Why Veterans Make Great Franchisees

Cheston Syma is a United States Marine Corps veteran and a successful entrepreneur. Like other veterans, his experience in the military has helped in his role as a business owner. “The skills I relied on in the military, the work ethic, the dedication and focus,” explains Syma, “have helped me find success as a multi-unit franchise owner.” Syma is one of more than 50 Sport Clips Haircuts team leaders, representing more than 157 stores, who have come from a military background, finding financial freedom and lifestyle flexibility, as dynamic and valued members of the Sport Clips’ family.

Franchising World estimates there are more than 66,000 independent, veteran-owned franchises to date. It estimates this has given more than 238,000 veterans and veteran spouses a chance to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in the last five years alone.

Sport Clips is a proud member of VetFran, a strategic initiative by the International Franchise Association, which helps veterans find small business opportunities. To be a member of VetFran, a franchisor must offer at least a 10% discount to veterans on their initial franchise fees. Sport Clips goes even further, offering a 20% discount to qualified veterans. It also offers a one store license option to veterans if they are not financially qualified for the typical multi-unit agreement of three stores.

The brand offers such a significant discount because it has found the skill set developed during military service matches up well with the ideal franchise candidate, much as Syma explains in the video. Here’s why:

Follow a system: In the military, service members are trained to follow a system. They are responsible for the execution of a plan for mission accomplishment. The same can be said for franchising. A franchisor provides a blueprint for their proven business model, which the franchisee then takes and implements. Staying focused on the goal, while sticking to the plan to get there, is key to success, both in the military and in franchising.

Discipline: Following a system requires discipline. Service members have experience in hard work, dedication and focus, while adhering to orders and executing the plan. This is an important trait for franchisees to possess because starting a business has inevitable challenges, requiring discipline to overcome. Nobody understands perseverance in the face of struggle more than those who have served in the military.

Structure: The military provides training and support to prepare service members for their missions. A good franchisor will also have a dedicated training pipeline and necessary support to promote success. There is a chain of command and framework has already been laid out and can be relied upon in both.

Working as a team: Being able to work as a team and being trusted to do your part is crucial in the execution of a mission. This culture of teamwork is also a key element in creating a successful business.

Leadership: Serving in the military develops leadership qualities. The servant mentality approach to leadership is fostered during service and transfers well to the franchise environment.

These are just some of the reasons why veterans make great franchisees and why Sport Clips finds them to have many of the attributes it looks for in franchisees. Are you a veteran who wants to create some financial freedom and flexibility in your life? We’d love to continue the conversation here.