Your Military Training Prepared You to Operate a Franchise
Updated: May 12
The men and women who have served in the United States armed services are among the most selfless and dedicated citizens in the country. Their service, respect for leadership, and training also make them well-equipped to take on entrepreneurial roles once their military commitments have concluded.The impact of veterans on the business world is significant. According to a recently released report from the U.S. Small Business Administration, veterans are majority business owners in 2.52 million ventures. Those businesses had receipts totaling $1.14 trillion in 2012 (the most recent year available). Veteran-owned companies employ more than 5 million people with a combined payroll of $195 billion.
A new report from the IFA prepared by Franchise Business Review shows over 64,000 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising. This includes 4,314 new veteran franchise business owners since 2011 through Operation Enduring Opportunity, a campaign of IFAs VetFran Strategic Initiative.
Veterans make excellent entrepreneurs for many reasons. A closer look at the skills and attributes they bring to the table brings a deeper understanding to the path from selfless service to entrepreneurial success.
Skills for Success
Here is a closer look at the skills that veterans bring to the table as entrepreneurs.
Attention to Detail. Military members have to be keenly aware of details that allow them to seek out, identify, and address anomalies, focus on accuracy and results, and work with precision.
Management Know-How. Most military personnel progress during their career, taking on increasing levels of responsibility. With each promotion comes additional management obligations and each of the military branches work to ensure that their members have the skills to manage effectively.
Creative Problem-Solving. Thinking fast on their feet is a trait common to vets, especially those who have served in combat scenarios. While creativity may not be the first attribute that comes to mind when one thinks of military training, there are countless combat and non-combat situations in which military members come across circumstances that require quick thinking and decisive action.
Stress Tolerance. In some cases, veterans face multiple high-stress situations every day. Their training and experience prepare them to learn how to identify stress, develop and use coping methods, in order to work calmly through the stress.
Adaptability. Veterans had to adapt to new situations, new leaders, new challenges, and new environments on a regular basis, oftentimes in rapid succession. In the military, change is a constant.
Respect for Leadership. Veterans are keenly familiar with the chain of command. Veterans understand that there is a decided difference between being a boss who is aloof and separated from the action and a leader who understands that leadership means being an engaged part of the team.
Discipline. Veterans have learned in rigorous and arduous circumstances. To succeed, they need to be disciplined in their respect for command, their focus on the mission, and respect for team members and leaders. That is a trait with lots of applications in the business world.
Dedication. It takes a special kind of person to commit to years of sacrifice and service to others. That dedication is at the very core of military service. It is also a characteristic that serves veterans well when they leave active duty, especially if they enter the business world.
Team Focus. Military personnel rarely succeed by acting alone. They need to operate as members of a complex organization, knowing when to follow orders, when to be decisive, how to communicate, and when to act selflessly.
Integrity. Veterans learn to act at all times with honor, justice, and integrity. This, too, translates well into the business world, where veterans exemplify leadership with integrity.
Perseverance. Those stories from basic training are true. Veterans had to learn how to march in precision formation, assemble and disassemble a weapon, master unfamiliar equipment, and learn proper procedures. Those skills require discipline and dedication to learn and master a skill.
Respect for Diversity. In the military, your colleagues come from all corners of the U.S.A. Those myriad backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and perspectives need to mesh, coming together to form a cohesive, mission-focused unit. Veterans understand the value of diversity and its importance in modern society.
Initiative. As is the case in the business world, day-to-day decisions in the military can become mired in red tape and procedure. Veterans understand how to navigate a complex bureaucracy, whether it is their own or one with which they are interacting. Thus, veterans are accustomed to taking the initiative to work through bottlenecks and find solutions.
Organization. Military members always need to keep equipment, mission details, living quarters, and work spaces tidy. Good organizational skills helps veterans retired from active service manage the complexities of entrepreneurial endeavors.
The chances are you earned something else: a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). So why not use your own funding? As a military entrepreneur, you can use your TSP – or other retirement funds – to invest in a franchise, start a new venture, or infuse capital into an existing business.
You’ve completed your military career, and you’re ready to start a new career on your own terms. Studies indicate you earned discipline and skills in the military that directly apply to franchise management. The chances are you earned something else: a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). So why not use your own funding? As a military entrepreneur, you can use your TSP – or other retirement funds – to invest in a franchise, start a new venture, or infuse capital into an existing business. In a time when business opportunities are abundant and business lending sources are scarce, this type of self-reliant funding allows you to get a fresh start tax-deferred and without early distribution penalties with using funds you already have in reserve. Thousands of Americans have already done so. In the process, you’ll establish a qualified retirement plan that helps you – and your new company’s employees – plan for the future. Take control of your career and your future with your own funds. Author Benetrends Financial
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