Why do ex-military personnel make great franchisees?

For many servicemen and women, a career in the military is not a job they chose for life.

REED has a proud history of assisting ex-servicemen and women back into employment after they leave the forces.

The transition back to civilian life after leaving the forces can be a very positive move, as the experience learnt are invaluable to a variety of jobs. However, holding down a 9-5 may seem mundane and unfulfilling, and a trend in recent years is to turn military expertise in to business ownership, most notably franchising.

If you’re leaving the forces, chances are you have been considering your options for a while. One thing’s for certain though, a smooth transition requires planning.

Take a look at why ex-forces servicemen and women make great franchisees.

Translating military skills

The task of working out how to get into a new career after the services is a big one. A common theme that REED has worked on for several years is translating skills learnt in the armed forces into civilian jobs.

Amongst other skills, the military teaches you to, invest in relationships for the long term, stay calm under pressure, carefully plan out the logistics, lead with integrity, and to give 100% effort1.

This is the same for any successful franchisee.

To succeed in franchising, you rarely need the skill set (or even the background) of the industry that you want to work in. Franchisors are largely more concerned with a positive attitude and the ability to lead, build relationships quickly and strategically plan. Because of this, ex-military personnel are a great match for franchising.

Following a system

One of the traits that all military personnel need to excel in to perform properly is the ability to stick to processes.

This is the same for any successful franchisee.

To succeed in the franchising industry, you must be able to commit to a replicated business model that has worked time and again. This ranges from precise business practices, to marketing, to how you handle your accounts.

In an article on Forbes, Sean Kelly states that “Franchising is similar in a lot of ways to joining the military in that you’re going to agree to follow orders … and you’re going to march up the hill together and try and accomplish the same mission”.

Having the capital

During your service you may have been able to put some money aside for when you leave the forces – you may also be entitled to a monetary resettlement package.

A common problem for people in a similar situation is how should the invest their money wisely?

All franchises require an upront cost to buy into their model, and by having the capital readily available you can kickstart your civilian career. Depending on your circumstances, you will be in a relatively unique position within the market to be able to invest quickly to take the next step you need.

Whatever your experience in the military, surely now it’s time to be your own boss?

  1. Alison Griswold, Business Insider, 2012
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James Coombs

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