As a veteran returning home from some far-off clime, a shaky job market can make you feel as if you’re doomed to tough times. But that’s entirely up to you. One tactic in that battle lies with self-employment and more specifically, franchising. If you are willing to work long hours, can follow a system, can afford to buy and operate a business, can manage people and are passionate about achieving success, a so-called veteran friendly franchise is a great option.
Military Mind-Set Leads to Success
In the military, service members are taught to follow orders. With time, good conduct and expertise, those receiving orders will soon transition into giving orders. It’s the soldierly way – and it works.
Through trial and error, the U.S. Military has honed a sharp system of troop management. As such, the progenitors of this system – veterans – have been imbued with these qualities. For many searching for purpose in their post-military career, it would behoove them to capitalize on their unique skill set. Helming your own business can be an especially satisfying career move.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) operates a helpful website for those interested in self-employment. Just about everything you need to know about owning and operating a small business or franchise can be located via the SBA. From writing a business plan, getting that first loan, registering your business and even establishing a health care program for your employees, the SBA provides an invaluable service.
Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative
Recently, the Small Business Administration established the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative. As per the SBA’s website, this program “offer[s] streamlined and expedited loan procedures for particular groups of borrowers, notably active-duty military personnel, veterans, and borrowers from distressed communities.” Military members currently in the Transition Assistance Program, Reservists, National Guard members and widowed spouses of the aforementioned groups also qualify for this new SBA initiative.
Shouldering startup costs, the Express program also covers inventory, equipment, infusion of working capital and a myriad of other essential expenditures required for the operation of a small business. Interest rates vary from 2.25% to 4.75% over prime, featuring some of the SBA’s lowest interest rates.
Among the many self-employment incentives for current/prior service members are a number of top-rated veteran-friendly franchises. According to the International Franchise Association’s “VetFran” program, some of these franchise opportunities in 2019 included:
- Snap-on Incorporated: The leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics, equipment and service solutions for professionals. They offer honorably discharged veterans a $20,000 discount on the initial inventory purchase for their franchise.
- Liberty Tax Service: A low-cost tax preparation service. They offer a 10% discount on the franchise fee to military veterans.
- 7-Eleven Incorporated: The world’s largest convenience store retailer and the number-one franchise opportunity in the U.S. They provide a 10% discount off franchise fees for all honorably discharged veterans.
- Interim HealthCare, Incorporated: Provider of full continuum home care and health care for the past 45 years. They offer a 10% discount on franchise fees of $40,000.
- ACFN Franchised, Incorporated: The premier provider of ATMs in hotels and other travel- and entertainment-based businesses since 1996. They offer a $1,000 discount off franchise fee for veterans.
- CruiseOne: One of the nation’s largest cruise retailers and a part of World Travel Holdings. They offer retired and active-duty military members 20% off initial franchise fees.
- GoWaiter, Incorporated: Industry leader in restaurant marketing, food delivery and catering. Franchise fees are reduced from $19,500 to $17,500 for veterans.
- Huddle House Incorporated: For over 47 years, Huddle House has been serving communities “any meal, any time.” Veteran incentives include a reduction in initial franchise fee from $25,000 to $12,500.
Starting your own business, whether it’s an independent venture or established veteran-friendly franchise, requires hard work and tons of determination. For veterans and active-duty military, the Small Business Administration and the VetFran program are there to assist you.
Photo credit: TOMTEC
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