All posts by michelle

Military Bond Becomes a Franchise Investment Relationship

It was a military bond that brought them together, and now it’s made them franchise investment partners of VetFran member company Sport Clips Haircuts.  Edwin Greer, a former Army Staff Sergeant, was a client in one of former Marines Sergeant Cheston Syma’s Houston, Texas-area Sport Clips when they struck up a conversation.  During their visit they learned they had both been deployed to Afghanistan at the same time, yet hadn’t met previously.  And, similarly, their civilian careers included contract work overseas.  That conversation was the start of a friendship that has led to a business partnership. 

“Cheston has definitely been a mentor through this process,” says Greer, of his entry into franchising.  “We’ve got a store opening soon in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, and another Sport Clips set to open after the first of the year in River North.”  

Syma has six stores in the greater Houston area and will open his seventh next year.  Together, Greer and Syma plan to open a total of five stores in Chicago.

 

The VetLoan Advantage Program Provides Working Capital for Chocolate Business

The drawdown in Afghanistan will send many troops home looking for work. The skills learned on the battlefield don’t always translate to the economy. That’s why some veterans are taking advance of low-interest loans.  One post-9/11 U.S. Army followed his father into a business called Chocolate Works and now has started to franchise it. He said, “I worked since I was four, my entire life and have chocolate in my veins. This veteran said, “it costs $300,000 to open up a store with the inventory, liability, getting everything up and going, and a lot of vets don’t have that saved.”  

He found a program called VetLoan Advantage, sponsored by the Small Business Administration and the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) and offers long-term low rates, rates most commercial banks can’t compete with.  More than 7,000 loans worth $4.8 million were given.  Lending will increase 5% every year for the next five years, because the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is 10%, leaving 246,000 out of work, which is why Beth Solomon, CEO of NADCO connects vets to the capital they need.  Veterans learn valuable skills from the military such as “leadership, understanding operational excellence, self discipline, adapting to changing circumstances quickly, and lead to success as a small business owner,” says Solomon.

The 10% down, 20-year fixed rate, low interest loans provide working capital that couldn’t have been gotten from a bank.

VetFran Celebrates Momentous Accomplishments

This past Veteran’s Day marked a profound time of reflection for IFA’s VetFran program.  In November 2011, IFA launched the Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign in partnership with the White House Joining Forces Initiative with the goal of hiring, and recruiting as franchise owners 80,000 veterans, wounded warriors, and their spouses through 2014. 

To measure the progress of this goal, VetFran and Franchise Business Review conducted an industry-wide survey and released a complete report of the findings.  IFA is proud to report that since January, 2011, 151,557 veterans have started careers in franchising.  More specifically, 146,365 found employment, and 5,192 are new franchise business owners.  It is only through the diligent recording of 1,159 participating franchise businesses that this incredible number has been captured. 

In recognition of the hard work and accomplishments, VetFran received the Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment at the 3rd Annual Lee Anderson Awards Dinner November 12, 2013.  VetFran member, La Quinta Inns & Suites also received the Military Spouse Employment award for demonstrated hiring and support of military spouses in their search for meaningful employment in the private sector. The dinner was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation, which launched Hiring Our Heroes in 2011 to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. 

The program is an excellent representation on how the public and private sector can work together in coordinating lasting change improvements for Veterans and their families in local communities.  To date, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 640 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, helping 21,600 veterans and military spouses find jobs.

Right at Home Commemorates Those who Serve Others on Veterans Day

Right at Home, a provider of in-home senior care  continues to celebrate the growing number of veterans strengthening its system on Veterans Day. With approximately 30 veteran franchise owners in Right at Home’s network, these individuals have transferred their passion for serving their country to helping seniors age in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of their experiences and the lessons they have learned in the military, they have become excellent Right at Home franchisees.

“When you enlist in the military, you don’t know what will happen in those years you just signed on for: will you go into combat, or will you serve in other important ways state-side? It’s a huge unknown when you sign that piece of paper,” said Eric Little, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development at Right at Home. “But, no matter where you are stationed or whether you go into combat, every veteran has made a commitment and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to each and every one of them.”

