Dedication, service, commitment, loyalty – these are just some of the characteristics of the men and women of our armed services. Although most employers would love to have you on their team, the current recession isn’t “hiring” friendly. Could this be the time to consider franchise ownership?
A franchise owner enjoys the benefits of being in business for him or herself but has the support of an entire team dedicated to making sure the business is successful. As this support is similar to what you experienced while in service, the transition from military to franchisee is relatively easy. Even better, franchise ownership will allow you to use the skills learned in the military to create the wealth and the lifestyle they desire and, after the generosity of their service, so richly deserve.
Is franchise ownership better than creating a start-up business? For most people, the answer is yes. For example, let’s say you want to build a utility shed and are given two options: 1) You can get a kit with everything you need: diagrams, instructions, pre-cut lumber, nails, screws, hinges, shingles, and even an 800 number to call if you have questions. Or, 2) you are given an ax and pointed towards a forest. Just as your chances of getting that shed put together in a reasonable amount of time are pretty good with the kit, your chances of becoming profitable as a business owner can be greater with a franchise than with a start-up business.
Statistics from the Small Business Administration show that the majority of all start-up businesses do not survive their first two years. What is often missing from those failed businesses is the how-to expertise – which is the very thing provided by franchising. Franchising is nothing more or less than a business strategy for getting and keeping customers. It is a marketing system for creating an image in the minds of customers about the company’s products or services. It is a method for distributing products and services that satisfy customer needs. A franchise is a network of interdependent business relationships that allow a number of people to share brand identification, a successful method of doing business and a strong marketing and distribution system.
Just how does a company become a franchise and obtain that expertise? Here are the steps most franchisors go through before opening the business to a larger number of franchisees.
- First, a start-up business experiences success. They’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, made adjustments, tried a variety of strategies, tested and re-tested. Finally they have documented results and a system in place and want to grow. This is when they open a few franchises and continue testing every assumption.
- More adjustments are made and a few more franchises are awarded and opened, usually in a small number of test areas.
- With data coming from a variety of sources, the business can determine what type of marketing works and in what areas. Are customer expectations being met? Word of mouth will make or break any business concept.
- Franchisees in this new system are also sharing information with each other. Are they happy? Is the corporate office supporting them? Franchisee input is an invaluable resource. They’ve invested their own money, time and talent into the business and want their share of the pie.
- Once everything is working well, major expansion of the franchise concept begins. A good franchisor will offer continuing support and training to franchisees, putting as much time into keeping the business on track as they do into growing it.
Because you are a veteran, you can undoubtedly appreciate the amount of research, testing, documentation and procedures that go into creating a franchise concept. A franchisee of a great franchise company receives many or all of these items (as applicable) as part of their franchise purchase and royalty payments: comprehensive training, operations manuals and guidelines, help finding employees, assistance with finding a location, a brand, marketing expertise, materials lists, group buying power, build-out help, grand opening assistance, a call center, ongoing support, etc.
Not everyone wants to be in charge, be their own boss, be responsible for the success or failure of an enterprise. But if you’ve ever thought about business ownership, you may want to check out the wonderful world of franchising, where you can use your experience and talent to build a new career and reap the rewards of your hard work.
If you’d like to find out how your skills will help you transition from the military to franchise ownership, please visit our website at www.franchoice.com.
© 2009, FranChoice