Veterans in Franchising - February 2015

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february 2015

Veterans in Franchising www.franchisingusamagazine.com

Better Deal Printing Providing Opportunites for Veterans

VBS Pledges

Franchising Profits Why Franchising

is good for Veterans Franchising USA

feature

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V eterans in F ranchisin g S u pplement febr u ary 2 0 1 5 Our Veterans in Franchising special supplement has become a regular feature of Franchising USA. To share your story in the next issue, please contact Vikki Bradbury, Publisher Phone: 778 426 2446 Email: vikki@cgbpublishing.com

Contents Cover Story

News & Expert Advice

36 Better Deal Printing New Franchise Opportunities

38 Networking Your Way to Your Customers Darcella K. Craven, Veterans Business Resource

Focus 40 Win Home Inspections

Center

42 VBS Pledges Franchising Profits to Rebuild the Veterans Corporation Jim Mingey, Veterans Business Servcies 44 Veterans In Franchising Brandon Moxam, US Lawns

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C over S tor y - BETTER DE A L PR I N T I NG

Providing

New Franchise Opportunities for Veterans

adequate opportunity in the workplace, which provides them an excellent opportunity to start their own business. For franchise businesses, veterans hold skill sets that are critical to their operations; skills such as leadership, integrity, commitment and risk tolerance, all learned through military service.

Lawrence Curell

Service, sacrifice, dedication and honor are ingrained in the heart and soul of every military service member. From their first day in military training until the day they leave the military to pursue a civilian career, members of the military understand what it takes to succeed, persevere and serve others. Veterans retain highly valued skills such as leadership, management and attention to detail learned from their military service. They want to succeed but sometimes lack

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There are generous opportunities that franchise businesses provide both individually and through the IFA’s VetFran program that provide veterans the opportunity to own their own business through franchising. While the different franchise businesses offer a plethora of choices through the VetFran program, it all boils down to one thing; franchise businesses see the value of veterans’ skillsets and want them in their systems, which provides excellent opportunities for veterans as well as the franchise businesses. Having participated in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs vocational rehabilitation self-employment program, Lawrence Curell, a service disabled veteran and CEO of Better Deal Printing, LLC knows firsthand how difficult it can be. “I started as a one person operation in 2001 and grew the company to where we are today by treating our customers and employees as I treat my family, taking

care of them and following through on the commitments I make to them. Over 80% of our employees are military veterans. A staff that delivers excellence, value and quality products combined with the support of multiple franchisors that have chosen Better Deal Printing, LLC as a supplier, we have been able to consistently grow to serve all 50 states and international clients in 16 countries on 4 continents.” Better Deal Printing, LLC was started in 2001 to provide high quality, low cost printing and graphic design services to local clients. In 2009 the company headquarters was moved to Prescott, Arizona. In 2011, a large format and signage division was added to better serve clients and fill additional market needs. In 2013, an apparel and promotional products division was also added to establish a foothold in the growing promotional product and branded clothing industry. In 2014, a sourcing and fulfillment division was added to source unique, cutting edge products for clients. The company has earned numerous local awards, been featured in Vetrepreneur™ magazine, Franchising World Magazine and won the Diversity Inc’s “Top 500” U.S. privately held companies title in 2013. Additionally, Better Deal Printing


“Members of the military understand what it takes to succeed, persevere and serve others.” was nominated for the national Golden Ink award for service, value and quality in 2014. Because of the support Better Deal Printing has received from the franchise community and seeing another opportunity to help veterans and continue growth, in March of 2014, Better Deal Printing engaged a trusted partner, RBZ, LLP’s Franchise Services Group to begin the franchise consulting process, ultimately launching franchise sales in 36 U.S. states starting in January of 2015. With our own production equipment and being able to print anything from paper products, banners, signs, promotional products and corporate apparel to providing branded e-commerce web portals for franchisors, Better Deal Printing continues to grow annually by triple digits. When discussing some of the keys to Better Deal Printing’s success in the printing industry, the Better Deal Printing team follows a few crucial principles: • Treat our customers like family. Take care of their needs and deliver integrity. • Treat our staff with respect and empower them to make decisions. • Always follow through with the customer. Under promise and over deliver.

