Small businesses are often said to be the backbone of the economy, employ most of the American workforce, and help grow the local community. Military service can be some of the best training for entrepreneurs because veterans are driven self-starters with a habit of focusing more on solutions than problems. For the best result from turning your military experience into a successful business model, you will want to secure the best training, have a solid plan, be flexible and network with other professionals.
Secure the Best Training
The Small Business Administration and other government and private entities have training classes and seminars to help entrepreneurs succeed in various sectors. You can even find quality training classes taught by the SBA on base designed to help get your veteran owned apparel shop or other company up and running on the right foot.
Have a Thorough Plan
While some entrepreneurs will say that you do not need a typed business plan, knowing where you want your company to go and how it will get there is essential. Lenders and some investors will still want to see a formal business plan that includes market research, spending plans and projected revenue before funding your endeavor.
Although you will want to have a solid plan, you will also want to be able to pivot when necessary. Some project flexibility will allow unforeseen obstacles to be stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks and keep your business up and running for longer. For instance, watching for sales and deals on supplies and equipment can be beneficial, even if taking advantage of the deal means pushing another purchase off for a little while.
Work Your Network
Chances are that you have built a solid network of contacts throughout your time in the military who can put you in touch with other business professionals to help grow your company, find investors and even beneficial suppliers and contracts. Do not be afraid to network at trade shows, corporate events and even local community activities. It is also a good idea to include your veteran status on business cards or in branding to help expand your network to veteran-friendly companies and investors.
Veteran-owned small businesses can be hugely successful with the right tips and tricks. By finding the proper training, securing a plan and being flexible, you can find the contacts and network necessary for success. Many government and private agencies will have programs designed to offer military personnel training, business deals and funding to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit among veterans.