Top Six Tips for Veterans Interested in Franchising
Veterans own one out of every seven franchises in the United States, according to a study conducted by the International Franchise Association (IFA). With more than 66,000 veteran-owned franchise businesses in the United States generating more than $41 billion in GDP, the IFA and many national franchisors continue to focus on helping veterans become successful small business owners.
“Military veterans make ideal franchisees,” says Joel Lazarovitz, Vice President of recruitment for Maid Simple House Cleaning – the new residential cleaning franchise model from Maid Brigade.
“They are among some of our standout team members because they have the skill set to successfully run a business – strong leadership qualities, commitment to their team and the tasks at hand, and the ability to properly follow systems and procedures.”
As thousands of men and women return home from war, it is important to acknowledge the skills these veterans have acquired during their military careers – and that make them invaluable additions to the workforce as franchise business owners.
“After my career in the military ended, I looked at franchising because it was a perfect fit for me,” says Tai Jeffries, owner of Maid Simple of Fort Wayne, Ind. “As a former airman/soldier, I am skilled at following instructions and completing tasks. By following my franchise procedures, I know I will be successful.”
If you’re a veteran interested in franchising, how do you know if franchise ownership is right for you?
Below are a few tips from the experts and franchisees at Maid Simple to help you select the right franchise opportunity and to make it a success.
1. Pick a franchise model that fits your lifestyle
Whether you want to work from home, at an office, manage a large team, or work alone, there are plenty of franchise opportunities that will meet your lifestyles needs and desires. Before purchasing a franchise, identify how many hours you want to work per day, what times of the week you want to work (days, nights, weekends), what type of schedule you want to keep (flexible or appointment heavy), and any other lifestyle requirements that top your list of must-haves. This will help you select a new business venture that avoids lifestyle challenges down the road.
“One of my priorities for selecting a franchise model was that it allowed for a flexible lifestyle,” comments Jeffries. “I wanted to set my own schedule, have the ability to run my business from home, and have the necessary business tools to get started quickly.”
2. Create a Support Network
Get involved with your local chamber of commerce, industry association, professional organizations, and small business owner and entrepreneur groups where you can meet other like-minded individuals to share ideas and discuss success strategies. Also reach out to your franchisor and fellow franchisees for guidance, direction, and mentoring. These business relationships are invaluable.
3. Use All of the Tools Provided by Your Franchisor
This includes things such as financing, training, sales, marketing, technology, and web support. Take advantage of both on-site and ongoing training and ask questions along the way. Most franchisors have a variety of programs that can be enormous benefits to building your business.
4. Make Customer Service and Satisfaction a Priority
Value customers for what they are – the lifeblood of your business. Allow them to offer feedback at any and all times. Listen to their wants, needs, and concerns, and use these comments to improve the overall customer experience. Give them the respect and appreciation they deserve.
“One of the biggest reasons we are successful is because we take a hands-on business approach,” comments Rachelle Elias, a retired military spouse and the owner of Maid Simple of North Metro Orlando. “Our customers are pleasantly surprised when I, the owner of the company, show up to clean their homes – not just some employee.”
5. Get Involved in Your Community
Donate your time, talent, and services to support local charities, hospitals, libraries, schools, or groups that have causes you believe in. By giving back to your community, you will also become more familiar with current and potential customers, along with their interests, concerns, wishes, and needs so you can better serve them.
6. Do Your Homework Before Buying
As a new Maid Simple franchisee, former airman/solider Jeffries says her decision to purchase a franchise was an easy one. She didn’t want to work for anyone else and was determined to set a positive example for her daughters and to show them that a woman can successfully run her own business.
Her biggest piece of advice to veterans considering franchising: “Don’t just talk to the franchisor, talk to other franchisees. Make sure the franchise you choose matches your lifestyle and business goals, not every franchise business is right for everyone.”
Jeffries talked to other Maid Simple franchisees to hear firsthand about the successes and challenges you face while running your own business. It also gave her confidence and the skills needed to be an accomplished franchise owner.
More About the Maid Simple Franchise Opportunity
“As a company, we offer qualified veterans a 15 percent discount on the initial Maid Simple franchise fee,” says Lazarovitz. “We are dedicated to helping veterans enter back into the workforce as small business owners. We’re also a proud sponsor of the IFA VetFran program, which helps returning service members access franchise opportunities through training, financial assistance, and industry support.”
Based on research with franchise owners and customers about what was important to them in a cleaning franchise, Maid Brigade developed a new low cost, home-based franchise model called Maid Simple House Cleaning.
Maid Simple is committed to assisting military veterans, active duty military, and military spouses pursue franchise ownership. The company provides all of the training, support, and financial assistance needed to launch a rewarding business quickly and easily.
Available for $29,500 including the $10,000 franchise fee, Maid Simple provides qualified veterans with a complete franchise package that includes a customer acquisition program, national sales center that handles customer scheduling, billing and payment processing, and ongoing training and marketing support. USA Today ranks Maid Brigade a Top 50 Franchise Opportunity for Veterans.
Profile of a Maid Simple Veteran Franchisee—Tai Jeffries
With a career spanning more than 15 years, Tai Jeffries medically retired from the military in 2011. Now a service disabled veteran, she began looking for the next challenge in her life. The business structure and flexible lifestyle led her to pursue buying a franchise.
During her military career, Jeffries spent four years of active duty in the Air Force as a Computer Operator. After taking a break from service in 2006, she enlisted in the Army as a Mental Health Tech where she counseled soldiers and their family members.
“After my career in the military ended, I began looking at franchising because the structure provided was a great fit for me,” says Jeffries, owner of Maid Simple of Fort Wayne, Ind.
She thoroughly researched businesses that were in high demand by today’s consumers and due to the vast business potential, decided upon a maid service franchise. She contacted Maid Simple and the rest is history.
“Out of every franchise I researched, Maid Simple was the most attractive to me because of its low investment, flexible model, and extensive training and support,” comments Jeffries. “The marketing and advertising program to get me initial customers was also a HUGE selling point for me.”
Jeffries set a goal to provide excellent customer service and outstanding treatment of her employees and hasn’t looked back. Her business continues to grow each month since opening back in March 2013.
Bart Puett is president of Maid Brigade – the only Green Clean Certified residential cleaning franchise. The company’s new franchise model – Maid Simple House Cleaning – offers franchise incentives for veterans and financing for qualified prospects.
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