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  • 10 Resolutions to Consider in 2018

    10 Resolutions Veterans Should Consider Before Buying a Franchise in 2018

    When putting together New Year’s resolutions for 2018, most people assess where they are now and make commitments to improve where possible.

    When the items on your list are personal like losing weight, stopping risky behaviors or improving your mental health you might have some reasonable control over the outcomes. If your resolution is to improve your financial future through self-employment or buying a franchise, then people, places and things beyond your current knowledge or maybe even your own understanding of your own personality may need detailed assessment and investigation.

    10 resolutions a veteran should consider making before committing to buy a franchise in 2018:

    1. Resolve to assess whether “you” are compatible with your idea for acquisition of a franchise. Ask your family and friends what they honestly think about your personality and whether its suited for the rigors of daily operation or ownership for the franchise selected. Do they believe you can consistently manage that type of business? Will they support your decision given what think about your faults, personal history and people skills? And if your still have doubts, take a personality test to better understand how your traits might affect the success of a franchise.
    2. Resolve to only commit to an opportunity which will stoke your passion and will “get you out bed in morning” to face the tests of the day. Examine your strengths and weaknesses and commit to improve any general skills sets needed before you go forward with any challenge.
    3. Resolve to realistically examine your access to capital for a franchise before spending considerable due diligence time on the opportunity. Check out both debt and equity availability to you for the entire capitalization needed for the venture. Estimate how long it will take to get the cash available and assess how long it will last. What’s your backup to the backup for your financial plan.
    4. Resolve to research whether you qualify for subsidies provided by the Veterans Administration for VRE Self-Employment training benefits. Resolve to ask your potential franchisor whether they can itemize training costs that could be reimbursed to you for your franchise acquisition if you qualify
    5. Resolve to read the entire Federal Disclosure Document (FDD) on any selected franchise before proceeding. Resolve to read it again and again and make notes on what you don’t understand. Resolve to talk to at least six of the franchises listed in the FDD to ask questions about locations, marketing, operations and training assistance.
    6. Resolve to explore the effectiveness of current technology used in the franchise and the future commitments by the franchisor to continually improve their competitive position in their select market.
    7. Resolve to ask for help to build a strong “mentoring team” for the beginning, middle and end of your business goal. Veterans have extraordinary access to mentors who can help you understand the requirements and nuances of your business plans. There are accountants,lawyers, franchisees, social media experts and other consultants who will commit to varying levels of upfront mentoring for Veteran entrepreneurs.
    8. Resolve to only develop a business relationship with a franchise consultant who will “partner” with you to help you find the best compatible opportunity. That relationship should spell out whether they will offer to compare similar opportunities even if they might not earn a fee if you select one of them. The arrangement should also spell out whether the consultant will share their financial benefits they receive from the franchisor. This is not always possible, but a Veteran should at least ask.
    9. Resolve to consider becoming an actual employee at one of your existing target franchise locations to get firsthand knowledge of the day-to-day operations.
    10. Resolve to reach out to support institutions like ACP-USA.org; SCORE (in your market), SBDC (in your market) VBOC (in your market), Patriot Bootcamp, Bunker Innovations and other Veteran focused incubators to customize your mentoring support. Check out VETToCEO and Boot to Business at EBV at Syracuse University.

    Oh, and 11: Have fun and good luck in 2018!

    VBS Founder and Managing Director, Jim Mingey, is a decorated Vietnam veteran raised from a proud military background. An entrepreneur for more than 35 years, Jim can relate on a personal level to the needs of the veteransmall businessperson, and possesses the practical knowledge to implement his experience in today’s market. Jim participated in the EBV Program at Purdue University, has been a mentor at American Corporate Partners, developed the first approved franchise acquisition training program for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program at Veterans Administration, and was instrumental in forming the first equity fund in the United States exclusively for veteran owned small businesses and franchises. Jim and his wife, Nancy, live in Oregon City, Oregon.

  • 4th Annual Veteran Shark Tank

    Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network Hosts Veteran Shark Tank
    Local Non-Profit Supports Veteran-Owned Businesses in 4th Annual Event

    PRESS RELEASE NOV 21, 2016
    November 21, 2016 (Press Release) – PHILADELPHIA–Non-profit organization Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network (GPVN) is promoting and supporting area veteran entrepreneurs through its fourth Veteran Shark Tank.

    “GPVN is again excited again to offer this incredible opportunity to local aspiring veteran entrepreneurs. The competition will allow them to sharpen their business pitch, gain feedback from business leaders, and vie for a substantial cash prize and in-kind business support services as they launch their new venture.”
    Similar to the ABC network’s popular television show “Shark Tank,” five aspiring entrepreneurs, who are military veterans, will pitch their business plan to an audience and panel of “sharks” at the GPVN Veteran Shark Tank event. The winning pitch will receive a monetary prize and business services. This year, Colonel John C. Church, USMCR and president of Valley Forge Military Academy & College, will be the keynote speaker. Comcast will be the presenting sponsor. The event will take place Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m., at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ.

