Veteran Provides Much-Needed Options for Displaced Veterans

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Recent changes in the military community in Virginia like the BRAC base closings and the Gulf War has in one way or another displaced veterans. Local veteran, and small business attorney responds to much needed support to these ex-military personnel.

Recent changes in the military community in Virginia like the BRAC base closings and the Gulf War has in one way or another displaced veterans. Local veteran, and small business attorney responds to much needed support to these ex-military personnel.

Jim Wilson has found the perfect solution to lessen the transition in coming from the military to civilian life. Franchise business ownership offers the advantages of having a set operating system very similar to many active duty experiences. Additionally, the 200,000 ex-military personnel who retire from the U.S. Armed Services each year to transition into corporate America need to know all the options that are available, said Wilson, retired Navy Commander and small business attorney in Richmond, Virginia. He helps people start businesses, buy and sell businesses, analyze and purchase franchises and franchise their existing businesses.

Veterans make excellent candidates for franchise opportunities because they have proven leadership skills and the discipline to follow operating procedures. These skills are the essence of what they learned in their military training and followed in the military service. Franchising has similar systems already in place.

“When leaving active duty, veterans often first look to finding a job in the defense industry or in aviation or another career that is strongly related to their active duty experience. This is appropriate because there are plenty of adjustments in moving from the military to the civilian world without adding completely unfamiliar work requirements to the mix,” said Wilson.

Additionally, franchising can offer a valid alternative to both working for someone else and starting a business from scratch. According to Wilson, everyone is familiar with the trademarks and basic product line-up of most franchise fast food places. These are the sorts of things you expect to acquire in a franchise purchase. What is not obvious to most people are the business systems that are apart of a franchise that make a franchise easier to run than an independent start-up and make them easier to finance. These systems can also make a franchise easier to finance. Banks and other small business lenders have much more to rely on when working with a new franchise in a franchise system than an independent operator who is starting out on his own.

“As an attorney working with small businesses, I have watched clients struggle with sorting out some of the basic issues involved in running their business. I have seen some fail simply because they never quite got it figured out, not because they had a bad business idea. The Operating Manual in a franchise helps the franchisee operate efficiently and successfully from day one. Most of what the franchisee needs to do on a daily basis is contained in it. This can provide considerable confidence for the new business owner that makes it possible to overcome the challenges of running a new business,” he added.    

For veterans coming from an environment of fast-paced decision-making and goal accomplishment, being in charge of operations in a franchise setting can be more appealing than working for someone else. Many veterans instinctively know they have the skills to lead, set goals and accomplish things. They simply lack experience with some of the fundamental business concepts such as cash flow management and marketing. In franchising, a veteran not only gets training in these areas, but also has ready assistance available on an ongoing basis.

Wilson assist clients with financing issues for their businesses from commercial loans to private securities transactions. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1980 and the University of Richmond Law School in 1982. Wilson has been a regular speaker at the SBA’s monthly SCORE seminars in Richmond and presents on the Law of Franchising for the Franchise Center at Virginia Union University.

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Sylvina Poole
N2PR
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