As anyone who knows Omaha, directly to the southeast is the city of Bellevue, which is adjacent to Offutt Air Force Base. Offutt is the headquarters of US Strategic Command, the host station for the 55th Wing (the largest wing of the US Air Force) and the Air Force Weather Agency. It is fair to say the military presence in the greater Omaha area is significant. In fact, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs, there are over 45,000 veterans in our first congressional district, not to mention over 6,200 active duty and 6,400 reserve members in the state.
Why does this matter? It matters because veterans and military personnel have a huge impact on the State of Nebraska (as they do across the country). And, when you consider that according to the census information from 2012, there were over 16,000 veteran-owned firms in the state, it becomes apparent that our military is doing more than just protecting us.
When I think about my grandfather who was a Navy man, these statistics, and my interactions with those who are active duty, reserve or vets, I think about the significant contributions that can be made from these people in business. Obviously, as a business owner and the CEO of a franchising company, I also think about how the training and discipline of these people would be a perfect match for owning a franchise business.
As it turns out, I’m not the first person to see how veteran-owned franchises make great sense. According to a VetFran survey, “over 238,000 veterans and military spouses found opportunities in the franchise industry as either employees or franchise owners…and over 6,500 veterans have become franchise business owners since 2011.” In this blog, Joel Libava writes about how veterans bring a lot to the table. “They’re trained, disciplined, focused and they already know how to obey the rules. The ability to follow the rules goes a long way in franchising. That’s because the franchise business model is a rigid one; there are a lot of rules…”
Doing a quick internet search on veterans and franchises, one can find all sorts of information and opportunities for veterans. The US Small Business Administration offers a plethora of resources for Veterans, and its Boots to Business entrepreneurial training program teaches skills to succeed in business ownership. The International Franchising Association’s VetFran offers discounts, mentorship and training for aspiring veteran franchisees. The Military Times publishes an annual list of the top franchises that also includes some interesting information and statistics on franchising. These are just a few of the many resources available.
A Place at Home (APH) welcomes veterans to look into their franchise model. With a discount to veterans in the franchise fee, this senior-focused business offers veterans a great opportunity to potentially assist other veterans through a meaningful, caring, client relationship.
Dustin Distefano, CEO and Head of Franchise Development