    Alex Archawski, Navy veteran and founder of Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network says, “GPVN is again excited again to offer this incredible opportunity to local aspiring veteran entrepreneurs. The competition will allow them to sharpen their business pitch, gain feedback from business leaders, and vie for a substantial cash prize and in-kind business support services as they launch their new venture.”

    One of the event’s previous contestants was JDog Junk Removal & Hauling. JDog is a national franchise dedicated to increasing post-military career opportunities for veterans. Franchises are offered exclusively to military veterans and their family members. Franchisees operate easily recognizable, camouflage vehicles and trailers and wear military-style uniforms. With more than 110 franchise territories awarded in 29 states, the company is experiencing rapid growth. This year, Major General USMC (ret) Douglas O’Dell, who also sits as a chairman on the JDog Joint Chiefs Advisory Board, will be a judge on the Veteran Shark Tank panel.

    “Organizations like the GPVN raise awareness for veteran issues and business ideas,” said Major General O’Dell. “This event in particular helps attract investors for veterans who are aspiring entrepreneurs, and inspires the community to attend in support of our veterans.”

    The event sold out last year. To purchase limited tickets still available, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-veteran-shark-tank-tickets-27838444537. For information about JDog and its franchising opportunities, please visit www.jdog.com.

    About Greater Philadelphia Veteran Network

    The primary mission of the GPVN is three-fold: to assist veterans, National Guard and reservists to find work through career service, programs/incentives, mentorships, networking and job leads; to educate employers in the greater Philadelphia area on how to hire local veterans; and to offer veteran professional leadership and entrepreneurship programs.
    gpvn.org.

  • Financial Support from LinkedIn Founder, Reid Hoffman, Accelerates Funding

    Financial support from LinkedIn Founder, Reid Hoffman, has accelerated the implementation of the Veteran Business Services business model for Service Disabled Veterans businesses.

    By providing dollar for dollar matching for the VBS capital campaign the financial goal was achieved in half the time. Thank you, Reid. Proceeds will be used to organize a State Community Public Offering (CPO) in Oregon, which will provide small business services, franchising and special consulting for Service Disabled Veterans developing Self-Employment plans.

    The CPO will be supported by Veteran entrepreneurs at both Clackamas Community College and Portland State University (PSU). The CPO concept is to incorporate the next generation of Veteran leaders and entrepreneurs to build expertise in capital formation. Access to capital is one the biggest missing elements for start-ups in today’s economy. By offering the next generation of Veterans the responsibility, capital raising capacity and decision-making power over local/regional business ideas, new leadership will grow in our communities.

    By using the same CPO to fund a self-supporting VBS help desk for Veteran small business formation, the CPO it will add a new tool and complement existing federal, state and local small business support systems. The Oregon SBDC network and HATCH ( https://hatchthefuture.org/ ) have provided critical support for the business model.

  • FASTSIGNS Named Top Franchise for Veterans

    FASTSIGNS® NAMED TOP FRANCHISE FOR VETERANS

    Leading Global Sign, Graphics and Visual Communications Franchisor Recognized for Exemplary Support of Veterans with Independent Survey from Franchise Owners

    FASTSIGNS International, Inc., the leader in signs, graphics and visual communications, was recently named a top franchise in a 2016 Top Franchise for Veterans Report. The brand ranked 11th overall, earning its designation as “The Best of the Best” Franchise for Veterans. FASTSIGNS celebrates our nation’s veterans by continuing to give them the tools that they need to build a successful business after their time in the Armed Forces. In addition, FASTSIGNS International was recently honored with the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the Department of Defense’s highest recognition presented to employers for their exemplary support of National Guard and Reserve members.

    FASTSIGNS International was among 158 franchise brands, representing over 22,000 franchise owners that participated in the research. Participating franchisees from a variety of industries were surveyed on 33 benchmark questions about their experience and satisfaction regarding critical areas of their franchise systems, including training and support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations and financial opportunity.

    Leaders in the veteran community, FASTSIGNS reports that over 10 percent of its franchisees are comprised of military veterans. Disciplined, driven and self-motivated, veterans possess a number of valued skills and a wealth of experience essential to successful franchise business ownership.

    “It’s truly an honor to be recognized by our veterans and business owners,” said Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. “We remain committed to supporting our veterans and active duty servicemen and women by continuing to offer incentives and assistance for them and their families to achieve success. Our hope is that more companies and franchise brands will do the same.”

    As part of the commitment to veterans, FASTSIGNS International is also a proud participant of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program (Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative), which assists military veterans in accessing franchise opportunities through training, financial assistance and industry support. Veterans that join the FASTSIGNS U.S. network can take advantage of specific incentives including a reduced franchise fee of $22,250, a savings of 50 percent, in addition to reduced royalties and advertising fees for the first year. FASTSIGNS International has also been recognized as a top franchise for military veterans by leading publications including USA Today, G.I. Jobs magazine and Military Times magazine.

