Today, an estimated 2.5 million businesses are veteran majority-owned. If you want to join their ranks, taking advantage of available resources is wise. That way, you can get the support you need to make your goals a reality.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, this asknod article offers up some tips about starting a business, including an overview of available resources.
How to Start a Business as a Veterans
While it may seem like starting a business is incredibly difficult, that isn’t necessarily the case. The process itself is pretty straightforward. Usually, you’ll need to:
- Come up with an idea
- Choose a business structure
- Write a business plan
- Handle some market research
- Secure funding
- Obtain licenses and permits
When it comes to the idea, pulling from your military experience can be wise. For example, many veterans have knowledge and skills that could let them start a private security firm, launch a personal training business, or teach survival skills professionally. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Consider which skills you enjoy using as well as how your experience could benefit others. Then, find an option that aligns with that, allowing you to turn your existing expertise into a workable business.
Resources for Veterans
As a veteran, you get access to numerous education benefits through the VA. While the GI Bill is the most well-known form of assistance, that isn’t the only program. For example, the VR&E program makes training more accessible to veterans with disabilities. Chapter 36 gives veterans access to education and career counseling, which can help them get on the right path.
By seizing opportunities to further your education, you can sharpen your business skills. For example, a degree in accounting could help you better understand the financial side of the equation, something that could be critical for success.
As you explore your options, don’t overlook online degrees. With an online program, you get more flexibility, ensuring you can balance work, school, and family life with greater ease.
Veteran Entrepreneur Portal
Another resource available through the VA is the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP). It’s brimming with interactive tools and guidance that can make your dream of starting a business a reality.
For example, you can learn about financing options, get tips for finding government contracting opportunities, and so much more. The portal is incredibly easy to use, too, ensuring you can get what you need right when you need it.
Support from the SBA
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has several programs designed to help veterans. The agency’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) oversees Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) all across the country.
SBA and OVBD make workshops, mentorship, and training options more accessible. One option designed specifically for veteran entrepreneurs is the Boots to Business (B2B) program. However, it isn’t the only one available, by far.
Additionally, the SBA has other helpful tools that can make it easier to start a business. For instance, the Lender Match program makes it easier to locate loans for your business.
American Corporate Partners Mentor Program
The world of business can be very different from the military. But if you have a mentor, you may be able to figure out the landscape quickly.
American Corporate Partners mentoring program makes finding a mentor easier. You’ll get connected to a corporate professional who can offer you direct, customized, one-on-one guidance, allowing you to cultivate an exciting career as an entrepreneur.
The mentor pairing process is very strategic. The organization considers your goals, ensuring you are matched with the right entrepreneur from the beginning. If you’re looking for some helpful insights, the program is a hard-to-beat option.
Submitted by Kelli Brewer, one of our staff journalists.