Military veterans going into the franchise business will be one of the top 2012 franchise trends, according to Small Business Trends.  Encouraged by the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program, many veterans are making a franchise business their next career. Through “Operation Enduring Opportunity,” the IFA is encouraging franchisors to recruit 75,000 veterans and 5,000 wounded vets by 2014. Several franchisors have encouraged veterans to sign franchise agreements by offering financial assistance, training, and support. Some franchisors have even waved their franchise fees for veterans opening new business. Two veterans who benefited from the program are opening franchises in Colorado this year.

Former fighter pilot Mark Kelly and his wife Dawn–also an Air Force Veteran–are one couple who were helped through the veteran program. The Kelly’s opened their first TeamLogic franchise in Colorado City this May. The Kelly’s wanted a business that would employ their analytical and IT skills. FranNet helped them sort through the options and the Kelly’s signed a franchise agreement with TeamLogic IT. As a part of Operation Enduring Opportunity, TeamLogic agreed to waive the $40,000 franchise fee. The Kelly’s were the first couple to take advantage of the program. So far, they’ve gotten off to a successful start.  After only two weeks in business the Kelly’s had already recruited five customers.

Micky Ayers, retired after spending 30 years in the Navy, also benefited from the IFA’s veteran recruiting push. Ayers decided that the UPS store would be a good match for his logistical experience. Like TeamLogic, UPS waived the $30,000 franchise fee. Ayers will open his first location at the Mesa Ridge Shopping Center in Fountain, Colorado, this summer.

Beth Solomon, the IFA president of strategic initiatives and industry relations, said that a military background helps provide the skills successful franchisees need:

To be successful in franchising, you need to follow a system with precision, you need to respect procedures and the structure, you need to be a leader, and you need to understand operational excellence. We find those very qualities are part of military training.

In addition, military training gives veterans personal discipline and tech savvy–two qualities needed to run a successful franchise. Veterans also have a good understanding of how to work within systems. Running a franchise can help veterans enjoy the benefit of being connected as part of a larger, supportive organization. It’s an attractive opportunity:  the IFA estimates that one out of seven new U.S. franchises are opened by U.S. military vets.

If you are a military veteran interested in franchises in ColoradoFranNet can help you find the right business opportunity.  Our free expert advice will help you evaluate the pros and cons of franchise ownership, match you to franchises best suited to your profile, and give you the encouragement and support you need to make your new business a success. A FranNet local consultant is ready to assist you. Contact us today.