• Give back and support our communities through our philanthropic efforts. • Deliver Service, Value and Quality in everything we do. • Create a culture where employees and clients are working together to form creative solutions to their branding, marketing and printing needs. Better Deal Printing is offering low entry cost franchise opportunities that will allow veterans and disabled veterans the opportunity to put their hard earned military skills to use in their own Better Deal Printing franchise. Whether the franchisee wants to work from home or have a traditional brick and mortar location to work from, they know they will receive the support, commitment and assistance that they need to successfully grow their franchise, while allowing them the opportunity to maintain a work life balance. Understanding how critical deadlines are and the importance of impeccable service, excellent value and high quality workmanship, veterans get the job done for their clients. With the right franchisees, given the right opportunity at the right time, it’s a perfect recipe for success. The U.S. census data from 2007 (the latest

available) shows that over 9% of U.S. businesses, a total of 2.4 million were owned by veterans. These businesses generated $1.2 trillion and employ 5.8 million people. Realizing this, the franchise community has responded by growing the VetFran program and every single day additional franchise businesses join the initiative to provide opportunities for veterans. With franchise businesses being an integral part of the United States economy and growing opportunities for veterans through the support of the federal government’s initiatives and the franchise community, the positive impact that franchise businesses have on America’s wounded warriors is significant both to the business community and the veteran. Becoming a franchise business that provides opportunities for veterans is not only socially responsible in giving back to those who served but it is also a true win – win for everyone involved. The Better Deal Printing family is proud that we are able to begin offering franchise opportunities to qualified veterans. For more information visit: www.betterdealprinting.com or Call us on 928-445-8363

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Darcella. K. Craven, Executive Director, Veterans Business Resource Center

Working “On� Your Business Series:

Networking Your Way To Your Customers Many clients who purchase a franchise make the same mistake that many small business owners do. Assuming that because you have hung your shingle customers will know to come in the doors. Franchising USA

You will need to get out there and invite them in. Sometimes, that means networking with

many people in order to get your customer to come in. When it comes to networking many small business owners believe it is just a matter of showing up at a chamber meeting, shaking hands and waiting for the follow up. No, networking is not so simple. You must dedicate time and energy to meet potential clients and build a report with the community to gain information that will help you grow your business. Here

are some helpful tips to assist you in

becoming a networking guru which will help you attract the right customers and

build a team of community cheerleaders to help you.

Pay Attention to the News The next time you hear a story in the

news that a leader in your field has won

an award, been appointed to a position or

made a positive impact in the community; send him/her a note of congratulations. Acknowledging the accomplishment gives you a perfect opportunity to


“You must dedicate time and energy to meet potential clients and build a report with the community.” introduce yourself and ask for advice or an appointment.

Join Professional Organizations Do not just attend local meetings but participate as well? You will find that this is one of the best ways to network with either people who can provide you leads and perhaps offer advice on how to improve your business. These organizations can also assist you in becoming a part of the community you are in which in turn helps you establish stronger community relationships.

Get involved with Seminars Many community colleges or professional organizations in your area provide free to low cost seminars in marketing, public speaking or other professional development topics. These seminars will give you new and interesting ways to organize run or promote your business. These types of activities also provide opportunities to meet and talk with other people like yourself and can keep you motivated. Check local business papers for information

Volunteer with a Purpose What is the point of sitting in your office avoiding the sales call or waiting for the customer to reach out? Staying in only serves to isolate you from your network and customer. While you are waiting for that perfect call, why not get out and volunteer at your favorite charity or someplace you have always wanted to work. Volunteering serves many purposes. 1) You can maintain and/or develop skills that will help you in your company, 2) You will be providing a nonprofit much needed, respected and appreciated talent that many organizations could not afford to pay for especially in touch times, and 3) you will stay connected to and build a stronger network as people are able to see your work and will think of you when they need your service.

Prepare a Networking Goal Many make the mistake of just showing up at an event and passing out cards. We take time to figure out what events are important for us to attend, find the proper business attire and practice our 30 second “elevator speech” but often forget to understand what we want to leave with from the event. We need to make sure that our time there is impactful and we get to the right people for our needs. Here are some helpful tricks to keep you focused: • Only take a small number of business cards – no more than 10. This will remind you as you go thru them that you need to be clear and focused on getting your information to the right few people • Keep them in one pocket – pick a side to take cards from and use the other side to add cards to. You should leave with as many cards as you gave out. If you started with 5 and end up with only 4 cards plus 1 of your own, you can adjust your networking accordingly.

Darcella. K. Craven

If you need assistance, please do not

hesitate to reach out the consultants in

the Veterans Business Resource Center.

