Posted on May 17, 2011
How Franchising Saved A Retired Military Veteran
Max Muscle franchisee Bill Porter was a retired military veteran who wasn't particularly interested in becoming a business owner. However, after observing many of his retired military friends fall under the grip of depression and, sadly, survive only 3 to 4 years after retiring from the military, Porter decided his path would be different. Although Porter had no previous franchise experience, his background as a master fitness instructor and a recently discovered enthusiasm for nutrition drew Porter to open up a Max Muscle franchise.
In this interview, FranchiseHelp.com contributor Christy Harvey dives in to find out how this retired military veteran capitalized on his philosophy of "not getting old" to open a successful Max Muscle franchise business.
What inspired you to become a Max Muscle Franchisee?
One of the things that inspired me was my military background. While I was in the military, I was trained as a master fitness instructor. After I retired, I started work at the Vitamin Shop, where I became sort of a nutrition enthusiast. My philosophy is that there is no reason to get old; of course, you will grow older, but there's no reason to get old.
What was your experience with franchise opportunities before you became a Max Muscle Franchisee?
I had no experience with franchising before Max Muscle. Previously, I owned a small business in western wear; this business was not successful due to a bad partnership.
How has your military training been an influence on your franchising success?
The military's structured and disciplined lifestyle has had an immense influence on the success of my franchise. Like veterans, business owners are frequently required to adapt to changing times and situations.
What specific steps did you take to determine that a Max Muscle franchise made sense for you?
One of the attributes that drew me towards Max Muscle was its sense of patriotism. Another reason was the fact that Max Muscle provided credit for those who had performed military service. However, what really helped me determine that Max Muscle was right for me was the franchise's supportive, sincere, and outgoing attitude. I liked how they treated me, and the personal relationship I developed with Max Muscle meant more to me than the business model.
What would you say has been the biggest difference between working at a job and running your own business?
Each franchisee is allowed to run their store within the guidelines of the corporation. The biggest difference I see is that a person deciding to run the franchise has to be more disciplined in their decisions and operations. In addition, I found that I formed closer relationships with other franchisees than I did with coworkers when working at a job.
As a veteran, did you encounter any particular challenges or barriers to the success of your franchise concept?
Yes, funding was one of the biggest challenges for me.
How did you ultimately find franchise financing?
Originally, I was working with a business that helped me to fund my franchise; this became quite a challenge because the business was often inconsistent; each time the company would call me, it would have a different requirement for me to achieve to receive funding. Soon, I realized, " Why go through the hassle, when I had enough money to fund the franchise myself?"
Is there any particular advice you’d offer to veterans who are seeking an entrepreneurial path for their own career?
Make sure the franchise concept you select is something you enjoy. You must also be committed to your franchise once you begin the process. But in general, military veterans and franchise opportunities fit so well together because military vets have little difficulty with commitment, seeing as they commit their lives to serving their country when they are in service.
This interview was conducted by FranchiseHelp.com contributor Christy Harvey. Christy earned her B.A. in Political Science from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, and recently completed her MBA studies. A world traveler and avid blogger always on the lookout for new experiences, Christy has worked for BET, as a contract federal investigator, as a social media consultant, and as a contributor for examiner.com, the triond network, and Demand Studios.
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