By Annie Barbarika, Tu-Anh Dang-Tran and Rob Bond
Below are the results of the third annual survey that we have done regarding programs for our veterans and it is exhilarating to report the increased level of enthusiasm and support on the part of the franchising community. An ever increasing number of franchisors are aggressively trying to recruit veterans through the creative Franchising use of various incentives and by taking full advantage of veteran role models already within their franchise system. It is encouraging to note not only the increasing percentage of veterans that either own a franchise or manage company-owned stores, but also how many veterans are among the management ranks of the franchisor system itself.
The website www.Franchises4Vets.com lists approximately 400 franchise programs. all of which are anxious to recruit veterans. We suggest that you take the lime to go to the website and review those companies that provide a level of interest to you. By clicking on the link at the bottom of most of the profiles, you will be taken to a more expansive site (www.WorldFranchising.com) which provides more in·depth information on particular companies. For the most part, the incentive programs outlined on the veterans’ website reflect a reduction in the franchise fee, which can range from a few thousand dollars to over $40,000. Several of the more impressive programs are noted below:
By comparison, there are numerous household-name franchises that may not offer steep discounts in their franchise fee, but which have been-around for a long time and have a demonstrated ability to fully support their franchisees throughout their career. 7-Eieven. for instance, provides savings of up to $35,000, as well financing of up to 65% of the investment. Little Caesars has a highly focused program specifically for disabled veterans: they offer up to a $55,000 reduction in the total initial investment. Liberty Tax will finance their entire franchise fee over four years and requires no money down. Snap-On Tools offers a $20,000 discount on the initial investment of $80,000. 25% of RadioShack’s senior management has a military background. Fantastic Sams offers various incentives worth up to 45% off the initial license fee of $25,000.
It should be noted that a prospective franchisee should not place an over-riding premium on the short-term savings of the front-end investment. One should look primarily at the product or service being offered and the franchiser’s ability to deliver on its promises to fully train and support the franchisee over the long term. Saving even $50,000 today by investing in a marginally competitive franchise that has no staying power would be a terrible mistake. Remember that franchising is a long-term investment that requires the utmost in due diligence. The single most important variable. has proven to be the happiness of existing franchisees within their system. Therefore, you should call as many of them as possible. To the extent that a franchise has military veterans in its system, you should take full advantage of your common experience and get their insights. Two franchisers on the site have an exceptionally high percentage of veterans Pet Butler has 32% of its 94 franchisees and WIN Home Inspection has 25% of its 168 franchisees. So remember to do your homework!