How Franchising Provides Veterans a Path to Entrepreneurship
CEO of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, Jonathan Barnett, Breaks Down Why Military Veterans Can Excel in the Franchising Industry
Franchising can be a great opportunity for veterans who want to become entrepreneurs. Through franchising, veterans can benefit from the structure and support of a franchise system while also leveraging the invaluable skillsets they developed during their service.
As the CEO of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, a fast-drying carpet cleaning franchise with hundreds of locations, I’ve worked with the many veterans who make up a large part of our system. These franchisees work hard, are focused, and run efficient operations. They also make the most of the many tools and programs we provide.
I love having these vets be a part of Oxi Fresh, and so I wanted to take a moment to share some useful observations and lessons with any veterans reading this.
What Makes Veterans Well-Suited for Franchising
Like I said before, when it comes to entrepreneurship via franchising, veterans have some distinct advantages. Thanks to their military training, they have focus, self-discipline, and resourcefulness in abundance. Those qualities are vital to building strong businesses. It’s a veteran’s familiarity with systems and structure, though, that is especially empowering in the world of franchising. Why? Because quality brands employ a variety of systems. For example, Oxi Fresh offers a range of tools and programs that include everything from customer management software to marketing programs to operational regimens. Those Oxi Fresh franchisees with military experience know how to adopt these various systems and embrace their utility. They use these tools to their utmost and thus can strengthen both their individual businesses and the system as a whole. Add the hard work, leadership, and accountability we see in our veteran franchisees to the mix, and it’s clear why many veterans make great businesspeople.
Advice for Military Veterans Looking to Transition into the Franchising Industry
While starting a business is an amazing opportunity, it’s also a big risk. That’s why you can never do too much research when deciding what type of franchise to open. Here are some tips for veterans to utilize while researching franchises opportunities:
- Research the Franchise: There are a lot of systems out there, and each and every one of them will present themselves as the ideal opportunity. To determine which opportunity is a good fit for you, research the franchisor’s history, systems, franchise disclosure documents, etc. Talk with existing franchisees, learn about the level of support provided, understand the actual costs to opening (and maintaining) a business, and look into competitors (both franchised and not). The better informed you are, the easier it will be for you to make the right decision.
- Research Your Market: If you’re planning on opening a business where you live, you can’t just blindly assume that your hometown is the perfect place for a franchise. The town you live in could present numerous obstacles, such as being too small or having too low of an income level. It’s important to realize that it’s not enough to have an excellent franchise brand—you also need a sustainable market.
- Research Business Itself: Being a veteran gives you a valuable skill set, but it’s not the only one you’ll need to run a business. I strongly recommend taking business courses at a local college or university, reading books by experienced entrepreneurs, and networking with successful business people in your area. Through all of this, you will become a more effective entrepreneur.
Military Skills Help Veterans Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic brought many restrictions and regulations designed to protect the public interest. Every company has had to adapt to these new rules and consequently needed new systems—we’ve all seen how restaurants have changed, for example. Luckily for veterans, adapting to systems and structures is something with which they are familiar. As long as the franchisor provided useful, clear guidelines, veterans could effectively adapt their operations to create a safe environment and minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Adjusting to new scenarios is nothing new for veterans—their experience in the military had taught them adaptability.
About the Author Jonathan Barnett is an experienced entrepreneur and franchisor. Since opening his first business in college, Jonathan has always been in the thick of it, building businesses and finding opportunities. His franchise company, Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, has nearly 500 locations across the United States and Canada, with more locations opening every year. About Oxi Fresh Oxi Fresh is one of the nation’s greenest and fastest-growing carpet cleaning franchises. Through innovative products and modern technology, Oxi Fresh offers eco-friendly carpet cleanings with a quick, one-hour dry time. The brand has won numerous awards and been ranked in prestigious industry listings, such as the Franchise 500, Inc. 500|5000, FBR’s Franchisee Satisfaction Awards, and was named America’s #3 Best Franchise to Buy in Forbes. Recently, Oxi Fresh was ranked as a Top Franchise for Veterans by Entrepreneur Magazine.