The veterans within the Right at Home network demonstrate integrity, discipline and the ability to implement a structured business model. The other thing they have in common is that they all have a passion for serving others in their community.

To help support veterans in local communities, Right at Home is a strong proponent of the Veterans Aid & Attendance program, which provides extensive resources and information to veterans in need. Offered as a pension benefit by the Veterans Administration, the program can provide veterans and their spouses with financial relief who require the regular assistance of another person for help with activities of daily activities.

Right at Home’s services aid seniors and disabled adults who strive to continue to live independently and remain in the comfort and convenience of their homes for as long as possible. Their services include individualized nonmedical services that range from companionship to meal preparation, housekeeping and medication reminders. Personal care assistance such as dressing and bathing can also be offered.  Additionally, Right at Home’s skilled nursing tier offers medically trained staff for more advanced needs. The company has specifically trained care workers for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The Administration on Aging predicts that by 2030, there will be roughly 72.1 million people ages 65 and older – nearly double the amount recorded in 2000 – making Right at Home’s services crucial as people continue to live longer. Since its founding in 1995, the brand has been keeping more and more seniors where they want to be – right at home. In fact, last year Right at Home reached the impressive milestone of $1 billion in cumulative system-wide revenues, accounting for more than 50 million hours of care for more than 75,000 seniors and disabled adults.

From Navy Career Counselor to Coverall Franchisee

Rowena Snead spent 18 years in the Navy as a career counselor and “cryptologic technician,” before using the VetFran discount to start her Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System franchise business.  During Rowena’s time in the Navy, she was married, had a daughter, served several tours overseas and got divorced. She had one more tour for advancement…but her last duty station assignment would be overseas in Okinawa. When faced with the fact she would have to wait several years for base housing to bring her young daughter, she decided to forego her advancement and walk away from the stability she had all those years.

She went on to have a successful career as a facilities and construction manager in California. Then, in 2008, on a trip home to Kalamazoo, it became clear that her elderly mother needed help. Despite her comfortable life and great job, she decided to “walk away” again to go home and become the caregiver her family desperately needed.  

Rowena, who always had a job and who had an “awesome resume” (she knew this after years as a career counselor) couldn’t find work. The construction industry was decimated by the economic downturn and she found herself, at 48-years-old, living at home with her mother – with no money or even a car.

She knew about Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System www.coverall.com (a national commercial cleaning franchise) from her years in California. When she found out there was a local Coverall office, she decided to take a chance. She borrowed her mother’s car and scraped together the startup costs and began with one cleaning customer in January 2009. Having been a customer of cleaning businesses in her facilities management role, helped her know exactly what was needed and the Coverall system provided training, business leads and back office support which allowed her to focus on  serving her customer.

Today, Rowena has 13 employees (plus herself) and provides commercial cleaning for 22 customers, ranging from the manufacturing to medical industries. While she still serves clients herself, she loves mentoring and coaching her employees most.

Rowena’s spirit, enthusiasm and optimism continues to be a great inspiration for others veterans!

 

VetFran Celebrates Veteran’s Day in Great Stride

In addition to the great news of the 2013 Veterans in Franchising Progress Report, VetFran is excited to announce that IFA/VetFran is a finalist for an award at the Hiring Our Heroes Gala on November 12th:

The award is through Capital One for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment, for demonstrated leadership by a small business or organization (less than 500 employees) in hiring veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

On November 5th at a Veteran’s UPS Store in Arlington, VA, IFA announced that it has strengthened its relationship with the Small Business Administration (SBA) by establishing a partnership to start, maintain and expand small business opportunities for veterans in franchising.  Through a Strategic Alliance Memorandum signed today by IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira and Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit, IFA and the SBA will work to support small business development through specific training and outreach activities for veterans.

“We are grateful for the support of the SBA to recognize the proven track record veterans have as employees and franchisees in our industry,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.  “We are honored to partner with the SBA in their ongoing efforts to educate veterans about small business opportunities, including franchising.   This relationship will further our collective goal of helping America’s returning veterans learn about the many opportunities available to them in the franchise industry.”

