Why Veterans Make the Best Franchisees

from Lori Karpman, President, Lori Karpman & Associates Ltd.

Military veterans are one of the largest target markets for franchisors recruiting franchisees and for good reason.

Veterans possess a unique skill set that makes them the ideal franchisee; they have the right blend of traits to run a business including leadership, hard work, dedication and an understanding of the necessity of following rules and procedures.

As the ideal franchisee, a veteran can implement programs and make decisions quickly, all while leading and managing a team within the framework of the franchisor’s business model.

Let’s examine some of the reason why veterans should be part of your franchise system.

Commitment, leadership and teamwork

Much like in a franchise, veterans are used to operating in an extremely “They are masters at absorbing the low points of their business and maneuvering through the obstacles.” structured and team-oriented environment that often functions under pressure. They are leaders and team players who know how to supervise, give orders and delegate. In the military every aspect of training; from how to walk and talk, to how to fly an F-18 fighter jet is in the “Standard Operating Procedures”.

Veterans are trained to execute assignments and to solve problems. A system of hierarchy and rank ensures that everyone knows their responsibilities and obligations towards their teammates. A commitment to the brand and a passion for success are essential to the success of a franchise and for veterans loyalty, hard work and commitment are a part of the job description. Veterans find starting a business much easier than boot camp! They do not see it as being insurmountable as many non military prospects do. To them, there is a “plan” and they just have to follow the plan; that is their way of life. You are not likely to find someone more dedicated to their business than a person who has sacrificed for their country.

Adept at following systems

The franchise model is perfect for veterans who are used to following procedures, for them it is the norm. A franchisor’s responsibility is to provide its franchisees with all the tools it needs for success, and the franchisee’s responsibility is to implement them. Veterans understand the need to follow procedures precisely since in their case the result of not doing so can literally mean life and death. Veterans are used to wearing uniforms with pride and understand that a commitment to a “brand” stands for the goodwill of all locations and they represent the entire brand and not just their location. This is something that non military franchisees almost never consider.

Additionally, veterans are often in circumstances that require that decisions be made quickly and often without all the necessary information. Veterans are used to this pressure and can make good decisions quickly and effectively without second guessing their choices. Being decisive is an important trait in a business owner.

Veterans are skilled at taking orders and getting things done and they create short and long term plans to ensure they reach their goals. They are masters at absorbing the low points of their business and maneuvering through the obstacles.

In fact, it is in these times that veterans put in even more effort, whereas other franchisees give up and fail. All of these factors explain why franchises owned by veterans consistently perform better than non veteran owners.

They bring essential skills to the table

  • Veterans are well trained and train well – veterans have less of a learning curve than non veterans since they are used to assimilating large amounts of information at quickly and at one time, and then being able to turn around and teach that material to others. The franchisor’s investment in these franchisees is much less.
  • They have the respect, communication and interpersonal skills required to properly deal with customers, especially to handle a customer complaint.
  • Veterans are internally motivated and used to being held accountable. They have their own drive to succeed as failure is not an option.
  • Veterans understand the concept of risk versus reward and will often take more risk than a non military franchisee. There is no greater risk than your own life so veterans have a higher tolerance for it and are more likely to make it through harder times.
  • There is goodwill associated to a brand that honors veterans and has veteran franchisees. Veterans can benefit from special financing programs and other forms of assistance that is not available to the non military.

Additionally, franchisors often offer special rates and discounts on franchise fees for veterans in acknowledgment of the service that they have offered their country. This makes it easier for veterans to buy franchises.

Research has shown that veterans who own franchises are happier overall with their franchise experience than non military owners in general. This is no surprise when you consider that a successful franchise is based on a strict following of rules and procedures, a business model that veterans are extremely comfortable with. It is no secret either then why the most successful franchises are owned by veterans. I guess if you can run a war, you can run a business!


Lori KarpmanLori Karpman, considered one of Canada’s leading experts on franchising and multi-unit business development models, is also the President/CEO of the multi award winning consulting and legal services firm, Lori Karpman & Company. During her esteemed career, Lori has been a franchisor twice and the Master Franchisee of the Pizza Hut brand for the Province of Quebec. The firm’s clients range from the Fortune 500 brands to the local start ups. Lori is a prolific writer and sought after guest speaker and has been featured on television, YouTube and radio.

Lori can be reached at lori@lorikarpman.com, or on (514) 481-2722.

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