Surprising Ways You are Already Prepared for Franchise Ownership

Businesses are similar to the battlefield, where only the strong survive. Markets can be fickle, locations can turn sour, and competition is fierce. Fortunately for the economy, the United States has produced a generation of future entrepreneurs, or “franchipreneurs,” ready tackle these challenges like a seasoned pro.

In the past 16 years, the Global War on Terrorism has produced a generation of combat veterans who know what it takes to weather the battle. After their military career, these service members are taking to the battlefield of Corporate America on the other side of the uniform.

One of the most unique opportunities presented to veterans today is the opportunity to pursue their own franchise. Many veterans may not know it, but they already have what it takes to succeed in this venture.

Resilient Unto Victory

Throughout the corporate world, the most successful organizations are the resilient ones. As a veteran, you are probably more resilient than you realize. In combat, failure often comes with irreversible consequences of the worst nature. Consequently, the notion of quitting or giving up simply isn’t present in the veteran psyche.

This trait is a prerequisite for success in the world of franchising. Often, those pursuing their first franchise must take out loans to cover the start-up costs and franchising fees. On day one, the new entrepreneur is on the hook for a sum of money - sometimes very small, sometimes very large - making failure not an option.

The data for the failure rate of franchises has been wildly debated and varies depending on the source. Some research has placed the success rate at 65 percent, while others have it as high as 90 percent. With a little research into the specific franchise brand, you can quickly come to a more accurate number. It takes discipline and follow-through, which should not be a problem for veterans. Those are traits you’ve been developing since Basic Combat Training. Another reason veterans make great franchipeneurs? When a situation goes bad, you have the unique ability to make the best of it. Think of the military mindset: “To make a complaint, you need to offer a solution.” This will take you far in the business world as well, especially in franchising, where you have the freedom to implement those solutions.

Experienced Leadership

Most young adults emerge from college having never supervised personnel. When it comes to hiring and assembling their team, new franchise owners often learn through trial and error, and those can be expensive lessons. The costs of replacing and training new employees can be substantial. The key, then, is to find good people and hold on to them. This means ensuring employee morale stays high.

Luckily, as a veteran, you already have what it takes to do that: good leadership. The average veteran has led troops, whether in large or small capacity, and has done so for years, often under stressful circumstances.

A word of caution: Civilian employees do not respond to the same leadership style that service members do. In the business world, a softer tone will go a long way in creating a healthy working relationship.

A Battle Plan For Success

You might be concerned that you don’t have the experience to successfully run a business. However, franchises present a unique opportunity. In most cases, the established franchise chain will already have a blueprint for success, including a timeline for return on investment. This is a case of following directions while executing orders - something you, as a veteran, are fully prepared to do. Along the way, somethings may need to be adjusted. You already know how to recalibrate and execute.

The intangible assets that veterans bring to the franchise far outweigh any inexperience in operating a business. The franchise chain is heavily invested in their brand and reputation and will provide the support to ensure success, which means you will have a chain of command. I don’t need to tell you how this is beneficial for you. You are already familiar with the support that comes in this system.

Veterans Lead The Way

As a franchise owner, you bring experience that is ready to deploy on day one. While many of your peers were in school, you developed the ability to adapt and overcome. The challenges you will face as a franchise owner are challenges you’ve faced – and overcome – before. The business world is ready for veterans like you to step up to lead the way.

By Dave Omholt

This article appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of Search & Employ Magazine