“At the Small Business Administration, we are committed to helping veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their dreams,” said Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Jeanne Hulit.  “Our partnership with IFA on the VetFran strategic initiative is an important step forward as we work to make sure that veterans looking to start or grow a business know about the tools and programs that exist to help them harness their entrepreneurial spirit.  We all share a passion for helping veterans, and I look forward to working together as we continue to serve those who have served our country so bravely.  Together we will help our nation’s veterans grow businesses that create jobs and strengthen our economy for the long-term.”

Highlights of the Strategic Alliance Memorandum include:

  • IFA’s VetFran will coordinate franchising content in Operation Boots to Business, the entrepreneurship track of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) through which all separating service-members process;
  • For the first time, all separating service-members with an interest in small business and entrepreneurship will hear about the resources VetFran has to offer;
  • VetFran will nominate veteran franchisees to join the SBA Veterans Advisory Committee;
  • SBA & VetFran will collaborate on educational programming and information sharing including Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s), SCORE and Women’s Business Centers

In recognition of IFA/SBA’s partnership and Veteran’s Day, on November 8th in Austin, Texas IFA members and other business leaders will join at the Acton School of Business to again announce the success of an industry-wide campaign that has created jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for more than 150,000 veterans and their spouses since 2011.  On Veteran’s Day, Quiznos will be celebrating at the opening of Quiznos Veterans franchisee second store in Denver, Colorado.

Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing and vice president of international relations for The Dwyer Group, urged Congress to implement a 50% tax credit on franchise fees for veterans during a Veterans Affairs subcommittee hearing last Wednesday. “The tax credit, what it gives to veterans, it gets them into business faster, it gets them on their feet faster. They also get to hire more people faster … and veterans hire more veterans,” she said, speaking from the experience of saving for her first franchise business after retirement from the Marine Corps

The National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) announced the top SBA lenders in the nation in terms of financing for veterans through the SBA Real Estate Advantage (504) Loan Program.

NADCO has partnered with the SBA in its “Pledge to Veterans” whose goal is to increase SBA lending to veterans 5% per year for the next five years. NADCO launched the VetLoan Advantage program, in which SBA Certified Development Companies have reduced fees on SBA loans.

Veterans Day Awards Recognize Top Lenders to Veterans

As Veterans Day approaches, the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) announced the top SBA lenders in the nation in terms of financing for veterans through the SBA Real Estate Advantage (504) Loan Program.

NADCO has partnered with the SBA in its “Pledge to Veterans” whose goal is to increase SBA lending to veterans 5% per year for the next five years. NADCO launched the VetLoan Advantage program, in which SBA Certified Development Companies have reduced fees on SBA loans.

The top 10 SBA Certified Development Companies (CDCs) in the country by loan volume delivered to veterans are CDC Small Business Finance, San Diego, CA ($77.6 million), Colorado Lending Source, Denver, CO ($37.7 million), Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corp., Indianapolis, IN ($22 million), Regional Business Assistance Corp., Mercerville, NJ ($19.4 million), Business Finance Group, Fairfax, VA ($15.7 million), Small Business Growth Corp. Chicago, IL ($12.6 million), Self-Help Ventures Fund, Raleigh, NC ($11.3 million), Mountain West Small Business Finance, Salt Lake City, UT ($11.2 million), New England CDC Wakefield, MA ($10.5 million), and Mortgage Capital Development San Francisco, CA ($8.4 million).

The top five bank lenders providing the most REAL (504) financing to veterans in FY2013 were Bank of America ($32.2 million), JP Morgan Chase Bank ($22.3 million), Wells Fargo Bank ($22 million), Citibank ($13.9 million), and KeyBank ($13.8 million).

CDCs are community-based lenders offering the REAL (504) 10% down, low-interest, fixed-rate commercial real estate and asset loan, as well as Community Advantage, low-interest working capital loans under $250,000.

IFA Reports Over 151,000 Veterans and Military Spouses Have Entered Franchising Since 2011

New Partnership with the Small Business Administration Will Expand Opportunities for Veterans 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2013—As part of the International Franchise Association’s Operation Enduring Opportunity initiative within its VetFran program, and participation in the White House Joining Forces Initiative, IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira today announced that 151,557 veterans and military spouses have entered franchising since 2011, including 5,192 as franchise business owners.  These new hiring numbers dramatically surpass the commitment made by the IFA two years age to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses by 2014.     

