A row of U.S. veterans salute before taking part in a franchising for veterans program

In Brief:

      • Many veterans choose to go into franchising after leaving the service.
      • Veterans often make great franchise owners due to their leadership experience, stress management skills, and strong discipline.
      • Franchising for veterans is made easier through many resources, programs, and government agencies too.

After completing a tour of duty in the armed services, many veterans sign up for a new tour of duty: franchising. 

Franchising for veterans has long offered a path to business ownership for U.S. veterans. In fact, they make up 14% of all franchisees in the country!

But why do many veterans go into franchising? What organizations can offer help? What are some of the top franchise opportunities for veterans out there? We explore all these questions and more in this comprehensive guide to franchising for veterans!


Why Do Veterans Go into Franchising?

Franchising for veterans is often seen as a path forward after leaving the armed services. Many choose to pursue franchising as a way to provide for themselves and their families financially and grow their skills in the civilian world. Others may decide to pursue franchising as a way to follow their dreams of entrepreneurship or to own a business of their own without necessarily having a business degree or prior experience in business management. 

Why Do Veterans Make Great Franchisees?

Veteran franchise owners are often sought after by franchisors because they make great business owners in many cases. How so? The skills veterans learn in the armed services often translate well into the business world. Here’s a closer look at why veterans often succeed in franchising!

Leadership

Veterans have already learned invaluable leadership skills during their tour of duty. They understand how to delegate orders, meet goals, and lead others. Much like in the armed services, the business world needs people who can assume leadership roles to do all of this and more. 

Stress Management

In addition, veterans already know the rigors of life in the armed services, including extensive boot camp training and deployment overseas. Understanding how to cope with this stress can also translate well into the world of business management, where business owners often deal with the stress of exceeding sales goals, meeting deadlines, managing teams of employees, and the like. 

Discipline

Military service teaches veterans the importance of discipline, structure, and following the rules and systems put into place. Franchising, similarly, also requires that franchisees be disciplined and be able to follow rules and structure to succeed. 

Teamwork

Finally, few people in this world understand teamwork better than veterans. They’ve learned first-hand how to work with others towards common goals and to adopt a “larger than self” mindset that places the team above the individual. In business, this teamwork-centric mindset is critical to success too. 

A group of smiling veterans before starting a franchising for veterans program

What are Some Tips for Veterans Considering Franchising?

Transitioning from military life to civilian life can be difficult for some veterans. The good news is that franchising can offer a path forward financially for veterans who want to become entrepreneurs after their tour of service is up. If you’re a vet looking to get into franchising, be sure to keep these tips in mind!

  • Use organizations, resources, and incentives that aim to help veterans with franchising
  • Always research any franchise opportunities carefully before approaching the franchisor to see about buying a franchise unit
  • Think about what skills you’ve learned in the military and how they can be translated into the business world
  • Carefully consider which industries you’d like to franchise in 
  • Seek out professional assistance, such as from franchise lawyers, when reviewing any FDDs or before signing a franchise agreement

What are Some Resources That Can Help Veterans with Franchising?

Franchising for veterans is made easier through a number of resources and programs that can help them by offering guidance, ongoing support, and various incentives. Here’s a quick look at a few of them below!

VetFran

Founded in 1991, VetFran is a popular and long-running initiative launched by the International Franchise Association (IFA) that partners with more than 550 franchises that offers financial incentives, educational resources, and ongoing support for veterans interested in franchising. 

Spearheaded by USAF veteran Don Dwyer, Sr., the program initially aimed to help veterans returning from the Gulf War find civilian employment. Since then, it’s helped thousands of U.S. veterans invest in their dreams by becoming franchise owners. Specifically, VetFran offers discounted fees to veterans entering franchising, a wide array of online resources for business education, and much more. 

Office of Veterans Business Development

Run by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Veterans Business Development is another great resource for veterans. The office provides online resources and other assistance to vets to help them break into the world of small business ownership and succeed as entrepreneurs. 

Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

Administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization provides many helpful online resources about franchising opportunities for veterans. 

U.S. Army veteran in front of a large American flag before starting a franchising for veterans program

What are Some Veterans Franchise Opportunities?

Franchising for veterans has succeeded for years in large part because of the many franchisors who’ve partnered with projects like VetFran to make entrepreneurship more accessible to veterans. So, just what are some of the best franchises for veterans? Take a look below at just a few participating VetFran companies!

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream

Opened in 1989, Bruster’s Ice Cream has garnered legions of fans for its delicious ice cream in a variety of great flavors. The franchise also sells frozen yogurt, shakes, and other yummy treats. Franchisees enjoy ongoing franchisor support, access to a proven business model, and fairly affordable initial franchise fees. 

Bruster's Ice Cream logo

Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness, established in 2002, has gone on to become one of the best-known fitness franchises out there today. The gym franchise offers not only modern equipment for customers to use, but also special classes for yoga, Zumba, body conditioning, and more. Franchisees with Anytime Fitness enjoy strong brand recognition, accessible startup costs, and extensive training and support. 

Anytime Fitness logo

All County Property Management

Founded back in 2008, All County Property Management is one of the leading property management franchises in the United States today, specializing in all aspects of property management as well as maintenance, sales and listing, and more. Franchisees with this company benefit from affordable startup costs, solid brand recognition, and excellent franchisor support. 

All County Property Management logo

101 Mobility

101 Mobility, founded in 2010, specializes in designing and installing products for people with physical limitations. Accessible startup costs, extensive training and support, and the satisfaction of helping others in need. 

101 Mobility logo

See Why Franchising for Veterans is So Popular!

Veterans have already defended the American Dream. Now, after leaving the service, they have a new shot at owning a piece of it through franchising. 

Many organizations are available to offer support, while a number of franchises offer discounts and other special perks for veterans, giving them a leg up when they look to franchising as a post-military career option. In addition, many skills learned in the U.S. armed services, such as leadership, the ability to handle stress under pressure, and understanding the importance of discipline and working towards common goals, translate well into the business world. 

If you’re a U.S. veteran who’s already proudly served your country, you may want to serve your aspirations to become an entrepreneur and become a franchise owner next!

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