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Business Start-Up Advice for Entrepreneurial Vets

Business Start-Up Advice for Entrepreneurial Vets

About 25% of transitioning veterans are interested in running their own business, and if you’re one of them, you’ll benefit from learning how to do so in a smart, creative and economical way. The great news is that, on top of general training seminars and entrepreneurial workshops available specifically to vets, there are a host of funding options that you can access in order to increase your chances of succeeding.

Business Training for Vets

Whether you’ve already been working in a career for years or are new to the business world, investing your time into receiving startup-specific training is a great way to leverage your military experience and transition it to fit the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Boots to Business is a great training program that’s run by the Small Business Administration and offers an in-person course on the basics of owning your own business as well as follow up online educational tools and resources.

Bunker in a Box is another great option geared towards military minds and consists of 14 “missions” that teach you about starting your own business. This program is unique in that it offers access to a network of qualified success stories all around the country in order to build your reach and be able to learn from mentors. These are just a few of the training options available, and taking a deeper look at the resources available will yield results more specific to your location and needs.

What to Know About Business Grants for Veterans

If you’ve developed a great idea and are ready to get your startup up and running, your first order of business will be to look for and secure funding. Before beginning your startup journey, it’s helpful to sign up for a coalition or organization where you can access mentors who will be able to guide you through your experience. The American Corporate Partners is an organization made up of Fortune 500 mentors who are dedicated to helping veterans achieve success. However, other organizations actually fund veteran-owned startups.

Hivers and Strivers, for example, is an angel investment group that looks to fund veteran-owned startups and invests in a wide variety of industries, not just tech. Their typical investment has been noted to be between $250,000 and $1,000,000. The StreetShares Foundation is another option, as they give out grants on a monthly basis to veteran-owned businesses based on their social impact and the strength of their business plan.

Invest in the Sustainability of Your Startup

Now that you’ve received business training and secured the funding you need to get your startup off the ground, you’ll want to ensure you’re dedicating time and resources to the sustainability of your business investment. Investing in marketing is one of the best ways to ensure the continued success of your business, and as a veteran, you have a bit of an edge in this process.

First, it’s important to identify your audience and then reach out to local media to explain who you are and what you’re doing. As a veteran, you’ll want to make sure this is clear and incorporate that into your pitch in a way that is natural yet prominent. Consistently brand your business through video marketing, which can help you educate and entertain your audience while also giving a more personal touch to your business.

Keep At It

Starting your own business is a tough task to tackle, but by employing the patience, dedication, and perseverance you learned while in the military, you will be able to power through it. Take advantage of the unique skills you learned and learn how to leverage them in a way that translates to smart business practices. And, as always, don’t be afraid to ask for help in the form of mentorship from somebody who has been in your shoes.

By Lucy Wyndham

Visit our job board regularly to find companies that have positions available offering jobs for veterans, and follow our blog and social media profiles for tips on how to transition to civilian life.