Almost anyone who’s been in the military would agree that they walked away with some valuable life skills, not the least of which include self discipline, tenacity, adaptability, leadership, teamwork, organization and accountability.
So it’s no wonder that, aside from wanting to show appreciation, several franchised companies offer preference to veterans because they understand what these men and women inherently bring to the table.
And although returns vary greatly depending on the franchise, location, demographic, competition, etc. and not every franchise is a sure bet, a 2016 independent Franchise Business Review satisfaction survey found that 89 percent of veterans franchisees enjoyed operating their businesses and 86 percent were happy being part of their franchise.*
Not All Franchises Are Created Equal
So what about the 11 to 14 percent who aren’t so satisfied? Well, even though scores of franchises offer substantial incentives to veteran entrepreneurs, not all of them are guaranteed to turn a profit.
Of course, success is never guaranteed, but when the proper mindset and skills are coupled with the right business at the right place at the right time, the outlook is more than favorable. It’s just up to prospective owners to do their homework.
So, bearing in mind that not every business is going to be a homerun in every location, we’re going to list some of the top franchises for veterans, in terms of incentives, continuity rates and growth rates.*
Dream Vacations: Ranked #1 Veteran Franchise by Forbes, Entrepreneur and Military Times, Cruiseone’s Dream Vacations home-based travel company franchise allows veterans to choose their own incentives, in the form of marketing credits, waived administration fees or earn-back promotions.
There are no territories and veterans are given a 20 percent initial fee discount (off $3,245-$21,850), as well as free training for business partners. Vet-owned Dream Vacation units have an 89 percent three-year continuity rate and a 138 percent three-year growth rate.
Marco’s Pizza: Although this Ohio-based company requires a comparatively high initial investment ($224,092-$549,092), its three-year veteran-owned continuity and growth rates (100 percent and 145 percent, respectively) are what really makes Marco’s Pizza stand out.
In recognition of veterans’ sacrifices, leadership abilities and skill set, the franchise offers a $5000 initial fee discount and actively recruits qualified candidates to enter their veterans program, which allows potential franchisees to enter the business as general managers and work their way through the ranks to ownership.
Budget Blinds: Another home-based opportunity, Budget Blinds gives vets a $15,000 discount off their $89,950 initial investment. Even better, Military Times reports a 93 percent three-year continuity rate and a 315 percent three-year growth rate for veteran-owned units.
Franchisees can capitalize on a nationally recognized brand name, set their own hours and receive comprehensive training and support. Budget Blinds will also finance qualified candidates for up to $40,000.
Homevestors of America: Perfect for veterans who are driven, outgoing and decisive, as well as those who have a background in construction and/or a strong desire to work in real estate, Homevestors is the parent company to the “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchise.
Homevestors offers vets a 10% discount of its initial investment ($81,000-$347,250) and trains all its franchisees how to assess property values, estimate repair costs, cultivate relationships with sellers and buyers, etc., so they can start their own (hopefully) lucrative real estate investment business. Their three-year veteran owned continuity and growth rates are 72 percent and 225 percent, respectively.
The UPS Store: Perhaps the most well-known name among vet-friendly franchises, The UPS Store helps veteran franchisees by taking $10,000 off its $130,849-$434,521 initial investment and 50 percent off the initial application fee.
With a 100 percent three-year continuity rate and a 28 percent three-year growth rate among veteran-owned units (as opposed to a four percent growth rate for overall units), The UPS store also offers an award-winning training program, comprehensive marketing tools and financial assistance for newly qualified franchisees.
There are dozens of franchised companies that provide incentives to veterans and they’re easy to find using any good search engine, but it should also be noted that there are several other great resources for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs, including:
- The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Development, which helps vets and active military personnel access capital, free business counseling, government contract opportunities, etc.
- The StreetShares Foundation, which awards $10,000 in veteran business grants to veterans, active military personnel and their spouses each month.
- Bunker in a Box, which is a free, 14-lesson online mini-course in entrepreneurship that’s been specially designed for veterans.
- VetToCEO, which is a Georgia based nonprofit that offers a free, 7-week online program entitled “Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors.”
Veterans who are interested in any of the incentives or programs covered here, and more like them, can find additional information online. But in order to qualify for any of them, proof of service will be necessary and is typically presented by applicants in the form of a DD214.
If you’re one of the thousands of veterans whose DD214 has been lost, destroyed, stolen or never received and you’d like to have it in hand ASAP, your best bet is to contact DD214Direct.com.
Although eVetRecs, the National Archives’ service is free of charge, using it often costs veterans in other ways, including lost time, peace of mind and satisfaction. Wait times are notoriously long and the need for redundant emails, repeat phone calls, tedious department transfers and prolonged hold times is routine.
When you choose DD214Direct.com, you’re choosing a dedicated team of personal advocates who do all the grunt work for you and leverage an uncommon knowledge of government protocol and procedures to deliver your documents faster than competitors and faster than the National Archives themselves (you can even receive records by email!).
Not only are DD214Direct.com’s courteous, professional agents are ready and waiting to go to work for you, but their special three-tiered pricing system lets you choose your preferred delivery speed. It really doesn’t get any easier! Click here to get started.