Running a successful business takes self-confidence, commitment, determination, and focus, along with an aptitude for taking strategic risks. Starting your own business takes courage, but the truth is, if you’ve served in the military, all of these entrepreneurial skills are already in your toolkit.

Sometimes, the only only thing you need to get started is support. From applying for a federal small business grant, to looking at franchising opportunities, we’ll walk you through some of the most successful business ideas for transitioning veterans.

Are veterans more successful than other small business owners?

About a quarter of veterans express interest in running their own business. And for good reason. Research from Experian found that veteran owned businesses last longer and are more sustainable than civilian employment.

But transitioning to civilian life can be a big adjustment. After completing military service, some military veterans find themselves lost and unsure what role to play while adjusting to the next chapter in their career.

Instead of settling for a job that may not be the best use of their military skills, more and more veterans are choosing to work for themselves. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), veteran owned small businesses make up 7.5% of all businesses in the United States, ​​adding $1 trillion to the economy, and employing over 5 million people.

What’s more, entrepreneurship is a way to build something meaningful and give back to the community. In fact, veterans are 30% more likely to employ fellow veterans compared to their non veteran peers.

Business ownership: How can a veteran start a small business?

If you’ve decided to get into entrepreneurship, there’s a lot to figure out in the beginning. Luckily free federal government resources like VA resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs and SBA programs provide access to the knowledge and foundational business skills potential small businesses need to get started. You can also look at veterans business outreach centers, to find an SBA program that offers business plan workshops.

Veteran entrepreneurship training programs: Some federal programs teach business and entrepreneurial skills to veterans. Boots to Business is a Small Business Administration program for transitioning veterans and their military spouses. This small business program features an overview of business ownership and veterans business development to help active service veterans and other armed forces personnel start their own business operation.

Small business grants and funding programs: If you’re a veteran looking to fund your business, you can apply for the SBA Express Loan, SBA 7(a) Loan, or Veterans Advantage Loan. Other programs like the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan help small businesses cover expenses for an essential employee called to service. Plus, StreetShares with JP Morgan Chase offer up to $10,000 to eligible veterans.

Programs for Service disabled veterans: The SBA makes special consideration for those harmed during service. According to the SBA, 7.3% of all veteran business owners have a service connected disability. Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP) is a business program created to meet the needs of disabled veteran entrepreneurs who own a small business or are looking to start one.

Programs for women veterans: The Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP) is a business program that gives entrepreneurial training to the following military women and military families: women veterans, women transitioning service members, and women spouses of active duty service members and veterans.

Watch this video to know more about our Veterans Program

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Small businesses ideas for veterans

Before you start a company, you need a business idea. And in our opinion, the best business ideas lie at the intersection of knowledge and passion. A business based on your interests and skills will be far more rewarding and motivating in the long term than taking an entry-level job just because it’s available. That’s probably why military members are drawn to work that makes a positive impact in their communities.

Here are three business ideas for veteran small business owners and the military community as a whole.

Bid for federal contracts: Whether you’re looking to get a job as a security specialist, IT consultant, or venture into computer programming, the federal government awards thousands of government contracts for veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce. Our advice for making those contracting dollars? Accessing federal procurement starts by bidding on federal contracting opportunities directly with the Department of Veterans Affairs, as you’ll get preference over non-military bidders.

Turn a hobby or interest into a small business: Think about what you love to do and see if it translates into a business. If you love gardening, you could start your own landscaping business. Fitness enthusiast? You could rent a space and offer in person classes or online courses as a personal trainer or fitness instructor. Did active service spark your love of logistics? Start a consulting firm to help a retail business with advice on commercial supply chains. The opportunities are endless when you focus on your strengths.

Find franchising opportunities: Franchising business opportunities are a low-risk way to start a new business. They can be especially good for veterans who want to start their own business without having to build it from scratch. Franchises offer leadership opportunities, rigorous training, and the chance to connect with other franchisees—an ideal fit for veterans.

Plus, depending on which franchise business you choose, you may get a veterans discount—saving money that would otherwise cover operating costs (more on this later).

veterans as business owners

Why veterans make good home care franchise owners

Out of the 7.5% veteran owned small businesses in the U.S. more and more veterans are choosing to own home care franchise businesses.

For a lot of veterans, giving back and serving a higher purpose are the main reasons they enlist in the first place. So it makes sense that when coming back from active service, veterans would choose a career that helps people more vulnerable than themselves in their communities.

That’s where home care support comes in. Owning a home care business is an opportunity to marry hard-earned military skills like discipline, teamwork, problem solving, and resiliency with value-based aspirations like supporting others, leading with compassion, and going the extra mile to care for people who need extra assistance.

Nurse Next Door is one of North America’s fastest growing home care providers. We’re laser focused on delivering high quality care senior care and helping older adults stay in the comfort of their own homes as they age.

Here’s why veterans make fantastic Nurse Next Door home care franchise owners:

Leadership: As your franchise business grows, you’ll be overseeing key employees and caregivers. This is the perfect opportunity to use the leadership skills you acquired while out in the field. The best franchise owners motivate their employees and lead with strength and compassion for the work. They also implement policies that reflect the positive culture at Nurse Next Door.

Structure: Nurse Next Door’s success can be attributed to their well thought out structure. As a military veteran, owning a franchise business is a great fit as you already have lots of experience working with defined processes and systems.

Training: Veterans feel comfortable going through the initial Nurse Next Door franchise training track as training is an important part of both military life and franchising. It’s a support system for veterans transitioning into a real-world career.

Perseverance: In the business world you’ll constantly face new challenges. Using your military training to quickly adapt and tackle any obstacle in front of you is a valuable skill for a home care franchise owner.

Nurse Next Door Home Care Services is a business with heart. Our franchises consistently deliver a Happier Aging experience to their senior clients, whether they need a visit a week, or around-the-clock care.

Partner with Nurse Next Door for a reduced franchise fee

At Nurse Next Door, we’re proud to offer veterans $10,000 off their franchise fee. It’s our way of saying thank you to all who have served their country.

Learn more about our Veteran’s Program here.

Watch this video to know more about our Veterans Program

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