The best small business ideas for veterans aren’t the typical ones you’re thinking.
There are a ton of potential small business ideas for veterans with a certain kind of experience and interests. But there’s generally some kind of barrier to entry to the typical ideas and they typically don’t have very high ceilings. Not to mention they can be boring.
To fix that, here’s a list of curated ecommerce business ideas for veterans that you might enjoy.
If there’s one thing you do in the military, it’s fitness. Which is not surprising why a lot of veterans get into some part of fitness culture. If this sounds like you, then starting a fitness clothing brand may be for you.
In this category, you can sell shirts, shorts, jackets, pants, and more. Either way, if focus on using wellness marketing strategies such as picking a category of clothing to specialize in and a specific fitness community to serve, your chances of building a successful fitness clothing brand skyrockets.
Artisanal foods are a niche category with huge potential due to most foods being mass produced. And one of those artisanal foods you can sell is honey. This can be homemade or through a 3rd party manufacturer. Either way, it’s super high end honey.
Honey is great because it’s not a category with tons of innovators. And wherever there is less competition, there is opportunity for a new brand to come in and be a “top dog” early in the game.
Food is an industry with tons of potential products to get into. One of those categories is popcorn. This category doesn’t have to be your generic popcorn with butter though. You can build a luxury popcorn brand or even a grungy keto-friendly popcorn brand for crossfitters.
Popcorn generally has good margins. And if you decide to build a luxury popcorn brand, your chances of having great margins increases. Plus, if you use your ecommerce platform as a launchpad to get into physical retail stores, you’ll win.
Whether we’re talking about frozen pizza or frozen burger patties, frozen food is one of the most competitive categories in the entire food category. But this also means that there is a huge demand for these types of foods, especially plant-based options, which means a huge need for vegan marketing strategies.
Frozen food is also a logistically challenging product to sell online due to the food needing to be frozen the whole way. However, if you can figure out the shipping problem, you can start a frozen food brand at a much lower level cost than most other competitors.
Lips are a big category in cosmetics. Just look at Kylie Cosmetics if you want to see what’s possible. Now, while there’s a lot of products you can sell here, one of the simplest products to get started with is the basic lip gloss.
With good marketing, a lip gloss brand can sell well. It also serves as a really good gateway product if you ever choose to sell more than just lip gloss. Plus, it’s in a category where virtually every product has amazing margins and subscription-friendly offerings.
Dogs are a man’s best friend. So why not build a brand around them? The dog market is quite possibly one of the most resilient markets because people treat their dogs with the same care as their own children. They’re willing to spend on them even during recessions.
Dog treats in particular also happen to be one of the most ecommerce friendly products in the dog market. That’s because they tend to have decent margins, high price points, and all while weighing less than a huge bag of dog food.
Sometimes, the best small business ideas for veterans have less to do with your ability to build a $100MM empire and more to do with being able to start with $100. The bath bomb business is one of those businesses where you can start with next to nothing if you make them yourself.
Being able to create handmade bath bombs includes being able to more closely control your cost per unit, eliminate the need for “minimums”, and being able to move fast if you need to modify or completely pivot the business at a drop of the hat.
If you’ve ever wanted to sell your own pottery creations, then this is the time to do it. Whether you want to sell plates or even mugs, you can build a whole brand around it. The home goods category is a proven winner and pottery is a big part of that.
Like most business ideas that you can make from home, you can start a pottery brand on a budget. The advantage pottery brands have versus other ideas though is that there are no serious laws when it comes to regulation as you would have to deal with in food brands.
Of the best small business ideas for veterans, the toy business is the one that has the highest ceiling. That’s because toys generally target kids and because toys have the ability to turn into IP that can transition from just toys into media.
One of the best examples of toy brands is Lego, which is now a media company that sells blocks. In addition, there are tons of military-inspired toys that you can manufacture or even invent yourself. The sky’s the limit with toy brands.
Do you love shoes? It doesn’t matter what type of shoe, whether it’s Yeezy’s or barefoot shoes. If you want to go into apparel, then starting a shoe line is probably the best route you can take. Examples of companies that do well here are Allbirds, Vivo, and more.
One of the best benefits of shoes is that it’s now a true luxury product. It has great margins, very high price point, it’s “drop-able”, and it’s generally considered the most important part of your wardrobe, especially to sneakerheads. It’s basically a commodity and a collectors item.