    FASTSIGNS International is recruiting franchisees throughout the U.S. In addition to more than 400 U.S. and Canadian markets targeted for development, FASTSIGNS has 65+ international locations in nine countries open for continued expansion. As part of the brand’s development strategy, FASTSIGNS is also targeting Co Brand and conversion opportunities whereby print shop owners can expand their services by adding FASTSIGNS to their existing business or convert their business into a thriving FASTSIGNS center.

    About FASTSIGNS® FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the largest sign and visual communications franchisor in North America, and is the worldwide franchisor of more than 640 independently owned and operated FASTSIGNS® centers in nine countries including the US, Canada, England, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®). FASTSIGNS locations provide comprehensive sign and visual graphic solutions to help companies of all sizes and across all industries attract more attention, communicate their message, sell more products, help visitors find their way and extend their branding across all of their customer touch points including décor, events, wearables and marketing materials. Learn more about sign and visual graphic solutions or find a location at fastsigns.com. Follow the brand on Twitter @FASTSIGNS, Facebook at facebook.com/FASTSIGNS or LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/fastsigns.

    Franchise Research Institute has named FASTSIGNS a top sign and graphics franchise and has awarded the company certification as a 2015 World-Class Franchise for four consecutive years.

    For more information about how to start a FASTSIGNS franchise, please visit: www.veteransbusinessservices.us/product-item/fastsigns/

  • Tutor Doctor Supporting Veterans

    Marketing with VBS since the fall of 2014, Tutor Doctor is now offering veterans a chance to purchase a franchise with regional licensing rights for the price of a local license – a $5,000 discount. This regional license grants a veteran franchisee a protected territory, plus the ability to take on new customers across the state from non-licensed areas, essentially giving them free reign to grow his or her business.

    Spearheading Tutor Doctor’s push to drive veterans to the brand is Bob Rosedale, a 1984 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and Air Force veteran, and now Tutor Doctor Vice President of Operations. Rosedale is a former franchisee who brought the first Tutor Doctor business to the state of Idaho. With Mr. Rosedale’s transition to the corporate office, the Idaho Tutor Doctor is now a corporate-owned territory that will serve as a flagship operation to pilot new programs before rolling them out system-wide

    Mr. Rosedale came to Tutor Doctor in 2011 following a 26-year career in the military, retiring as a United States Air Force squadron commander around the same time. He served in a variety of assignments both in the United States and overseas, holding the rating of Command Pilot and serving from 2006-2008 as the United States Defense Attache at the United States Embassy in Riyadh, the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia.

    Following his stint in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Rosedale served a second diplomatic tour in the same position, assigned this time to the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain from 2008-2011.

    During his service in the United States, Mr. Rosedale was the Deputy Operations Group Commander (2002-03), Commander (2001-02) and Operations Officer (2000-01) of the 86th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas after working as the Chief of Operational Support of Airlift Operations and Training at the United States headquarters at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.

    He earned an M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1989.

    Mr. Rosedale connected with Tutor Doctor in 2011 to continue his drive for managing, educating and learning, all passions that he developed throughout his military career. Now, he is leading a regional Tutor Doctor team to ensure United States veterans receive professional, high quality training and a chance to succeed in business endeavors after stints of active duty.

    Tutor Doctor is the only franchise that present the opportunity to provide services across the western regions of the United States, which features 13 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. The company partners with veterans administrations throughout the country and exemplifies passion, support for veterans and proper strategies to recruit, train and retain the highest qualified tutors and educators for proper business management.

    Mr. Rosedale and the Tutor Doctor team present enthusiasm and support for veterans all over the country, and provide them with special incentives and training.

    In addition to providing students with tutoring in various subjects, families choose Tutor Doctor to help students get ahead and prepare for advanced challenges, such as honors classes that can help them get into preferred universities. With the launch of its ACT/SAT Success Program, students have access to the best one-to-one, in-home test preparation and training in X-Skills, which Mr. Rosedale designed to help students build these organizational and “executive” skills to assist them in school and beyond.

    The company helps more than 200,000 people annually and covers more than 500 territories in 15 countries around the world.

    For more information on the Tutor Doctor franchise opportunity for veterans and to hear directly from Mr. Rosedale, please complete the following form:

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  • How could a Trump Presidency help Veterans in franchising?

    Written by James F. Mingey, VBS Founder and Managing Director

    Although almost all surveys were wrong in the recent election, they did predict that over 60% of Veterans would vote for Mr. Trump believing he would do a better job of handling Veterans issues.

    So how will he deliver for Veterans? According to his website he’ll begin by:

    1. Appointing a VA Secretary whose sole purpose will be to serve veterans. Under a Trump Administration, the needs of D.C. bureaucrats will no longer be placed above those of our veterans.

