Good Reasons to Invest in an Up-and-Coming Franchise

**By David E. Omholt, a franchise advisor with Veteran Franchise Centers (VFC) – a RecruitMilitary strategic partner. VFC offers a free service to veterans looking to learn more about the franchise buying process and options in the market. Omholt is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) and a frequent speaker on the subject of franchising on talk shows, at industry conferences, and on college campuses. He has been both a franchise licensor and a franchise licensee.** **************************************************************************************** Many veterans have risked their lives to protect the freedom and security of our country – for this, we are forever grateful. The courage that servicemen and -women summon up to carry out their duties is hard for many to comprehend. During the most difficult moments in battle, however, they can control risk somewhat by helping one another complete their missions. In business, entrepreneurs try to control risk every day, finding ways to maximize their investments and minimize the potential for failure. One of the best ways to control risk is to invest in a franchise – one of the most secure and lowest-risk kinds of business in existence. Franchising is a popular option for veterans because they learned in the military to lean on colleagues and mentors for guidance and support. A new franchisee can reduce risk by reaching out to other franchisees as well as the franchisor to ask questions, share ideas, and form a mutually supportive relationship. ###AN IDEAL OPTION At first glance, investing in an up-and-coming, emerging franchise may seem riskier than going with a more established franchise. But an emerging franchise is not only a more financially secure investment than a start-up; it can also be more cost-effective than an established franchise. The franchising fees for emerging franchises normally are lower than those for established franchises, and emerging franchises offer great potential for expansion of ownership into multiple units. A veteran owner will have an option to scale his or her income through new locations, while becoming more comfortable adjusting to life as a franchisee. Most emerging franchises will have their territories mapped out in their business plans. But being a highly effective franchisee right off the bat can set you up for success via expansion. If you establish yourself as a competent entrepreneur and a major asset to a franchise, the franchisor is more likely to reward you with the franchise rights to other locations within your area. The best way to work yourself into this desirable situation? Simply be yourself. Veterans are highly sought after by franchisors because they are so well suited to the industry. Their military experiences taught them how to follow processes meticulously, lead teams, solve problems under pressure, and make quick decisions – all capabilities that spell success in franchising. ###TIGHT-KNIT GROUPS Veterans who choose emerging franchises will benefit financially – and they will gain something more: an opportunity to work with a very tight-knit group, replicating their close relationships with their military comrades. In our industry, the franchisor acts as a central command center, while the franchisee is like a sergeant of his or her franchise units. Franchisor and franchisee work closely to implement the same concepts and strive for mutual success. In a more established franchise, there may be a certain distance between the franchisor and a new franchisee. But a franchisor of an emerging franchise will depend more heavily on a relatively small group of people to grow the business. In addition, because many of your fellow franchisees may be veterans, you may get even more support and connection within your organization. Thousands of veterans have turned to franchising in recent years. ###AN EXCITING MISSION To top it off, the excitement of working with a franchise brand that has the potential to become much larger can provide a veteran with a strong sense of purpose. A franchisee of an emerging franchise often has an opportunity to make recommendations on the direction of the company – and that can be exciting. Relying on process-oriented skills honed in the military, a veteran can help grow the brand, educate consumers, and make his or her own mark on the development of the company. A franchisee of a large, established franchise may not have that opportunity. Amid the excitement of running an emerging franchise, a veteran can make a real difference beyond the local franchise level. It can be very fulfilling to know that you are contributing to the prosperity of your business, the betterment of your community, and the development of the franchisor company. As a new franchisee with an emerging brand, you will be able to draw on the respect others have for you as a veteran. You will voice your opinions and share new ideas, while also respectfully challenging your franchisor’s thinking when you think you can make a difference. ###WATCH THE FRANCHISE GROW Above all, it is a pleasure to watch a franchise grow as you contribute to its success. If you can find an emerging brand you truly identify with and which matches your core interests, you can have a special experience contributing first-hand to its short- and long-term growth. Any investment carries a certain amount of risk, but the reward of helping build a successful business cannot be measured in just dollars and cents. If you invest early in an up-and-coming franchise, you will be able to apply your military-honed leadership and problem-solving skills from Day 1. You will become an integral part of the franchise moving forward. You will be fully engaged in your mission and fully committed to its success. Just as you were in the military.