Veterans in Business: Navy Veteran Thriving in the Beauty and Salon Industry

Veterans are super star entrepreneurs and Jim Provo can speak to this trend first hand.

Jim and Kim Provo outside their MY SALON Suite location

Jim Provo served aboard a submarine in the U.S. Navy for 11 years. After leaving the service, he opened a financial advisory business but left the financial advisory business after moving to Delaware to marry his wife, Kim. He then started working at the Small Business Administration, where he still works, but he needed something else to do.

That something else was investing in a MY SALON Suite franchise in 2014. With more than 200 locations across North America, MY SALON Suite franchises offer individual spaces for salon and beauty professionals. Those interested in becoming a franchisee must have a net worth of $1,500,000 and liquid assets of $500,000.

Jim and his wife currently have two MY SALON Suite locations open, one in Wilmington, DE and a second in Dover, DE. They plan to open a third location in Middleton, DE in four to five months.

For the couple, investing in a franchise like MY SALON Suite fit them well as they began to plan for retirement. MY SALON Suite is a much more hands-off franchise than most, which was what Jim and his wife were looking for.

“One advantage of MY SALON Suite is that you typically don’t need any employees, except maybe a property manager,” Jim said, adding that you don’t have to be there every day.

“Whether looking for a source of retirement income or whether you’re just starting out after leaving the military, franchising, in general, is a good option for veterans,” Jim said. “Franchisors value veterans because of the skills they bring to the table.”

Not only do veterans have the discipline and strong work ethic required to run their own business, but they also have a “mission accomplished” attitude. That is, they do what’s needed to ensure the business is successful. These are appealing traits to franchisors.

Jim also teaches a class at the Small Business Association called “Boots to Business,” and he talks to veterans about business ownership, often letting them know about the advantages of franchising, among which are the discounts that franchises often offer to veterans.

A franchise is also easy to replicate, and you can invest in as many franchises as you want.

Veterans also have an advantage because of their ability to follow a plan. Veterans are used to having structure and franchises have a built-in system to follow. “We know how to follow a plan and see it through to success. Follow the plan and you will be successful,” shared Jim.

Investing in a franchise is also less risky because the franchise has already experienced the problems and made the mistakes that businesses often have starting from scratch. It’s like having a pilot that’s trained on a flight simulator–that pilot is less likely to crash because of extensive training.

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