Veterans in Franchising: Rafael Sanmiguel
Veterans in Franchising: Rafael Sanmiguel

From drills to dumbbells: 1851 Franchise Magazine dives into how Sanmiguel went from the military to franchising.

After three years in the military, posted in Germany, Rafael Sanmiguel left with one central notion on how to succeed in life – discipline. Whether this is in reference to physical health or professional goals, Sanmiguel was able to realize a determination to succeed in life and become his own boss. Now, after opening the first GYMGUYZ franchise in Columbus, Ohio, Sanmiguel recognizes several parallels between the military and franchising that have allowed him to propel the brand forward. 1851 Franchise Magazine connected with Sanmiguel to take a deeper dive into how he went from the military to owning his own business.

1851: Why did you decide to join the military?

Sanmiguel: When I graduated high school, I wasn’t ready to go straight to college. The military was an alternative option that granted me the time I needed to mature and travel through Europe, while serving my country.

1851: What was the most valuable thing your military experience taught you?

Sanmiguel: Discipline and teamwork. You are forced to work with people from all different kinds of backgrounds, some that you might not be familiar with. And, you have no choice but to work together. It’s not always easy, but you have to be disciplined and hold yourself accountable in order to succeed.

1851: How did your military service prepare you for franchising?

Sanmiguel: My time in the military allowed me to realize that I wanted to be my own boss. I recognized the self-discipline that I was able to achieve during my time abroad and I knew it would translate well into business ownership.

1851: What is it about GYMGUYZ that attracted you to the brand?

Sanmiguel: I always had a passion for fitness and nutrition, and GYMGUYZ is a great opportunity to help people improve their health in the comfort of their own homes. The mobile aspect is a huge thing. You can make more of a difference with this type of business instead of a brick and mortar building, and you can get closer to the person you are training. I did a lot of intense workouts in the military, and I love to give advice to people I am working with who are looking to improve their lifestyle and get healthier.

1851: What advice would you give to veterans who are looking to get into franchising?

Sanmiguel: Find a business that interests you and then do as much research as possible. Look at the content they have on the web and reach out to existing franchisees. This is a big life decision and even though your interests might match, it’s important that the business model is the type of lifestyle you see for yourself.

1851: What does franchising mean to you?

Sanmiguel: If you find the right franchise, the one that fits your personal goals and interests, it’s a great way to get into business for yourself without having to start from scratch. You can be your own boss but you don’t have to create the business model. There is freedom, but guidelines on how to make the business succeed.

When I was a kid I started a lawn mowing business in Miami and I did pretty well. I hired some friends to help me out with the business. I knew with franchising that there would be certain restrictions, but it just fit me better for several reasons. I’m not the most creative person, but with a starting point, I am able to build from there and make it my own.

1851: What would you like to achieve in franchising within the next five years? In 10?

Sanmiguel: I want to continue to grow my business with GYMGUYZ and eventually grow my knowledge specifically in nutrition so that I can offer something more to my clients and customers.