. franchises, meanwhile, are an emerging industry with rapid growth opportunities for veterans.
Q: Are you prepared for the lifestyle change that comes with franchising?
A: Before signing any dotted line, you should be confident that your family’s living situation and financial stability are solid. For example, some veterans prefer to move to more metropolitan areas before they start a business. Wherever you decide to form your franchise, be sure that your potential franchisor will operate in your area.
How to Get Started as a Veteran Franchisee
A great place to begin your research is the Small Business Administration. This government office has a veteran business outreach center program called VBOC. VBOC provides leading training courses to help veterans with business planning, networking, and referrals. This training can even include seminars on business expansion or working from home. Business counselors are also available to provide one-on-one consultations.
Most importantly, the VBOC program also offers a feasibility analysis to help veterans determine if their business will be successful. This valuable insight can be a critical first step in discovering the best franchise for veterans in your area.
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How to Identify a Valuable Franchise Opportunity
Franchises offer convenience and proven business models, but how do you know which franchise for sale will be worth the investment? Here are the key features of a good franchise opportunity.
Weighing the value of a franchise opportunity begins with determining whether there is a market need for your service or product. Growing markets offer entrepreneurs a perfect opportunity to build a business that can easily expand. This process involves considering substitute product trends, economic growth, population growth, and consumer taste changes.
Generally, people want whatever product or service they want to purchase ASAP. If a business operates in an accessible location, potential customers can find it with little difficulty. The ability to easily serve customers is important as it helps attract more customers and retain current ones.
You’ve seen a franchise for sale and decided to buy it, but before you sign the dotted line, you must first determine if it is a right fit for your core strengths and skills. It won’t make sense to invest in opportunities that are irrelevant to your skillset and perhaps even interests.
A franchise with an effective marketing team dedicated to assisting its franchisees can effortlessly drive franchise sales, brand recognition, and growth through various means, such as social media marketing, television commercials, radio advertising, and print ads.
An excellent franchisor has a marketing team that sets the prospective franchisees’ expectations high and executes their promises.
What types of customer incentives does the franchise offer? An enticing incentive adds profit and growth to a franchise as consumers will return. Incentives boost the growth of companies by bringing in new customers and recurring revenue.
Training and Support
As with any business, the best franchisees are those trained. Offering new franchisees training provides many benefits, including increased success rates and a greater awareness of the brand’s goals.
Training and ongoing support can differentiate between a successful franchise and one that fails.
Look at the competition for the product or service you wish to sell in your particular industry. If it is low and few other companies offer it, this may be an opportunity worth pursuing. Your odds of success are greater than if there were many competitors.
Upselling is a customer-focused sales technique that allows customers to purchase more products or services than they originally intended to buy. The fastest-growing franchise in your industry can take advantage of this technique by providing its customers with an opportunity to purchase other goods or services from the store.
Such businesses that give multiple recurring revenue streams can be a good sign that there’s more money for franchisees to make.
Learn how America’s fastest-growing tech franchise sets you up for success.
How Do I Find the Right Franchise For Me?
Conduct Online Research
Before you own a franchise, start by searching the franchise’s reputation online. Online research is an excellent way to find out more about franchise opportunities. You can use resources to Google Reviews, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau to read what previous customers have to say. Of course, performing internet research isn’t enough. Keep reading for more franchise research tips.
Attend Franchise Expos
Franchise representatives will promote their brands at expos, presenting valuable information regarding their franchise. They will be available for questions about the company and its products or services. Additionally, the event will provide a networking opportunity for those looking to join the franchising business.
Consult Your Financial Advisor
Connect with a franchise consultant who can help you understand how franchising works and if there is room within an industry for your skillset. They will review all options concerning your interests and provide expert guidance throughout the process.
Review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
A Franchise Disclosure Document is a document franchisors are under an obligation to disclose to inform potential franchisees about the brand fully. The FDD is where you’ll gain information about a franchise’s history, how long they have been in business, and the amount of capital needed to begin operations. You are also likely to discover if there has been any litigation against the franchise.
Ultimately, the best franchise for veterans will depend on many factors – factors like budget, location, career, and industry. But this article should give useful insights into which franchises are worth your time.
A solid brand with a great support system in place can give you the best chance of developing your franchise into something successful. Additionally, a franchise with an established and loyal customer base is a great way for veterans to break into the business.
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About Cinch I.T.
Since 2004, Cinch I.T. has been providing customer-focused I.T. support for businesses of all sizes. Cinch I.T. is known for its fast and friendly service as the country’s fastest-growing I.T. franchise. Also, Cinch’s franchising service consistently ranks as the best franchise to own in business publications. The company has been voted the best franchise to own in the Worcester Business Journal, Inc. 5000, and the Channel Co. CRN. To learn more, visit cinchit.com, or for more information about how to buy an I.T. franchise, visit cinchfranchise.com.
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