When asked why veterans make such great franchisees, Eric Steward, VP of Franchise Recruiting for Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® said, “Veterans are team players, disciplined, technologically savvy and usually natural leaders.” That certainly says it all. In 2021 one quarter of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ new franchisees were Veterans.
The Franchise Business Model has proven to be one of America’s most successful contributions to the business world. According to the International Franchise Association, it accounts for 7.6 million direct jobs and 2.5% of US GDP. And even though veterans account for about 7% of the population, 14% of franchisees are vets. Veteran franchisees are more likely to hire veterans as employees, and 65% of franchisors have indicated that their rate of hiring veterans has increased in recent years. Franchising is also diverse, spanning a range of industries and business formats.
The IFA’s program for Veterans, known as VetFran® gives Vets the opportunity to buy into one of the 650 plus franchise systems that participate in the program. The member companies are ranked by Star Status; 5 Star being the highest and offering Veterans the most thorough package.
Veterans emerge from service with skillsets highly conducive to the franchise business model. These include a thorough understanding of teams and how they work. Military experience includes leading and motivating people, improving processes, and accomplishing a defined mission.
These points certainly resonated with Nathan “Nate” Bardwell, the Colorado Springs franchisee for Pillar To Post Home Inspectors who serves El Paso, Teller and Pueblo counties in Colorado. A 20-year United States Air Force veteran, Bardwell, who launched his business last May, shared that he thinks his two-decade military career specialties were wide-ranging and serve his new career particularly well. They included Electrical and Environmental Systems Maintenance, Safety and Occupational Health, Environmental Health, Emergency Management and Human Resources Management.
Bardwell said his Air Force experience is paying immediate dividends in his new career in the home inspection industry. “I have wide technical knowledge of residential systems and components, vast expertise in general safety and risk management, as well as a deep understanding of identifying, evaluating and controlling health hazards from industrial and environmental contaminants,” Bardwell said.
Another home service franchise booming right now is Paul Davis Restoration, the top restoration franchise seeks big business operators as franchisees and some of them who do that the best are veterans.
After separating from the United States Marine Corps in 1993, Scott Colbert worked in manufacturing, as an industrial electrician and in corporate management with an international utility company until he discovered Paul Davis through VetFran.org, a program offered by the International Franchise Association that provides discounted franchise fees to veterans.
“I started in construction when I was fourteen and always loved the work. I have a strong technical background and enjoy learning about how things work,” Colbert said. “So, when I dug deeper into the industry, I found Paul Davis. Through my due diligence, I discovered what an outstanding company it was and quickly made the decision to become a part of the Paul Davis team.”
Colbert not only enjoys serving others, but he and his Paul Davis team do it extremely well. Since launching operations 11 years ago, Paul Davis Restoration of North Country NY has grown to ten employees and Colbert said he’s in the process of hiring three more. He has three to four trucks or vans on the road every day, serving customers throughout central and northern New York state, primarily along the Interstate 81 corridor.
Says Mike Hopkins, Sr., Chief Operating Officer with Paul Davis: “At Paul Davis, our vision is to ‘provide extraordinary care while serving people in their time of need. This occurs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and all year-round. It’s a responsibility and it is the centerpiece of our company. Our inspirational founder set us firmly on this course.”
Likewise, the Marines have had a proud history of readiness and responsibility since the Corps was founded and what Colbert learned still resonates strongly with him. “I enjoy knowing that others are counting on me to deliver,” Colbert said. “My military career shaped my thinking; it improved my critical thinking skills; my ability to understand, coach and council others; and to develop a team that puts the mission first.”
Photo courtesy of SandersonPR: Nate Bardwell of Pillar To Post in both his United States Air Force uniform (L) and his Pillar To Post Home Inspectors uniform (R)
Rhonda Sanderson is an expert and author in franchising and is the founder of Sanderson PR and #FranchiseStars. Reach her @SandersonPR