Franchising Provides Excellent Opportunities for Veterans
While franchising provides an excellent opportunity to own a small business, it’s an especially good opportunity for veterans. That’s because veterans, through their military experience, have developed qualities including analytical and leadership skills, discipline, and a mission-focused work ethic that help make them successful franchisees. Veterans also have developed determination and resilience.
As franchisors, we value these traits, which are shaped by resilience. Resilience includes traits including grit, endurance, perseverance, courage, calmness, fortitude and commitment, all of
which are common to our military veterans.
Moreover, veterans often turn out to be exemplary franchisees as they are disciplined, driven, self-motivated and natural leaders with a mission-focused work ethic and great ability to follow detailed instructions, making them well-suited for franchising and for FASTSIGNS in particular. They understand the plan or mission and have learned through their military experience when to adapt to changing circumstances. Veterans show strong dedication to their work; they’ll put their all into the business. They are also highly capable of handling the daily stresses of business operations and don’t give up easily. They are resilient regarding the daily ups and downs of a business. They also know how to manage personnel and equipment and get results.
Nationwide, according to the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program (Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative), about 12% of all franchisees are veterans and many companies discover that veteran franchisees end up being their strongest performers. 14% of our over 760 FASTSIGNS franchises are veteran-owned.
We have tremendous respect for veterans and are honored that currently over 100 veterans, men and women, have chosen to become FASTSIGNS franchisees. In addition, we currently have three veteran-owned NerdsToGo franchises. Veterans are also highly capable of following systems, an ability that is a foundation of any franchisee’s success. Following a proven and tested system ensures that customers receive consistent quality and service at every location. Veterans also learn leadership skills that teach them to adapt to changing circumstances and face challenges, skills that are very important in franchising and business ownership. Leadership is learned by leading people and veterans have learned those leadership skills through on-the-job training. They’re also good at teachingothers the job.
While it’s common for most franchisees to have little or no experience in the franchisor’s industry when they first start, military veterans respond especially well and are very successful
in implementing the training they receive from the franchisor’s team. Veterans are used toextensive training throughout their military career. As an example, Navy veteran Stan Gray, who owns two FASTSIGNS centers in Southern California, credits his time in the service for developing his leadership skills and giving himopportunities to grow. His Navy experience, in particular, taught him the value of teamwork. For successful missions, everyone had to work together to achieve the mission’s goals. This translates well when it comes to franchising, as the whole team at a FASTSIGNS center has to work together for projects to be successful. This is true for any type of franchise: the whole team has to work together for success. Stan Gray adds that the support he receives from the FASTSIGNS team is invaluable and he feels that both the franchisor and franchisee are always on the same mission with the same goals, including growing his business, and serving his clients, building a passionate team, and serving the community.
As a franchisee, community involvement is important to Gray. Just one example, his center prints and installs banners for his hometown Armed Forces Day Parade in Torrance, CA, the
longest-running of such parades in the country. The banners feature images of local veterans. We find our veteran franchisees to be an powerful asset and encourage more veterans to use
the skills they learned in their military service and become franchisees. FASTSIGNS International has a special Veteran Franchise Program with many benefits, including a period of
reduced royalties and a discounted initial franchise fee of 50%, along with flexible location options, tax benefits, and financing options. These options are also available for NerdsToGo
franchisees who are veterans. These services are also available for first responders such as police, firefighters and emergency services personnel. There is great potential in owning a
FASTSIGNS franchise. The signage and visual graphics industry, in general, is a growing industry generating revenues over $29 billion annually. FASTSIGNS franchisees average upwards of $906,213 in annual revenue with the top quartile earning 30.2% in discretionary profit.
We regularly receive recognition for supporting veterans. Last year in October 2021, FASTSIGNS was ranked fifth on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Top Franchises for Veterans.
Moreover, we have received the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s Employer Support Freedom Award which recognizes businesses with pro-military personnel policies for reservist employees.
FASTSIGNS is also involved with VetFran, which helps veterans find franchise opportunities through training, financial assistance, and industry support.
Veterans, such as franchisee Darrin Lawrence of FASTSIGNS of Richardson, TX find that support invaluable. In 2020, during the pandemic, such support allowed Lawrence and other
franchisees to stay open when other businesses were closing. During that time, the corporate leadership team worked hard to get the FASTSIGNS centers designated essential businesses
and allowed Lawrence in particular to open seamlessly in July 2020. Lawrence was also impressed with our proven track record of success in helping veterans get
into business for themselves and create a fulfilling life and career. At FASTSIGNS, we encourage all our franchisees to network with other franchisees. Moreover,
before a military veteran signs a contract with us, as we do with every franchise prospect, we encourage them to reach out to a large number of our FASTSIGNS franchisees, including military veterans who are FASTSIGNS franchisees, to gain insight into the business and learn more about what it’s like to own one of our franchises. Our top priorities are to ensure franchisee success and satisfaction. At FASTSIGNS, our franchisees also serve military veterans by creating banners and signs honoring them in their local communities.
Veterans can often tap into a wider customer base and network, in part because they have contact with fellow service members and veterans. Other veterans tend to more readily support
veteran-owned businesses. Civilian customers, too, also welcome and patronize veteran-owned businesses.
Owning a franchise can benefit veterans in many ways as they join a well-established brand with a supportive team backing them.
Catherine Monson , CFE , Propelled Brands, CEO
Immediate Past Chair of the International Franchising Association, IFA
Catherine Monson brings 30 years of franchising and management experience to her role as CEO of
FASTSIGNS International, Inc., and Propelled Brands, the multi-unit franchisor that includes FASTSIGNS®; SIGNWAVE® in Australia where FASTSIGNS centers operate under the SIGNWAVE brand; NerdsToGo® and Suite Management Franchising, LL C, the parent company of MY SALON Suite® and Salon Plaza®.