Strategic Franchising: Life After Active Duty – Why Service-Based Franchises Are a Great Fit
If you ask Steve Kwon, (who has worked in franchising for over 20 years and is the Sr. VP of Franchising with Strategic Franchising), who he looks for in an ideal franchisee, military veterans are the first to come to mind: “The ideal franchisee is someone who is dedicated and passionate, but is also disciplined enough to follow the framework provided that is proven for success.”
In fact, Strategic Franchising has had the honor of working with U.S. Veterans since its inception in 1994, nearly 25 years ago within all 5 of the franchising brands. Although Strategic Franchising is headquartered in Cincinnati, the 5 brands are located all throughout the United States. “Veterans have the skills and mindset after returning from service that have proven to be transferrable to franchising, especially in service-based industries like ours,” says Kwon, “it’s a big reason why our brands attract veterans.”
The statistics support Kwon’s comments. Military veterans are more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans and they aim to be the “best” in their industry. Almost 80% of veteran-owned small business owners have sales of $100,000 or more a year, and roughly 40% of veteran-owned businesses have sales of $500,000 (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229886).
Veterans Continue their Dedication to Serving Others
Veteran success as franchisees in the service industry can be attributed to many things, but it is easy to see how their passion for helping others makes them successful in service industries specifically. Veterans are taught values and want to hold true to these values throughout their civilian career.
Serving your country is different than serving the community, but there are still similarities. Many veterans are drawn to the service industry to assist and be a part of their community. For example, they are able to continue to serve by helping specific groups in their community, such as the senior population.
Caring Transitions of San Antonio North franchise owner Scott Bleichwhel, former Army Public Affairs Director says, “I wanted to become part of an organization that is trustworthy, has values associated with it, and is helpful to others so that I can continue to serve to the best of my ability in my community.” Scott was able to take those core values and utilize them in his business ownership. Scott’s team at Caring Transitions of San Antonio North has been recognized twice as a National top 10 Caring Transitions Franchise Owner out of over 230 Caring Transitions locations.
Discipline & Commitment
From day one, military personnel are taught discipline. When owning a franchise, military veterans launch their business, disciplined to follow a proven business model. By following a “tested and approved” framework, a veteran is able to successfully own and grow a business the way they so desire.
Adam Intihar, owner of Pet Wants Nashville South, formerly a U.S. Army Medic, shares, “I was trained to have honor, respect, integrity and compassion for both people and animals. I also learned how to lead and how to follow. As a business owner, I need to be a leader in many situations and environments. My motto in life is ‘Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.’ Also, before buying a Pet Wants franchise I was a customer of Pet Wants, and I went to college for medicine, so I understand the immense benefits of holistic pet food.” Intihar was able to turn his passion for medicine, discipline and commitment from the army into a career as an owner of Pet Wants. He has been in business for over a year and started to build a very successful portfolio of repeat clients that have made the switch to Pet Wants' nutrition-rich pet food.
Leading in the military means gaining experiences in guiding and mentoring trainees. Strong leaders coach new recruits to become future leaders. With the Growth Coach franchise, as a professional business coach, our owners continue to develop leaders and help them through professional growth.
Tony Colombo, owner of The Growth Coach of Middle Tennessee, is a former Special Operations Engineer Sergeant of the U.S. Army Special Forces. During his military and professional career he gained “experience in advising others formally and informally. The Growth Coach model, structure, materials and their support staff, along with my experience leading others have allowed me to be a successful Growth Coach business owner.” Being a “coach” in the military provides great skills that can be transferred into helping grow others in their businesses.
Freedom is at the core of any veterans’ values. In many ways, this translates to personal freedom when returning to civilian life. All franchises offer the ability to be your own boss, but service-based franchises like those at Strategic Franchising reduce the barrier for entry with lower upfront costs, and an easier path to translate existing skillsets.
With lower upfront costs, our owners are able to take control and live their life on their terms. Tim Diemont, owner of TruBlue Total House Care of Yorktown, former Vietnam Era Veteran says investing in a TruBlue franchise was “the best decision I’ve ever made. The business is so positive. We help seniors, veterans, schools, army bases, business professions, which makes it not only rewarding for us, but it allows to have a lifestyle where we can take a trip to Europe every year and take as much time off as we want.”
Don’t let your job take away your freedoms. Tim was drained from working in retail corporate America after his military service and decided to take charge of his life and become an entrepreneur. He wanted a career where he could utilize his knowledge and experience from the retail industry and the military, while becoming more involved within the community. TruBlue Total House Care provided him with an opportunity that met his goals along with being able to continue to work with both active duty military and veterans.
Tim loves working with TruBlue because he has complete control over how the company is managed and the size of the franchise. Franchise owners decide how they wish to scale their company. Tim feels in charge of his own destiny and feels as if he has more job security owning a franchise than he did while employed in corporate America.
What makes or breaks a job is the people you work with. Locating the best franchise is about finding the right business culture for you. For example, it’s more than just painting with a Fresh Coat franchise, it’s about managing great teams and programs and helping the community.
Rich Whitaker, owner of Fresh Coat Painters of Clarksville states that “Fresh Coat offers veterans an opportunity to reach their full potential after military service. The low start-up cost and return on investment are what attracted me to Fresh Coat and the proven systems and operations support provided a structure that facilitated a rapid launch.” Rich and his wife Cheryl, were recently recognized with a Guildmaster Service Award from GuildQuality for demonstrating exceptional customer service within the residential construction industry.
Room to Grow
For decades veterans have proven themselves in the service-based industry, and that trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Strategic Franchising is constantly launching new veteran franchisees in markets all over the U.S. Since 2011, about 5,600 U.S. military veterans have become franchise owners (https://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/08/american-veterans-are-cleaning-up-in-the-franchise-market.html) and they continue to succeed.
“We are eager to continue working with potential new franchisees who are transitioning out of or have recently left the military,” says Steve Kwon. “We always look forward to hearing the stories and visions of veterans looking for a way to forge their own path in civilian life. We love turning those ambitions into a reality.”
Dedication to service, discipline, leadership, and an entrepreneurial spirit are why military veterans are some of Strategic Franchising’s most successful franchisees. We have the framework; now we need your vision. Service based business are a good fit for veterans.