With over 200,000 veterans returning to civilian life every year, many of them are looking forward to the possibilities of their new life – including kick-starting their new careers. While some veterans opt to explore new careers or to capitalize on their military training for private roles, a significant percentage of them choose to be entrepreneurs.
Starting your own business as a veteran is by no means easy and in the last few years, fewer veterans have become business owners. However, this does not mean that there is a lack of veterans rearing to start their own business after leaving the military. In fact, the SBA says that 25 percent of post 9/11 veterans want to be entrepreneurs.
As for the kind of business they launch, the possibilities are endless. From leading the country’s private security to helping Americans reap the benefits of personal fitness training, here are a few business ideas for veterans with the entrepreneurial spirit.
Join the Private Security Industry as a Security Specialist
Security businesses run by veterans are high in demand right now. A security franchise can be an idea for veterans since it still focuses on the idea of protecting the general public- a theme from the military. There are also plenty of business opportunities in the security industry, including in the rapidly emerging electronic security industry.
Recently the Electronic Security Association (ESA) launched its “Get Into Security” initiative as a way to encourage veterans to join the security industry. According to the president of the Electronic Security Association Angela White, “Military professionals uniquely understand the continual need for training and personal development – and their adaptability to evolving circumstances gives them an edge in many security-related jobs.”
Capitalize on Your Discipline and Training Experience as a Fitness Instructor
As a member of the military service, physical fitness is critical. The routine of discipline and physical training that most military members experience means that they are already training in the basics of physical fitness. In addition, veterans are now easily able to get certified in many fields of personal fitness and nutrition within a matter of weeks.
Many military veteran entrepreneurs have also been successful in the fitness industry. The good news is, setting up a fitness business can be relatively low cost and is often able to be run flexibly from your own home.
This can be particularly useful for a veteran as they transition back to civilian life. All you would need to invest in is a good space for training and some good home gym equipment. There are also lots of financing options available to veterans to help them convert their home space into a fitness studio for training, or purchase much-needed gym equipment.
For instance, during the VA loan process, a loan specialist contacts you during the pre-qualification step to discuss your aspirations, including plans for running a fitness business from home when buying a property after leaving the military.
Become Apart of the Tech World as a Tech Specialist or Analyst
Another potential business idea for veterans is to launch their business offering tech specialists or software engineering services. The tech industry is booming right now and as a military veteran, many of the skills needed in tech like analytical thinking, IT training, and problem-solving are all taught in the military.
Many veterans also go on to specialize in technology during their military tenure which gives them valuable tech training- even if it is without the standard industry certification or attendance to coding boot camps.
Best of all, if your skillset aligns with careers like systems analyst or software developer, you can be sure your business will not be short of jobs as these are some of the most in-demand tech jobs for 2021.
Also, having your business analytics or software development company can mean you have various options open to you since multiple industries including food, logistics and manufacturing are all eager to embrace the use of technology in operations.
As a veteran, deciding what to do after leaving the military can be a difficult and life-defining decision. If you do decide to follow your passion for entrepreneurship, there is a long list of business ideas that would be equally lucrative and suitable for you and your unique experience profile. The only question that remains is: what does your entrepreneurial dream look like as a veteran?
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