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Franchising to Veterans Requires Some TLC


As more franchisors provide returning veterans with franchise incentives itís important not to treat them like other franchise candidates. They require some special attention.

The franchise community, the International Franchise Association and Vet Fran should be congratulated for its efforts to provide veterans the opportunity to purchase franchises at a reduced cost. These efforts can be in the form of a discounted franchise fee and/or other financial concessions.  Although these programs are intended to assist and reward our veterans, participating franchisors should view these individuals differently than other franchise candidates.  Given the experience and leadership skills many veterans possess these traits can make them excellent franchise candidates. However, the franchise process should be conducted with the following in mind:

  • The existing U.S. job market provides challenges for returning veterans. The lack of job opportunities can make franchising more appealing for veterans who can make some overly eager to acquire a franchise.
  • A number of veterans may have received separation or bonus pay which they could use to invest in a business. Hopefully, this extra income is invested wisely.
  • There may be an emotional desire on the part of certain vets to return to some form of work and participate in the economy. This can make them somewhat vulnerable to aggressive sales techniques.
  • Since the military provides direction and discipline operating a new franchise could be difficult to adjust to. Going from a highly structured to an unstructured environment could be problematic.
  • Consider a transition program where a veteran could work in a franchise location for a week or more in order to acquaint them with the role of a franchisee before completing the transaction.
  • Establish a mentor program where a veteran could work as an employee and transition into franchise ownership.

The franchising community should be applauded for its role in providing returning veterans financial concessions for purchasing a franchise. These individuals can bring a skill set that most franchise candidates donít have. However, there are other factors that separate a returning veteran from the typical franchise candidate. As a result they deserve some TLC as they wind their way through the process of investing in a franchise.

© 2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

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