17 ways milspouses can make money in 2019
The other day I was thinking about an exercise I did a few years ago. It is called brainwriting, and I use it every time I have writer’s block.
Basically, think brainstorming, but you do it by yourself, with a piece of paper and pen. Brainwriting is better than brainstorming in my opinion because it can help you with massive idea generation in a matter of minutes.
Lately, I've been receiving many questions about what kinds of businesses to start as a military spouse. While I do believe that starting the right business is very important and takes a lot of soul searching, sometimes it helps to hear about different types of businesses before deciding.
So without further adieu, check out my most-recent brainwriting session. Here's 17 ways you can make money as a business owner and military spouse in 2019:
#1 - Letterpress Maker - Who doesn’t love this retro art form? My husband and I recently had t-shirts made, and choose to get them silk screened by hand. They were beautiful and much nicer quality than other shirts we’ve sold in the past. Get inspired by this Knoxville, Tennessee establishment Yee-Haw Industries.
#2 - Puppy Au Pair - My sister and brother-in-law recently signed up to allow dogs to stay at their place in the city on the weekends. They have a baby on the way, so they are using dog sitting as a side hustle to bring in extra cash to outfit their baby nursery.
Apps like Rover make it easy for you advertise your skills as a dog walker or sitter, which gives you a leg up if you wanted to market yourself in a space where people are already there looking for dog services.
#3 - Virtual Assistant - Looking for a job that you can, quite literally, take with you wherever the military sends you? Consider becoming a virtual assistant. To learn more, check out Paper Chaser, a Milspo Project member business by Melissa St. Clair, started in 2006.
#4 - Online “Anything” Coach - If you have a unique set of skills, from knitting to language to leadership, consider becoming an online coach. All you need is a good wifi connection and the knowledge in your noggin. One of my favorites is the delightful Brendan Burchard. His book High Performance Habits is definitely worth a read.
If you still need a little inspiration, check out military spouse and coach Dr. Patrice Carter. She is a public speaker, author and founder of Breakpoint Publishing.
#5 - Jewelry Designer - Hope Designs and CharlieMadison Originals (both military spouses in the Milspo Project community) are making the world a more beautiful place through their jewelry and are using military life as inspiration for their unique designs.
#6 - Wedding Invite Artist - Just like my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Madison, used to say, “good penmanship will take you places.” Getting creative about using your impeccable cursive is a great fit for today's carefully curated weddings.
#7 - Birthday Party Planner - We’ve all heard of wedding planners and day-of-event coordinators, but why not niche down even further and specialize in birthday parties?!
Invest in the high-quality decorations, that most parents don’t want to afford, and gain a reputation for throwing over-the-moon birthday bashes in your community. As the go-to planner in your area, you could develop strong relationships with other vendors and even offer your clients vendor discounts for working with you.
Still need a little inspiration, look to milspouse Chavah Grant for inspiration.
#8 - Etiquette Teacher for Millennials - If you like to marry your knife and fork when you are done eating, lose track of time navigating table settings, and genuinely enjoy brushing up on proper thank you note etiquette, then being an etiquette instructor for millennials might be a perfect fit. Make the old new (and cool) again, because chewing your food politely should never go out of fashion.
#9 - Mobile Spa Boss - Wouldn’t it be fun to outfit a cute trailer as a mini spa, and pull right up to people’s house to provide on-site mani-pedis? Take your spa services on the road and make extra money by marketing to brides-to-be and their wedding parties on site.
#10 - Franchise Owner - from Anytime Fitness to Dunkin' Donuts to Cruise Planners, franchises across the US are making it easier for veterans and their families to become small business owners. If your service member is no longer active, a franchise could be a great option for a new business.
#11 - Pop Up Restaurateur - Owning a restaurant can be expensive, and it is hard to have a brick and mortar location when you know a military move is on the horizon. Perhaps a popup eatery is on your future? Some of the biggest names in the food and beverage space are doing it, and it is a great way to test recipes in a controlled, low-cost environment, and often, borrowed space.
#12 - App Developer - If you have been saying “I wish they had an app for that” then it is about time you created one. You can take your app idea a step further—just think about all the potential money to be made off of Amazon Alexa commands of the future.
#13 - Professional Gift Wrapper - Let’s just say my days at Williams-Sonoma as an associate paid off in a big way when they taught me how to properly wrap a gift.
Even though it is a complimentary service where I used to work, busy parents will pay big bucks for wrapping come Christmas time. Even in a slower season, you could host in-person gift wrapping workshops, and grow a YouTube following by teaching creative wrapping techniques.
#14 - Subscription Box Creator - Birch Box, Stichfix, and YogaClub have made subscription boxes for women popular, but now military families are getting into this business sector too. Be sure to check out MilSo Box and BRAV Box to learn what a subscription box biz could look like for you as a military spouse.
#15 - Birth Doula - My doula was an affordable and priceless addition to my recent birth team. The best part is you’re sure to have tons of business because the population is only growing. Check out Anjelica Malone, she is a military spouse and birth educator in the Pacific Northwest, or Amanda Glover, a labor and postpartum doula and military spouse in Northern California.
#16 - Frozen Banana Stand Owner - Real talk, I kicked a serious ice cream addiction in 2018 by switching to a healthy and equally satisfying alternative, chocolate covered frozen bananas. The best part? You can dip them in your favorite nuts, granola or even peanut butter, providing unlimited flavor options. Take it from me when I say, “there is definitely money in the banana stand.”
The good news? If you eat too many you can always hire military spouse Coach Claire to whip you back in shape.
#17 - Urban Farmer - There is nothing wrong with selling chicken eggs and fresh rosemary. More than ever, consumers are searching for fresher, local ingredients. Market yourself by naming your chickens and getting them an online following or sell your produce at your area farmers market.
What do you think is the best way for military spouses to make money in 2019? Let us know by commenting below this post!
For more ideas like these, join us as a Milspo Project member. Perks include business workshops, monthly workbooks, business book club, and an online library of all the biz resources you would need to get started!
Here’s to more milspo-owned business in 2019!