After getting out of the military, many veterans find it difficult to adjust to civilian life. When you’re in the military, you have a very specific set of rules you follow, and you know what to expect each day.
Veterans that get out of the military often find themselves looking at people as civilians and military. It is difficult to fall in line behind someone that didn’t fight for their country, and that leads many veterans to start their own businesses.
There are a lot of great business ideas for veterans that might be having trouble adjusting to living life in the civilian world. Continue reading this article to learn more about small business ideas for veterans.
1. Auto or Boat Detailing
One of the things you learn in the military is how to clean. It’s part of the discipline, and you can’t unlearn it after you get out. Why not put it to work for you in the civilian world?
Keep in mind that boat detailing is much more seasonal in some areas than others. Auto detailing may also be seasonable but much less than boat detailing.
If you decide you want to take on both auto and marine detailing, keep in mind there are different products and tools that you’ll need. While you don’t necessarily have to have a location to do these types of detailing, you might want to consider it for the day when it’s tough being outside.
The transportation industry isn’t going anywhere any time soon. With companies like Amazon, Etsy, and every other retailer shipping more and more products, you won’t run out of business.
Funding a trucking business might be a little more difficult than starting a detailing business, but it can make a lot of money. Keep in mind that even if you did drive trucks in the military, it does not translate into a CDL. You’ll need to go to school and get your CDLs before you can drive.
You might also consider having a company with drivers. There are different ways you can do this. You can opt to have people as employees, or you can use contractors that have to fend for themselves if times get a little tough with the company.
Many veterans like to work with their hands, so it makes sense that construction is a top industry that they work in after getting out of the service. When you run your own construction business, it is important to have leadership skills. The safety of your workers depends on your ability to communicate and direct the whole crew safely.
Being outdoors and having flexibility is another reason many veterans like construction work. Even if there are long hours and hard work required, it doesn’t seem to bother most veterans.
If you’re getting out of the service and you have injuries, you might opt-out of the physical labor and decide to oversee the work. If you know what you’re doing and you can help strategize the best way to build, you can still get things done with the right team.
4. Government Contractor
The U.S. government is required by law to have a service-disabled veteran-owned small business working with them on at least 3% of the value of their contracts and subcontracts.
If you aren’t sure how to get started in this area, you can work with programs like the Vets First Contracting Program. You can find people to help you with resources and training to throw your hat in the ring and get a taste of the pie.
Some of the common areas of work are in engineering, IT, and network security.
5. Event Security
You have a lot of training and often notice things other people don’t see. You might be able to tell when someone is going to make a bad decision to stir up some trouble. With your training, you can calm the situation down and make sure everyone stays safe.
When you’re getting into the event security business, keep in mind that it’s a lot about who you know. You need to make friends with people that set up events, let them get to know you, and share about your business with them.
There are many different types of events that need security. You can specialize in a certain type of event, or you might opt to provide security for all types of big events.
When you speak to organizers and let them know that you’re a veteran-owned business, that often helps you get your foot in the door for a contract.
There is a lot of money in retail and endless possibilities for what you can sell. If you don’t want to be up close with the public, you might opt to hire a sales associate and a cashier so you can run things behind the scenes.
One of the reasons retail businesses are good for veterans is because it takes a lot of attention to detail. You need to set your store up in a clean and appealing fashion, so people want to come in and shop there.
You might even opt to open a retail establishment that caters to other veterans.
7. Fitness Center
Most members of the military are pretty fit. When you want to start a business, one of the businesses you can consider is a fitness center.
Having a fitness business allows you to help other people get their health under control while you earn a living. There are a lot of things you can add to your fitness center, like classes, meal planning, and more.
Depending on what your goals are, you can bring on more trainers and expand your business as big as you want.
If you have other friends that are out of the service now, this might be a good opportunity to help them get on their feet as well by offering them positions as trainers.
8. Meal Kit Delivery
Plated is a veteran-owned meal kit delivery company and does very well. There’s no reason that you can’t get started with your own meal kit delivery business.
You can start small and service your local area, or you can start expanding and serve people across the nation. You need to decide what your strategy is going to be before you get started so you know what your selling point is.
You also need to get clear on your goals and what you plan on doing for your business plan. If you need a loan to expand your business, the more thought out and in-depth your business plan is, the more likely someone will invest with you.
9. Coffee Shop
The military runs on coffee, so it’s likely you’ve developed a love for the aroma. Why not start your own coffee shop and help other people enjoy this delicious nectar?
Starting a coffee shop will take some effort since it is a food business. There are a lot of hoops to jump through for your local authorities, but it can go very well if you know how to operate it and gain clientele.
Once you get things up and running, it’s often pretty easy to continue growing with your word of mouth ambassadors and loyal patrons.
10. Franchise Opportunities
Maybe you can’t think of anything you’d like to set up on your own. It can be pretty frustrating trying to come up with all of the ideas, processes, and figuring out what is a good idea.
When you work with a franchise, they train you on everything. You don’t have anything left to guesswork, and you can start making money according to the timeline laid out in the business plan most of the time.
There may be unforeseen things that take place, but franchises are much easier to predict than small businesses. That is because they are proven in other areas. They are also easier to get loans for, so if you need someone to front you the capital, you can get into the game pretty easily by talking to a lender.
Using These Small Business Ideas for Veterans
With all of these business ideas for veterans, you’re sure to have some idea of what you want to do. There are a lot of options, but it is likely something sticks out to you that will be something good for you.
Whether that’s driving trucks, starting a cleaning business, or some other type of business, you’ll never know what is possible until you get started.
Do you want to learn more about business and other key life topics? Keep reading our blog to get the help you need.