Why Franchise Consulting is the Best Business Opportunity for Veterans
Storm Guard Franchisee, Mike Kelsey, Breaks Down Why Military Veterans Excel in the Franchising Industry
Mike Kelsey, a United States Military Veteran turned Storm Guard Franchise Business Consultant, shares his story and the valuable lessons that he learned while in service that have helped him to succeed within the franchise industry. Kelsey served in Afghanistan before returning home and now works as a Franchise Business Consultant on the corporate side of Storm Guard, helping serve franchisees across the nation..
I grew up in Fayetteville, NC, and came from a long line of military history in my family. It was a major part of my upbringing, so throughout my childhood I was aware that I would one day serve as well. I went on to serve in eight different units and multiple combat tours throughout my 20 years of military service. Early in my military career, I served as an Infantryman, which heavily involved employing leadership and executing on daily missions. Due to injuries while serving, I transitioned into Military Intelligence. During my time in service and throughout my combat tours, I recognized my ability to influence people and bring different divisions of the military together. I ended up becoming a recipient of multiple awards for outstanding performance and professionalism, including the Bronze Star and Recruiter of the Year in the United States Army. Throughout my time in the military, I learned valuable lessons that are applicable to my personal and professional life today. The ability to think swiftly and learn while on the job are all attributes that I had to master to stay alive during my service. Today, I use these skills to help my family and colleagues. Once my time in the Military was over, I knew that the skills I learned would be applicable to a future career in leadership.
What Led me to Franchise Consulting
Despite receiving many offers to stay in the military and work as a government contractor, I left the military after 20 remarkable years to start a new career and be closer to my family. I chose a new path: business. I thought this would be the perfect industry to pursue because I discovered my ability to deliver a plan and help people reach their goals. Initially, my family and I had owned a franchise in a larger franchise model, in which I led the day-to-day business activities. Due to my extensive military background and experience as a Master Sergeant, I was constantly involved in delivering plans and helping other leaders develop to hit their goals, which lead me to coach franchisees on their journey to success. During that time, I pursued graduate school for my MBA. Years later, our family sold the franchise, and I began the search for new opportunities. I did some research and found Storm Guard, an innovative and recession-resilient roofing and construction brand. I fell in love with the company, the culture, and the exceptional service that they provide. Soon after, I met with Shane Lynch, President of Storm Guard, to discuss and explore next steps to join the Storm Guard team. I looked forward to the opportunity to become the brand’s Franchise Business Consultant. This role resonated with me and allowed me to better apply the skills I had learned while serving. It allowed me to help grow and lead a brand that was rapidly expanding in an ever-changing environment. My motivation for my current role is driven by my passion for selfless service, as it allows me to elevate others. I am currently guiding 18 Storm Guard franchisees to success, teaching them creative ways to manage their businesses, increase profitability, employees, materials and production crews.
Military Skills Help Veterans Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic
The skills that I have learned throughout my military service have been incredibly helpful to my new career as a Franchise Business Consultant. I was able to learn valuable leadership skills that have helped assist Storm Guard in putting together a team that we can trust to provide nothing short of excellence every day. Those skills have been truly put to the test in the last couple of years. If it was not for the lessons I learned in the military, such as getting up and working harder every time you get knocked down, I would not have overcome the challenges that the pandemic presented. We have developed a family here at Storm Guard and I am so thankful for the work that we have done throughout our community.
What Makes Veterans Well-Suited for Franchising
Storm Guard was very attractive to me because it was a young franchise that had great potential to grow. Because of that, I looked for young entrepreneurs that I could give the opportunity to grow within in the company. I immediately became very passionate about growth, building and developing of leaders within the Storm Guard franchise. I also saw a lot of potential for myself to grow in the role and pass down the knowledge I had learned along the way as an industry leader in the trade. Watching other people achieve their goals with my help is something I will never tire of, and it drives me every single day.
Advice for Military Veterans Looking to Transition into the Franchising Industry
My greatest piece of advice for Veterans looking to get involved with the franchising industry would be if you are looking for structure, quality brands and teamwork franchising is a perfect fit. Another important step would be to do your research and find a company that aligns with your values. One resource that I recommend would be Franchising for Heroes, a newly formed organization with the goal of helping servicemen, women, and first responders find jobs and break into the world of business ownership. Look at your exit from the military as a fresh start. The skills and unique experiences that you have learned and experienced can open up doors that you may have never thought were possible.