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A veteran in franchising speaks

We’ve been celebrating franchise opportunities for veterans for months now so we  couldn’t let this fascinating post go by with drawing your attention it.

Joe Lindenmayer, a franchise owner and a former Marine, has shared his thoughts on the varying experiences of both fields in a column for Lindenmayer asks readers to contrast two different scenes: a chaotic, terrifying moment on the battlefield with the fear of a chemical weapons attack and a mid-afternoon run-in with an irate customer. just after one of your employees botches a deal.

For most people, these two situations are world’s apart, but Joe, thankfully, has survived both events. In his article for, Joe states that the lessons he learned on the battlefields of Kuwait and Iraq have only helped him when he has had to operate his small business. In some sense, it seems that comparing fighting in a war to running a small-business almost trivializes Joe’s heroism and courage in risking his life to fight for America. But Joe has found that his second life in business has only benefited from his experience in the Marine Corps.

We have been trumpeting our belief that a military background is the ideal training ground for running a franchise. But it’s important to hear Joe’s explanation for how his military background is working for him:

Decisiveness: Business owners must not only wear many hats, they also have to fund those hats. Decisions constantly need to be made, and many times you don’t have the luxury of time to digest all the information. Your staff looks to you to be firm in your decisions and provide the resources necessary to accomplish the objective set forth.

Skills: There are so many skills that are critical to business success--sales skills, accounting acumen, communication, leadership, etc. But the bottom line is that you have to be able to accomplish the task at hand, whatever that may be at any given time. The ability to learn and adapt is a trait some have and others simply do not. A good franchisor will give you a system to follow, an operations manual or training program to learn from and ongoing seminars or classes to develop your skills.

The training members of the military gets is designed to make them into weapons with many facets. They are taught a code of conduct that establishes their baseline, and on top of that they’re taught their military occupational specialty, leadership development, and other skills that they can lean on in business.

Perseverance: Every business owner should realize that between successes and accolades there are dark days. When those dark days come, will you be able to keep going and push through to the end or will you give up when the going gets tough? If owning a business was easy, everyone would do it, but being the boss isn’t for the faint of heart.

A veteran franchisee understands that commander’s intent is critical to any operation. This means defining the goal and the primary milestones or objectives in accomplishing that goal--and learning to keep your focus and continue to strive for that goal even when you face unforeseen obstacles or impediments.

These are all pertinent points that Joe makes. Congratulations to Joe on his franchise success and other veterans looking to start a franchise will find many opportunities with Franchise Direct.

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