Military Entrepreneurs - 7 Tips for Veterans Interested in Starting a Business

Posted by Michael Horn on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 08:52 AM

In Session 1 of Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors we discussed the different ways that military entrepreneurs can get into business.  Here Jerry Shaw at Newsmax added to a previous post by David Shutler, President and CEO of Utility Systems Solutions, Inc. who writes for Entrepreneur. This excellent article reinforces what we discussed in class. Jerry offers many tips that potential business owners need to consider. Understanding these tips will help you determine whether entrepreneurship is right for you. We will discuss this this again in class.

Jerry writes---Military veterans returning to civilian life have many options if they are interested in starting a business. The skills they developed during their service help in building the character needed to become successful business owners.

A 2011 study by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy found that vets are about 45 percent more likely to turn out to be entrepreneurs than those without a military background, David Shutler, president and CEO of Utility Systems Solutions, Inc., writes for Entrepreneur.

Veterans are willing to take the risks necessary for new ventures. They have confidence and the organizational abilities to stay with a goal and succeed.

Here are seven tips for veterans interested in starting a business:

1. Stick to what you know — This is great for vets because they often learn the skills needed in different fields. From engineering and management to communications and healthcare, vets can choose areas where they would excel in the business world.

2. Get expert advice — No matter how much you know, vets can always use the counseling and information offered through the local SBA office, available at SBA.gov, which helps in making the right decisions.

3. Take advantage of vet business programs and financing — Entrepreneurial programs are available online through such programs as Boots to Business, notes QuickBooks. Low-interest loans for vets to start a business are available through the SBA and such nonprofits as the Veterans Business Fund.

4. Use military lessons learned — Combat training helps vets to survive through the best and worst of times, especially during the startup process. Vets are also comfortable in taking advice from those who have expertise in their field.

5. Look into franchises — A military background helps vets work effectively as team members within the franchise structure. They are well-suited to handle promotions and programs recommended by the company.

6. Consider government contract work — The government offers contracts to many small businesses owned by vets and those operated by disabled vets. Returning vets can learn how to compete for contracts through the Vets First Contracting Program, according to NerdWallet.

7. Combine knowledge with sales and marketing — Military training often works in the fields of sales, marketing, retail, and management. Some vets have seen business success by selling products with military themes. Civilians and vets are often happy to support businesses that share the military experience.

Tags: vetrepreneur, Vets, Entrepreneurs, Veteran, Entrepreneurship, startups, Small Business, Franchise, military