More and more military veterans are turning to small business ownership for a second career. There are currently 2.52 million veteran majority-owned small businesses in the U.S., and nearly 20 percent of them are retail businesses.
At Winmark®, we’re proud to be part of that group.
Greta Anderson, owner and operator of Plato’s Closet® in Maplewood, Minn., previously served as an Army medic before entering the franchise space, once again proving skills learned in the military set up our veterans for small business success.
Family of Franchisees
Greta isn’t the first of her family to succeed at franchising. She follows in the footsteps of her father, who has owned several Plato’s Closet stores in Orlando, Fla., for over 14 years. For four of those years, Greta worked in her father’s stores to help pay for her college education.
Greta joined the Army and served tours of duty in Bosnia and Iraq not long after leaving college. Now she lives in Bloomington, Minn. with her husband Ryan and four children. Ryan currently works in the mortgage industry, utilizing his background in both marketing and accounting. Though he has no plans to leave his job, he helps Greta run their Plato’s Closet part-time.
While Greta has experience working in a Winmark store, she had no experience owning a business prior to opening her Maplewood location. She spent the last eight years as a stay-at-home mother. Despite this, she knew joining the Winmark family was the right decision.
“Both Ryan and I wanted to be business owners for many years,” Greta said. “We loved the clothing resale concept – the environmental impact of reusing clothes and being able to level the playing field for many teens by giving them the opportunity to buy name-brand styles at affordable prices. We knew Winmark was a proven, high-quality franchisor from our family connections.”
Greta and Ryan are looking forward to a bright future with Winmark, with the possibility of eventually opening more stores.
Veterans Turned Franchisees
There’s a reason $1.14 trillion is generated annually by veteran majority-owned businesses in the U.S. The values and skills members of our military learn during their service position them for an easy transition to business ownership.
Veterans know the importance of rules and structure from their time in the military and can follow orders. They understand hard work leads to success and are prepared for any obstacles that present themselves. In business ownership, these soft skills are not only desired but crucial.
For veterans looking to own a business without much of the legwork and long ramp-up times, franchising offers a perfect opportunity to achieve their goal. Franchising offers the benefit of working with the proven business model of a known brand and a corporate team that provides ongoing marketing and operational support.
We’re proud to count many veterans among our franchisees. Our multiple resale brands offer franchisees the option to gain experience in a number of different retail businesses, so veterans in search of their next career can surely find it in Winmark.
Are you interested in learning more about our franchising opportunities? Contact us today!