“Thriving Versus Surviving” – Creating a Military Thriving Culture

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Veterans are uniquely qualified to run small businesses. Their experience serving our country provides them with the ability to adapt and overcome the most difficult circumstances, and these skills are directly transferable to owning a small business. Every day presents a new set of opportunities to a small business owner, especially in the home services space where each customer’s needs are different, and no two homes are exactly alike.  

As an early advocate for Veteran opportunities within franchising, Neighborly continues to spearhead efforts to expand the Veteran presence through innovative practices and education on the advantages of small business ownership. However, the goal extends beyond offering an opportunity to own a business; it is about optimizing the ability to prosper throughout the entire process with a “Military Thriving” culture. 

But what does it mean for Veterans to “thrive” versus “survive,” and how does Neighborly foster these values?


Key Elements of a Thriving Veteran Opportunity

There are three key elements of a Veteran Thriving franchise:

  1. The owner’s plethora of skills developed while they were serving our country are all being utilized to create a successful small business.
  2. Veterans are being employed in skilled positions that maximize their skills after their service.
  3. Veterans are being served as customers in a way that enriches their lives and their families' lives.  

Let’s break these points down a little further.


Utilizing Veteran Skill Sets 

Over the past couple of years, I have had the privilege to spend time with many of the Veteran owners across Neighborly’s brands. Their message to other Veterans looking for something more than a government contract or Fortune 100 job is always consistent: no job can exactly replicate all you were able to learn and accomplish during your service, but running a small business is as close as it gets. 

All your skills are put to use, and you have a community within your brand like you had with those you served alongside. Our Veteran owners will tell you that they wished they had known about this option sooner as they transitioned out of the military.

Recognizing the value Veterans bring has been a part of Neighborly’s philosophy since nearly the very beginning. Our founder, Don Dwyer, Sr. – himself a Veteran of the U.S. Army – saw an opportunity to give back to Veterans for their service. He began offering discounted franchise fees to Veterans, an initiative that expanded to become the organization VetFran, which now includes over 500 franchises providing discounts for Veterans.


Employing Veterans 

Neighborly recently initiated a partnership with ZeroMils to create Military Thriving communities across the U.S. While there are many military-friendly communities and companies, the true difference between “military friendly” and “Military Thriving” lies in the opportunities for Veterans and their families to do more than just survive. Along with ZeroMils, Neighborly envisions a future where entire communities are constructed by Veteran-owned small businesses, employing Veterans and serving Veteran consumers in unique and meaningful ways.

ZeroMils provides the Neighborly network with the reach into the Veteran community that we need to help more Veterans find ways to thrive. A thriving Veteran community is a possibility that together we can make a reality.


Serving Veteran Communities

The adage of franchising is that you go into business for yourself, but not by yourself. You have a chance to not only build a business, but also foster a community, support employment of fellow Veterans, and even provide much-needed services through your work.

Neighborly’s purpose is to build a service community that enriches people’s lives by delivering amazing experiences, and we guarantee this through our Done Right Promise™. Through offering essential home services that repair, maintain, or enhance your customers’ homes, you can continue to serve your communities (including other Veterans and their families) in new ways.  


Creating Opportunity with ZeroMils 

Neighborly has awarded over 750 franchises to Veterans since the inception of VetFran in 1991.  In the last 24 months alone, over 20% of our new franchise owners have been Veterans. With Neighborly’s franchise opportunities, owning a business is more affordable than you think, and Veterans already have the unique skills necessary to be a successful small business owner. 

Through partnerships with ZeroMils, VetFran, and more, we’re here to help our network of Veterans along every step of the way. Neighborly is committed to creating communities where our nation’s heroes not only survive, but thrive in business ownership. 

Interested in joining a Military Thriving community? Learn more about franchising with Neighborly at https://franchise.neighborly.com/the-neighborly-benefits/veteran-support/.


Written By Brian Wieters, Group Vice President, Franchise Development at Neighborly on LinkedIn

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