Franchise Business Resources For Veterans Abound
by FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
- Created: May 15, 2012, 8:44 am
- Updated: January 3, 2013, 3:48 pm
If you’re a US military veteran interested in becoming the owner of a franchise, there are thousands of opportunities for you to explore. It’s easy to become a bit overwhelmed with all of the choices. But, it’s not like you have to try to figure everything out on your own. There are a variety of business resources that put all of their focus on you. Let’s look at some of them.
If you’d like to learn the ins and outs of business, before you embark on your search for a franchise opportunity that makes sense for you, check out The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.* (EBV) This program is set up to open the door to small business ownership for veterans. You can learn how to develop skills that are needed to launch and grow a small business, and find out how to leverage the programs and services that are available to help you further your dream of business ownership.
There may even be tuition assistance available for you to get your entrepreneurial education. The folks over at Military.com * provide a very thorough list of resources that are worth your time, including information about certain benefits that you may qualify for as a veteran.
This International Franchise Association * (IFA) program helps veterans access franchise opportunities through training, financial assistance, and franchise business industry support.
Beth Solomon, the VP of Strategic Initiatives & Industry Relations for the IFA, told me that as of 2011, over 2200 military veterans have taken advantage of the VetFran program. (The program was started right after the 1st Gulf War.)
Steve Caldeira, President of the IFA, added the following:
“As drawdowns from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars accelerate, more veterans are finding themselves among the ranks of the unemployed. The IFA and the franchise industry are working hard every day with our partners in business and veterans organizations to help America’s sons and daughters find the careers and opportunities in the civilian world they have so bravely earned.”
Veterans Business Outreach Centers
Business training, counseling and mentoring are offered by the Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOP). The Small Business Administration has cooperative arrangements with 16 different organizations that can help veterans with business plans, feasibility studies, and franchising. Go here for more information.
If you end up going the franchise route, you’ll probably need a small business loan. The SBA’s Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative was set up for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses. (Franchise or non-franchise businesses)
It’s important to note that the SBA does not actually lend money. Instead, the SBA sets the guidelines for loans, which are then made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations, and microlending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus eliminating some of the risk to the lending partners.
Veterans And Franchising
Your military training will be a huge advantage if you end up becoming the owner of a franchise business. The franchise model is quite rigid; there’s not a lot of wiggle room in the way a franchise business is supposed to run on a day-to-day basis. Does that sound familiar? Franchises are for rule followers, not rebels.
Finally, you have to want to be the boss. It’s a serious commitment, and there’s risk involved.
Are you up to it?
* Non-US Government website
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