Did you know that military service is highly correlated with self-employment? According to a recent study by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, veterans were found to be at least 45 percent more likely to become entrepreneurs than those with no active-duty military service. Officers are 55.6 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than enlisted personnel.
So for many, business ownership can make a lot of sense, especially considering the unemployment rate for “Post – 9/11” Veterans was 11.5% in 2010, according to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. Traditionally, most of the emphasis has been placed on helping veterans improve their job seeking skills, not helping them investigate self-employment. However, this is changing through several major initiatives. Many of these programs focus on franchise ownership because it can be much easier than a veteran trying to start their own business.
Why franchising makes a lot of sense for veterans and some promising small business financing programs you should be aware of.
- Veterans have what it takes – when transitioning from Military to Civilian life veterans bring with them many key characteristics often found in successful business owners, especially those owning franchises. The reason being, the military, like franchising, is built on systems such as training, operations and communications. Other key traits include strong leadership skills and a thorough understanding of teams and how to motivate and manage them.
- Success Transition– many considering owning a franchise don’t know how to investigate the thousands out there. They go online and are overwhelmed with all the choices. They can’t evaluate which franchises they may be best suited for.
An expert franchise adviser can help them conduct some self-discovery to determine their real needs and interests, in order to know what type of franchise to look for, before they ever invest a dime.
- Operation Enduring Opportunity – a franchise industry-wide effort is underway to hire 75,000 veterans and 5,000 Wounded Warriors by the end of 2014, as well as to recruit and develop thousands of veterans to be franchise small business owners. This initiative will provide education, advocacy, technical assistance and financing programs to achieve its goal. Efforts are being spearheaded by the International Franchise Association (IFA), franchise companies, VetFran, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Veterans Administration, the White House and other government agencies.
As an example, Guidant Financial is offering a 10% discount on services to all U.S. veterans, as well as sponsoring one veteran each month in 2012 to use Guidant’s services free of charge. The company has committed to helping fund 500 U.S. veterans to become franchise small business owners by 2014.
- SBA Express & Pilot Loans – streamlined and expedited small business financing programs are available to veterans. The Express program provides a response to an application within 36 hours, and often lower rates are available. Patriot Express Loans offer easier access to capital and feature the SBA’s lowest interest rates on business loans, including purchasing a franchise.
- Franchise companies –Little Caesars has a “Veterans Program” which offers a $5,000 reduction of the franchising fee, financing benefits and a $5,000 credit on the equipment order for the first store. Service-disabled veterans are eligible for additional benefits, including a waived franchising fee ($20,000) and additional financing options and benefits which total approximately $55,000.
To learn more about potential franchise ownership and how to make the transition, take the next step.
The unemployment rate for veterans, especially those under 25, is just unacceptable. The government has many programs to help a veteran look for a job but there just aren’t enough. Fortunately more resources are becoming available to help vets explore becoming a veteran business owner as a very viable option.
Owning a franchise can be a wonderful lifestyle and a great way to build wealth and equity. Veterans possess many great qualities required to run a franchise, the key is to select the right one.
For more information on the veteran programs above and help exploring franchise ownership, Contact us. There is no cost or obligation for our service.