The Non-Startup Way:
Why Veterans Should Consider Franchise Ownership
So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur
Not everyone is suited for the startup world for one reason or another but that doesn’t mean they’re not suited for entrepreneurship. The Non-Startup Way is an alternative path for entrepreneurial-minded individuals who want to become their own boss, achieve financial independence, and take control of their future.
Traditional Startup Way
First, let’s be clear, this is in no way a slam against anyone who is currently in a startup or has tried the traditional startup route. Anyone who has the courage to venture out and follow their passions should be commended.
With that said, let’s dive in and look at the typical startup journey.
You have an idea, find a co-founder (technical or sales oriented), conduct market and customer discovery, build a Minimal Viable Product (MVP), get someone to use it (and hopefully pay you), gather feedback, improve the product, go out and raise capital, scale the business to profitability or position it to raise a Seed round, Series A round, Series B round, etc., have a huge exit, then buy an island.
Not the easiest of things to do which is why the failure rate sits at 90% according to Forbes. The hardest part is getting someone to pay for a product or service. The second hardest thing to do is scale the business, though some will say it’s the other way around.
For individuals that don’t want to go down the traditional startup path, whether it’s because they don’t have an idea, can’t find a co-founder, or in most cases, are too risk-averse, The Non-Startup Way may just be the solution they’ve been looking for, or have known about for a long time, but never gave it much thought or dismissed it altogether for one reason or another.
The Non-Startup Way
The Non-Startup Way leverages the proven method and track record of franchising. Instead of creating the playbook on how to start and run a company from sales, to marketing, to operations, one follows a proven playbook and focuses on execution. Franchising provides a proven playbook and allows a person to be in business for themselves, but never by themselves.
According to the National Retail Federation, in 2016, 43% of all goods and services were sold through franchised outlets, which means there’s a high chance one uses a local franchise at least a couple times per week, whether it be for a morning coffee, an afternoon lunch, getting an oil change, a home cleaned, taxes prepared, tutoring for a child, or a haircut to name just a few.
With the Super Bowl recently put behind us, the world once again witnessed the New England Patriots add another Lombardi trophy to their championship mantle. Over the course of the Brady-Belichick era of the last 19 years, the Patriots have made it to the Super Bowl nine times and won six. Brady and Belichick have their playbook dialed in which takes into consideration that no matter who is on the roster, one can come in and help execute. This is what franchising allows an entrepreneur to do. Come in, gain access to the proven playbook, and go execute. Love them or hate them, Brady and Belichick created one of the, if not, most successful sports franchises the world has ever seen.
Benefits of Franchising
Veteran Discount - The franchise industry loves veterans and typically offers a discount off the initial franchise fee of up to 50%. In addition to the discount, other perks range from additional marketing support, reduced royalties for a period of time, and preferred in-house financing.
Proven Business Model - By far the greatest benefit of going the franchise route. A good franchise has figured how to market and sell their products and services to keep the customers coming back day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
National Support - This stems from not only the corporate office team but all other Franchisees within the proven system allowing an entrepreneur to be in business for themselves, but never by themselves. Whatever challenges a Franchisee may come up against, most likely either the corporate or other franchise locations have faced them and know what needs to be done.
Earnings Claims - Contained inside the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and while not required to be stated, many Franchisors offer them. This allows seeing the financial performance on an average of all corporate and franchise-owned units providing an understanding of how much revenue will be generated in the first year, second year, third year and so on.
Funding - Obtaining an SBA Loan can be a challenge for some based on a number of reasons to include lack of experience, target industry, market size, and competition. With franchising, an SBA lender has the ability to look at the historical track record of a particular franchise system and associated proven business model. While one still has to meet the individual requirements by the lender, the risk factor dramatically reduces in the lender's eyes.
Purchasing Power - Leveraging the demand for goods and services, a franchise system has the ability to negotiate pricing with strategic vendors for all related purchases within the franchise system. Whether it be marketing, food and beverage, technology, payroll, HR, janitorial, supplies, or fleet vehicles, leveraging a nationwide network of buyers (franchisees) pricing comes down for everyone, thus, reducing cost-of-goods and increasing profit margins.
Is Franchising The Right Path?
Maybe? It all depends on one's goals; personally, professionally, and financially. No two individuals are alike, just like no two franchise concepts are alike. There are a myriad of questions that go into understanding if franchising is right for someone, and if so, which franchise concept is best suited to help them achieve their goals. With over 6,000 franchise concepts in the world, operating in over 100 industries, it can be a daunting task sifting through them, reaching out, conducting due diligence, finding the perfect fit, obtaining funding, and moving forward. Let not your heart be troubled, there is help out there.
This is where Graypoint Ventures comes in. As a veteran-founded Franchise Development & Consulting Group, GPV has over 20 years of industry experience helping people venture into business ownership through the proven method of franchising. GPV represents over 300 franchises in more than 40 industries, from full and part-time, small-to-large investment, nationally known to early stage.
Contact Graypoint Ventures today to start the education process and see if The Non-Startup Way is the answer to getting over your fears, becoming your own boss, and achieving financial independence.
About the Author
Nic's experience spans from the United States Army, opening and running regional developments for notable brands such as Red Robin and Jamba Juice, Managing Partner of an Italian restaurant chain, and founding a software intelligence company.
Prior to Graypoint Ventures, Nic was the Chief Executive Officer at HyprLoco, a software intelligence company providing real-time location intelligence through API and SDK integrations into native mobile ordering applications. During his time there, he provided the vision, guided product development, raised millions of dollars in venture capital, and formed strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 companies.
His accomplishments at HyprLoco were recognized by Inc. Magazine, Stars & Stripes, Fast Casual, and in 2016 was named one of Colorado’s Top 25 Young Professionals by ColoradoBiz.
In 2004, Nic left the business world to serve in the United States Army‘s 1st and 2nd Infantry Divisions and was honorably discharged in 2007 as a Non-Commissioned Officer. During his time serving the nation, he held a Secret Security Clearance, completed one tour of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006-2007 and one hardship tour in the Korean Peninsula from 2004-2005.
Outside of the business world, Nic is involved with Veteran outreach programs focusing on suicide prevention, opioid addiction, prevention, and rehabilitation, in addition to working on homeless issues within the Veteran community in partnership with the YMCA and the State of Colorado.