From badge to business owner: transitioning from public service to franchising: when law enforcement officers trade in their badges to become franchisees, they not only serve, honor and protect the public through new ventures, but discover new ways to spend more time with their families.

Author:Feid, Monica

A passion to serve, honor and protect is perfect for a life in law enforcement. And when the time is right to exit that career, those same qualities are proving useful for a growing number of men and women embracing a new way to serve: as franchise owners.

Ironically, men and women who keep the peace hardly think of retirement as a time to kick back and relax. Those with a pension don't easily let go of the adrenaline of their working lives. And for others who voluntarily leave law enforcement for a career change, risk and survival are things they have already embraced and conquered in uniform. Why not do the same in business?

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund estimates that more than 900,000 sworn law officers serve in the U.S., which is the highest figure in the nation's history. But the idea of making that the only career is changing. With increasing frequency, our nation's peacekeepers can be found using their training and job skills in new ways with the title of "boss" as franchisees.

After all, this workforce comes with a good dose of discipline, a great gift for communicating with others, and a respect for following a system. Those happen to be some of the same qualities that can help set up a franchise owner for success.


For Jeff Baker of El Dorado, Kan., the idea of going to work never meant going to an office. First, as a member of the U.S. Air Force and then as a member of the El Dorado Police Force, he was always outdoors, hands-on and serving others with fellow military and police.

Then when a side business mowing lawns showed potential to become a full-fledged landscaping and maintenance operation, Baker left the police force and turned to The Grounds Guys to open a franchise and join a new team--his fellow franchisees.

After 12 years on the police force, part of him was ready to run his own full-time business if it came with the right marching orders.

"I'm definitely a person who believes in structure and having systems in place to deliver certain things," Baker said. He also values a team.

"In the military and on a police force, the people you rely on are the people you're with," he said. "Franchising is kind of the same thing. When you are part of a franchise, you can call on people with the very same brand, and those people are going to give you solid advice. They are not really competing against you. You are all advancing together."


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