From forces to franchising

A career in the armed forces requires determination, self-motivation and discipline, qualities that are also essential for owning a successful franchise

This July saw the start of the final pull out of British troops in Iraq, ending a seven year campaign in the country. Although the majority of servicemen and women will continue their career in the armed forces, some will be starting to consider their retirement from the forces.

The majority of people leaving the armed forces do so before the age of 60, which means most will need to find a job in the civilian workforce. After spending years of working irregular hours under the strict discipline of the military, doing a job that is often varied and at times dangerous, working a standard nine-to-five job is not appealing to many ex-servicemen and women. Typical jobs that appeal to those leaving the armed services include security work and technical jobs, such as working in IT, however a significant number are choosing to start their own business through franchising.

There are many reasons why becoming self-employed through franchising is more suited to ex-servicemen and women than entering into employment, such as the self-discipline and motivation running a business requires. Franchise owners work under a tried-and-tested business model that the franchisor has put in place, which is familiar to ex-servicemen and women used to working in an environment that involves a chain of command. Other attributes essential to a successful career in the military, such as being a self-starter, facing day-to-day challenges, showing initiative, getting along with others and working as a team, are skills that most franchisors are looking for in franchise owners. Another benefit for ex-servicemen and women wanting to invest in a franchise is that if a person serves 18 years in the military and has reached the age of 40 they are eligible for Early Departure Payments and a tax-free lump sum, which can be used to pay for the franchise.

In the same way that there are many different jobs within the armed service, there are many different types of businesses available in the franchise industry. The variety of franchises available ensures that a person is able to own and operate a business that suits their particular skills, from hands-on jobs such as repairing vehicles to a surveillance based franchise. The transition from a career in the military to one as a civilian can often seem daunting, however, owning a franchise business provides ex-servicemen and women with a challenging career that will enable them to use the skills and experiences they gained serving in the armed forces in their working life as civilians.

Reported by Derin Clark