A tremendous amount of veterans dive headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship after they leave the military, and it’s easy to see why.
Disciplined, dedicated, self-motivated, and willing to take on the kinds of challenges that most people shrink from on a regular basis, veterans are particularly well-suited to the world of business – especially building a business from scratch and going through the kinds of growing pains that already existing businesses have likely long forgotten about.
At the same time, veterans can be at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to building a new business. Many of them find that they are “hard skills” they learned in the military do not transfer over to civilian life all that effectively, and some find that they are a little bit behind the eight ball compared to similarly aged and experienced entrepreneurs that went to school with a focus on business compared to serving our Armed Services.
To help our veterans take full advantage of everything that they have earned, and to make sure that they have every opportunity to succeed with this new endeavor, we’ve put together a couple of rock solid resources to help veterans start a business moving forward.
Let’s dig right in!
Be sure to register your business as a Veteran Owned Business at the VA’s OSDBU
Right out of the box you’re going to want to make sure that you have your business registered as a Veteran Own Business with the VetBiz directory through the Veterans Administration.
The process is simple and straightforward but the benefits are incredible. After you’ve been listed in this registry you will be able to qualify for government contract options reserved for veterans exclusively, as well as gain the opportunity to pursue veteran financing programs that aren’t going to be available anywhere else.
On top of that, the VA entrepreneurial portal online has a tremendous amount of resources designed to help vets set up their business as quickly as possible.
Check out BusinessUSA and their resource library
BusinessUSA is a government owned and operated website and online platform that provides a flood of tools, training, technology, and resources specifically geared towards helping veterans start and grow their businesses.
You’ll find all of these resources easy to take advantage of, easy to utilize, and even easier to find and sift through. A quick quiz can identify specific government resources that you will find most applicable to your new entrepreneurial efforts, and with new resources being added to this portal on regular basis you’ll be able to keep coming back again and again to stay out ahead of the competition.
Leverage financing favorable (sometimes only available) to veterans
Your veteran status is going to grant you a tremendous amount of benefits, many of which have been explicitly outlined in the G.I. Bill and should have been made aware to you when you transitioned out of the service.
Some of the most well-known benefits include tuition support and the opportunity to get fantastic financing for cars, homes, and insurance – but you might be surprised to learn that the business financing options available to veterans are tremendous as well.
The US Small Business Administration has their own Veteran Advantage Loan Program, expediting applications put forth by veterans that guarantee government-backed sba loans good for upwards of $350,000. You’ll get a response to your application within 36 hours, guaranteed and will receive other preferential treatment when you are a veteran.
Other business loans for veterans are out there, too. This includes options from the Navy Federal Credit Union and veteran specific lending packages from local and national banks and credit unions. Speak to a member of those financial institutions about business financing and be sure to mention your veteran status and you’ll find that all kinds of doors open to you that might not have opened up before.
The course, you’ll also want to make sure that you take full advantage of networking opportunities available to veterans. Individual branches of service obviously do their level best to look after one of their own, but you’ll find that there are plenty of examples of cross branch cooperation when you have vet status in common with someone else.
The opportunities are endless for veterans serious about building the business of their dreams, and hopefully the resources above help you hit the ground running!