For many American vets, franchising has proven to be the perfect career solution. With thousands of franchises to choose from, ranging from very low cost to very expensive, available virtually anywhere in the country, training provided, back-up business assistance provided – it’s been a nobrainer for a large number of ex-military.
Take the case of Cpt. Andrew Wilson. After leaving the military about ten years ago, Wilson bought a 1-800-GOT-JUNK franchise. Okay, not glamorous, but within a year he was raking in almost $1 million in revenue. “I wanted a cereer where I wouldn’t get stuck in a cubical manning the fax or copy machine,” said Wilson. From there he branched out to invest in another franchise called YOU MOVE ME. That has worked out well, too. Now he’s his own boss and the sky’s the limit to how far he can go in franchising.
Not everybody will be as successful as Wilson, and franchises can fail just like other businesses. But in many ways Vets are a perfect match for franchising, which relies heavily on following established procedures, building relationships, and working hard (sound familiar?)
If you want to look into franchising and see what’s available, including financing options, a good place to start is the VetFran website. VetFran (Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative) is a project of the International Franchise Association. It’s a group dedicated to assisting Vets in researching and finding the perfect franchise, as well as helping them find financing.
Start by downloading their VetFran Toolkit, which is specifically designed to assist Vets interested in this field. It includes a Franchising 101 online course, a finance assessment, a workbook for prospective franchise owners, and partner links to currently available franchise opportunities. The kit also provides info on accessing the VetFran Mentor Network, enabling you to get advice from an experienced franchise professional.
As for financing, a service to check out right away is BoeFly, which enables you to apply for a loan from several financial institutions at once via one online form – a five minute process, according to the website.
Here are a few other great franchising resources for Vets –
Military-Friendly Franchises – Use the Matchmaker Tool to find franchises meeting your specs.
Best for Vets: Franchises – Franchises ranked from a Vet perspective
Veterans and Franchising Special Report – Today’s top Vet-Friendly franchises and what makes them the best
Veteran Business Services (VBS) – This is a PDF download. Offers a tool to conduct feasibility analysis and due diligence on multiple franchises, and also offers several special Veteran discount programs.