Wanted: Military Veterans for Franchising

Franchisors offer incentives to help veterans start their own franchises.

Help Wanted

Don’t know anything about starting a business but are determined to take control of your employment destiny?

If you’re a military veteran, the International Franchise Association (IFA) thinks you’re particularly well-equipped for a franchise. And they’ve got a program to help you take a leap into entrepreneurship and a career in which you can use the skills you’ve acquired in the military.

VetFran was founded as a special program within the IFA in 1991 to help veterans returning from the first Gulf War as a way to thank veterans for their service, according to the IFA.

Then in 2011, the IFA launched Operation Enduring Opportunity, a partnership with several organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to help the large influx of veterans transitioning to civilian life get into franchise careers. The program has been a great success.

Through VetFran, many franchisors will waive 10 percent to 25 percent of the franchise fee, which can help veterans hire staff as they get their new businesses up and running.

In the last three years, more than 150,000 veterans have started careers in franchising, more than 5,000 as franchise owners. Now, one out of every seven franchise businesses is owned by a veteran of the U.S. military, according the IFA.

This is clearly a win-win partnership for both sides.

Franchising offers one of the very best paths to starting your own business for those with little or no experience in the business. With a proven system, training and ongoing support, novices get a franchise team to show them the way to success, helping them troubleshoot the rough spots along the way. As the IFA points out, the system is not dissimilar to the structure of military life.

While veterans can expect a little extra special treatment as thanks for their service to the country, franchise companies benefit from the particular strengths veterans bring to the franchise.

Before you or a veteran you know starts second-guessing all the ways he or she is not qualified for a career in franchising, consider the following list, compiled from articles written by Franchisors or IFA officials.

The Treasured Traits of Veterans Prized by Franchisors

Integrity and Honor

Ingrained through their military training, veterans learn firsthand the importance of executing orders with dedication to accomplish a common goal.

Respect for Rules of Operation

A military operation requires everyone to do his job. A franchise requires franchisees to follow the proven system of the franchise company to succeed. In both one person implements a plan prepared by others with proven experiences.

Leadership Training

Business ownership requires the type of leadership the military teaches. An owner is responsible for the business, its employees and, of course, accountable to its customers.


When the buck stops with you, you need a disciplined work ethic, especially during the early days as you build your business to profitability.


Overcoming obstacles, an everyday activity for soldiers in the military, builds the kind of character necessary for business ownership.


In the military, soldiers learn to put the success of the mission ahead of their own interests. This dedication to teamwork well suits the needs of franchisees to work with franchisors in a cooperative manner to maximize success.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484)278-4589

© Dan Citrenbaum 2019

5 ‘Reality Check’ Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Dream Business

So, you’re thinking about opening a little shop around the corner where your friends can always find the bauble of their dreams or, perhaps, a charming little bed and breakfast to be your own vacation paradise. Maybe you’ve got the TV ideals in mind, like the bar in “Cheers” — “Where everybody knows your name” — or the little Vermont inn that Bob Newhart called home for years. But running a business is much more than sugar plums and fairies. Your most important consideration: The business of the business. While it’s good to have lots of ideas and a passion for creating a business you enjoy, you don’t want to skip the mundane-but-essential practicalities. The danger: Instead of getting the business of your dreams, you may end up with an efficient mechanism for draining your savings.

5 Basic Questions To Help You Get The Numbers And Sense

So, while you enjoy the romantic ideal, ask yourself the practical questions so you can determine if this ‘dream business’ endeavor is really for you.

Do you mind getting to work at 5:30 a.m.?

Because when it comes to that little B&B or a coffee shop, that’s when business hours begin. Or maybe even earlier. When it comes to the hospitality business, if the customer has a problem, the buck stops with you – day or night.

Will your marketing generate sufficient earnings?

You may think you have the perfect concept to attract folks who didn’t know they needed what you have to offer. And maybe you do. But you’ll need to know how to generate buzz. Then keep them coming for more.

Have you figured out how much sales you need to cover your costs?

While you need to be prepared with sufficient capital to run your business until you can earn a profit, if the romance — high-end design, fancy Italian espresso machine — in your shop costs more than your earnings will ever cover, you will have a problem.

Will the local labor pool support your needs?

Hiring and retaining a good staff is critical. Can you find the workers you need in your area? Are you prepared to manage a staff to promote conscientious reliability?

Are you prepared to work 50-plus hours per week to start?

Many businesses require a lot of heavy lifting at the beginning. New business owners need to take into account a demanding work load, at least to start. These questions can be difficult for those new to business, which is why we suggest you consult an entrepreneurial coach, one who brings years of first-hand experience with multiple categories of companies to help you choose a business in which to invest yourself and your money for maximal success. So, go for the gold — but make sure you’ve done the preparation!