    2. Use the powers of the presidency to remove and discipline the federal employees and managers who have violated the public’s trust and failed to carry out the duties on behalf of our veterans.

    Idea #1 for President-elect Trump:

    After selecting his new Secretary he could immediately issue an Executive Order that would insure that he/she makes their VA senior staff encourage qualified Veterans to seek self-employment benefits as authorized by Congress.
    According the most recent VA report to Congress on the status of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VRE) in 2014 over 100,000 Veterans are enrolled in the program. These are some of the most deserving Veterans who have definitely borne the burden of battle. Under existing legislation they are entitled to resources to help develop individual self-employment plans, including acquiring franchises. Unfortunately less than ½ of 1% of these Veterans actually get the chance. This is despite that fact that the VA has over 1000 Rehabilitation Counselors who are ready, willing and committed to helping these same Veterans. These Counselors would go any extra mile to do so. An Executive Order would help emphasize to VA senior managers to direct the Counselors to help Veterans start businesses, which in turn would help their local communities by creating some jobs.

    Idea #2 for President-Elect Trump:

    The electorate also believed President-elect Trump could do a better job running the economy. To accomplish this improvement he has tax reform high on his agenda. There’s the Trump Tax Plan which, also according to his website “will lower the business tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, and eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax. This rate is available to all businesses, both small and large, that want to retain the profits within the business”.

    Although these proposed rates will surely be favorable to existing profitable franchisors and franchisees, how about creating some direct new tax benefits for the new Veteran entrepreneurs trying acquiring a franchise? The most difficult problems for start-ups, franchises or otherwise, typically is access to capital. This problem could be mitigated by something like the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) which now provides a 39% tax credit and can be sold to generate equity for investment or to lower interest rates, helping sustain a small business in its early years. Proponents of the existing NMTC say that for every dollar provided by the government for NMTC, $8 dollars in private capital will be committed to small business and community development projects. But none of the billions of NMTC allocated so far have been specifically targeted to Veterans.

    Mr. President-Elect, when you implement your tax reform, why not include a specific category of NMTC for Veterans acquiring franchises? Or maybe at least provide a NMTC for Veterans in VA Vocational Rehabilitation trying to start or acquire a franchise. There are many Veterans who would help you get the economy going with franchising. So why not give them a NMTC to start one?

    Idea #3 for President-elect Trump:

    Mr. President-elect has already indicated he will install a 24 Hr. Hotline for Veterans at the White House. I suggest you educate a special cadre of operators who understand small business issues for Veterans. Please make sure your telephone operators understand that it’s not just about Veteran entitlements when they call about starting a business or a franchise, it’s about letting Veterans lead their economies forward as well. The franchise industry helping Veterans can be a powerful resource for jobs.

    Will he stay or will he go?

    Idea #4 for President-elect Trump:

    At the time of this writing we don’t know who will be the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. It seems that the major Veteran Service Organizations (American Legion, DAV, VFW and IAVA) and many other Veteran advocates are solidly behind keeping Secretary McDonald. “Bob” has had a few good ideas, not the least of which is his MyVA initiative which has the potential to really connect Veterans back to their local communities.. It appears Bob now has completed the setup of this MyVA initiative, linking the VA to private local and regional partnerships. Why not give him a chance to take MyVA down the ‘last mile” to as many Veterans as possible?

  • Walmart Foundation supports FDU’s veteran program

    Above: On October 6, 2016, representatives of the Walmart Foundation, presented a check for $48,000 to support Fairleigh Dickinson University’s entrepreneurship program for veterans: Veterans Launching Ventures. From left to right: Brenda Marquez, Walmart; Andrew Rosman, dean of FDU’s Silberman College, Kelly Jensen, Walmart field administrative assistant; Mahmoud El Hamamsy, VLV faculty member; Timur Pakay, executive director of FDU’s Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and Alan Levitan, VLV mentor.

    Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship received a check from the Walmart Foundation for $48,000 to support the 2016-2017 Veterans Launching Ventures (VLV) program. This donation is the largest in the VLV’s history.

    In its sixth year, the VLV program is designed to provide the skills and support veterans need to seize entrepreneurial opportunities and launch small businesses. The VLV program is offered as part of FDU’s commitment to improving the lives of veterans.

    “If not for Walmart’s support, the Veterans Launching Veterans program would not be as successful as it is today. We are grateful to Walmart for providing the educational resources to support veterans at FDU,” said Andrew Rosman, dean of FDU’s Silberman College of Business.

    This gift is far from the only support that Walmart has given to FDU and its veterans programs. Since 2009, Walmart has donated $270,000 to FDU and since 2009, Walmart has donated $163,000 to support the VLV program.

    “Walmart strives to make a positive impact to the communities it serves and we’re grateful for the sacrifices veterans have made,” said Jennifer Hoehn, Senior Manager of Public Affairs at Walmart. “This is why Walmart is committed to support FDU in assisting vets with employment, job training and education. Investment in our nation’s veterans is imperative in making our country better.”

