If you’re a veteran thinking of starting a new business. There are plenty of companies that you can start for less than $1,000. In fact, in some cases, you can start these businesses with less than $100. The key, of course, is being able to tap into the power of the Internet. Allowing you to keep your startup costs as low as possible. With that in mind, here are several low-cost business ideas for military veterans.
Idea #1: Fitness Consultant
Here’s where you can really leverage your military experience in the private sector. Everyone is trying to get into better shape these days and lose a few pounds. And people are willing to pay big bucks for “boot camp” style workout sessions.
All you have to do is come up with some clever branding ideas. Such as “the Navy SEAL workout”. And you can win over a market of consumers. Those who imagine themselves emerging with ripped abs and chiseled arms and legs. Even better, show up for the workout sessions dressed like a military drill sergeant. And you’ll have people lining up to hand over their money.
Just look at the example of SealFit. Designed by Navy SEAL commander Mark Divine. He’s now gone on to write bestsellers like “8 Weeks to SealFit”. Along with “Think Like an Elite Warrior To Lead and Succeed”.
Idea #2: Online Subscription Business
Several veteran entrepreneurs have successfully tapped into the power of online subscription businesses to make a huge profit. This is one of those low-cost business ideas for military veterans than is increasing in popularity. One example involves coffee. If you think that people only purchase coffee in a supermarket, you’d be wrong. There’s a whole group of people who prefer to sign up for a subscription-based coffee service.
Instead of running out to the supermarket every month to buy coffee. They arrange for the coffee to arrive at their door every week or month. They pay one low rate, and it’s a lot more affordable than buying one bag of coffee at a time.
One great example of a subscription-based business is Black Rifle Coffee Company. Another example is Victory Coffees. Thanks to a little clever branding that combines elements of patriotism and conservative American values. These companies have been big hits with the veteran coffee-drinking crowd.
To get off the ground, these businesses launched online. Although Black Rifle Coffee Company now has plans to open franchised locations around the nation.
Idea #3: E-commerce Business
Another popular veteran-owned business concept involves setting up an e-commerce storefront. Selling items like T-shirts or flip flops. Often, these t-shirts come with military-inspired slogans and images. And are designed to appeal to a certain type of consumer who respects the military and American values.
The great part about these businesses is that they are actually relatively affordable to get off the ground. Just a few years ago, starting a T-shirt company meant ordering a huge supply of shirts. Then storing them in a warehouse or garage somewhere until you could sell them.
With the Internet, however, you have access to print-on-demand technology. Which basically means that you only print these T-shirts when someone orders one. You pay less if you place a bulk order, of course. But you can also place an order for just a single T-shirt.
Just about any object can become the basis for a successful e-commerce business.
Take the example of Combat Flip Flops. They started off selling flip flops made from repurposed military combat boots. Or take the example of Bottle Breacher, which uses military-grade ammunition to make bottle openers. To really get your business off the ground, though, it’s helpful to include some military branding. This will help to establish your overall marketing identity.
Bottle Breacher, for example, is actually named for the military job function of the “breacher”. Whose job it is to get troops into a certain combat environment. Usually using explosives or some form of mechanical equipment. In the same way, a “bottle breacher” has one job – to get that bottle open, no matter what it takes!
Idea #4: Life coaching and consulting business
At first, you might not think there’s a big crossover between skills and experiences learned in the military. And those that are needed for success in the business world. But you’d be mistaken.
In fact, there’s huge pent-up demand among managers and executives to be more disciplined. And also more strategic in their thinking. They have to really respect the discipline of the military.
For that reason, becoming a “life coach” can be one way to enter the business world. You have to be a good listener, of course. But simply helping people to get their lives in order is something that people want. Think about all the things that people pay other people to help them do. They even pay them to help organize their closets!
One U.S. Air Force veteran, Angela Cody-Rouget, founded a business called Major Mom. Which uses tactics and ideas learned from the military to help people clean up and organize their homes.
It helps, of course, if you’re a former Navy SEAL like Jocko Willink. He’s become more than just a life coach. He’s also become a motivational speaker, a business consultant, and a popular podcaster.
And he also has a popular Twitter account (@jockowillink). Where he shares his motivational thoughts and ideas with others. E.g. “Many of the things that will make you feel good don’t feel good”.
Of course, there are many other businesses that you can start for less than $1000.
However, many of them – like becoming a graphic designer or a website copywriter. Even a professional photographer. However, they probably don’t have a direct relationship with your own military background.
There’s no need to become someone you’re not – as can be seen above. It’s quite possible to apply skills and experiences that you already have to start a successful veteran-owned business.
If you’re still in need of inspiration for low-cost business ideas for military veterans. Check out all the veteran entrepreneurs who have appeared on the popular TV show “Shark Tank”. Pitching their popular new products and services! They are starting real businesses based on addressing consumer demand in the marketplace.