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true? Get your free evaluation today! Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a business coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-5489.

The Fine Print on Franchises: What you need to know before signing on the dotted line.

Franchises offer entrepreneurs many benefits, including marketing tools and expertise, lots of back room support, and training to help new business owners succeed.

The road to the right franchise, however, may present some rough terrain to cross, which is why preparation is so critical. Every potential new franchisee needs to take the time to read the fine print before signing any contracts.

The good news is that Federal Trade Commission regulations provide a good safety net, which goes a long way toward helping potential new franchisees avoid getting a raw deal. A franchise coach can help you through the nitty-gritty of this process.

You will want to get a copy of the franchise disclosure document, which franchisors are required by law to provide you at least 14 days before you sign a contract or pay any money. You can ask for the document in any format convenient for you.

Before signing any contracts, we recommend you consult a franchise attorney who has the expertise to help you review what can be a long and complex agreement. In the meantime, as you begin your preliminary research, here’s what you should look for:

Franchisors Background

You want to know how long the franchisor has been in business. What’s the competition like? Pay close attention to the general business backgrounds of the company executives and how long they’ve been with the company and in the industry.

Litigation history

Has the franchisor been involved in any litigation with their franchisees? Have any of its executives been convicted of fraud or other violations of franchise law? Have franchisees filed law suits against the franchisor? These would all be red flags to further investigate if not disqualify this franchisor from your search.

Initial and Ongoing Costs

This is critical information since you never want to find yourself short on funds or surprised by costs you should have known about. Examples of costs franchisees face are: advertising, business promotions, operating licenses, inventory, royalty payments, cost to purchase equipment, and insurance, among others.

Only by estimating your costs can you realistically evaluate franchise operations to see if you have the capital to succeed in this business.


Franchisors may restrict from whom you order supplies, what you may offer for sale and where you can sell. Each franchisor will have different ways of determining a territory, which is meant to protect current franchisees but may not be satisfactory to you. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts has restrictions limiting some franchisees from also offering 31 Flavors ice cream.


While franchisors offer training, you need to know who is eligible for training and who pays. Are new employees eligible? Are support staff available for ongoing support? Again, make sure you know all the costs.


Franchises often are asked to contribute a portion of their earnings for advertising. Get the details on what the franchisor requires. What percentage of the advertising budget is spent in your area? Will local advertising amount to extra out-of-pocket costs?

Current and Former Franchises

Plan on talking to as many current franchisees as possible. Ask them what you will need to do to succeed. Also talk to former franchisees to learn what went wrong for them. Make sure you ask financial questions, such as their total investment, and how long it took them to recover their initial investment. What are their earnings? Franchisees’ income might vary quite a bit, depending on geographic area, the skill and commitment of the owner, and other factors.

Financial History

You want to make sure the franchise company is financially stable since you certainly don’t want the company to go out of business just after you invested your money. You also want to ensure the franchisor has sufficient money to supporting its franchise system. You will have access to the financial statements of the franchise company, so review them – or better still, have an accountant review them for you.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2019

Over 50? Midlife Is The PERFECT Time To Start A Franchise

Despite all you may have heard about the barely-out-of-high-school techie crowd in Silicon Valley, the folks most likely to start a franchise are in midlife. You read it right! That’s according to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation and Legal Zoom, which found that, in 2013, 35% of all new businesses were started by people over the age of 50. In fact, people over 50 started businesses at a higher rate than those between the ages of 20 and 34. That’s not really surprising, considering the wealth of experience these seasoned members of the workforce bring to the table, not to mention access to capital and networks. So if you’re one of those folks stagnating in an unsatisfying job or if you’ve been downgraded or downsized by a company in decline, you might want to consider one of the simplest ways to start a new business, a franchise. Franchises have a multitude of advantages over independent businesses, including a network of support, training, and a proven system intended to help people achieve success even though they may have little experience in the field. Opportunities in franchising abound —75 industries are represented, and a franchise coach can help get you started with your research. The fastest growing sectors franchising are business to business

and consumer services. These areas are perfectly suited to the executive and managerial backgrounds of most of today’s new franchisees – much more so than fast food or retail that often come to mind when people think about franchises.

6 Easy Steps To Start Exploring Your Franchising Options:

As you assess where you want to start the next stage of your career, you’ll want to conduct a thorough process of due diligence:

1. Assess Your Skills

No matter your background, you’ve developed an array of expertise, such as solving customer problems, managing employees and systems, selling yourself, and maybe selling a product or service. Figure out how your skills might transfer to a franchise that captures your interest.

2. Read Up On Franchising

Check out the International Franchise Association’s informative website for types of franchises and articles on franchising. Make lists of franchises that best match your skills, experience, and interest.