 “IFA and our member companies are proud to have surpassed the industry’s pledge to hire veterans in franchise establishments and motivate many returning heroes to become new franchise business owners,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.  “IFA has a long history of supporting our veterans and together with IFA members, we will continue to help transition servicemen and women to the civilian workforce, and help other companies understand and leverage the unique skills and experience our veterans have to offer.”  

Enthusiastically led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Joining Forces is the White House initiative to support America’s service members and their families that focuses on three priorities – employment, education, and wellness, while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families. 

“Joining Forces is proud to applaud The International Franchise Association and their partner firms across America for embracing their Joining Forces commitment and announcing today nearly doubling their projected hiring goals by employing over 150,000 veterans and military spouses. This success underscores the great fit between military experience and the business needs of franchise owners.  Veterans lead in complex environments, build teams and are natural managers of people and resources to get things done.” Colonel Rich Morales, Executive Director, Joining Forces   

IFA’s VetFran initiative is also proudly supported by the National Chamber Foundation and Capital One’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes, a campaign to employ half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.  

“IFA has stood with us from the beginning and set the example for associations and companies across America by making one of the first and largest pledges toward our Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The fact that they have gone well above their hiring goal is a testament to their commitment to the men and women who have served our country.” 

The numbers reported today resulted from a survey of the franchise industry regarding the hiring of veterans and military spouses conducted by Franchise Business Review conducted between Oct. 3 and Oct. 25, 2013.   

 

IFA and the Small Business Administration partner to expand opportunities for veterans 

IFA also announced today that it has strengthened its relationship with the Small Business Administration by establishing a partnership to start, maintain and expand small business opportunities for veterans in franchising.  Through a Strategic Alliance Memorandum signed today by IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira and Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit, IFA and the SBA will work to support small business development through specific training and outreach activities for veterans and their families.    

“We are grateful for the support of the SBA to recognize the proven track record veterans have as employees and franchisees in our industry,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.  “We are honored to partner with the SBA in their ongoing efforts to educate veterans about small business opportunities, including franchising.   This relationship will further our collective goal of helping America’s returning veterans learn about the many opportunities available to them in the franchise industry.” 

“At the Small Business Administration, we are committed to helping veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their dreams,” said Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Jeanne Hulit.  “Our partnership with IFA on the VetFran strategic initiative is an important step forward as we work to make sure that veterans looking to start or grow a business know about the tools and programs that exist to help them harness their entrepreneurial spirit.  We all share a passion for helping veterans, and I look forward to working together as we continue to serve those who have served our country so bravely.  Together we will help our nation’s veterans grow businesses that create jobs and strengthen our economy for the long-term.” 

Highlights of the Strategic Alliance Memorandum include: 

  • IFA’s VetFran will coordinate franchising content in Operation Boots to Business, the entrepreneurship track of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) through which all separating service-members process; 
  • For the first time, all separating service-members with an interest in small business and entrepreneurship will hear about the resources VetFran has to offer; 
  • VetFran will nominate veteran franchisees to join the SBA Veterans Advisory Committee; 
  • SBA & VetFran will collaborate on educational programming and information sharing including Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s), SCORE and Women’s Business Centers 

IFA’s VetFran is a strategic initiative launched in 1991, and includes over 600 IFA member companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership and/or a career path in franchising.  

Click here for a list of companies involved in the survey and click here for the full survey report. 

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Media Point of Contacts: 

About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.  

VetFran Hosting Event in Advance of Veterans Day Event in Arlington, VA

VetFran is hosting an event in advance of Veterans Day’s at Navy veteran, Wade Franklin’s new UPS Store at 10am on Tuesday, November 5th.

On Veterans Day, 2011 the International Franchise Association launched an industry-wide campaign, Operation Enduring Opportunity, to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 80,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses, by 2014.  At the event on November 5th we will release a study quantifying the very large impact franchising has made in veterans hiring and recruitment.  The numbers that will be announced are a profound demonstration of the strength of franchising and the good it does in our society. The event will also launch an important partnership with the Small Business Administration to enable veterans to have successful careers as franchise business owners.

