Our military put their lives on the line every day, making great sacrifices to keep us safe. These qualities of hard work, loyalty and sacrifice are important in the business world too. Veterans also have strong leadership skills and have the ability to create and execute a plan successfully. That is why having veterans in business makes both business and ethical sense.
Joining the franchise business is a popular path for a lot of veterans because they find it similar to the military environment because you are not starting a business from scratch and are given a support structure with different systems and procedures to follow.
Franchises do require a substantial upfront investment with some being more expensive than others and there will be ongoing royalty fees you will have to pay to the franchisor. Many franchisors, however, offer veterans special incentives to join their franchise because they appreciate the skills you bring to the table. Franchises like 7-Eleven and the UPS Store offer discounted fees and special financing for veterans and Zac’s Burgers offers veteran opportunities with its burger buses.
Here are 10 popular franchises owned by veterans in business:
This fitness franchise offers veterans 20 percent off the franchise. Find out more at http://www.anytimefitness.com.
Subway has grown in popularity for their subs and salads. They will waive the franchise fee if you are opening a unit on military/government location, and will offer 50 percent off the franchise fee if you are opening on a nongovernment location, but are receiving government financing. Find out more at http://www.subway.com.
This hair salon franchise also believes in supporting veterans. They offer a $2,500 rebate on first-store franchise fee. Find out more at http://www.regisfranchise.com.
This popular convenience store gives veterans 10 to 20 percent of the franchise fee as well as special financing. Find out more at http://www.franchise.7-eleven.com.
Everybody is doing Dunkin these days. They are everywhere and they offer 20 percent off the franchise fee for the first five traditional restaurants. Find out more at http://www.dunkinfranchising.com.
The UPS Store
Always wanted to run your own UPS store? Veterans can get $10,000 off franchise fee as well as 50% off the initial application fee. Find out more at http://www.theupsstore.com/.
This travel agency franchise also likes to invest in veterans. They offer vets $1,000 off the franchise fee and a $500 marketing credit as well as free training for a second person. They even offer three months of website hosting and support. Find out more at http://www.cruiseplannersfranchise.com.
This sports-themed hair salon that specializes in men’s haircuts currently has 70 veteran-owned franchises out of 683 and they offer veterans $5,000 off the franchise fee. Find out more at https://sportclips.com/.
Meineke Car Care Centers
Meineke Care Centers has been supporting veterans for years. Since 2003, they have offered veterans who control at least 50 percent of the business 25 percent off the franchise fee. Find out more at http://www.meineke.com/
Zac’s Burgers is working with several organizations to offer veterans special franchise opportunities with their burger bus. Find out more at https://zacsburgers.com/burger-franchise/burger-food-truck/.
There are a lot of franchises who want to work with veterans and offer special incentives to attract them. You just need to find the best one for you.
Research Other Resources Too
It is great to find a franchise who directly offers you incentives as a veteran, but if that is not enough to make buying in the franchise program doable, still don’t give up. If you do your research, you can find plenty of other financial assistance opportunities for veterans.
There are many loan program available to veterans and their families. To qualify though you will need to have a credit score above 650 and most likely a down payment of at least 10%. You will also need to demonstrate the ability to repay the loan. Another option is to borrow money from your retirement account, but only do this if you have $50,000 or more in your retirement account.
There are also other resources for veterans. By becoming registered as a veteran owned business with the VA’s Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization, you will be able to qualify for certain government contract processes that are reserved for veteran owned businesses and you will be able to apply for certain veteran financing programs. A government website called Business USA also provides a large number of tools and resources for veterans interested in either starting or improving their business.
In addition, StreetShares is a name you want to be familiar with. Not only do they provide loans from anywhere between $5,000 to 100,00, with repayment terms of 3 to 36 months, they also run a foundation through which they give out cash awards to veteran owned businesses every month.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also offers a Veteran Advantage Loan Program which helps veterans get loans of up to $350,000 quickly. Typically you will get a response from your application within 36 hours.
In addition, VetFran, a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association, has made it its mission to help veterans interested in joining a franchise program. Not only will they help a veteran determine if franchising is right for them, they will also help them find the types of franchises that will be the best fit for them. The franchise brands in their network also offer special incentives for veterans.
If you are looking for other types of resources and training, The SBA also sponsors a special entrepreneur training program for women veterans called Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE). It is a 3-day conference that provides advice and resources for starting a business or improving upon your current one and is a great opportunity to network with other women veteran entrepreneurs. And the SCORE Veteran Fast Launch Initiative offers veterans free software, templates and business calculators. It also provides other resources like business workshops, one-on-one mentoring and five free hours of financial advice from a Certified Public Accountant. See if there is local SCORE office near you.
For more information about veteran discounts at Zac’s Burgers, contact them today.