The Veteran Advantage for Franchisees

Franchisors offer incentives to help military veterans who start their own franchises

If you’re a military veteran, the International Franchise Association (IFA) thinks you’re particularly well-equipped for a franchise, and they established a program to help you take the leap into entrepreneurship and a career in which you can use the skills and discipline you acquired in the military.

VetFran was founded as a special program within the IFA in 1991 to help veterans returning from the first Gulf War as a way to thank veterans for their service. Veterans from any era can learn how to apply the skills they acquired in the military to the business of a franchise.

To advance the program further, in 2011, the IFA launched Operation Enduring Opportunity, a partnership with several organizations, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Department of Veterans Affairs, to help the large influx of veterans transitioning to civilian life get into franchise careers. The program has been a great success.

Through VetFran, many franchisors will waive 10 to 25 percent of the franchise fee, which can help veterans hire staff as they get their new businesses up and running. 

This is clearly a win-win partnership for both sides. 

With a proven system, training and ongoing support, novices get a team of people to show them the way to success, helping them troubleshoot the rough spots along the way. As the IFA points out, with some franchise companies, the system is not dissimilar to the structure of military life.

While veterans can expect a little extra special treatment as thanks for their service to the country, franchise companies benefit from the particular strengths veterans bring to the franchise.

In its most recent survey, VetFran calculated that 238,000 veterans and military spouses have started careers in the franchise industry as either employees or owners. Since 2011, more than 6,500 veterans have become franchise business owners. Around one out of every seven franchise businesses are owned by a veteran of the US military, according to the IFA.

Here are some of the way’s veterans are valued by franchisors.

The Treasured Traits of Veterans Prized by Franchisors

Integrity and Honor

Ingrained through their military training, veterans learn firsthand the importance of executing orders with dedication to accomplish a common goal.

Respect for Rules of Operation

Just like a military operation requires everyone to do his or her job, so does a franchise, which benefits when franchisees follow the proven system of the franchise company.

Leadership Training

Business ownership requires the type of leadership the military teaches. An owner is responsible for the business and its employees and, of course, is accountable to its customers.


When the buck stops with you, you need a disciplined work ethic, especially during the early days as you build your business to profitability.


Overcoming obstacles, an everyday activity for soldiers in the military, builds the kind of character necessary for business ownership.


In the military, soldiers learn to put the success of the mission ahead of their own interests. This dedication to teamwork suits the needs of franchisees to work with franchisors in a cooperative manner to maximize success. 

Tech Savvy

The kind of expertise necessary to operate military hardware is likely miles ahead of the skills needed to operate an average franchise. 


In the military, soldiers learn to put the success of the mission ahead of their own interests. This dedication to teamwork suits the needs of franchisees to work with franchisors in a cooperative manner to maximize success. 

Tech Savvy

The kind of expertise necessary to operate military hardware is likely miles ahead of the skills needed to operate an average franchise. 

If you’re a veteran considering buying a franchise and think a franchise consultant would help you in the journey, I’d love to help.

Franchise Story from the Field

The Advantage of Military Training When it Comes to Following a Franchise System

Succeeding with a franchise often comes down to whether you can and will follow the system, the essential sauce that likely attracted you to the franchise in the first place.

While learning and following the system can be challenging, one segment of the population is particularly well-suited to this aspect of franchising: military veterans, whose sense of mission tends to translate well to entrepreneurship.

“In the military, failure is not an option,” explained Tammy Taylor, who served six years as a Navy corpsman. “When you take an oath, you’re driven by the mission.”

Taylor’s sense of mission, combined with the discipline to make it work, and knowing deep in her bones that failure was not an option, proved a winning combination after she bought her franchise business, Always Best Care Senior Services, in 2011. All the qualities that allowed her to succeed as a Navy corpsman, helped her become Rookie of the Year.

For Taylor, 44, the call to service has been the drive she taps most, starting when she enlisted in the Navy during her senior year of high school when the country was engaged in the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm.

“I had at some level a calling,” she said, adding that she was also influenced by her father’s and grandfather’s service in the military.

During her six years in the Navy, Taylor worked as a medical assistant, a bereavement counselor and became a nationally registered EMT. When she left, she brought her strong work ethic to corporate staffing in the pharmaceutical, technical (IT) and medical fields.

At her last job, she found herself traveling quite a bit and missing her three children, so she started looking around for what she could do in her local area, a New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia. At around that time, she recalls, she watched her father retire to be a caregiver for his parents and then become really run-down.

“I saw the impact of not having these resources… and an obvious need for services to support seniors,” she said.

With the baby boomers entering their retirement years, Taylor realized the potential for growth in senior care, but she was primarily drawn to the work—the mission to help people cope with aging relatives.

After four months of research, she settled on Always Best Care (ABC), which provides non-medical in-home care. Taylor spent a great deal of time and effort thoroughly investigating the system and interviewing franchisees.

What clinched the decision was “I found that their people shared that same mission with me: they felt that sense of service,” she explained. 

At ABC she found a support network that helped her learn the system and, in turn, she brought her military discipline and commitment to make it all work even before the paycheck was there.

“You have to have faith in the overall mission, your ability to prepare and complete it,” she said.

“This idea is ingrained in you in the military.”

Another important lesson she learned in the military was how important each individual task is to the whole. If one element of the plan isn’t executed, the whole mission can fall apart, and in the military, lives might be at stake. Every job is important, a critical lesson for good management and leadership.

Boot camp may have been her most important preparation for following a franchise system, she said. 

You know what to do and you do it,” she explained. In a similar way, you don’t want to overthink the system; you just do it. After you master the fundamentals, “You learn when to be a leader and when to follow the system.”

Taylor always finds strength in the mission: “You remember why you’re doing it, and I get to meet these wonderful people every day, and that’s what keeps you going.”

Six years into her business, Taylor still  “loves everything about it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

This blog sourced from and accredited to Dan Citrenbaum, Author of Own Success; 
Permission granted by Dan Citrenbaum.