 Speakers:

  • Steve Caldeira, IFA President & CEO, International Franchise Association
  • Jeanne Hulit, Acting Administrator, Small Business Administration
  • United States Navy veteran Wade Franklin, Franchisee, the UPS Store
  • Norb  Ryan, President & CEO, Military Officers Association of America
  • Col. Rich Morales, Executive Director White House Joining Forces Initiative

When:

Tuesday, November 5 from 10am-11am ET

Where:

The UPS Store at 3033 Wilson Blvd. Suite E, Arlington, VA 22201

There is no need to RSVP.  I hope to see you there!

WIN Home Inspection’s New Navy Veteran Franchisee

Brian Fish of WIN Home Inspection Mount Vernon and Whatcom, Washington served eight years in the Navy as an Aviation Electricians Mate 2nd Class before he became a WIN Strategic Partner or S-P (that’s WIN-speak for franchisee.)

When a local WIN home inspector performed his home inspection in 2009, he began looking into the opportunity for himself. Impressed it was a veteran friendly company, he could relate to the values WIN stressed and the team beh ind the scenes. After comparison research of other veteran friendly franchises, WIN quickly stood out and he hasn’t looked back.

“WIN’s set of values and mission make sense and I appreciate the focus on growing the S-P markets, not just the company,” says Fish. “WIN is large enough to have a good market presence, but small enough to stress care on an individual level. When going through the process of becoming an S-P they took the time to get to know me and my goals and not only ensured I was a fit for WIN, but that I had what it takes to build a successful business. They involved my wife in the entire decision making process and make their president and CEO’s available to talk at any time. That spoke volumes to me.“

 Fish appreciated that WIN corporate also encouraged him to speak with other veteran S-P’s and to be a part of their WIN for America veteran friendly program, in which he received 10% off his franchise fee. “Bottom line, the franchise model in place is a great one,” says Fish. “I simply follow the program and in my first five months as a WIN S-P, I doubled my numbers.

With latitude to grow beyond his first location in Mount Vernon, Fish recently acquired the territory of Whatcom and is on track to break 400 inspections for the year. “WIN was hands down the right choice for me,” says Fish.

 

Maui Wowi Double the Discount

Maui Wowi Hawaiian (www.mauiwowi.com) offers a year-round discount on franchise fee to those who served in any branch of the U.S. Military and double the discount in November and December. Maui Wowi is a member of the IFA Vet Fran Program and SBA’s Small Business Development Program, and has been named a Military Friendly Franchise by G.I. Jobs for the past four years.  Franchisees also maintain a strong presence on military bases such as the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base and at events like air shows and U.S. Coast Guard Festivals.

HomeTask CEO Jerrod Sessler joins VetFran and Offers a Veteran Franchise Discount in Hopes of Fueling Veteran Job Growth

HomeTask CEO Jerrod Sessler saw that his franchise joined VetFran in advance of Veterans Day.  Sessler, a U.S. Navy veteran, believes wholeheartedly in the mission of VetFran. Sessler recently shared “Getting our military family back on safe soil and giving them support to excel in their personal and professional lives should be a high priority for all of us. VetFran does a great job of opening up various doors of opportunity and lines of communication with people and companies that can assist veterans in achieving the American dream. Veterans have sacrificed so much and after providing us the opportunity to pursue our dreams, we should help them to pursue theirs when they return home.”

In September, Sessler was able to travel to Washington, D.C. and meet with leaders and members of VetFran at the International Franchising Association Public Affairs Conference. “It was clear from my time meeting with the members of VetFran that Founder Don Dwyer’s vision is alive and well—that we not just welcome home veterans with open arms, but that we also provide them practical opportunities to pursue their post-service aspirations! Each time we gather as a committee, it is invigorating and even emotional as we go around the large table and be reminded of the service of the veterans who are members of VetFran. There are people from every military branch and they have served in various missions across the globe. Hearing their stories is a stark reminder of the lives that will be affected through VetFran and why I wanted to join this organization in the first place.”

