Best Geographic Markets for Veteran Franchisees
Best Geographic Markets for Veteran Franchisees

Veteran franchisees are a unique group. While they strive to build a successful business, they also have an inherent desire to serve. Based on these two basic attributes, there are certain geographical markets that may be better suited for veterans looking to franchise.

According to a survey by F.....

Veteran franchisees are a unique group. While they strive to build a successful business, they also have an inherent desire to serve. Based on these two basic attributes, there are certain geographical markets that may be better suited for veterans looking to franchise.

According to a survey by Franchise Business Review, veteran franchise owners were 30 percent more likely to have hired a veteran to work for them than a non-veteran-owned franchise business. Instilled with a sense of service, many veterans hope to continue contributing to their community by assisting in the military-to-civilian transition. They do so by providing jobs to their peers.

Randy Byars, an Air Force veteran and Alabama’s first The Grounds Guys franchisee, explained that he favors hiring veteran employees because he knows what to expect right out of the box.

“It doesn’t matter what branch you’re from; we all speak the same language," he said.

It is not uncommon for veterans to establish lives with their families in the same community as their military base. Therefore, remaining in the same city for their post-military career is an ideal situation that many seek.

The number of former military men and women that remain around their former military base offers an abundance of job-seekers as well as a thriving community of military families. Understanding this trend, Eric Renninger, Honest-1’s Regional Developer for Southern North Carolina and also an Air Force Veteran, set out with a plan to work with the region’s major bases – Fort Bragg and Cape Fear.

“We want to become involved in the transition assistance program, and recruit some high level military officers who want to stay in the area in a new career," he said.

Using the general principles of correlating cities that are home to military bases and also have markets with a favorable business environment, here is a rundown of a few cities veteran franchisees should consider establishing their businesses in:

Dallas, Texas: Texas has experienced strong growth overall thanks to its expanding tech and energy sectors. Dallas ranked number five in a study by the USAA on the best metropolitan centers for job-seeking veterans.  The city has also made a name for itself among the small business sector as one of the fastest-growing markets due to its relatively low cost of living, business license fees, and taxes.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: The USAA study included Fort Lauderdale in its top 10 for veteran employment opportunities based on the city’s low housing prices and relatively low cost of living. As Fort Lauderdale continues recovering from its recent housing downturn, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for potential business owners to take advantage of the emerging market.

Houston, Texas: Houston stole Miami’s spot as the host of the Franchise Expo South this year due to popular demand from exhibitors (). Houston, one of the fastest-growing markets in the country, also offers low unemployment, a reasonable cost of living, and is home to various industries that value military skills.

Norfolk, Virginia: Norfolk has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any U.S metropolitan city, and was ranked sixth in the USSA study on veteran job opportunities.  And according to an economic summary by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city’s unemployment rate has continued to fall at a steady pace, which signals an improving economy.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: The local economy has benefited from growth in its oil, gas and mineral industry, resulting in an unemployment rate of only 3.8 percent. The city is also surrounded by military bases, as well as the University of Oklahoma, which offers an abundance of both veteran and college employees and customers.

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