Out-Of-Work Veterans Turn To Franchising

After retiring as a Master Sergeant from the army in 2008 and returning to Iraq and Afghanistan to serve the troops as a contractor for six years until March of 2014, Eric Stewart returned home for good. He sent his resume out to almost 70 employers. “I think I was only called in for two interviews,” Stewart said. “I had no idea how hard it would be for me to get a job.”

Shortly after beginning his job search, Stewart was contacted by Bruce Krebs, Franchise Coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source. Together they were able to discover what franchise opportunities best-fit Stewart’s strengths, weaknesses, interests and goals. Stewart said, “Bruce helped me realize business ownership was the best opportunity for me to be both successful and happy; I wouldn’t do well behind a desk. I was excited immediately at the prospect of being my own boss and creating a future and legacy for me and my family.”

Among the franchise options Krebs presented to Stewart was Window Genie, which Stewart and his wife Nydia quickly decided to invest in. They will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of their Killeen, Texas location on November 17th.

Veterans nationwide are struggling like Stewart did to find jobs after serving in the military. Possible reasons are that many don’t know how to market themselves in a civilian space and not all employers understand how to read a military resume or how it's relevant to positions they are looking to fill. According to a 2015 federal Bureau of Labor Statistics report, there were 573,000 unemployed veterans in 2014. Fifty-nine percent were age 45 and over, thirty-seven percent were age 25 to 44, and 4 percent were age 18 to 24. The unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans (6.9 percent) was higher than the rate for male nonveterans (6.2 percent) in 2014.

If you are a veteran struggling to find work like Stewart was, franchising may be a good option for you. A franchise provides you with a blueprint – a proven system - for how it needs to be run in order to be successful as well as ongoing support from corporate and fellow franchisees. It also enables you to be part of a team and in a leadership role, which may give you the sense of belonging you grew accustomed to while in active service as well as meet your mission-orientated nature.

Should you decide to pursue franchising, it’s crucial that you take the time like Stewart did to find one that is the best fit for you by conducting extensive research. To facilitate your franchise due diligence, Franchise Business Review compiled a special 2015 Top Franchises For Veterans report. It provides honest insight into what owning a franchise is truly like from those who know best – veterans who own franchises. In addition, it features a list of the 100 franchises with the most satisfied veteran owners.

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