Franchisor Programs Offer Great Incentives for Prospective Veteran Franchisees

USA Today's Top 50 Franchises for Veterans in 2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

By Rob Bond, Annie Barbarika, and Tu-Anh Dang-Tran

Below are the results of the third annual survey that we have done regarding programs for our veterans and it is exhilarating to report the increased level of enthusiasm and support on the part of the franchising community. An ever-increasing number of franchisors are aggressively trying to recruit veterans through the creative use of various incentives and by taking full advantage of veteran role models already within their franchise system. It is encouraging to note not only the increasing percentage of veterans that either own a franchise or manage company-owned stores, but also how many veterans are among the management ranks of the franchisor system itself.

The website Franchises4Vets.com lists approximately 400 franchise programs, all of which are anxious to recruit veterans. We suggest that you take the time to go to the website and review those companies that provide a level of interest to you. By clicking on the link at the bottom of most of the profiles, you will be taken to a more expansive site (WorldFranchising.com) that provides more in-depth information on particular companies. For the most part, the incentive programs outlined on the veterans' website reflect a reduction in the franchise fee, which can range from a few thousand dollars to over $40,000. Several of the more impressive programs are noted below:

Company Savings on Franchise Fee
CiCi's Pizza $30K (100%) + 50% Royalties Year 1
Gotcha Covered $59K (100%)
Guava Healthcare $35K (100%)
KidzArt $10K (100%) (First 10)
Port of Subs $5K - $10K (100%)
TeamLogic IT $40K (100%)
VR Business Brokers $39K (100%)
Appleton Learning $25K off $35K
Arby's $18.7K off $35K
Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels $10K off $30K
Cleaning Authority, The $20K/$25K off $40K/50K
Denny's $20K off $40K/$40K off 40K for 2nd Unit
FASTSIGNS $8.3K off $20.7K
Granite Transformations $12.5K/37.5K off $25K/75K
Huddle House Restaurants $12.5K off $25K
Hungry Howie's Pizza $10K off $20K
Juice It Up! $10K off $25K
Kitchen Tune-Up $35K off $40K
Meineke / Maaco $7.5K/$10K off $30K/$40K
NYPD Pizza $15K off $30K
Pak Mail $15K off $30K
Rainbow Station $40K off $80K
ServiceMaster Clean $4K/10K off $25K/65K
Sign-A-Rama $40K off $40K (1 only)
Solara 360 $12.5K off $25K
U.S. Lawns $10K off $29K
Wireless Zone $10-15K off $20-30K

By comparison, there are numerous household-name franchises that may not offer steep discounts in their franchise fee, but which have been around for a long time and have a demonstrated ability to fully support their franchisees throughout their career. 7-Eleven, for instance, provides savings of up to $35,000, as well as financing of up to 65% of the investment. Little Caesars has a highly focused program specifically for disabled veterans: they offer up to a $55,000 reduction in the total initial investment. Liberty Tax will finance their entire franchise fee over four years and requires no money down. Snap-On Tools offers a $20,000 discount on the initial investment of $80,000. 25% of RadioShack's senior management has a military background. Fantastic Sams offers various incentives worth up to 45% off the initial license fee of $25,000.

It should be noted that a prospective franchisee should not place an over-riding premium on the short-term savings in the front-end investment. One should look primarily at the product or service being offered and the franchisor's ability to deliver on its promises to fully train and support the franchisee over the long term. Saving even $50,000 today by investing in a marginally competitive franchise that has no staying power would be a terrible mistake. Remember that franchising is a long-term investment that requires the utmost in due diligence. The single most important variable, has been proven to be the happiness of existing franchisees within their system. Therefore, you should call as many of them as possible. To the extent that a franchise has military veterans in its system, you should take full advantage of your common experience and get their insights. Two franchisors on the site have an exceptionally high percentage of veterans - Pet Butler has 32% of its 94 franchisees and WIN Home Inspection has 25% of its 168 franchisees. So remember to do your homework!

50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans

Company Internet
7-Eleven franchise.7-11.com
Anytime Fitness anytimefitness.com
Arby's discoverarbys.com
Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels auntieannes.com
CiCi's Pizza cicispizza.com
Cleaning Authority, The thecleaningauthority.com
Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System coverall.com
CruiseOne cruiseonefranchise.com
Denny's dennysfranchising.com
Edible Arrangements ediblearrangements.com
Fantastic Sams fantasticsamsfranchises.com
FASTSIGNS fastsigns.com
FranchisESource Brands (Entrepreneur's Source, AdviCoach) theesource.com
Granite Transformations granitetransformations.com
Griswold Home Care griswoldhomecare.com
Huddle House Restaurants huddlehousefranchising.com
Hungry Howie's Pizza hungryhowies.com
Instant Imprints instantimprints.com
Interface Financial Group, The - IFG 50/50 interfacefinancial.com
Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems jan-pro.com
KidzArt kidzart.com
Kitchen Tune-Up kitchentuneup.com
Lenny's Sub Shop lennys.com
Liberty Tax Service libertytaxfranchise.com
Little Caesars littlecaesars.com
Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting maacofranchise.com
Maid Brigade maidbrigade.com
Maids, The themaidsfranchise.com
Meineke Car Care Centers meinekefranchise.com
More Space Place morespaceplace.com
Novus Glass novusglass.com
NYS Collection Eyewear nyscollection.com
Pak Mail Centers of America openmypakmail.com
Papa Murphy's papamurphysfranchise.com
Pet Butler petbutler.com
Port of Subs portofsubs.com
RadioShack radioshackcorporation.com
Robeks Fruit Smoothies and Healthy Eats robeks.com
Service Brands (1-800-Dryclean, Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman) servicebrands.com
ServiceMaster Brands (ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic) ownafranchise.com
Sign-A-Rama signarama.com
Smallprint Jewelry smallprint.com
Snap-on Tools snaponfranchise.com
Sport Clips sportclips.com
TeamLogic IT teamlogicit.com
TSS Photography tssphotography.com
U.S. Lawns uslawns.com
VR Business Brokers vrbb.com
WIN Home Inspection wini.com
Wireless Zone wirelesszone.com