3. Peruse A Few Franchise Disclosure Documents

Franchisors are required by federal law to disclose a great deal of helpful information in these documents, including the backgrounds of their executives, litigation history, as well as a full list of costs associated with purchasing a franchise. You also receive a full list of franchisees (more on this below). Franchisors must write these documents in common English, not legalese, so they’re quite readable.

4. Interview Franchisees

Franchisees are your best source of information. You can call these owners, because the franchise companies provide their contact information in the Franchise Disclosure Document. They may be busy, but many franchisees are happy to talk to folks who may be walking the same path they recently traveled. So make an appointment and respect their time. Ask about the franchisor’s system —what’s working and what’s not, and find out if, knowing what they

know now, they would purchase this franchise again.

5. Talk To Franchisors

As you start to narrow your options, call up some franchisors to learn more about their operation. Get a feel for the corporate culture and how well you might fit in.

6. Contact A Franchise Coach

A coach can help you navigate your way to franchises that are reputable and have great track records. They have worked with dozens of clients over many years and add another layer of experience to help you make the best selection. And their services generally come free of charge. So take heart, your middle years may be your most productive and profitable yet. Start your exploration of franchise ownership today!

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true? Get your free evaluation today! Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a business coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-5489.

9 Key Questions To Ask Franchisors

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9 Key Questions To Ask Franchisors

Dan Citrenbaum August 31, 2015

The stories are legion about people who’ve breathed new life into their careers with a franchise or even a slew of franchises. But there are some pretty notable misses in the franchise business, as well. Just think Quizno’s or Curves, two franchise systems that, for different reasons, have faltered: Quizno’s, the once promising sandwich shop, is now in bankruptcy; and Curves, fitness centers for women of a certain size, is a shadow of its former self. While it’s true that nothing in life is guaranteed, you can do quite a bit to minimize your risk by thoroughly checking into a franchisor’s track record. The federal government requires all franchisors to disclose much useful information in its Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), and then, of course, the franchisees can tell you firsthand about their experiences with the company. Critical to your background research is your conversation with the franchisor. Most franchisors will have a standard protocol for potential new franchisees that include in-person and telephone meetings with selected executives as well as lots of reading materials to introduce you to the franchisor’s system. You need to use this opportunity to zero in on the issues that are critical to helping a new franchisee succeed.

9 Key Questions To Ask Franchisors

1. How much will it cost to purchase the franchise?

These numbers will be broken down and listed in the FDD, but you want to hear what the franchisor has to say on the subject. If they try to sugarcoat the costs in any way that doesn’t match your background research, alarm bells should sound in your brain. You always want the facts delivered to you straight. After all, one of the worst positions you can find yourself in is to have run out of capital before your business becomes profitable.

2. What is the background of the business and company executives?

While this information, including previous litigation, will be listed in Items 1-3 of the FDD, you want to get a sense of who these people are. Follow your gut. If you feel someone isn’t being genuine or truthful with you, stay away.

3. How old and established is the franchise?

Ask executives about how the company has evolved and, ideally, improved over the years. If it’s a fairly new franchise, what are the company’s plans for growth, and how will they help their franchisees to succeed?

4. What is the success rate of franchisees?

They may give you a rosy window into franchisee success, but you can ask good questions if you’ve first read about any claims the company may have made in the FDD. You should also be more knowledgeable if you’ve already interviewed franchisees for whom you can find contact information in the FDD.

5. What type of training program does the franchisor offer?

How much ongoing support will you get? Are particular executives assigned to your region? Will you always be able to get someone on the phone for a consultation?

6. What exactly is involved with the system?

You need to determine if this this a system you are capable of following. Also is the system sufficient to help you achieve success. Sometimes, newer franchises may still be working out the kinks.

7. If things go badly for a new franchisee, what does the franchisor do to help?

Is there a triage system of some kind? Good franchisors should have adequate support to help you during the start-up phase, when you may hit a few stumbling blocks.

8. How competitive is the market?

It might seem like some business sectors are flooded with competitors. Maybe that means the field is too crowded. That might, however, be a sign of strong, growing demand. You will want to know how the franchisor feels about local competition, and what plans they have for helping you to succeed in a competitive market.

9. What activities does the owner spend their time on?

Just because McDonalds sells hamburgers does not mean that the owner spends their days flipping burgers. When you first consider a franchise, the role of the owner might also be surprising. You will want to learn what tasks take the owner’s time. Then, you can assess if you have the right skills and interest to excel in those areas At the end of the research, after you have talked to several franchisors and narrowed down your list to one, you will visit the franchisor on a Franchise Discovery Day. Check out whether the infrastructure is actually in place. Is there a training center? Are the executives interested in you? Can you establish a good rapport with them? And only then will you be ready to proceed. Of course, before you sign on any dotted line, you will want advice from objective experts, such as a good franchise attorney.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true? Get your free evaluation today! Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a business coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-5489.