US military veterans have dedication, determination and an incredible work ethic, along with organizational and leadership skills. With your skills and training, courage and integrity, you’re well equipped to start a successful new small business.
Here are some tips to help you get started as a veteran entrepreneur:
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Although you’ll need to wear multiple hats in your startup, you can only do so much personally. Be ready to handle your area(s) of expertise, where you can have the most impact–and outsource or automate other operational areas or repetitive tasks.
- Get expert advice and business education. Connect with consultants for higher-level expertise in areas you’re unfamiliar with. Veteran’s mentoring and training, most of it free, can be found at SCORE. The organization introduces new entrepreneurs to willing mentors online, or through its physical locations. They also offer entrepreneurship courses online. Additional resources to check out include the SBA’s Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Boots to Business program, and the nonprofit Veterans Business Fund.
- Look for special funding programs for veterans. Special loan offers for veterans often exist at specialty lenders, community banks and credit unions. The SBA offers a Microloan Program from $500 up to $50,000 for startups. The Express Loan Program processes applications in under 36 hours.
- Listen for unmet public needs, and provide solutions for common problems in your area of expertise. Whenever you hear or read “somebody should” there could be a business opportunity. Find out what’s missing that these folks currently want or need. If you can design it or provide it, you have a great business idea.
- Consider franchising. A background in the military makes owning a franchise and working within its structure, easier for veterans.
- Follow your passion. Start a business around products/services you enjoy or feel passionate about. This makes your hard work fulfilling.
- Look into government contracts. Returning veterans can use the Vets First Contracting Program to compete for government contracts.
- Sell products with military themes. Both veterans and civilians like supporting veteran-run and/or military-related businesses.
We believe in veteran entrepreneurs. Learn how we can help with your business funding. Contact GP Solutions today.