    The VLV program offers a combination of online education and in-person instruction to teach students the fundamental entrepreneurial skills required in today’s business environment, as well as the competencies needed to launch a new business. Particular emphasis is placed on developing a robust marketing plan as well as a realistic business plan to help veterans make informed decisions to start a business or assist and prepare the student for the general business environment.

    A team of experienced faculty and successful entrepreneurs work with the veterans, providing an interactive and informative experience. Over a 10-week period, VLV introduces entrepreneurship ideas and concepts, and demonstrations on how to apply those concepts to potential business opportunities. The VLV students are each matched with a mentor who will assist and guide them for 10 months following the completion of the course.

  • SCORE mentors Veterans in the St. Joe’s VEJ Program

    SCORE mentors Veterans in the St. Joseph’s University Veterans Entrepreneurial Jumpstart (VEJ) program

    WEST CHESTER, PA, November 27, 2016 – Twenty three Veterans with dreams of starting their own business began the St. Joseph’s University 2016 Veterans Entrepreneurial Jumpstart (VEJ) program. These Veterans ranged in age from 28 to 52 and represent five branches of the United States military and many years of service to our country. VEJ offers an intensive three-part program that begins with an online course of study to provide veterans with a foundation in business fundamentals and guidance in developing a business plan. The second phase is a week-long residency that included classroom instruction, guest lectures, panels, workshops, networking and mentoring. In the third phase, the entrepreneurs are partnered with business leaders in a year-long mentorship and are given access to complimentary support services including legal, accounting and tax services, web design and hosting, to kick start their venture.

    Chester and Delaware County SCORE volunteers were invited to provide mentorship to these Veterans during the program and to help them plan and present their business idea in the “Venture Pitch Competition” at the end of the program. Birgit Williams, a Veteran and a SCORE client was a winner of the Venture Pitch Competition with her business startup called “75 Fox Trot Construction LLC.” Having worked as a project manager in a family-owned construction business and then completing a Construction Management Certificate Program at Temple University, Williams plans to bid for government construction projects. Winning the Venture Pitch Competition has given her $5,000 in seed money and free in-kind services from a web site developer as well as exposure to training and networking opportunities. “The Veteran Entrepreneur Jumpstart Program was a very enlightening and rewarding experience. I found the speakers very relatable and particularly enjoyed the stories of former graduates and local businessmen. They were very candid and shared obstacles they faced and how they conquered them,” said Williams.

    About Chester and Delaware County SCORE

    Chester and Delaware County SCORE is a non-profit organization that provides free counseling to entrepreneurs and small business. They have more than 100 experienced counselors with expertise in almost every facet of business. Of the more than 300 SCORE chapters across the nation, the Chester and Delaware County SCORE chapter was named “Best Chapter in America” in 2015. The chapter also teaches more than 50 seminars and workshops. Their recently introduced Advisory Boards were created to help existing businesses to grow. Call today to schedule a personal session with a counselor at any one of our 13 counseling locations, or to learn more about our small business education programs. Call us at 610-344-6910 or click here to visit us online Chester and Delaware County Score

  • Pool Scouts Turns to Veterans

    Buzz Franchise Brands is diving into a new lane of franchise success and is searching for driven, entrepreneurial-minded franchise partners who want to take the plunge toward a more lucrative future. The Virginia Beach, VA based franchisor, well-known for its wildly successful mosquito abatement service Mosquito Joe, introduced its latest franchising concept earlier this year: Pool Scouts, a franchise focused on cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services of pools at commercial and residential properties.

    To set the new brand up for quick success, Buzz Chief Operating Officer Brian Garrison is turning to a group he knows well: veterans. A 22-year U.S. Navy veteran himself, Garrison immediately recognized the passion, discipline and work ethic that veterans bring with them into civilian life. One of his top priorities as the brand took shape was to partner with VetFran and offer a $2,500 discount on franchise fees to all veterans. Pool Scouts’ business model is also an ideal fit for transitioning military members, who work in an innovative, outdoor industry and use a proven systematic approach to streamlined operational excellence to excel quickly. The concept also allows a wide range of flexibility, from scheduling to location, allowing for more time with family, who can also be closely involved in the business.

    The Pools Scouts executive leadership team also works to feed the success of its franchisees by offering support, structure and access to resources designed to leverage each owner’s unique skill set. The brand seeks driven, trainable and collaborative individuals; similar characteristics to those gained from military service.

    It’s a lucrative time to join the growing brand, as the already lucrative $3 billion U.S. market for swimming pool equipment and maintenance is projected to grow by an additional 4 percent by 2018 due to strong economic recovery, according to a recent IbisWorld study.

    “We want to incentivize the right people to join our growing brand,” said Pool Scouts President Michael Wagner. “So, we’re eliminating as many obstacles as possible and setting our franchisees up for success. Veterans are an ideal fit in that formula and we look forward to joining forces with even more successful veteran partners this year.”