Interim HealthCare Welcomes Air Force Veterans as its Newest Franchisees

In advance of Veteran’s Day, Interim HealthCare Inc. is welcoming as franchisees two retiring Air Force veterans in Salt Lake City. Michael Hawkins and Michael Eliason are the recipients of the waived franchise fee that Interim HealthCare announced earlier this year as part of its participation in VetFran.  The two plan to begin offering personal care and support services in February 2014 and expand to skilled nursing care within the first year.

“When we announced the waived franchise fee for a qualifying military veteran in May, we couldn’t have hoped to find a team as well matched to our core values as Michael and Eli,” said Kathleen Gilmartin, President and CEO of Interim HealthCare. “As airmen, they embody the core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all they do – characteristics also vital to running a successful home care business.

“As Veteran’s Day approaches,” Gilmartin continued, “Interim HealthCare honors the service of all military in a significant and tangible way through these two outstanding individuals. We wholeheartedly welcome them aboard.”

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eliason, a B-1 pilot, has spent more than 22 years of service leading America’s sons and daughters in worldwide combat operations. Major Hawkins, an intelligence officer has spent 18 years supporting combat and peacetime operations around the continent.  Their last duty assignment has been teaching Air Force ROTC and Aerospace Studies at the University of Utah. They each separate from the military this fall and, in searching for their next “mission,” they wanted something with a higher calling.

“My wife is a nurse so I knew people in home health are driven by a greater sense of purpose like we are in the military,” Hawkins said. “By using my experience of managing and leading teams in the Air Force, I can make sure caregivers not only have the resources to do their job, but create an environment where they enjoy their job and are reinvigorated. I believe patients will sense this higher sense of purpose.”

According to the two, Interim HealthCare’s franchise structure fits perfectly with their military training of using existing systems and checklists for quality outcomes. Eliason also stated the ability to lead, teach and mentor as well as be humble, approachable and credible are all key military characteristics that will translate for success in the health care business.

“We wanted to do something more noble…something that gives us a reason to get up every day,” Eliason said. “Our research led us to Interim HealthCare and after a visit with corporate, we began working on ways to finance the franchise,” Eliason said. “When we heard the franchise fee was waived for us as veterans, it was pretty unbelievable. It feels really, really nice that our military service is recognized.”

 

Sport Clips Expands “Help A Hero” Campaign to Benefit Scholarship Program for Veterans

More than 1,100 Sport Clips Haircuts locations will come together on a single mission – to raise $575,000 for the company’s annual “Help A Hero” fundraising campaign, benefiting the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Since 2007, the Help A Hero program has supported the VFW’s Operation Uplink™ “Free Call Days”, making more than 2 million calls home possible for deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members. In its seventh year, the campaign will expand its focus to offer scholarships to veterans through the VFW’s Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship Program. Each scholarship will provide up to $5,000 of assistance to veterans who are pursuing an education at post-secondary institutions, including trade schools.

Donations to Help A Hero will be collected in-store and at local fundraising events through November 11, Veterans Day. In addition, Sport Clips will hold “The Biggest Haircut Day of the Year” on Veterans Day, when each store will donate a dollar from every haircut service to the VFW-administered scholarship program.

“Sport Clips’ Clients and Team Members have generously contributed a total of almost 2 million dollars to Help A Hero in support of the Free Call Day program, and we are grateful for all they have done to make this program a success for our nation’s heroes,” says Sport Clips Founder and CEO Gordon Logan, a U.S. Air Force veteran, VetFran Committee member and lifetime member of the VFW.  “While we will continue to support the free calls, we look forward to helping service members as they come home and transition into civilian careers through these scholarships.”

“As U.S. service members return from deployments by the thousands, it’s encouraging to see active support coming from companies like Sport Clips,” says VFW Commander-in-Chief Bill Thien. “This scholarship program is an important addition to the troop-support offerings the VFW provides, and through it, we look forward to helping many service members succeed in the next chapter of their lives.”