Our services are no cost to transitioning military, Veterans and their immediate family members. No matter what part of the country you are in, we have a

center that can assist you including Guam and Puerto Rico. Good luck with your networking.

Darcella K Craven has over 20 years of experience in corporate, government, non profit and military organizations. She is currently the Executive Director

• Keep blank cards available or an app on your phone – sometimes people forget their business cards. Having blank cards in your pocket allows you to write down the person’s information plus it will help you remember that person to write his or her name down and why you have their information. You might also simply pull up notepad on your phone to write their information down or even scan their card right into your phone contacts. There are great free business card reader applications available.

of the Veterans Business Resource

• Have note cards ready to mail – this is a lost art and it is very appreciated by all. You can always send an email and make a phone call, but having already addressed notecards available in your car or home to write a quick “it was great meeting you” note goes a long way to help people remember you from the many others they met that day.

business decision making. Darcella has

Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting Honorably Discharged Veterans, National Guard and Reservist and Active Duty personnel and their families with transitioning back into civilian life with starting and expanding businesses. An Army Veteran, she holds a Masters of Arts in Management from Webster University and is currently pursuing her Doctors of Management focusing on impact of military experience on small been featured in numerous articles for her transition from the military and the welfare system to an accomplished business woman and is actively involved in many civic organizations. For more information: Website: www.vetbiz.com

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W I N H ome I nsp ection

WIN Home Inspection Honors Veterans Year Round through WIN For America Giving back to those that served, WIN awarded six veterans reduced franchise fees in 2014 At WIN Home Inspection, veterans make up over 25% of the company thanks to active recruiting of veterans. In 2012, WIN pledged a commitment of over $1.2 million to their WIN For America program to assist veterans, vowing to secure 50 veteran candidates to work for their company.

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Less than two years later, the total number of WIN veteran franchise owners recruited through the WIN for America program stands at 23 and continues to grow. “Veterans are good people to grow with,” says Keith Mathias, Director of Strategic Market Development at WIN. “We understand the value of veterans and through our WIN For America program, actively recruit and reward them.”


WIN Home Inspection offers a Gold and Silver level award, providing 50% and 25% off franchise fee respectively. For a potential veteran franchisee, or Strategic Partner (S-P) in WIN-speak, this is a remarkable incentive as WIN goes above and beyond recruitment, offering additional assistance, financing help, special training and more. “When I was researching franchise systems, WIN was one of only two companies that offered a veteran incentive,” says Thomas Leonard of WIN Home Inspection Dr Phillips, a retired Naval Officer, who served the country in three combat tours including Horn of Africa and Iraq. Leonard is a WIN For America service award recipient in 2014. Incentives aside, WIN offers a business model that provides comprehensive training and support, setting up S-P’s for success immediately. “I made a complete career change but with WIN’s support system in place, I immediately was given the resources- and the confidence- to do what I needed to do to succeed,” adds Leonard. WIN for America success stories are even further testament to the opportunity WIN provides. James Price, of WIN Home Inspection Lubbock, was the first recipient of a WIN For America award in 2012 and has grown his business exponentially

“We understand the value of veterans and through our WIN For America program, actively recruit and reward them.” since he began. “I’ve jumped past all my projections, and tripled them, growing the WIN brand in West Texas,” says Price. “WIN provides such complete marketing plans and I believe having followed it to a tee, it’s what’s made me so successful in such a short period of time.” “WIN not only is veteran friendly, they actually reach out to veterans. There’s a big difference,” says Richard Haas of WIN Home Inspection South County, Retired Navy Submariner and 2014 WIN For America service award recipient. “More companies should be out there giving veterans jobs- it’s a patriotic thing to do.” “A lot of what’s appealing about WIN, spoke to me as a veteran,” says Retired Naval Aviator David Schalm of WIN Home Inspection Kettering, and WIN for America 2014 award recipient. “The business structure, the marketing plan, even the fact that I wear a uniform everyday- all aspects of WIN’s model appeal to me and coincide with my military training. It’s a comfortable way to make a transition to a long-term civilian career.”

This is Veterans Business Services second year of supporting WIN Home Inspection franchise and we are excited to be able to promote the incentives of the WIN for America program to all the Veterans in our network. VBS looks forward to another successful year of presenting Veterans who are qualified to start a franchise and motivated to succeed. ABOUT WIN HOME INSPECTION WIN Home Inspection began in 1993, offering home inspection business franchises in the Pacific Northwest. Within a year, the company dominated this regional market and has since expanded across the US with 187 locations in 31 states. A member of the VetFran Chairman’s Corps, WIN is a recognized leader on behalf of veterans and the franchise industry. For information on WIN Home Inspection and the home inspection business opportunity, call 800.967.8127, or visit www.wini.com or www.winfranchising.com.