    Pool Scouts plans to open four new locations by the end of 2016 and is currently looking for business-minded entrepreneurs to help expand the business nationwide. Pool Scouts offers the lowest franchise fee in the industry with a total initial investment between $54,500 and $98,000. With no need for a physical retail location, a recurring revenue model, and a leadership team capable of running a 500-unit company, Pool Scouts will be a competitive force for years to come in the most active pool markets in America.

    ABOUT POOL SCOUTS

    Virginia Beach, VA-based Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise focused on delivering a quality, consistent brand experience while providing pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services at residential and commercial properties. Technicians are trained in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools and can provide ongoing service as well as help at the beginning and end of the summer season. Growing from its first location in Virginia Beach, Pool Scouts offers a great opportunity as a low cost franchise in the pool services industry with available territories across the United States. For more information or franchising opportunities, visit www.poolscoutsfranchise.com  or complete the following form to have a representative reach you directly:

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  • Fast Track Planning for Self-Employment

    So what if you’re a Veteran who knows that he/she wants to go into business for themselves but maybe is not unsure which industry to select or which franchise in that sector to evaluate? If you’re qualified for VA benefits one answer may be requesting the “Fast Track” method under the Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program to help you decide your direction. Of course you must qualify for benefits including having at least a 20% Disability Rating, and if you do qualify as a Veteran, you may opt to use a Fast Track plan for self-employment and pursue examining feasibility for their franchise ideas.

    Fast Track planning allows for the identification of a specific vocational small business goal to be deferred. In other words, one can explore the viability and suitability of a franchise while simultaneously developing the feasibility of a particular business concept. Veterans could also develop their own plan for a franchise concept. But Fast Track planning may only be used by Veterans when self-employment is the primary focus of further rehabilitation planning.

    Services provided under Fast Track can include:

    Eligible payments include general education courses to support training requirements in the vocational goal for operating a franchise. Or other courses designed to provide insight into aspects of running a successful business, such as accounting, business management and/or economics. The advantage of Fast Track is that you can move forward on several entrepreneurial directions simultaneously.

    Every Fast Track Individual Work & Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP) for a Veteran considering self-employment must include a referral to a “disinterested” advisor capable of providing sound business advice. In franchising that would not include Franchise Consultants seeking a Franchise Fee from specific transaction(s). And any Franchise Fee by itself would be an ineligible cost. But referral to a professional business consultant with no conflict, either on a voluntary or contractual basis, to determine feasibility is necessary to complete an IWRP.

    VA OSDBU

    When it comes to supporting Veteran small business aspirations the VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) has made great strides in supporting Veterans.

    Self-employment presents opportunities and challenges to all potential entrepreneurs. Veterans are no exception. The federal government supports veterans’ efforts to own their own businesses. VA has a special mission to act as an advocate in commercial and federal markets and ensure the Department meets certain goals in purchasing from veteran-owned small businesses. VA uses outreach and offers one-on-one coaching to carry out this mission. An estimated 3 million American veterans own their own businesses. Most could benefit from VA’s enterprising veteran support services.

    Services VA offers:

    • A toll-free call center (1-866-584-2344), where veterans, military personnel or their family members can talk one-on-one with a business coach about how to start or expand business;

    • Information on business management, financing and marketing, as well as small-business conferences and business training opportunities;

    • Information about legislation affecting veteran-owned business, including existing laws that require federal agencies to increase business opportunities for veterans by setting aside a certain portion of their purchasing dollars for veterans and service-disabled veterans;

    • Inclusion in a Veteran business database for exposure to both commercial and government business, plus recognition as a verified veteran-owned of service-disabled veteran-owned small business.

    For more information about the Fast Track program visit the VA Entrepreneurial Portal and Franchising Opportunties  http://va.gov/osdbu/entrepreneur/index.asp

  • Academy Leadership- Changed My Life

    As a West Point graduate (USMA 1978), “Leadership” was always a subject near and dear to Jim Nalepa’s heart.

    After service as a Captain in the Army, his primary profession was as a retained executive recruiter. His job was to build leadership teams by finding leaders that made an immediate positive impact on a client’s organization.

    In the civilian world he saw leadership explained and extolled in a myriad of ways. Some courses came close, others fell deficient. That was until he attended the Academy Leadership’s three-day “Leadership Boot Camp Experience” (now evolved into a new course — the Leadership Excellence Course) in August of 2009.

    He was so impressed with the structure and message of the course, built around the Navy’s definition of Leadership- “Know yourself, Know your People, Know your Stuff”, that he knew he had to a part of this team.

    After the course, he met with Dennis Haley, (USNA 1967) and asked if he needed a new franchisee in Chicago, and if so, he was his man. The deal was done and he has been part of this growing company ever since.