Past VetFran Committee Chair Shapes Franchise Program for Veterans

Lonnie Helgerson, CFE, past VetFran Committee Chair, President of IslandTime Treasures, and U.S. Army veteran has developed a new program to help veterans interested in owning an IslandTime Treasures franchise. The new military franchise program offers a franchise fee reduced by more than 50% to $3,500 and includes everything needed to open and start operating the franchise including a full equipment package.   “We’ve doubled the initial inventory with the intent that you can recoup your initial fee with the startup package.” said Lonnie Helgerson.

Much like Build-A-Bear Workshop, IslandTime Treasures guest artists design and build their own crafts using “island bling”, beach sand and a proprietary plaster called Island Mud.  The franchise allows an owner the ability to operate part-time, attending a few events each month and growing the business as they desire. For other owners, they may choose to build a larger full-time business by developing relationships with resorts, attractions, theme parks, malls and other venues.

In addition to the business package, IslandTime Treasures has created an optional 2-year exit clause in the Franchise Agreement to ease any unexpected transitions, deployments, or circumstances that military families are often faced with.

“As an Army veteran and IslandTime Treasures franchisee, I am extremely proud to be a part of a brand that is so dedicated to promoting entrepreneurism and making a difference in veterans and their families’ lives.” said Tommy Watson, owner of IslandTime Treasures, Indian Trail, NC. “Since opening my location earlier this year, Lonnie and I have been discussing the creation of a special program that would make it easy and affordable for nearly every veteran and military family to invest into.”

For more information on this exciting program, interested candidates can visit the IslandTime Treasures Veteran Franchising page on their website.

VetFran Webinar: Franchise Finance for Veterans

Franchise Finance for Veterans

REGISTER NOW to hear from top experts on franchise finance for Veterans.  It’s another VetFran Webinar on October 23rd at 11:00am ET: “Franchise Finance for Veterans,” featuring Richard Bradshaw, Head of the Small Business Administration, TD Bank, Beth Solomon, President & CEO of National Association of Development Companies, Michael Rozman, Co-President, Chief Strategy Officer of BoeFly, LLC, and Rocco Fiorentino, President and CEO of Benetrends.

Obtaining financing is likely the most difficult stage of business ownership, and the most important.  Thankfully there are programs specifically for Veterans.  Come learn how to finance your first business and grow your existing operations.      

  October 23rd, 11:00 ET, register now!

Certified Franchise Executives or candidates enrolled in the CFE program will earn 50 participation credits by participating in this webinar. Please notify Rose DuPont after registering to gain credit.

Veterans in Franchising Survey

As VetFran and Operation Enduring Opportunity continue to gain momentum, we would like to request the help of IFA member companies with a report on this important effort. In advance of Veterans Day IFA will release a Two-Year Anniversary Report outlining our progress as an industry – which we expect to be significant. On Veterans Day 2011 we launched Operation Enduring Opportunity, franchising’s campaign to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 80,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses through 2014.  Since that time, membership in the VetFran program has increased by a third to over 600 members.   Through a survey released on Veterans Day 2012, we know that at least 64,880 veterans have started careers in franchising since 2011, including 4,314 new franchise business owners. We suspect the actual industry numbers are even higher.

The impact made by VetFran and Operation Enduring Opportunity is a profound demonstration of the strength of franchising and the good it does in our society.  We need your help to gather the facts that tell the whole story.

The survey is being conducted by Franchise Business Review on behalf of IFA to help us gather data for our report to be released in advance of Veterans Day. The survey should not take too much time and confidentiality will be ensured.

To participate, please email Kevin Blanchard, IFA’s Coordinator, Research & Strategic Initiatives at kblanchard@franchise.org.

VetFran Webinar: Recruiting Veteran Employees: Best Practices

Recruiting Veteran Employees: Best Practices

REGISTER NOW

Learn how to recruit America’s veterans as employees. It’s a VetFran Tools & Solutions Webinar on October 9th at 11:00am ET: “Best Practices in Recruiting Veteran Employees”, featuring veteran recruiting authority, Lisa Rosser.

