3 Tips for Starting a Veteran-Owned Business
Starting a veteran-owned business can be an excellent way to build a new career after leaving the military. It gives you a chance to be your boss and explore building an operation that is aligned with your vision. Often, transitioning from a role in public service to an entrepreneurial role comes with unexpected adjustments, but the key to making it work is knowing how to access the resources that are there for you. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Use the Programs Designed for Veterans Like You
There are a few loan programs designed for entrepreneurs who retired from the armed services. They not only provide support in the form of resources to help you navigate basics like applying for a tax ID, but they also take into account your unique resources. For example, a private sector job might provide the opportunity to build a 401k that could be leveraged for capital. A veteran-oriented financing firm would take into account any earned pension that is providing for your cost of living while providing access to the capital you do not have from a 401k, and that involves using criteria that are different from those used for the person financing with a mixture of loans and 401k backing.
2. Market Your Business to Veterans
Many people have loved ones with military service backgrounds even if they have not served themselves. This makes them eager to support a veteran-owned business when they find one locally, and you can use that to establish rapport with your customers and to support other veterans in your community. Adopting programs like military service discounts and making it clear why can be a great way to do that marketing on a word-of-mouth level so you do not need to make it the core of all your marketing efforts. Just make it a visible part of your endeavor so you can be seen by veterans and their loved ones in your community.
3. Use Your Connections
Many veterans have large social networks filled with people that have diverse skill sets. Whether you are calling in friends to provide the talent for your operation or finding reliable contacts to use as suppliers, you have a lot of ways to make sure your business has what it needs. Instead of starting from scratch with your business, take a look at the social resources you can bring to bear, then brainstorm about what you can do with them.