We often hear the business acumen of military veterans trumpeted, but what specific skills do they bring to franchise ownership? In a new book, retired U.S. Army Reserve Special Forces officer Chad Storlie, a veteran with an MBA, makes the case for veterans in business (and by proxy, in franchising). His new book Combat Leader to Corporate Leader: 20 Lessons To Advance Your Civilian Career and Battlefield to Business Success: Applying Military Leadership and Skills in Your Career, Storlie seems to have created the definitive portrait of the veteran as business leader. His book will open the eyes of any franchisor unsure about offering discounts to veteran franchisees.
He sat down with Inc magazine for a Q&A session and his answers were particularly enlightening, especially as what veterans can contribute in these uncertain business times. From comprehensive training strategy to knowing how to cope in the face of chaos and uncertainty, it does seem that military training can provide excellent preparation for owning your own business.
It's especially interesting what Storlie has to say about the link between McDonald's and the military:
One of the things McDonald's does well is training. It's about standardizing employee procedures, so we have the most efficient way to sell food, and it's done across the board. The company also is remarkably adept at operating at different locations. Menus adapt to what different localities need. This is very similar to the U.S. Military; it adapts the equipment and operations based on location. One thing the military can take from McDonald's is to stress simplicity. That simplicity approach, with the store layout, formulaic kitchen, simple pricing, straightforward menu, and standardized training, ensures the restaurant can be effective 24/7. The final similarity is "we can never be happy with success." McDonald's is constantly adapting its menu to consider, for example, how to be more health-conscious, and how people's tastes are changing.
Who knew the synergy between the military and franchising was so strong?