Veterans and service members are looking into ownership of franchises like never before.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly a quarter of all veterans are interested in starting their own businesses. Franchises are a very popular route to go for many of them. With the business framework already in place, opening a franchise is an easy way to enter the market.
Franchises are so popular that the International Franchise Association reported that 1 of every 7 franchises in America is owned by a veteran.
The number of veterans owning franchises may be so large because of all the help available to make business ownership possible. There are many tools veterans and their spouses can use to help make the decision to buy one of the numerous franchises.
Also hundreds of companies offer incentives for veterans to become a franchise owner. Here are a few things you need to consider if you are interested in franchises.
Is buying into a franchise a good decision for my military family?
Many veterans and military spouses dream of owning their own business. My husband wants to own a small bar when he retires. He has talked about it casually for years. I have always wanted to own a coffee shop. While we both dream of these things, I have to wonder if either of them will ever become a reality.
Do you dream of owning a business? Would it be one of the thousands of franchises in America?
The first things you need to do when considering opening a business is to decide if owning a franchise is the right thing for you and your family.
Ask yourself the following 4 questions:
- Are you passionate about the industry you are considering?
- Is this merely a hobby you enjoy or will you actually like to take this on as a business?
- Is there room in the market for this business?
- Is this the right time in your life to open a business?
Think about your family’s circumstances, financial stability and viability of franchise ownership. If your family decides that owning one of the franchises available is the right move, then you need to look into how to choose one of the franchises.
How do I become a franchisee?
Start your research with the U.S. Small Business Administration. They have a veterans business outreach center (VBOC) program. They offer services to help veterans with business training, counseling and referrals. This includes workshops on business development for issues such as being self-employed. There are business counselors available to help on a one-on-one instance as well.
The VBOC program also offers a feasibility analysis to help veterans determine if a business will be successful. They will review your business plan in doing so.
There are 8 things to do to own one of the franchises available in the United States. First, decide which type of franchise you would like to own. Next you should look to see what franchises are available in that industry. You will want to take into consideration the requirements to own a particular franchise in that segment. You should also research the market in the place you wish to open your business.
If all looks well, then you can send an inquiry to the franchise. You’ll need to fill out an application for the franchisor. They will want to see if you are a good candidate to own one of their franchises. When you get a reply, if it is positive you will need to think of the next steps. This will start with finances. You need to decide how you will fund purchasing a franchise.
What incentives are available to veterans for starting a franchise?
Most businesses require a buy in and you might not have the startup money for it. Luckily, many businesses offer incentives and discounts for veterans to open one of their franchises.
There are 650 franchises listed with the International Franchise Association that offer these incentives and discounts for veterans and their spouses.
The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, VetFran has helped 2,089 veterans become small-business owners with their financial incentives.
Politicians are getting into the spirit of veteran-owned businesses as well. The Veteran Entrepreneurs Act of 2017 was introduced at the beginning of the year. Its purpose is to provide entrepreneurship training to veterans and their spouses. The bill would amend the Small Business Act to include a female veterans business training program as well as one for disabled veterans. An outreach center will provide financial assistance including financial management, marketing advice, training and technical help.
While that bill is lingering in Congress, you can look into the incentives the franchise you are interested in purchasing to see if they are big enough to make ownership a reality.