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Veterans Have the Right Skills to Run a Franchise


The time has never been more right to help our veterans.

I PROUDLY WEAR a TD Bank shield on my left jacket lapel, but for 26 years, I proudly wore different kinds of uniforms – those that shaped the person behind their shields.

The uniforms I wore were those of a U.S. Naval officer and Air Force officer. As a retired member of the Navy Reserves I have seen many amazing individuals come out of the armed services and enter civilian life. I know firsthand that U.S. veterans are outstanding men and women who have received management training – and more importantly, leadership training – which can form a foundation for tremendous success in the world of small business.


Franchises Continue to Outpace Labor Markets

August was apparently a busy one for auto parts franchises.

According to the latest ADP National Jobs report, franchised auto parts dealers added 3,760 jobs last month, the highest number for the industry in the short period that the Roseland, New Jersey-based human resources firm has been publishing the monthly report. ADP, which works with Moody's Analytics on the franchise report, also publishes a closely watched report on overall private sector jobs.

The monthly franchise jobs report can be volatile from one month to the next, particularly when it comes to specific industries. For instance, gas stations and auto repair shops were among the leading hirers in June, adding 2,750 jobs. In August, they cut 1,620 jobs. Yet the sectors, taken together, show that franchises have in general been hiring at a larger growth rate than has the private sector as a whole. That's partly because franchising is heavily used in industries that are growing rapidly at the moment. Restaurants, for instance, have led the way in hiring for franchises, and added an additional 8,740 jobs. They've also been among the most eager hirers for the economy as a whole. This may be due to the quick growth of some chains, like sandwich shops or self-serve yogurt bars.


Franchising Myth: I’ll Lose My Creativity


Franchisees have to play within the franchisor’s rules, but that doesn’t mean they have to lose their freedom or turn off their creativity.


Franchisees have to play within the franchisor’s rules, but that doesn’t mean they have to lose their freedom or turn off their creativity. In fact, many of the most successful franchisees are those who can think outside-of-the-box. It’s true; there are a lot of rules. However, these should not be seen as a limiting factor, but a framework on which to build a business. There’s plenty of room for the creative entrepreneur in franchising. Think of the franchise concept like a playground. There’s a 

fence and certain rules that he kids must abide by, but within those parameters the children are free to have as much fun as their hearts’ content. The fence keeps the children from running into the street and getting hurt.

Franchising works in a similar fashion. The rules give franchisees a tested and established way of doing business that is relatively safe, and most of the rules deal with the very basics of business operation. The rules form the parameter or safe-zone for franchisees to work within. Beyond the basics though, you’re in charge. As a business owner, you decide how to recruit employees, market your location and promote your business. 

Many franchises are independently owned and operated. Some concepts offer marketing assistance by providing tools and collateral, as well as a proven marketing plan, while others might provide guidelines allowing you to creatively market your business.

Taking on a franchise doesn’t mean your business can’t have personality or that you can’t be creative in business.


Learning a New Business

I have worked with many clients who started a new business. Some have been franchises; others have been new start-ups.  These new opportunities generally fall into two categories:  those that are capital intensive and those that don’t require a lot of cash investment but need a significant investment of time.  

A key question I always ask is “How well do you know the business? What is your experience?”


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