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Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!
Identify the perfect franchise for you! Take our short quiz Take our free franchise quiz!

Military Veterans: This Franchise Is For You!

Just in time for Memorial Day, the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative (VetFran) has helped more than 5,000 veterans become franchise owners. If you are a veteran of the U.S. military, more than 600 franchise companies want you!

The VetFran program got its start during the first Gulf War when multi-concept franchisor, the late Don Dwyer, woke up one morning and said it was important that American franchisors support men and women in uniform.

Franchise Discounts for Veterans

“I can remember the conversation as though it occurred yesterday,” recalled Dr. John Hayes, the person Dwyer relied on to promote VetFran. “When Don told me what he envisioned – which was to convince franchisors to give veterans a discount off the franchise fee, and to convince President George Bush to endorse the program at a Rose Garden ceremony – I thought he had lost it. But that was Don. His ideas were always big, and you either got on board with him, or you got out of his way. I got on board.”

Dwyer revealed his idea to Hayes during breakfast at an International Franchise Association convention in Miami. By the time they got up from the table, Dwyer had given Hayes his marching orders. But more significantly, by the time they met for dinner that evening Dwyer had already signed six franchisors to the VetFran program.

Veterans Satisfy Expectations

As is the norm when presented with a new idea, most franchisors said, “We’ll think about it” when Dwyer approached them, but that didn’t discourage him. “He knew his idea was right,” continued Hayes, “not only because it was patriotic, and in times of war Americans love patriotism, but because it fit every franchisor’s expectations of franchisees. Franchisors love veterans because of their skill sets, which includes a commitment to work.”

From the moment they don a uniform, the men and women of the U.S. armed forces learn the importance of following orders. America’s military might succeeds not by luck, but by discipline. War strategists analyze their options and then develop plans of action. Who implements the plans? The troops who serve in the armed forces. They don’t ask questions, and they don’t try to re-invent the plan. They’re told what to do, and they do it. And they do everything expertly!

Franchisors are usually not warriors, but they are strategists. A successful franchisor creates a plan, or a system, for the development and implementation of a successful business. Sometimes it takes years, and millions of dollars, to tweak the system. Ultimately, the franchisor teaches franchisees how to implement the system, and success depends on numerous variables including a desirable, workable system, and expert and dedicated franchisees to implement the system.

Follow A System To Success

“The fastest way to succeed as a franchisee is to follow the franchisor’s system,” said Hayes, who is the author of 101 Questions to Ask Before You Invest in a Franchise, and who teaches The A to Zs of Buying a Franchise at the International Franchise Expo. “Most franchisees follow the system, but some franchisees are slow to fall into line, and as a result they stumble and some will fail. Franchisors love veterans because they fall in line quickly, and failure is not an option.”

The early supporters of VetFran knew the value of veterans as franchisees, and they followed Dwyer’s lead and helped veterans afford franchises. President Bush never recognized VetFran – “Don said that’s why he lost the election to Bill Clinton!” Hayes said with a laugh – but the U.S. Small Business Administration endorsed VetFran and helped introduce it to veterans.

To all of America’s veterans – first and foremost, thank you for your service. And if you are inclined to own and operate a franchise, there are at least 600 franchise companies that will extend various discounts to you. You can find more information about VetFran at

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