Are you one of the 18 million veterans in the US? If so, your country thanks you for your sacrifice and service.
But what will you do next? Many veterans long to start their own business after their service.
It makes perfect sense, as both military service and business ownership require passion, long hours of hard work, and discipline. Plus, you can find plenty of small business ideas for veterans, based on the skills and training learned in the military.
If you’re thinking about starting your own company, keep reading to find the seven best business opportunities for veterans.
1. Government Contractor
After a career in the military, veterans have a unique insight into the working of the government. This makes them well-placed to start a business as a government contractor.
The US government hires thousands of contractors per year to help with projects large and small. Even better, the law states a percentage of contractors hired must be small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, giving them an advantage.
Check out the Vets First Contracting Program to learn more about how the program works.
There is always a strong demand for contractors with experience in IT, tech, and engineering.
There will always be a high need for private security companies. They are hired to work at events, clubs, or large gatherings to keep attendees safe.
Veteran entrepreneurs can put their experience and training into good use by starting their own private security company. Many people feel a strong sense of pride and trust in the military, so they are likely to feel safer if their event’s security is being run by veterans.
Once you build up a list of regular clientele, it can be lucrative and steady work. As your business grows, you can bring on additional veterans to join the company as well.
3. Open a Retail Shop or Restaurant
Veterans may long for the chance to work for themselves and run their own business after their service ends. Many veterans have experience in logistics, and supply chain management, which comes in handy in the retail sector.
Working in retail gives you the freedom to turn your dream business into reality. Many customers also love to support veteran-owned businesses, as a way of thanking them for their service. So, be sure to include this in your advertising or store signage.
You may even want to offer a small discount to fellow veterans or host regular special offers where a portion of sales go to help veteran associations— this will surely help you build up a database of loyal clientele.
4. Purchase a Franchise
If you want to work in retail or own a restaurant without starting completely from scratch, owning a franchise may be for you.
When you purchase a franchise, your store has automatic name recognition and you receive support in sales, marketing, and administration from the corporate offices, giving your business an instant advantage.
There are all types of franchises, including fast food and casual dining, retail shops, gyms, and even laundromats.
For assistance in purchasing your franchise, contact a mortgage broker specializing in VA loans.
5. Work in Veteran Advocacy
As a veteran, you know first-hand the challenges and hardships that accompany military service. This makes you perfectly positioned to help others who are having a tough time, so why not start a career in veterans’ advocacy?
Whether you start your own charitable organization or you work with departments like the VA, you can speak up and be a voice for other veterans.
Help ensure they get the benefits they need, the right mental health and medical care, or help them with transitioning back into civilian life. Veterans do so much for our country, but often struggle receiving the assistance they need after their service, making advocacy an important role.
If you’re passionate, well-spoken, and well-versed in public policy, this could be a good option for you.
6. Start a Tech or IT Business
One of the best small business ideas for veterans is to start a tech company.
If you’ve served in the military, you’re likely to be highly trained in the latest IT software, drones, or other cutting-edge computer programs.
Often, technology is used by the military before it becomes used by civilians, so you may have unique qualifications that only few have.
You can use this knowledge to start your own IT company. You may be able to find government contracting work or build up private clients, but either way, a successful IT business can generate a fantastic income.
7. Personal Training
If there’s one thing we associate with those in the military, it’s elite physical fitness. Anyone who can make it through basic training and the challenging physical demand of military service is likely to be in great shape.
Many gym-goers would love to be trained by someone who has gone through the rigor of military life, so why not open a personal training business or gym?
If you have a passion for fitness and helping others, opening a personal training business could be a great opportunity.
Market your workouts as serious challenges from a veteran, and it’s sure to attract clients who are looking to kickstart their fitness regime.
Which of These Business Opportunities for Veterans Is Right for You?
With so many varied and interesting business opportunities for veterans, there are plenty of careers to think about after your service ends.
Use the ideas above to start brainstorming what you might like to do. When thinking about opening a business, consider your background and experience, personal strengths, and think about what you’re passionate about.
While opening a business requires dedication and hard work, that’s something veterans already know well. Get started today and bring your business to life!
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