As a veteran, you know what it takes to work hard and make sacrifices. You’re practiced in exercising discipline and keeping a solid routine. You know how to respond when unexpected situations arise and are always ready to act honorably.
All of these qualities and more make veterans excellent entrepreneurs and small business owners. In fact, 49% of veterans became business owners after World War II, and research shows that the trend has continued — Today’s veterans own 10 percent of America’s small businesses. Veterans usually have an easier time securing funding for their business ventures too, giving them all the more reason to give the entrepreneurial route a shot.
Home-based travel businesses are one of the most attractive franchise opportunities for military veterans. Franchise opportunities for veterans like Dream Vacations give veterans a chance to put their strengths into a successful business that fits their lifestyle. In fact, Dream Vacations has been ranked the top franchises for veterans by Military Times for four years in a row. Many veterans attribute the allure of veteran-friendly franchises to the family-like support system and flexibility.
Here are 5 more popular reasons why Dream Vacations is one of the best franchises for veterans:
- Freedom & flexibility.
- Excellent training resources (leadership skills learned in the service prepares veterans to lead in life and business).
- Support system from fellow franchisees and leadership.
- More opportunities to travel.
- Veteran discounts with opportunities, licensing, training, and certification (Dream Vacations offers 20% off initial fee).
If all of these elements appeal to you, you’re probably ready to become a vetrepreneur. Just what is a vetrepreneur, you ask? A vetrepreneur is just what it sounds like: a veteran who translates military skills to become an entrepreneur after military service.
Vetrepreneurs often thrive because of the strong network they’ve built during their time in the military. The military is setup as a system to provide you with resources, training, experience, and confidence that will lead you to success. The military structure offers a similar format as the franchise model provides. Franchising has a proven system and formula for success that, when followed, allows entrepreneurs, and vetrepreneurs alike, find achievement, prosperity, growth, and success. Having meaningful connections all over the world helps these vetrepreneurs start businesses that take off quickly and stand the test of time.
Small Business Ideas for Active Military
Can you start a business while in the military? Yes, you can have a business while on active duty. Though some active military members may be skeptical of the idea, there are plenty of ways to dive into running a small business. Active duty military members simply need to look for business opportunities that provide enough flexibility to be done both at home and remotely, when on duty. Upon finding the right opportunity, active military members can thrive just as well as vetrepreneurs or civilian entrepreneurs.
So what is military entrepreneurship? This is when an active military member starts a business on the side of serving the country. The business can be run after normal duties are done for the day, or when the military member is home for longer periods of time. A flexible business can also be run remotely, or a spouse or business partner can take over when the military member is on active duty.
Active duty military members make great candidates for entrepreneurship because they already have a steady paycheck coming in, as well as healthcare for the family and a stable job. Start Up Businesses & Business Opportunities for Veterans & Retired Military
Looking for other business opportunities as a veteran or retired military member? Check out the following list for some ideas that might spark your interest. business opportunities that afford veterans, including disabled veterans, flexibility or are home-baeed are great options for earning potential.
- Become a franchise owner. Reputable franchises like Dream Vacations Franchise & Cruise One offer a 20% military discount to all servicemen and women. Get started today or learn more from a fellow veteran and Dream Vacations Franchise Owner.
- Serve as a government contractor.
- Get certified as a fitness trainer.
- Conduct home inspections.
- Start a travel company.
- Become a professional tutor.
- Painting houses and other home repair services.
- Train in self-defense.
- Offer pest control services.
How to Succeed as a Vetrepreneur
Veterans and active-duty military members already have many of the keys to success as a vetrepreneur or military entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurs fret about not having a steady paycheck and healthcare for the family when they’re first starting their business venture. But luckily these are major elements you already have taken care of as a member of the military.
Lifting the stress of covering your basic needs will allow you to focus on other aspects of growing your business. With the right research and training, you’ll quickly launch into a thriving business that more than provides for your family.
If you’re ready to get started and wondering how to get off on the right foot, here are some tips to consider.
