So, you have a great new business idea. After serving in the military, you’re ready to embrace civilian life. You want to do so with a business of your own. Maybe you want a small business to pass down as your legacy or perhaps you have dreams of owning a major corporation. Whatever your dreams are, you can reach for them! There are a lot of resources available for veterans to open up their own small business. If you are looking for a way to start your business, here are some tips on how you can get started.
Start With an Idea
Before you even begin on the road to starting your own business, it’s time to think about why you want to start a business. What is your main goal? Do you want to provide a service to others? Do you have a skill that you want to sell? Is money a main priority? What do you seek to gain? These can be preliminary questions and remember that as your idea grows, you may find that your answers change. When you have an idea, you need to think about how it is going to fit into the market. Will it fill a current void? Will it stand up against other competitors? You don’t have to have all of the answers right away, but you need to keep these thoughts on the forefront of your mind. Before you start your business, you should be able to answer all of the questions when it comes to why you want to start a business and what your goals are.
Find a Veteran Training Program
Did you know that there are SBA programs that are specifically for veterans? These programs have custom classes, curriculums and a mix of online and in-person classes that provide veterans with the tools that they need for success. These classes can teach the fundamentals of business and will also reveal SBA resources and give students access to experts.
There is an Office of Veterans Business Development that is specifically deisgned to promote and encourage entrepreneurship. These programs are for veterans, reservists, service members, dependents or survivors. The programs may provide preparation or capital to those who need it for their small businesses. Make sure to find the one that fits your business needs, not to mention fits your profile as a service member. Some programs are for specific members of the military.
Create a Business Plan
Once you have the appropriate training in place, you can revisit your business idea. Now, you really need to narrow down your goals and write out a business plan that you can follow. A lot of people will rush into a new business without a business plan. They may not know who they are selling to, what their goals are or even what their costs are going to be. You need to be able to estimate the cost of the business that you want to run. Likewise, you need to think about how you are going to fund your new business.
Will you need small business funding? Do you have the funds to start the business on your own? Should you think about opening up a military checking account to help with your plans? In addition to a plan, you need to conduct market research. This is how you are going to figure out your demographics and who you are selling to. This will provide you with a profile for your target customer. When you know your customer’s needs, you will have an easier time selling to said customer. Market research and a business plan is what is going to differentiate you from the other competition. You have to be prepared to explain why your business should be chosen by customers, as opposed to a different business.
To own your own business can be extremely satisfying and fulfilling. The major hurdle is that to start your own business takes a lot of funding and a lot of work. You have to be willing to do a lot of the groundwork to get your business off of the ground. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources that are open to veterans to help them establish themselves as a small business. Not only do you have access to training programs, but there is also access to different types of funding. Do not feel discouraged from chasing your dream. Anyone can run a small business and as a veteran, you have as much of an option as anyone else.