There are many people who have dreams of starting their own business and the military community is no different. While it may seem like a good idea, it’s not as easy as it may seem, even if you have a really great idea. That’s why many people decide to run their own businesses by franchising. According to the International Franchise Association (IFA), one in seven franchises is owned by a veteran, proving that it is a tried and true option.
Essentially, an individual is purchasing a packaged business model that already works, and more times than not it is from a brand that is already recognizable. Veterans who want to be their own bosses are often sought after because they have the skills needed to thrive. They are disciplined leaders who are used to following processes and they can get the best out of their employees. While franchising is a great option when transitioning out of the military, it’s not something to do on a whim. It’s important to do thorough research before making a commitment. Here is how you can get started.
- Start Early
Buying a franchise isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s important to start researching this possibility well ahead of when you conclude your service, preferably a few years. Make sure you know exactly what you are committing to and make sure it’s the best fit for you. If you wait until the last minute you may realize this isn’t the path you want to take, and you don’t want to ship home without options for your future.
- Assess Yourself
Once you have decided definitively that franchising is the route you want to take, you need to decide exactly which franchise fits you best. There are thousands of franchises across the country and across various different industries which have different requirements. Some may require you to be on site everyday while others are easily worked from home. You need to keep in mind that different franchises have different requirements and needs.
- Get Your Finances In Order
It’s important that you are saving up before your transition. Even when you have saved up, you may not be able to start operating your franchise right away, so make sure that you set enough money aside so that you are covered between when you transition, and when you actually get to work.
- Talk To Other Franchise Owners
Make sure that you are talking to other franchise owners about their experiences within the space. See what they like about being franchise owners and see what struggles they’ve had. Get a better understanding about what the job looks like day-to-day and ask about things like work-life balance, risk vs. reward, and how the job fulfills them. In addition, talk to former franchise owners and see why they chose to go another route. The more you know about franchising, the better you can decide if it is right for you and the more likely it will be that you succeed.
- Ask Questions/Be Informed
Ask about everything. Make sure you know what experience is required, how much money you need to put down upfront to get into the franchise, how others have done in the same position, etc. Speak with the leadership team and get a firm understanding on what the job takes in terms of the personal commitment and hours it takes to succeed. Ask about everything, so you can make an informed decision that is best for you and for your family.
- Focus On The Brand
Yes, you are buying the business model from an established company as opposed to starting from scratch. But it’s still important to pick a franchise that you can get behind. Just because you pick a popular brand doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to succeed. Pick a franchise that you can stand behind and where you can use your skills, experience, and knowledge to thrive and get the full satisfaction that comes with running a successful business and being your own boss.