I have been to a number of conferences and conventions lately for franchising. The message seems to be overwhelmingly one sided. You should be franchising overseas. Franchisor after franchisor talking about the expansion is global. Don’t get me wrong. The opportunity is there. I guess the problem I have is all I am hearing is how great the opportunity is abroad, but how difficult the opportunity is here at home. Now there are new challenges to tackle from Obamacare to tax rates to state regulation. It definitely isn’t the easiest time in the nation’s history to go into business for your self. There is quote though I like to think of when it comes to this.
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – John F. Kennedy
I know we aren’t going to the moon here. You could probably do well there with these Oxygen Bars I have been hearing about. But… The message has never been truer than today when it comes to business. After all the doom and gloom, you find that it is easier to get financing now since the market dropped some 5 years ago. Real estate locations that companies couldn’t afford then can now be found with better terms. The opportunities are right here. The game is the same, but the rules have changed. One thing I can say in over 30 years in the franchise industry is that franchising carries the same unofficial motto of the Marines. Improvise, Adapt, Overcome. I am going to keep my eye on the possibilities overseas, but I am still excited about the opportunities we have right here at home.
With that being said, I’d like to challenge all franchisors who are targeting major expansion overseas to take just a little of that budget and support the IFA’s VetFran program (http://www.vetfran.com). You’ll see the value in it I promise. Meet me at the Multi Unit Franchise Conference next week in Las Vegas, and I will gladly explain to you the value of support this wonderful program. Even if you have a concept investment level that is maybe too high, support VetFran. Put together a program that will help your franchisees hire veterans. They will see tax benefits for it as well as the benefits of hiring someone that was willing to take a bullet for their last employer. I promise you. You will be glad you did. After all, very few times has anything worthwhile been gained by following the path of least resistance. In these tough times, don’t you think it is worth while having people trained with dealing with the toughest of times?