It is projected, that by 2020 The Armed Forces will reduce their regular workforce by 30,890(1), forcing several military personnel to look at alternative career options

With thousands of ex-military already possessing the unique skill set to run their own business, franchising can offer ambitious, hardworking ex-forces a safe route to a new career through self-employment.

Next Friday an Saturday, The British & International Franchise Exhibition at London, Olympia offers the ex-forces an ideal opportunity to meet with over 100 franchise owners, and learn more about the opportunities within franchising at over 70 free seminars.

The event is London’s largest international franchise exhibition and is packed with inspiration and a range of business options across sectors including care, food & catering, cleaning, retail, and property. There’s also free careers advice and financial guidance for making the transition into running your own franchise business.

After serving in the Royal Air Force for 18 years Simon Webb, decided to investigate franchising further. Visiting the franchise exhibition in 2013, Simon met with a representative from Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA), a leading franchise in specialist procurement. Simon commented, “I met ERA and got chatting a little later on to an ERA franchise partner and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Wanting to channel his skill set into something fresh and exciting, Simon followed the training and franchise model rigorously and, within six months, had managed to sign two clients and lay the groundwork for many more.

“It became clear very quickly that the skills I gained from the RAF, such as team work, communication, and professionalism were not only relevant but stood me in very good stead indeed. ERA has really enabled me to bring together all the experience I already had under my belt and rapidly develop it to help me launch my business.”

As one of the UK’s most successful business models, franchising contributes £13.7(2) billion to the UK economy and employs well over 500,000(3) Brits across the UK. The business model is ideal for those looking to run their own company but with the support and backing of an established brand.

Mark Llewellyn, managing director at Revive! a leading automotive repair franchise operating across the UK and Ireland, believes franchising can offer an exceptional business building opportunities for ex-military:

“Running a franchise is a good fit for people with a military or public service background.The self-discipline and interpersonal skills needed to serve in the armed forces are key qualities we look for when recruiting franchisees and the fact that they are already used to following a set way of doing things means that the franchise model provides a familiar and comfortable platform upon which they can build a thriving business.

“The transition to civilian life can be exciting but at the same time a daunting prospect. Many ex-military personnel want to be their own boss and have the skills and ambition to run their own business, but still want to be a part of a team. Franchising can offer ambitious, hardworking ex-forces personnel a great route to a rewarding job and career through self-employment.”

The British & International Franchise Exhibition will return to London’s Olympia on 13 & 14 March 2015.

Visitors can gain free entry by registering online at and entering the promotional code EXM1 (saving £15).

1 Deloitte Recruitment

2 NatWest 2013 bfa Franchise Survey

3 NatWest 2013 bfa Franchise Survey