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Jim Mingey, Team Member

VBS pledges franchising profits to rebuild The Veterans Corporation EBV Graduate Companies to spearhead effort The idea for The Veterans Corporation (“TVC”) when formed by Congress in 1999 was to act as central clearinghouse to help Veteran entrepreneurs. And it was a good idea supported by major Veteran Service Organizations. But when the original politically appointed team mismanaged and abused its promise, the next generation of Veterans who by then had begun to bear the burden of Iraq and Afghanistan got short changed. They were unaware that quietly, in the dead of night, the politicians took away the funding for their The Veterans Corporation. The politicians threw out the proverbial “baby with the bath water”. The reality is that old The Veteran Corporation just couldn’t function with all the political interference. Then and now it needs to be a private organization, one that is self-sufficient and controlled by the next generation of those who have borne the battle. The logo for original TVC was supposed to depict Veterans thinking outside the box. And our new Veterans were definitely “outside the box” then, they were actually “in the sandbox”.

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Out with the old The Veterans Corporation new logo will now simply represent Veterans, and it will belong to those who have actually borne the battle.

In with the new Of course a logo and ten cents still won’t get you a cup of coffee these days. So initial financial support will come from Veteran Business Services (“VBS”) a company using a profitable franchise industry business model developed at the Entrepreneurial Boot camp for Veterans with Disabilities (“EBV”).The VBS plan was also supported by the Federal Government’s” Boots to Business”


Program for transitioning entrepreneurial servicemen and women. Unfortunately not all Veterans can access the competitive EBV program. Because of that limitation VBS and other EBV graduates have decided to launch an initiative to enable the new generation of Veterans to get control The Veterans Corporation. By doing so, they can accelerate knowledge sharing and resource strategies. TVC will operate as a private social enterprise. VBS is now profitable and has been fortunate enough to get further support from the Institute for Military and Veteran Families (“IMVF”) with IMVF acting as a Trustee. VBS will raise capital for the TVC initiative under the Kiva/IMVF crowdfunding loan platform.

But what’s the strategy for rebuilding The Veterans Corporation to operational self-sufficiency?

VBS, using its Franchise Accelerator will be the first of hopefully many other Veteran and EBV businesses which will pledge profits to help rebuild a new TVC .VBS will also make its technology available to TVC via its VA VRE pilot to train veterans to build and execute successful self-employment plans with Chapter 31 benefits. Veterans will first learn to use the tool to implement franchise transactions. Other uses include providing mentor teams for developing franchise concepts for qualifying Veterans under the VA VRE Program

“VBS will raise capital for the TVC initiative under the Kiva/IMVF crowdfunding loan platform.” great tool for Veterans but any successful business plan requires focus and customization. TVC’s ultimate goal will be to have an Army of small business mentoring teams and Veteran peer to peer team members at the ready for the new generation of Veterans who have borne the battle. VBS’ Founder and Managing Director, Jim Mingey, is a decorated Vietnam Veteran raised from a proud military background. An entrepreneur for more than 35 years, Jim can relate on a personal level to the needs of the Veteran small businessperson, and possesses the practical knowledge to implement his experience in today’s market. Jim participated in the EBV Program at Purdue University, is a mentor at American Corporate Partners, developed the first approved franchise training program for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment(VR&E) Program at Veterans Administration, and was instrumental in forming the first equity fund in the United States exclusively for Veteran owned small businesses and franchises: The Veterans Opportunity Fund. Jim intends to keep on ‘advocating’ for Veterans in franchising. For further information visit: www.veteransbusinessservices.us

As a recent Department of Defense white paper, After the Sea of Goodwill: A Collective Approach to Re-integration pointed out, there are literally tens of thousands of Veteran support entities from the all of sectors depicted in the graphic (left). Even with this many resources that our out there there’s been something missing for Veteran entrepreneurs: coordinated small business advocacy team and peer to peer resources. VBS has been working with Process Peak to improve its Veteran focused CRM system and its VBS Franchise Accelerator. Both will provide TVC a platform for mentoring and partnership opportunities for economic growth and self-sufficiency. TVC then can make the holistic advocacy team plan grow. Small business mentoring is a

