If you or someone you know is a veteran who is thinking about starting a business, you are in good company. It has been shown that military veterans make outstanding entrepreneurs, and studies have shown that vets are 45% more likely to start their own business than those without military experience. Being in the military is an excellent way to build character, develop skills, and gain the confidence needed to succeed in business. Starting a business can seem daunting for anyone. However, there are some excellent resources available for veterans to help them. We’ve compiled a list of 5 tips for veterans thinking about starting a business.
Tip # 1: Check Out the Small Business Administration (SBA)
Part of the mission of the SBA is to assist veterans who desire to start their own business. They offer a number of excellent resources and have a dedicated program for veteran entrepreneurs called Boots to Business. The SBA is a great place for anyone who desires a business of their own to start with. However, this is especially true for those who have served.
Tip # 2: Apply Your Training
Serving in the military means that you have had some phenomenal training. Whether you plan to start a business in a field you learned during your time in the service, or if you intend to do something entirely different, you still received some valuable training to assist you. Military training helps develop character, courage, and integrity. Use these skills to your benefit in whichever field you chose.
Tip # 3: Take Advantage of Veteran Financing
One great benefit earned by those who have served is access to increased financing options. Even for those with less than perfect credit may have an opportunity for business financing because of their military experience with certain lenders. Do your homework and find out what is available, and take advantage of the options.
Tip # 4: Network
Again, networking is extremely valuable for anyone starting a business. However, veterans have likely forged strong bonds with others in the military who have started a business themselves. Reach out to other veterans you know, seek a business mentor, and talk to people to gain wisdom. Chances are, anything you face, another veteran entrepreneur has also faced. So, use their experience to your benefit.
Tip # 5: Use Your Resources
Along with the SBA, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also offers resources for military veterans seeking to start a business. The Center for Veterans Enterprise is a division of the VA dedicated to helping veterans seeking to start or grow their own business.
Starting your own business is an exciting adventure, and veterans have a unique advantage. By doing proper research, and following these tips, you could soon be on your way to business ownership.
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