Veterans Can Find a Home in Service-Based Franchising


After sacrificing so much to serve the country, returning home to start a new career can be daunting for veterans – but it doesn’t have to be. There’s a natural connection between military service and franchising that offers veterans the chance for a fulfilling and successful second career. In particular, service-based franchising plays to many military skills and is increasingly in-demand by home and business owners. In fact, according to a study by the International Franchise Association, one out of every seven franchises in America are currently owned by a veteran.

BELFOR Franchise Group (BFG) prides itself on consistently hiring veterans to own businesses within its network of 11 service-based franchises. Two of our nine brands, DUCTZ and 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, were recently ranked on Entrepreneur’s list of top franchises for veterans. Let’s dive into a few reasons why franchising is a great option as a second career for veterans.


A Heart of Gold

It takes a special type of person to put their life on the line to protect their country. The desire to selflessly serve and put other people’s needs before their own is a trait that cannot be taught. Upon leaving the armed forces, that compassion and inclination to give back doesn’t just go away. We’ve found that veterans find comfort within home-based franchises that provide communities with specialized services, whether it’s routine home maintenance or emergency response. At BFG, we have created a strong, inclusive culture that’s built on the foundation of “people helping people.”

Take for example Bill Weber, owner of The Patch Boys of DuPage County and a 45+ year home renovation industry expert and proud U.S. Navy veteran. Since his time in service, Bill has been an active community member and assists homeowners, business owners and property managers with his company’s high-quality drywall and plaster repair services. His passion for helping others and commitment to service positioned him to become an incredibly successful franchisee. People with heart and a desire to help others are the core of what makes a great home-based services franchisee – as for the technical skills, those can always be taught.

Growth Opportunities

Within the armed forces, there is room to progress through the ranks with continued growth, skill mastery and leadership. The same goes for franchising – and entry into the franchising world often comes with a discount for veterans. We’ve seen time and again that team members who start out as entry-level technicians eventually work their way up to owning and operating their own business.

This was the case for Tyler Keeports, co-owner of DUCTZ of North Lancaster and Lebanon Counties. After his military career with the Army, he worked as an electrician before joining DUCTZ as a technician. Thanks to comprehensive training and support programs, Tyler is now as a franchise owner alongside his father Dave Keeports, who is also a veteran. Just like veterans receive on-the-ground training within the military, ongoing coaching and development ensure that franchisees have both the technical competence and business development knowledge to serve their customers and grow their business.

Established Support Systems

In the military and in service-based franchising, you are never alone. From the start, there are clear processes and systems in place to help guide daily operations and stay on a growth trajectory. Typically, franchisees must follow a set of uniform guidelines when making decisions related to hiring, marketing and office design, just to name a few, while simultaneously having the freedom to handle many aspects in a way that reflects their personalities and values and makes their business their own. Business owners operating under the established BFG umbrella get the support of a reputable brand with the name recognition to follow, helping to attract clientele and get the business up and running more quickly. They also have access to our entire network of owners – not only to build relationships but also to learn best practices and discover shared experiences.

Steve Ivey, owner of Z PLUMBERZ of Temecula, entered the plumbing industry after his time in the Marine Corps, first trying to go at it alone. Upon discovering Z PLUMBERZ, he realized the benefits of the network and reputation offered by BFG. From there he flourished. The discipline, attention to detail and importance of teamwork that he learned in the military has also been the key to his success as an expert plumber and business owner over the past 26 years.

There is no doubt that starting a new career is a big step with a period of transition, especially for veterans who are looking for a fresh start after serving their country. While there are unique challenges that come with owning a business, many veterans are innately well-equipped to flourish within service-based franchising. The numerous parallels between franchising and military – including the desire to help and serve others, utilize training for growth and leadership opportunities, and principles of discipline and collaboration – lead to success and a rewarding career path.

Douglas Smith is the Senior Vice President of Franchise Development at BELFOR Franchise Group, the world’s largest residential and commercial services franchise group which operates franchises including 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, Chem-Dry® & Upholstery Cleaning, Chem-Dry® & Upholstery Cleaning, Delta Restoration Services®, DUCTZ International, HOODZ® International, N-Hance® Wood Refinishing, Blue Kangaroo Packoutz, The Patch Boys®, redbox+®, WINMAR®and Z PLUMBERZ. For more information on BELFOR Franchise Group, visit