Rick Grossman wrote an article for Entrepreneur where he discussed the natural fit of opening a franchise is for military veterans. It’s something we at Strategic Franchising have been aware of for years. The gratitude we feel for the service men and women who protect this nation, in particular the freedom to being able to pursue a career that any person finds fulfilling, as well as seeing how well many skills that are highly developed in the military translate well into our industry, is why we offer a Veteran Discount for all five of our brands.
Rick listed 3 reasons military veterans make excellent franchise owners – we are going to look at those in detail (and combine two of Mr. Grossman’s into one), but let’s add a fourth to the list and talk about it first (bonus one at the end as well).
- Discipline and Commitment to Process:
I was somewhat shocked to not see this one in the list crossover traits between the military and the business world. In an American culture where discipline is often lacking, the discipline of military veterans is legendary. Veterans often get up at the same time every day – even on weekends. They are dedicated to not only the big tasks, but the small tasks. Veterans understand that the big cogs in a clock don’t turn when a small one falls off. How much they enjoy or hate a task seems to have no impact on the effort and gusto they give to it. This is the perfect attitude and mindset of a franchise business owner. Franchise work because a system has been found to be successful across multiple areas and scenarios. When franchisees become lax in following the parts of the system they don’t like or do not value, that’s often when they begin to create problems for themselves. They own the business – so there is often no one in authority to make them do the right things. In the mindset of that franchisee, authority is a privilege, and they can use it as they see fit. But most military veterans understand authority as a responsibility – a responsibility not only to themselves, but to those who work for them, just as it was in the military. Because of this, we love seeing “military status” checked as current or veteran in our applications. They already have the #1 thing we look for in our candidates: disciplined commitment to a proven process.
- Leadership and Vision:
Whether a seasoned Sergeant Major or experienced colonel, the military does thing exceedingly well: it takes followers and turns them into capable leaders. Sadly, many outside of the military think that obedience a man or woman renders to his superiors is blind. But we know better. We know that the respect and faith shown to the leadership is because those leaders have proven to have excellent vision in seeing the path that leads to an objective. They may or may not explain it to their subordinates, but good leaders earn the trust of those who follow them – because, when hindsight is 20/20, those following their CO realize his vision and leadership took them through perhaps the only path that would get them to where they needed to be.
- Clear Mission and Objectives, Planning, and Analysis
The military loves history. When studying strategy and tactics, great leaders spread out over thousands of years are still finding their masterpieces dissected and analyzed today. Why? Because the military is constantly analyzing what works, why it works, and how to make it work again – or improve it. Military veterans don’t just say, “We need to increase x by y%.” It would be like someone in a war saying, “We need to cut off their fuel supply,” and everyone just nodding their heads at how great an idea that was – and then doing nothing or clumsily making their way towards it to “just do something”. First there’s the mission, then there’s the objectives of a mission you must meet to ensure its success. Basically, this is all about planning. The military loves planning. But they also understand its limits. Plans rarely work out the way you expect them to. But even when a plan completely fails to predict how a goal is to be achieved, by spending the time to plan, veterans are familiar enough with goals and situations to find work-arounds. As Eisenhower said, “I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” You could even say that this leads to a bonus trait for military veterans as great franchise owners…
- The ability to think on their feet in high-pressure situations! Every business runs into problems – it’s how you address those problems that determine if you fail, whether them, or, perhaps, come out with an even better result.
So, in closing, a huge thank you to all of our service men and women for your sacrifice and the effort you have given to allow us the freedom to live as we see fit. If you are transitioning back into civilian life, love the idea of living the American dream you fought so hard to protect by opening your own business, I would strongly suggest you consider looking into franchising. Which franchise? Well, that depends on your personality, tastes, and goals. But one thing we can tell you: we would be honored if you considered one of our brands. If you click here, you’ll be taken to our page that gives a short synopsis of each of our brands. If any catches your fancy, you can visit that brand’s franchising website to learn more and contact a representative to begin the process.
Thanks again, and Godspeed!