7 Great Side Business Ideas for Veterans

While many military veterans face unique challenges upon their return home, they do have a distinct advantage when it comes to business. In many ways, veterans are better prepared for the world of entrepreneurship than their civilian counterparts. They’re often proactive, they understand the importance of systems in success and they’re trained to solve problems in creative ways. Any of the following small or side business ideas could be a great fit for veterans under the right circumstances.

Private Security Firm

Let’s face it: when it comes to security-related matters, nothing inspires confidence like ex-military. One can easily capitalize on that trust by founding a local security outfit. While the regulations governing security companies can be a bit convoluted and vary by state, the industry is unquestionably profitable if you run your own company. Use service contacts to enlist fellow veterans and provide security to local businesses, festivals, civic events and even high-profile citizens.

Tour Guide Business

The can-do and go-anywhere attitude that’s inspired by military service translates well to the world of private tours. Wilderness tours in 4×4 vehicles like Jeeps can be particularly lucrative for former servicemen and women that have experience in the field. Most states can be fertile ground for 4×4  “outback” tours. If you can get the funding together, running a tour company is the best combination of work and play.

Personal Fitness Company

Arguably one of the best things about military service is the dedication to physical fitness that it leaves participants with. Lazy urbanites that are looking to get fit love the idea of a hardened veteran running them through the fitness gamut. Any veteran can take their PT experience and translate it to the very profitable field of personal fitness training. Lock down some commercial real estate, distribute some business cards and start training some clients.

Firearms Dealership

Most if not all military veterans have first-hand experience with firearms that can be valuable to civilian clients. Though the restrictions that come with running a firearms-related business can be onerous, the profits can also be commensurately handsome. If you got into the military in the first place, you’re likely eligible for a Federal Firearms License. Whether you’re running a shooting range or a gun shop, the firearms business is always a good one.

Emergency Preparedness Consultancy

If there’s one thing the military teaches you, it’s how to be prepared for any eventuality. Pretty much everyone in the civilian sphere can benefit from said experience. More importantly, they’re going to be willing to pay for your expertise whether it’s in the form of emergency preparedness or disaster relief. If you know people currently with FEMA, you can turn your on-the-ground know-how into cash by advising communities on the best way to react to and prepare for disasters.

Niche Affiliate Blogging

If you can’t secure the funding for capital-intensive business ventures, affiliate blogging and marketing could be a good fit for you. All you need is a computer and a web connection to get rolling. The idea is simple: take your experience with various topics, blog about them, promote products and get paid. The best bloggers convey their knowledge in a straightforward, relatable manner. That should be second nature to most military veterans out there.

Specialty Tech Support

No matter what branch you may have served in, the fact of the matter is that your tech skills are probably more advanced than the average Facebook drone. Even if you don’t think your networking and tech-repair capabilities are anything special, it’s likely that you can use them to found a great physical or digital tech support company. Again, people trust ex-military to a greater degree than they would the average civilian nerd. Use this to your advantage if you have moderate military IT experience.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Generally speaking, your typical veteran is well-positioned to make a smooth transition from the military to small business ownership. Besides the skills that they’ve gained from their service, they also have access to some appreciable hard-earned government benefits that can make launching a side business a little easier. By applying their innate discipline to the business world, any veteran can launch a lucrative side business regardless of the state of current economy.

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