So you’re considering transitioning out of your military career and trying to figure out the next step? While you might be thinking about taking that job with your Uncle’s construction firm, or even starting a business from scratch, don’t overlook the advantages your experience as a veteran can bring to your own franchised business. Derek Lilly, the founder of EatGatherLove, is a veteran himself.
Having served in the military, you've acquired skills many new business owners lack.
Not only have you been trained to deal with a variety of challenges, you’ve likely had to live within a budget and other disciplines that make you a great franchise candidate. Because of this, franchisors are known to go out of their way to pave the way for veterans. Franchisors know that veterans, as a rule, make great franchisees.
Take Dan Sheridan, former Army Major of 22 years and now a franchise owner of Dream Doors Kitchens in Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand. “The New Zealand military recognizes team building with something called Management Unit Qualifications.” says Dan. “They know that experience in training, administration, operations and logistics, along with dealing with people and problems every day, while constantly keeping your team morale high, develops soldiers, sailors and air personnel to be sole charges or work effectively at the head of a team.” This experience served Dan well when he qualified for his Dream Doors franchise, and he found a perfect fit for his extensive experience.
“Business is not daunting in comparison to risking life and limb in the service of your country. Now as a business owner, recognition comes from your customers, sales figures are the objective, effective processes are the goal and the bottom line reflects the effort your team has achieved.” says Dan.
When asked about the leap from service to business ownership, Dan’s enthusiasm shines through. “In addition to being in charge of my own income potential, I’m home every night and every weekend to see my kids while they are still kids, an aspect my wife appreciates as well.”
“I actively seek out veterans as candidates” said Derek Lilly, who is now making the leap into the US market under the rebranded name of EatGatherLove. “Since I’m actually a veteran myself, having served in the Army when I lived in the UK, I know the type of training and skill set most veterans have. Those talents are precisely what we’re looking for in new franchise owners. The drive to succeed, the willingness to follow a proven system and the ability to lead are all excellent personality traits for a successful franchise in our system.”
Veterans seeking to qualify for franchise ownership in the USA should be aware of various Small Business Administration’s (SBA) programs. Through Veterans Advantage loans, vets are offered a streamlined access and reduced fees. Smaller loans, under $25k, are also available without collateral. EatGatherlove offers a discount on your initial franchise purchase fee to qualifying veterans.
Regardless of which direction you take or which loan program you use, your military background can be a genuine advantage when you’re ready to make the leap into owning a franchise. ‘Discipline’ is what really sets veterans aside says founder Derek Lilly. Email him directly now at firstname.lastname@example.org