- Create a business plan. You would never go into battle without having a plan of action. Make sure you’re well prepared to start a business by creating an official business plan. This should include elements like:
- How you’ll get funding
- How you’ll market your business
- How you’ll produce your products
- Projections for growth
- Study your field. Once you have a business plan, there’s still plenty of research to be done. Set aside time every week to read about your business field. Learn about industry trends, read blog posts, and interact in online forums. Additionally, franchises provide training and on-going support so that you feel very prepared and confident about your business.
- Join a local business network. The internet offers a wealth of information to help modern business owners reach success, but there’s nothing like an in-person connection to help your business thrive. Meet other local business owners to get valuable advice and tips. By joining a franchise, you have a built-in network of peers who support each other and network with one another.
- Manage your time. Do you ever set out to accomplish a task, but feel like you’re still running in circles hours later? Every great business owner minimizes these situations by becoming a master of time management. Schedule out your day and prioritize tasks so you make the most of every minute you have.
- Delegate tasks. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they have to do everything themselves, especially when they’re starting out. Maximize your time by working within your support system that helps you every step of the way. You don’t have to be an expert in IT or marketing. There are experts producing and creating those things for you so that you can focus on other items.
- Practice leadership skills. As a veteran, you already possess leadership skills. Learn how to translate those skills to your business by reading up on entrepreneur leadership.
- Find a mentor. Veterans have the advantage of having a strong network from their time in service to the country. They know the value of building relationships and learning from the more experienced military members. Likewise, a veteran should take time to find a mentor who can help walk them through their business journey.
- Be ready to face challenges. If there’s anyone who knows how to face a challenge, it’s a veteran. Vetrepreneurs should use their ability to face adversity and apply it to their business. Challenges will come up, so it’s best to accept them and continue moving forward without letting a setback completely derail you.
- Create strategic partnerships. Partnerships are one of the best ways to keep the momentum of your business going. Look for ways to partner with similar businesses who offer complementary services.
Most Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I certify my company as veteran-owned?
To certify your company as veteran-owned, you’ll need to register with the VA. Contact the VA to find out which contracts apply to your business. Service-disabled veterans have special certifications and contracts that differ from other veterans, so you’ll want to make sure you’re applying for the right certification.
Most certifications require you to show proof that you are veteran, so you’ll need your Department of Defence Form 214. If you’re a service-disabled veteran, you’ll also need a letter of proof from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.
You will also want to make sure you qualify to be officially sanctioned as a veteran-owned business before going through the application process. To do so, you must own at least 51% of your company.
Americans love supporting small business owners, and they’re especially happy to support vetrepreneurs. Many people will go out of their way to purchase from a veteran-owned company. Taking the time to certify your company as veteran-owned will be well worth the effort.
Can you use your GI Bill to start a business?
No, you cannot use your GI Bill directly to start a business. However, you can use your GI Bill to gain the education needed to become a successful entrepreneur. The right education is an invaluable asset in setting off on the right path with your business.
The term GI Bill refers to any education benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, meaning the money can be used to help cover the cost of education or training. Your GI Bill might be a:
- Post 9-11 GI Bill
- Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill
- Reserve and Guide Montgomery GI Bill
- Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Program
If you’re an aspiring vetrepreneur or military entrepreneur, you can look into your GI Bill benefits which may cover a variety of training and educational programs, such as:
- College degree programs
- Non-college degree programs (like technical and vocational training)
- Flight training
- National tests like the SAT
- On-the-job training programs or apprenticeships
- Licensing and certification costs
How can you get funding for a veteran-owned business?
Veterans have many options for funding their business. The small business administration offers special loans for veteran-owned businesses, and other lenders also offer unique loans for veteran entrepreneurs. Other loan options include:
- Military Economic Injury Loans.
- Veterans Business Fund.
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Contracting Program.
- Dream Vacations Franchise is offering financing with as little as $3,500 down.
- Dream Vacations Franchise offers an annual contest, Operation Vetrepreneur, where we award five free franchisees a year. For more information please visit, Operation Vetrepreneur.