By Steve White
To someone who has not served, the term Military Experience is just an expression but to many who have served it is the foundation for the rest of their lives. Never again will he or she have the kind of responsibility that the military demands and at such a young age. How does a 23 year old kid of today, most likely still living his parents relate to another 23 year old who has lead a rifle platoon in combat.
Training, support, equipment, guidelines, strong mentors and staff….all part of how and why the military can demand so much of the troops, and get it. The troops in turn gain experience, accept and flourish with the incredible responsibility, learn to work as a team for a common goal, accomplish the mission instead of watching the clock or hoping to leave work early.
For over 10 years, less than I % of our population has volunteered to protect the rest of us from those who have vowed to kill us and now that many are coming home they are finding a poor economy and even poorer job prospects. But smart companies, especially those with executives with Military Experience, are seeking out veterans because they know that they have skills that many non-veterans do not.
Interestingly studies have shown that veterans are more than twice as likely to start a business as non-veterans and have a significantly higher success rate after 5 years. VetFran has recognized the value of veterans in business and their entrepreneurial lean and have brought together over 540 franchisors that provide incentives for veterans to be able to become one of their franchisees. Mature beyond their years, entrepreneurial, willing to accept responsibility, a team player who will work to accomplish the mission, but also thriving in a semi structured and proven environment with a road map to success….no wonder so many veterans prove to be great franchise owners!
Veterans are used to working as a team and there is no reason that that has to end when they leave the military. Starting and owning a business can be a lonely experience but there are organizations out there to help. The Veterans Business Network (http://www.veteransbusinessnetwork.com/) was founded with simple and straightforward goals: First and foremost is to grow veteran owned businesses through member to member sales, preferential treatment from our Business Partners, face to face networking events and procurement opportunities by providing a platform for companies to advertise that they want to purchase products and services from veteran owned businesses. Secondly, to assist transitioning troops to start/restart their business, advance their education or find meaningful employment and thanks to the financial support of the Business Partners, there is no cost to the veterans. An incredible amount of good information is available at the VBN site, its publication, Basics for Veterans and through its growing list of Business Partners.
The Veterans Business Network encourages veterans to take a good look at franchising as a career choice and the place to find the most information and help is VetFran. The Veterans Business Network is working together with VetFran, the SBA, banks and others seeking ways of making access to capital more readily available to veterans seeking to buy a franchise.
Steve White is the Founder and CEO of the Veterans Business Network, the President of White & Co, and a long time supporter of veteran entrepreneurship. He is an original member of the Task Force for Veteran Entrepreneurship, a member of the SBA’s Advisory Committee on Veteran Business Affairs and served as a Platoon Leader and Acting Company Commander with the 1st Cavalry Div in Vietnam.