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Brandon Moxam, Director of Brand Development, U.S. Lawns

Veterans leave the military armed with many valuable professional skills, from people management, to working effectively under pressure, to dealing with rapidly changing situations—they’ve done it all. Since 2013, the Army has been working to reduce more than 80,000 active-duty troops over the span of five years. As the military continues to downsize, the number of unemployed veterans is on the rise. Now that more veterans are on the hunt for job opportunities, they must consider what careers would best align with the skills they’ve developed during their service. Veterans could leverage these skills in a number of different industries, but franchising—an opportunity that allows veterans to rapidly grow their own business— is a business endeavor that is particularly well-suited for them. Here’s why:

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A Familiar Structure and Commitment Franchises offer veterans the structure and commitment that they’ve grown accustomed to in the military. Emotionally, franchise owners have a strong sense of loyalty to their brand and to their fellow franchisees. There’s also a sense of comradery among franchisees, as they understand the importance of creating and maintaining relationships. While the day-to-day role of a franchisee and veterans are incomparable, the mindset of joining something bigger than oneself, feeling a sense of belonging, and being part of a team, ties the two together. The business model of a franchise also mirrors that of the military. Because of the immense amount of training and time spent in the field, military personnel understand the value of a regulated system. Likewise, having to simultaneously operate independently and report to someone else (i.e. the franchisor) is a nonissue for a veteran, as it’s a key component of the military culture. Veterans also don’t see authority as a threat but as a resource, which is a critical part of running a successful business. The ability to make decisions and execute on them, while

following the example of those who’ve done it before makes veterans great potential franchisee candidates.

Financial Incentives and Economic Stability Franchises offer a number of financial benefits specifically designed for veterans. For example, the VetFran Program (sponsored by the International Franchise Association IFA) includes more than 500 franchise systems that offer financial incentives to veterans who want to own small businesses. Unlike the standard investor, veterans receive a discount on initial fees and special financing options. A veteran should have no problem finding a franchise opportunity that interests him or her, as the opportunities range from owning your own restaurant chain to environmental service company. VetFran has helped more than 6,300 veterans to create and run their own businesses. On another financial note, a veteran’s pension allows them the freedom to become a franchise investor. Because they have a paycheck coming in every month, it helps to offset living expenses, and the opportunity to explore a new business venture. This isn’t to say that a


Franchising for Veterans veteran couldn’t start their own business from the ground-up, but with the amount of resources franchises offer veterans (discounting rates, proven business model, and professional guidance) there’s no reason not to explore the opportunity.

Leadership Capabilities Because of their vast leadership experience in the military, veterans are natural entrepreneurs. When running a business and working with others, it’s critical to have experience mentoring, training, and motivating your employees. Veterans know how to lead a team toward success by setting clear goals, prioritizing collaboration, and rewarding good performance. Veterans are also skilled at handling adversity and staying positive during challenging times. Although the franchisor equips their franchisees with the necessary tools for success, they can’t protect them from the highs and lows of the market. A business’s first year, in particular, can be emotional roller coaster for new entrepreneurs. One day starting a franchise can seem like the best decision they’ve ever made, and the next it seems like the worst. But veterans (who have experienced

high risk situations) know how to stay focused and positive, keeping the bigger picture in mind. On a management level, veterans make great franchisees because they have worked with many different people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experience levels. The military has given veterans an opportunity to be fully exposed to diversity, so they understand how to communicate effectively with nearly everyone they meet. This is a highly valuable skill to have because a large contributor of your success as a franchise owner is dependent on your employee’s career development. For most veterans, the thought of reentering the workforce unexpectedly and finding a job they actually like seems unlikely, but franchising is a viable, exciting option. And while franchising is by no means comparable to the experiences a veteran had during their time in the military, it offers a type of creative outlet for those who are ready to start a new chapter of their lives and put their entrepreneurial skills to the test. Brandon Moxam joined U.S. Lawns as Director of Franchise Recruiting in 2007 and is now Director of Brand

Brandon Moxam

Development. He has been instrumental in the U.S. Lawns branding development since 2012. He manages the franchise recruiting department at U.S. Lawns and works closely with potential new franchisees to fully educate them on our U.S. Lawns systems and processes that are in place to guide them to build a successful business. In addition, Brandon is a Certified Franchise Executive and is active within the International Franchise Association. For more information visit: www.uslawns.com

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