5 Tips for Starting a Veteran-Owned Fitness Business
When you trained for the military, getting in shape and staying that way was certainly an advantage. If you are looking at owning your own small business, you could consider using all your experience and knowledge in this field to run a successful business. Of course, you will have to adapt what you know to suit the needs and performances of regular people. Without a doubt, with your guidance and knowledge, many people will be able to get in shape and lead a healthier life. But how can a veteran start a fitness business? What are the advantages and challenges that a veteran will face when starting out?
Here are 5 tips for starting your own fitness business as a veteran.
1: Find Veteran-Specific Business Funding
Being a veteran can mean access to business funding not available to civilians, and you should use this fact to your advantage. Those with this special status can enjoy loans that are backed up by the government. For example, the SBA has several programs destined for veterans. These programs are meant to help them access financial resources that will turn them into business owners. These programs include SBA Veterans Advantage and SBA Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Act of 2015. Veterans enjoy a lot of support in the entrepreneurship sector, so you have all the reasons you need to consider operating a business. For instance, you can always seek help at the Office of Veterans Business Outreach Center.
2: Consider Buying an Existing Business
Sometimes, it is easier to buy an existing business or choose a franchise than start everything from zero. You may save some money and time, as doing so will allow you to open the doors of your fitness center very soon, and therefore it may be worth looking for gyms for sale in your area. Even though buying an existing business has many advantages, try to find out why the business is for sale. Getting a business with a lot of debt or legal issues is not recommended. If you can’t find out much from the business owner, you should put on a detective coat and ask around about the business. There is also the possibility of opening a business with the help of a fitness franchise. With the help of a franchise, you will have almost everything you need to operate a business. This means you’ll get a business name, brand, and lots of support from the main company to succeed. Of course, you will still need to get resources for it, like funding and staff, but at least you’ll have part of it available.
3: Get Entrepreneurship and Teaching Training
As a veteran, you were trained to fight and be resilient, withstanding a wide range of conditions. Thus, working in stressful conditions is not an issue for you. However, running a business is different from what you’ve been used to so far. You should seriously consider investing in your development as an entrepreneur. There are quite a few programs meant to support the development of military veterans as entrepreneurs. These courses or training programs will last for a couple of weeks and will provide all the basic knowledge you need to understand what running a business is all about, how to start it, and how to successfully run it. Boots to Business, Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Ent
repreneurship, and SBA pre-business workshops are examples of training sessions specially developed for veterans. In addition, the help of trainers such as Cardio Haus can help you craft the fitness programs at your business and become an effective teacher.
4: Research the Local Fitness Market
To run a successful business relies on understanding how the local market works. Without a doubt, there are other fitness centers and gyms in your area. Therefore, it is worth seeing what you can do differently than the others. Among all the other fitness centers and gyms on the local market, most certainly there’s room for you as well. You just need to come out with a different approach, something that will answer the needs of people and help them enjoy the desired results. Look for gaps in the types of classes and training offered and work to find the right staff and trainers to fill those gaps at your business.
5: Associate with Other Veterans
It may be easier and more productive to be part of an association for veterans or collaborate with organizations meant to support veterans that operate businesses. The National Veteran-Owned Business Association is one example of a non-profit organization created to help veterans that struggle to keep their businesses running. Such associations boost opportunities for veterans and offer support to help them make it on the market. So, whether you need help to get started or you’re looking for ways to scale and grow your business, a veteran-dedicated association will certainly help you out.