    From the start he believed that that his Executive Search practice would always be his bread and butter. That couldn’t have been father from the truth. With diligence, he offered this life changing course to business clients and through our affiliation with the Project Management Institute which has awarded the course a very sought after 36 Project Development Units (PDUs). He found a great need and even a thirst for “Leadership” in all endeavors—public, private, and not-for profit. Some clients found a way to pay for the course even though it was not budgeted. That need is as true today as it’s ever been.

    The potential with Academy Leadership is limitless. His Academy Leadership business has grown six-fold since his first full year in 2010. He has established major Clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Siemens Energy but also has a core of smaller emerging companies that understand “ investing” in leadership training is the difference maker and the “ margin of excellence” that enables them to compete in the global and local market. They know that “Leaders” get results. He also has a cadre of faithful graduates that have followed him on to complete “The Advanced Leadership Course”.

    Facilitating this course has been personally and professionally rewarding to Jim. Knowing that he has been able to motivate and inspire new generation of “Leaders” and is making a real difference in his client companies is something he will always cherish.

    The camaraderie of the veterans involved in Academy Leadership is special as well. He has never felt so much mutual respect, so much mutual support and complete honesty and integrity from everyone associated with this company. We are truly brothers and sisters in arms committed to changing individuals, organizations, and perhaps the world — one “leader” at a time.

    The day he joined Academy Leadership changed his life and met those aspirations he has had regarding promoting leadership development since the day he graduated from West Point.

    To learn more about becoming a Academy Leadership franchisee please complete the following form:

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  • The Mission Was Clear for OPERATION: TAKE COMMAND Winner Jean Cetoute

    The hopes for a better future for his family pushed Jean Cetoute to enter OPERATION: TAKE COMMAND, 7-Eleven’s veterans franchise giveaway.

    That certainly wasn’t an uncommon ambition among the contest’s 11,000 entrants. But the drive and determination behind Cetoute’s pursuit of a brand-new future for his family truly comes into focus when he starts talking about his past.

    Cetoute of Richlands, North Carolina, grew up in Haiti without knowing either of his parents. He didn’t meet his father until he was 13 and he didn’t meet his mother until he was 25. It left him with a stronger sense of purpose and a desire to serve others.

    So when Cetoute came to the United States, he joined the military. He served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including two deployments to Okinawa, Japan. He retired in 2014 as chief of utilities, overseeing a department that provided services for 30,000 people.

    His compelling story connected with voters as he was selected as one of three finalists in a nationwide Facebook vote. Then, during an in-person interview at 7-Eleven’s headquarters, Cetoute convinced CEO Joe DePinto that he best possessed the experience, knowledge and motivation necessary to become a successful Franchisee. Cetoute hopes to franchise a store near his family in New York.

    “Winning a 7-Eleven franchise is a tremendous opportunity for my family,” Cetoute said. “I get to have a second career and be a part of an internationally known brand. I spent 20 years in the military, and now, with 7-Eleven, I can become a contributing member of a civilian community.”

    Cetoute credits the support of others for not only helping him win OPERATION: TAKE COMMAND, but also for getting him where he is today after a difficult childhood.

    “It humbles you,” Cetoute said. “It creates a certain hunger to achieve greater things in life. It creates this internal force that pushes you every day to reach for new heights, to say to yourself, ‘Never again. And certainly not my family.’”

    His passion to serve made him a front-runner in OPERATION: TAKE COMMAND. Now, Cetoute is prepared to keep on serving as a civilian. Thanks for inspiring so many with your story, Jean, and welcome to the 7-Eleven family!

    If you’re a vet ready to enlist as a 7-Eleven Franchisee, visit the Veterans Franchise Program page for more information. Or attend a 7-Eleven seminar and get the full story. There’s one in your neighborhood!

    To be contacted by a 7-Eleven franchise representative, please complete the following form:

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  • Postal Connections Honors Military with Philanthropic Program

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    Learn More About Our Military Moments Campaign

    Postal Connections is a proud supporter of the military and veterans, and recently completed a month-long community-wide donation drive to gather much-needed items for military members serving overseas.

    For the entirety of the month of May, Postal Connections accepted donations from local residents, businesses and community members to create a large care package for men and women stationed at selected military bases. Donations included healthy snacks, drink mix packets, microwavable food, non-perishable food and toiletries.

    Responding admirably to the call to action, Postal Connections led the charge to ship more than 600 pounds of care packages to military personnel. Additionally, this philanthropic effort attracted the attention of the media, garnering more than 2.4 million unique monthly visitors and dozens of new social media fans.

    “The men and women who serve our country are making one of the greatest sacrifices there is,” said Fred Morache, COO of Postal Connections. “They work diligently to protect our country day-in and day-out, and sometimes without the everyday essentials that they’re used to. In honor of Military Appreciation Month, we wanted to recognize our military members by surprising them with those comforts from home donated by people who appreciate the work they do to protect us all.”

