After leaving the military, some veterans find it challenging to find a place in the workforce that feels right to them. The transition back to full-time civilian life can be difficult. Taking a job where they may not be happy long-term is the path many veterans take. Starting a business doing something they are already good at can be just what they need to reinvent themselves post-military life. 

A great fit for veterans is a fitness business. The fitness industry helps veterans retain their personal and military identity. With all of the military’s daily physical training, knowing how to get in shape and stay in shape is second nature to veterans. Veterans can apply their fitness experience and knowledge in running a successful fitness business. The gym and health club market in the United States is substantial. It is currently sized at $34.1 billion, according to IBIS World. 

There are many options for fitness franchises: High-intensity specialty fitness centers, centers that target women only, traditional large fitness centers, 24-hour fitness centers, boot camps, boxing clubs, and pre- and post-natal workout facilities. Some franchises need the owner to be involved in the business full-time. Other models allow for semi-absentee ownership. Semi-absentee ownership means that part-time the owner is involved in the business, but they have a manager or managers who run many day-to-day activities. This allows them to spend time with family, work another job, or “be retired.”

With the help of a franchise, veterans will have almost everything they need to operate a business. A franchise provides a business name, brand, and lots of startups and ongoing support from the franchisor to succeed. Veterans will have to learn new skills when starting a business, such as hiring, payroll, marketing, and so on, but veterans have also been trained to delegate tasks while in the military. If there is something they don’t know how to do, they know how to find people who can. Building a successful team around them helps ensure a successful business. 

Starting a small business can be hard emotionally and cause stress. Veterans ahead of many others in this area because of the rigorous training received while in the military. The military teaches focus, to ignore outside distractions, and to handle stress well. Along these same lines in the business world, staying focused on what’s important, building the plan, getting the business started, and working on the plan leads to success. 

Funding a franchise can be slightly easier for veterans. Usually, the process is a little easier than for civilians. Veterans can get loans that are backed by the government. The SBA has several programs only for veterans, such as the SBA Veterans Advantage and SBA Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Act of 2015. Lastly, many times, credit scores are not as big of a factor for veterans’ loan approval.  

The fitness industry is definitely one to consider as the next step in a veteran’s career path. For more information on fitness franchises, contact Scott Milas at

About the AuthorScott Milas is a franchise Top 15 consultant with The Franchise Consulting Company who works with many different people, from all types of backgrounds that are interested in learning about owning their own business for the first time. He also works closely with multi unit/brand owners who are looking to diversify their business portfolio. Contact Scott at 413-935-5111 or at