 Veterans thrive as franchise employees. Teamwork, leadership, operational excellence in implementing systems and improving processes are essential skills veterans learn in the military that directly translate to the franchise world.  You can even collect tax credits for hiring unemployed veterans.   One out of every seven franchise businesses are owned by veterans of the U.S. military. Since the 2011 launch of Operation Enduring Opportunity, franchising’s campaign to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 80,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014, over 64,000 veterans started careers in franchising.

 Lisa Rosser is the CEO and founder of a human resources training and consulting firm called “The Value Of a Veteran”.  Since 2007 Lisa has worked with franchise systems, corporations and other organizations that want to connect with veterans and assist them in their transition to entrepreneurship, employment or education after the military.  Lisa is a 22 year veteran of the US Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2011

 October 9th, 11:00 ET, register now!

 Certified Franchise Executives or candidates enrolled in the CFE program will earn 50 participation credits by participating in this webinar. Please notify Rose DuPont after registering to gain credit.

Veteran named RadioShack Franchisee of the Year

Illinois Air National Guard veteran Marc Heuermann has just been named RadioShack’s Franchisee of the Year. Heuermann opened his first unit in June of 2012 and is already operating two successful units near Washington, Illinois and will open a third within the month.

Heuermann’s lifelong passion for electronics began in his childhood, when he would visit his local RadioShack, exploring parts and finding projects to work on with his dad. As he grew up, he studied electronics in high school, and at age 18, applied for a job at RadioShack.  Heuermann worked there for four years while studying engineering, before enlisting in the Air National Guard in 1986, where his hobby evolved into a useful skill — he soon found himself repairing missile launchers, aircraft remote interphase units and wiring assemblies.

His impressive military career spanned 25 years, and took him all over the world, to the Middle East, Europe, Asia, South America and to 48 U.S. states. A few of his myriad accomplishments during that time include winning Air Transportation Unit of the Year in 2010 and being the second youngest in the state of Illinois to ever be promoted to the highest enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant E-9.

In May, Heuermann spoke at a day-long VetFran seminar at McDonald’s Hamburger University to share his perspective with the veteran attendees.  In addition to speaking,  Marc expressed that the content other presenters shared greatly helped his growth as a franchisee.  Access all the videos in the VetFran Toolkit and watch Marc offer a veteran’s perspective on franchise ownership here:

VetFran debuts the VetFran Video Library

VetFran has just created the VetFran Video Library, which features videos designed to enable veterans to understand and assess franchising and its opportunities.  Covering the fundamentals of franchising, legal issues, franchise finance and more, the videos offer best-in-class education from the perspective of industry leaders and Board members of the International Franchise Association.

Content in the Library includes:

VetFran at McDonald’s Hamburger University

Franchising 101 for Veterans
Michael Seid, (US Army veteran) CEO, MSA Worldwide and co-author of Franchising for Dummies presents veterans an introduction to franchising together with Rich Morey, Partner, DLA Piper.

VetFran, Veterans & Franchising
Joe Lindenmayer, (USMC veteran) President & COO of TSS Photography and Jon Rucker, (USAF veteran) Military Programs Manager of Snap-On Tools discuss VetFran and the relationship between veterans and franchising.

A Veteran Franchisee’s Perspective
Marc Heuermann, (Illinois Air National Guard veteran) RadioShack franchisee offers a veteran’s perspective on franchise ownership.

Franchise Finance 101 for Veterans
Rich Bradshaw, (USAF, USNR veteran) Head of SBA Lending at TD Bank provides veterans an overview of franchise finance.

Franchise Law 101
Rich Morey, Partner, DLA Piper, presents veterans an introduction to franchise law.

From Honor To Owner
A short film about VetFran

VetFran at Restaurant Leadership Conference
VetFran at the General Session of Restaurant Leadership Conference 2013
Moderator: Steve Caldeira, President & CEO, International Franchise Association
Panelists:
Jim Amos, Chairman, Tasti D-Lite LLC
Sean Falk, Owner, WolFTeaM LLC, President, Nachogang LLC
Stuart Mathis, President & CEO, The Quizno’s Corporation
Jerry Pegram, Category Manager, Pepsi Lipton Partnership Sales Strategy & Insights, PepsiCo

To access the VetFran Video Library, please visit the VetFran Toolkit.