Published in the September/October 2012 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Aaron’s, founded in 1955 and headquartered in Atlanta, is a franchise and a lease ownership and specialty retailer. The company provides name-brand furniture, household appliances, consumer electronics items, and computers.
Entrepreneur magazine ranks Aaron’s number 21 in its 2012 Franchise 500 list. Franchise Times ranks Aaron’s number 53 in worldwide retail chain sales. Forbes magazine ranks Aaron’s number 3 in its 2012 “Franchises for the Buck” list.
Aaron’s has nearly 11,000 employees – including 1,000 veterans – working in more than 1,985 showrooms across 48 states and throughout Canada. The company offers veterans a wide range of employment opportunities, including management trainee, customer service representatives, retail sales, warehouse, and store manager positions.
Aaron’s, led by national director – franchising – Greg Tanner, is a pioneering supporter of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Operation Enduring Opportunity (OEO) program – an initiative to hire 75,000 veterans and their spouses within the franchise community by 2014. Tanner is a Vietnam-era veteran and a member of the IFA’s VetFran committee. Franchise Times named him one of the top 20 people to watch in 2012.
Tanner was the only franchisor invited to the White House on November 21, 2011, to witness President Obama sign the American Jobs Act bill that offers tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.
Tanner says that veterans make excellent franchisees, home-office support personnel, and retail store employees. They bring an esprit de corps that fits the Aaron’s culture of teamwork and competition. Veterans are willing to follow a system – a trait that is essential to the success of a retail organization.
He believes that veterans will enjoy working or franchising with Aaron’s because of the company’s history of solid growth since 1955, the company’s support, the size of the organization, its operating systems, and the opportunity for each owner to expand – 95 percent of them are multi-unit operators.
Veterans are well-suited to running a franchise, according to Tanner. “They have an ability to lead a team in any given situation, a disciplined approach to operations, and fairness in treating people,” he said.
Tanner urges veterans to consider more than finding a job or buying a business when evaluating franchises. “It’s about creating a lifestyle for you and your family,” Tanner said. “Look for a business that rewards you financially and offers you the freedom to enjoy your family and to experience life.”
But it is also important to do your due diligence. “Franchises don’t fail, people fail,” Tanner said. “Sign up only after you’ve done your homework. Talk to people in the business, pore over the franchise disclosure document, and okay your decision with your spouse before signing the agreement.”