Business Ideas for Military Veterans

a close-up of a gears

Just because your military service is over doesn’t mean you have to stop working altogether. Military veterans across the world have the opportunity to own their own business and act as their own boss, from active-duty combatants to seniors looking to keep busy. Whether you start your own branch of a franchise or stay in a service-oriented career, there are plenty of paths for you to take.

Consider Becoming a Franchisee

If you’re interested in operating a small business but aren’t sure where to get started, being a franchisee might be the perfect opportunity for you. Since you’re working with an established business model, you’re still running your own business without all the heavy lifting required of your average startup.

There are plenty of veteran franchisees out in the world and, depending on the store, you may be offered incentives or discounts on franchise fees and initial costs. Running a franchise brand is a great way for military veterans and even their spouses to get their feet wet with entrepreneurship and franchise ownership.

Most veteran franchise small businesses have their own standard operating procedures already in place and they give you a chance to be a business partner with a top franchise. If you consider yourself to be a person with an entrepreneurial spirit and you want to work alongside an industry leader, it’s time to search for the right franchise opportunity.

If you’re concerned about the finances, programs like the VetFran Fund can help you find the funding you need to be a franchise owner. The VetFran Program provides a listing of veteran franchise opportunities. VetFran also helps connect veterans to the right business owners and franchises. One quick search for the VetFran Program will take you right where you need to be.

Running a franchise can be tough, though, so it’s important to come prepared. Do your research, look into the International Franchise Association, and investigate some of the common mistakes that veteran franchise owners tend to make. You don’t want to be a franchise owner that has to throw in the towel so it’s key that you do your research.

Transfer Your Skills to Fire Engineering

If you’re a veteran who enjoyed the service aspect of your role, you could always consider a role like becoming a fire engineer in Australia. Being a fire engineer is a natural career shift for a military veteran who worked on military vehicles. Fire engineers also work with vehicle maintenance and performance and are integral, especially in Australia.

Unlike firefighters, fire engineers aren’t typically as deep in the trenches so spouses don’t have to worry quite so much. These service members can use their military experience to get a job with a fire station. While going to combat fires might not be at the top of your list of dream vacations, some firehouses offer financial incentives for your services.

In the last year alone, Australia has seen an increased need for fire engineers and workers. As such, veterans are often in high demand due to their model leadership skills and natural fighting spirit. For some, leaving the United States can be intimidating but it could be worth looking into the quality of living down in Australia.

Of course, if you’re a native Australian vet, you already likely know of some fire stations that are looking for skilled, competent workers. It depends on your level of interest and your motivation to get back into a more service-oriented role.

These are just two of the numerous roles that are looking extensively for veterans to employ. If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, just know that there’s plenty of work out there for you.

Nola Blanton researches, organizes, and delivers high-level and impactful strategic content that helps OI's readers understand, discuss, and prepare for emerging trends in business and marketing.

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