Veteran CEO: Some of the Best Franchisees in the Business Are Veterans

Full excerpt from Sport Clips CEO Gordon Logan on how franchises can help veterans.

*This story originally appeared on www.atourfranchise.org, a website highlighting the positive impact of franchising on communities around the country.

In recent years, much attention has focused on rebuilding the economy and resurrecting the American dream. Yet one area often overlooked is the success of franchising and the millions of opportunities found in the business model, particularly for veterans in Texas and across the country.

From quick-service restaurants to yoga studios to employment services to hair salons, this business model has become a seamless part of our everyday lives. Yet many Americans are unaware of the integral role franchising plays in our economy and in our communities. Brands such as Schlotzsky’s, Rainbow Carpet Cleaning, Jeni-King, Mr. Rooter, Sport Clips, Woodhouse Day Spas, La Quinta and many others are Texas born and bred, yet many people may not even recognize these are successful franchises operated by their friends and neighbors.

We opened the first Sport Clips Haircuts in 1993 in Austin, and in 1995 we began to franchise as the business model of expansion, and we never looked back. Today there are nearly 1,600 Sport Clips located in 50 states end five Canadian provinces, with more than 200 in Texas.

I began my career in franchising in 1979 as a franchisee myself, operating franchised hair salons throughout Texas. This experience as a franchisee helped me understand how to best start and operate a franchise to create exceptional opportunities for our franchisees. My service is an Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Air Force helped me develop the leadership skills needed to run a successful business. Leadership, team building, and the discipline of executing a proven plan of action are attributes that translate exceptionally well from the military to the business world.  Sport Clips has been actively engaged in getting our military veterans introduced to entrepreneurship through franchising… skill sets developed during military service enable our veteran franchises to excel.

More than 6,000 veterans or their spouses nationwide have become franchise business owners since 2011. This brings the total number of independent, veteran-owned franchises to more than 66,000: More than 238,000 veterans and their spouses have found jobs in franchising in the past five years alone. The franchise industry is reducing veteran unemployment and providing exceptional opportunities for veterans and their families.

Sport Clips has been recognized as a leading franchise for veterans by multiple groups and publications, including the International Franchise Association and its VetFran program. Franchise opportunities can be particularly attractive to veterans because of how this uniquely American business model works: The franchisor develops and promotes a brand concept, so franchise owners can focus on executing a proven concept, which is second nature to veterans due to their military experience. It is extremely rewarding to me as a CEO to help military veterans take advantage of the opportunities franchising has to offer. As business owners and employers, veterans understand the value of teamwork, reliability and accountability, and successful mission accomplishment.

VetFran is one of the most impactful of the IFA programs, and is a major reason why Sport Clips has been actively engaged with the International Franchise Association to launch a national “@OurFranchise” tour. By sharing our stories and communicating successes, we hope to ensure franchising  remains a robust part of local economies by highlighting the opportunities franchising offers for military veterans. Veterans tend to hire more veterans, which multiplies the employment opportunities for all veterans.

Franchising is a business model that allows veterans who have an unwavering drive to better themselves and their communities and to succeed as an entrepreneur to control their own destiny. Hundreds of thousands of Americans choose franchising to participate in entrepreneurship because of its proven blueprint for entrepreneurs who have chosen to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves.

In Texas, franchising accounts for more than 62,000 establishments, 635,000 jobs and $53 billion in economic output. These are significant numbers coming out of our great state. The undeniable success of franchising is largely due to the local, independent business owners and operators who are franchisees of established brands. Today’s franchisees are paving the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs by offering opportunity to American’s of all skill levels and circumstances. Franchising is the largest occupational training system in America, teaching critical job skills that are essential for future success.

Franchising is a model that works. It works especially well for veterans, and provides opportunities for financial independence and personal freedom essential to the economy of Texas and the nation.
Gordon Logan is the CEO and founder of Georgetown-based Sport Clips Haircuts.