7 months ago

Top Franchises for Veterans 2017


SPECIAL REPORT: Top Franchises for Veterans Left: Tom Bishop served in the U.S. Navy on the aircraft carrier USS Midway during the Vietnam War and now operates a Brightway Insurance franchise in Boca Raton, FL. Right: James Temple, a U.S. Air Force veteran, and his mother JoAnn, operate 10 Mathnasium learning centers and are poised to open another. In their research, the Mackins discovered FirstLight Home Care, a Cincinnati, Ohiobased franchise company with over 200 locally-owned offices throughout the U.S. “We then looked at businesses in the community that provided elder care,” continued Mackin. “We had some sense of what services were offered in our community and we wanted to be a part of something with impact—where we could give back. What we discovered is that not all franchises are the same. When we met with FirstLight, we just knew it was a good fit—and that we, personally, would want the FirstLight family to care for our loved ones.” James Temple, a multi-unit Mathnasium franchisee from Richmond, Virginia was also inspired into franchise ownership after the tragic loss of a parent. After serving for seven years in the Air Force, Temple returned home to his alma mater at the University of Virginia to get his MBA. “The decision to own a franchise business for me was a process rather than an event,” shared Temple. “That process accelerated during the last year of my MBA program in 2009. My dad passed away suddenly and that loss caused me to evaluate where I was going. Those of us interested in owning a business find many reasons not to take the risk, but at that moment, life felt very short—I needed to “Those of us interested in owning a business find many reasons not to take the risk, but at that moment, life felt very short—I needed to pursue what I really wanted to do with my life.” pursue what I really wanted to do with my life.” Temple found his military service and leadership skills to be a big help in the business world. When he invested in Mathnasium, which specializes in tutoring children in math, he wasn’t looking to just buy himself a job—he wanted to build a successful business that could run well without him being involved in every detail. He originally acquired an existing Mathnasium location in the Richmond area, and over the last seven years has grown his business to ten locations around Richmond and Northern Virginia. Mathnasium offers qualified veterans a 25% discount on their initial franchise fee of $40,000. The total investment to open a Mathnasium learning center is $102,750 to $143,610, before any veteran’s discount. — James Temple, multi-unit Mathnasium franchisee, Richmond, VA DO YOUR HOMEWORK While franchising can offer veterans a fantastic opportunity to invest in their own business, franchising is not a “silver bullet” for success. While franchising does allow you to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself—as we said earlier, not all franchises are created equal. You have to do your homework to make sure a company is really as good as they say they are, and most importantly, are they a good fit for you? “When I was considering purchasing a Two Men and a Truck franchise, I randomly called about a dozen franchisees,” says Terry Bruns, who prior to purchasing a Two Men and a Truck franchise was an Electronics Technician in the U.S. Air Force. “Each was very frank with me. I felt confident that I knew what I was getting into.” 12 | For more information on this report, visit:

SPECIAL REPORT: Top Franchises for Veterans “JUST DO IT!! The military has given you the discipline and work ethic to be successful at all things in life, and franchises give you the tools to build a great business. Put those things together, and you’re bound for success!” Two Men and a Truck offers qualified veterans a 10% discount on their initial franchise fee. Depending on the size of your market, the total investment required to open a Two Men and a Truck franchise ranges from $95,000 to $666,000. That includes an initial franchise fee of $15,000 to $85,000 before a discount. Every franchise company has a different culture and a different set of values. Some franchise companies have a very comfortable “family feel” about them, where franchisees interact often on both a personal and professional level. Other franchises are more “stuffy” and only get together occasionally to review business goals. The right fit for you depends on your personality and what you ultimately hope to achieve with your business. “Pick your franchise wisely. You’ll want to be sure you enjoy it,” says Bruns. “I really love my system. Our goals and values are aligned. My strengths are also logistics and sales, which I leverage daily in my business.” In addition to speaking with lots of franchisees to fully understand what it takes to be a successful franchise owner, a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) provides a tremendous amount of information about any franchise. Every franchise company has an FDD, and they are required by law to give you one if you are seriously considering investing in their franchise opportunity. Unfortunately, FDDs can be hundreds of pages long with lots of fine print. For someone unfamiliar with franchising, an FDD can make your head spin. Once you narrow down your franchise choices, it is advisable to hire a franchise lawyer to help you understand the specific details of their FDD and their franchise agreement. For those wishing to start their franchise research on their own, Franchise Business — Eric Friedrich II, FirstLight Home Care franchisee, Brunswick, GA Review offers an inexpensive, on-demand video series within our Franchise Buyer’s Toolkit. Our toolkit provides an in-depth breakdown of the FDD, as well as resources to help you figure out how much money your new business might make, and how to finance your franchise business, and advice on hiring a franchise attorney. All this is available online at www. And for veterans still serving overseas, many franchise companies make it possible for you to conduct your due diligence from afar. “Our development team Skypes with candidates and we help them line up interviews with existing franchisees,” says Paul Pickett, Chief Development Officer at Wild Birds Unlimited. “In addition, we share our full Franchise Business Review satisfaction survey results online, as well as YouTube videos of our franchisees. We want franchisee candidates to have a great understanding of how our franchisees feel.” Wild Birds Unlimited offers veterans a discount of 15% off their franchise fee. TAKE THE NEXT STEP This year’s Top 100 Franchises for Veterans list is an impressive group of the top companies in franchising today. Impressive not because we think they are great franchise opportunities—but because their veteran franchisees gave them extremely high marks. Take your time and do your research. Franchising offers many great opportunities for veterans, but you need to find the opportunity that’s the right fit for you. We hope this guide is a great start for your next adventure. For additional resources and franchise buying advice, be sure to visit us online at www. FEATURED Franchisee Dan Wayand HomeVestors of America Raleigh/Durham, NC Franchisee since 2014 Please describe your past military experience. As a Nuclear Submarine Officer in the US Navy, I made four patrols onboard the USS Henry Clay (SSBN-625), and one on the USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655), earning a Navy Achievement Medal. During my service I led the Electrical, the Tactical Weapons, and the Damage Control Assistant divisions, and also served as the Assistant Navigator and as a watch officer. What made you decide to buy a franchise? Three years ago, I was looking to start my own company after 25 years in corporate America and five years in the US Navy. I was exploring options when I heard about HomeVestors of America from a trusted friend. I was always interested in real estate, but hadn’t taken a concrete step to get into the business. HomeVestors looked like a great way to begin. Why did you choose your franchise? HomeVestors provided the education, tools, and support network, systems and services to get up to speed quickly. The model had been proven over decades and the fee structure is built around mutual success: They earn when you earn. How has your military training helped with running a business? The people skills I learned in the military have been invaluable to my success. Some of the other things I learned, like the importance of leadership, discipline, prioritization, hard work, initiative, and follow-through, have helped me run my business successfully during the start-up years. What advice do you have for active military/ vets who might be considering a franchise? If you’re considering starting a business, and you have an interest in real estate, I’d strongly suggest you explore HomeVestors. What you’ve learned in the military will certainly help you succeed and separate yourself from the rest. I would also suggest you not delay. I wish I had started my HomeVestors franchise sooner! For more information on HomeVestors of America opportunities, call (800) 704-6992 or visit For more information on this report, visit: | 13

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