Updated 08/10/2012 05:00 AM
Money Matters: Veteran-run franchises build on learned skills
A unique path is hoping to lead thousands of veterans to success in their post-military careers. Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following Money Matters report.
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Peter Turner owns and operates seven Dunkin’ Donuts locations and expects to double that number by next year. Managing 150 employees and juggling the demands of so many stores may prove overwhelming to some, but Turner entered entrepreneurship armed with a specific kind of experience.
“I was a pilot for 20 years flying primarily the SA-60 Seahawk Destroyers,” Turner says.
So what does being a Navy pilot have to do with coffee and donuts? Both military service and business ownership require similar skills.
“Whether you're a [non-commissioned officer] or a young officer, it's really about people, some equipment and a mission,” Turner says. “And you're trained for that better than you realize.”
Sean Collins, Navy veteran and director of G.I. Jobs magazine, further elaborated on the similarities.
“Today's service requires service members to have independent thinking and adaptive thinking and really use resources efficiently, good management of people and assets and that's a great resume for owning and operating a business,” he says.
He says there are 11,500 businesses being successfully operated by veterans nationwide.
“It's really a win win. On one hand, service members have a recipe for success and need only apply the skill set that they already have and determination and drive,” Collins says. “On the other hand, the franchisors are gaining someone with tremendous skills, tremendous work ethic and a high probability of success.”
Some companies, like Dunkin’ Donuts, actively recruit military members by offering incentives like mentoring programs and reduced franchising fees.
In addition, the Small Business Administration also offers special loans to people with military backgrounds to help make their mission of entrepreneurship a lot more possible.
“You have to apply the hours and the work ethic and the skills set required but time and time again we've seen veteran succeed in that,” Collins says.
G.I. Jobs has a website to help veterans find the franchise that best fits them based on their interests, location and investment level.
For more information visit www.militaryfranchising.com.