Did you know that veterans are more likely to become business owners than those who have never served in the military? Their experience proves they are organized, goal-oriented and unafraid to take risks, essential qualities whether entering the battlefield or launching a new venture. Here are five things anyone with a military background should know before starting their own company.
1. Your Experience Is Valuable
The ability to remain cool under pressure is an essential trait for any business owner. As a military graduate, you already have experience operating under stressful conditions. Veterans are also adept at seeing projects through to their end. Those who served in leadership roles make excellent project managers. Vets with medical experience are suited to becoming first responders. Whatever function you performed while serving, your background has you well prepared.
2. You Do Not Have To Do Everything
Just like in the armed forces, things work best when people are assigned to particular roles. Specialization provides superior results. Focus on your talents and hire others to handle duties outside your wheelhouse. There is no point in stretching yourself too thin only to achieve a subpar outcome.
3. Expertise Is Available
There are many informational resources for those who are just starting. The Small Business Administration can be an informative starting point. Investigating your local community college’s Small Business Development Center may also yield results. It’s likely that your armed forces peers have already started their own veteran-owned businesses. Reach out to them and see what advice you can uncover.
4. Discover Your Opportunity
Mull over what you learned during your time in the service and think about how that knowledge can be applied within a civilian context. If you were an expert marksman, go into gun sales or open a firing range. Open a store that focuses on outdoor living or create a survival training camp if you developed expert survival skills. Capitalize on the abilities you refined during your time in uniform.
5. Financing Opportunities Exist
Veterans have special avenues for acquiring startup funds. The SBA, for instance, has a loan program called Patriot Express designed to get you started. Alternatively, consider getting a microloan or acquiring capital from a credit union or community bank. With your background, lenders are more likely to perceive you as dependable and approve your application.
Starting a veteran-owned business comes with the same challenges as any other, but military status offers certain advantages. Understanding them will set you on the right path to serving your country in an entirely new way.