Veterans in Franchising: Mike Patenaude
Veterans in Franchising: Mike Patenaude

After serving in the U.S. Army, Patenaude decided to pursue franchising with Office Evolution.

Being one of eleven children growing up, Mike Patenaude needed a way to pay for college. He applied
for and was awarded an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Crops scholarship, more commonly known as
ROTC. This scholarship served as the springboard Patenaude needed to obtain his college degree. Through his participation in the ROTC program, Patenaude became certain he had found a place that suited him and went on to serve his country for 21 years as a part of the United States Army.

Patenaude took great pride in his service for the U.S. Army, and when he stepped back from
that service, he took with him a few powerful lessons that he still applies to his life today. When asked about his military experience and what it taught him, Patenaude replied, “Character. Character is
foundational. The people I work with need to know they can trust me, trust me to follow through and
give any task my best shot.”

After his time in the Army, Patenaude was on the hunt for a new challenge. After some considerable
research, he decided to invest his time and money into owning and operating an Office Evolution in
Nashville, Tennessee.

The Army veteran currently applies a few additional tactics he took from his time with the U.S. Army to his current role as a franchise owner. Patenaude is passionate about being solution-focused and believes perseverance is a must-have attribute that comes into play in many business and military situations. “We should acknowledge our challenges, seek, and then implement solutions as a team,” says Patenaude. We should never complain without first identifying solutions.”

The entrepreneurial spirit behind Office Evolution and a “we’re all in this together” attitude is what motivated Patenaude to take advantage of the brand's franchise opportunity. 1851 spoke with him to learn more.

1851: How did your military service prepare you for franchising?
Leading a military organization is very much like owning a franchise; there are
existing systems, goals and best practices that the leader needs to implement to achieve success; in a
simpler example, it's also similar to coaching a sports team.

What is it about Office Evolution that attracted you to the brand?
I have an inbound marketing personality, meaning I'm not a door-to-door service
seller personality; so, having a brick and mortar destination works for me. In addition, I love business in
general and working with entrepreneurs who are members of my Office Evolution location feeds that passion.

What advice would you give to veterans who are looking to get into franchising?
I would tell them three things:

1. It's a great opportunity to be your own boss and leverage what you learned in the military
about working with people, using systems and achieving results.
2. Use a franchise broker so you can develop a better understanding of what style of franchise
would fit you best.
3. Be demanding and thorough during your due diligence. If something strikes you as
questionable, trust your gut and walk away. There are plenty of good franchise
opportunities from which to choose.

1851: What does franchising mean to you?
Patenaude: I
ndependence and a personal challenge to achieve profitability in my own business.

1851: What would you like to achieve in franchising within the next 5 years? In 10?
I would like to create profitable, first-class Office Evolution locations in Nashville,