    Furthering its commitment to the military community, Postal Connections offers a 50 percent discount on the brand’s franchise fees to military veterans and spouses in conjunction with VetFran, putting business ownership even closer within grasp. Postal Connections Express offers a 25 percent discount.

    To learn more about Postal Connections franchise opportunities please complete the following form:

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  • PrintWorld™ Cartridge World’s New Mobile App HUGE SUCCESS

    In an effort to meet the demands of the rapidly growing mobile workforce, Cartridge World, the leading global ink and toner retail franchise, developed a one-of-a-kind mobile application, PrintWorld™. The new application, which was the brainchild of new Global CEO Steve Weedon, was unveiled at the International Franchise Expo, June 16-18 in New York City. This announcement is the first of two large-scale developments for the company.

    The application launch is the first step in a strategic program developed by Weedon that focuses on catering to the ever-increasing mobile workforce, which is projected to hit 105.4 million people by 2020. The next phase of the project will be to work directly with Samsung to place thousands of printers in free Wi-Fi areas across the U.S. and, in the future, the globe. Ideal partners for PrintWorld printer placement would be transportation hubs, retailers, shopping malls and academic institutions.printworldapp350logo

    Through a partnership with global technology giant Samsung, Weedon contracted the development of the PrintWorld app, which not only gives consumers access to ‘print-on-the-go’ technology directly from their mobile devices, but will ultimately revolutionize the printing industry. PrintWorld features the convenience of full printer functionality for hard copy printing and scanning facilities for use by anyone with a smartphone, tablet or laptop that are away from their office or normal work base location.

    “The global workforce is continuously evolving and thanks to the advancements in laptop, smartphone, tablet and Wi-Fi technology, mobile and remote workers are now more common than ever,” said Weedon. “To ensure the mobile workforce is able to perform at optimal levels, a lot depends on innovation in the development of mobile applications, which is what led to the concept and eventual creation of PrintWorld, the demand already exists and now the technology can support it.”

    Local Cartridge World franchise stores will play an integral role in maintaining printers and supporting all PrintWorld mobile – print locations. This ensures that the Wi-Fi client is free from any responsibility to the printer and can enjoy the increased mobile worker customer traffic through his store. A new revenue stream for Cartridge World franchisees is created through the app value downloads from users. The program will also be extremely beneficial to PrintWorld clients as they stand to see improved consumer perception with added convenience of on-site printing and increased foot traffic, thus driving their sales and profits.

    To learn more about the Cartridge World Franchise opportunity please complete the following form so a representative can contact you:

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  • The Veterans Corporation comes to Oregon!

    When it to comes to success in reintegrating Veterans with their communities, it’s the “last mile” that counts the most.

    Connections to economic opportunities in the local economy are most important to the individual Veteran and his/her family. The Veterans Corporation (TVC), (now a trade name of Veterans Business Services, LLC) believes its new business model will help accelerate those connections in a local economy, especially in Oregon. The TVC model has been beta tested over the past 2 years by advertising revenue from major franchisors; support from the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities; Certification by the Veterans Administration (VA) as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOSB) and has become the only SDVOSB for franchising on the VA’s Entrepreneur Portal.

    The original TVC was created by Congress to help accomplish entrepreneurial reintegration for Veterans in small business. However, political fumbling in DC never really allowed it to accomplish its mission, let alone connect with local communities. Now, as a private entity, TVC has been enabled to help Veterans entrepreneurs and is a self-sustaining private enterprise.

    Recently the VA has come up with a new holistic concept called MyVA for linking Veterans with regional social services. But self-employment processes have never been a strong point for the VA nor are they a focus point in the new MyVA model. TVC aims to fill the gap and be the SDVOSB vendor of choice for future franchise acquisitions, concept development and feasibility studies for Veterans nationally.

    The federal government small business service structure for Veterans is limited which presents an opportunity for TVC to facilitate franchising. What’s needed is on-demand private partners at the local level who can enhance existing small business services as a complement to MyVA in the last mile.

    Boots2Business/Franchising ™

    TVC will base its operations in Oregon City and begin building relationships that can help accelerate franchising opportunities for Veterans, especially combat veterans. TVC will also offer its Boots2Business/Franchising ™ via webinars and provide free business strategy sessions for any Veteran who qualifies for the VA Rehabilitation Services. Generally, these Veterans must have a disability rating of above 20% to qualify. TVC will offer a best price guarantee for Veterans on any franchise acquisition.

    So why Oregon, one word -“Grit”

    Back in day, the Oregon Territory was viewed as a land of opportunity but was controlled by a government sanctioned monopoly power known as the Hudson Bay Company. They owned the “franchise” on the whole economy. Over time the American pioneer entrepreneurs of Oregon City, working together, developed their own business cooperative that eventually toppled the power. They simply created the best competitive value added products and services for their community.

    For more information about this article contact Jim Mingey at:

    jmingey@veteransbusinessservices.us

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