November 3-7 is National Veteran’s Small Business Week.
Veteran-owned small businesses make a huge impact on our economy. There are probably several veteran-owned businesses in your own town…you just aren’t aware of them.
Happening Now: National Veterans Small Business Week
President Obama just reached out to our veterans in celebration of National Veterans Small Business Week with a letter.
Here’s an excerpt:
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“From coffee shops to tech startups, veteran-owned businesses fortify America by boosting our economic competitiveness and enriching our neighborhoods and towns. Veteran entrepreneurs are responsible for nearly 1 out of every 10 small businesses. Those businesses generate over 1.2 trillion dollars in receipts every year and employ nearly 6 million workers.”
Our Veterans Own Lots of Businesses
I’d like to see more veterans get started down the entrepreneurial path. So would the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“With over 21 million veterans in America and more than 250,000 service members transitioning from the military annually, SBA is focused on ensuring that they have access to the capital, counseling, and contracting needed to start and grow successful businesses.”
Did you know that the SBA has an entire section of their website devoted to veterans-and helping them find the resources they need to start, run, and grow a small business?
Well, they do. Every resource available is listed. If you’re a U.S. military veteran who’s interested in starting business, go to this webpage on the SBA.gov site.
Veterans In Franchising
I’m proud of my record with veterans.
I’ve been able to personally help several military veterans find franchise opportunities. I’ve worked one-on-one with dozens of veterans…and still do. I help them choose, research, and buy franchises.
Navy helicopter pilot Mitch Lazar. He’s the owner of CarePatrol, serving the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area. He served in the Gulf War. We worked together last year.
There’s Ray Toombs, who, along with his wife, Margie, own Maid Brigade of Northeast Ohio. Ray is a veteran…who has some interesting stories about his time in Vietnam. I worked with Ray a decade ago, and even got to interview him after he was in business for a few years. The interview.
Here are two little-known facts about my work with veterans:
1. All veterans get a free download of my popular franchise eBook. It sells for $39.95, but I refuse to charge veterans for it. I’ve been doing it for years, and it really makes me feel good. I was too young for the military draft; I can’t imagine what it was like to get called to serve. It’s my way of giving back.
2. I offer franchise ownership advisory services, and I knock 50% off my hourly rate for veterans. Again, it’s my way of giving back to the men and women of our armed forces. They have way more courage than I ever will. It’s because of them that I get to write the things I want to write, freely. Even things that upset people, like the post I wrote a little while ago.
More Veteran-Owned Franchises Needed
I want to help more veterans get into business. Franchise businesses.
It’s a challenge.
Most of the veterans I talk to don’t have the financial resources needed to buy a franchise. How could they? Some of them are serving their 3rd or 4th mission overseas, because of all the wars we’ve been in. They don’t (unfortunately) get paid very well. Plus, a lot of them are married, and have left their families back home. A lot of them struggle.
I wish there was an amazing loan program for veterans that have little money to invest in a franchise business.
The SBA has made great strides. They’ve come up with great loan programs in the past, and they’re trying really hard to make things happen for veterans.
(Disclosure: I’m the exclusive guest blogger on franchising for the SBA.gov Community website…I have been for years.)
I guess I’m hoping for some magic to happen. But, on a positive note, at least several franchisors in the U.S. offer franchise fee discounts to veterans.
Veterans can make great franchisees. They bring a lot of great things to the table.
I just want to make a bigger table for them.