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Preparing to Start a Business as a Veteran

By Amy Collett

Image: Pexels

People who have just retired from active duty are often well placed to get into the entrepreneurial world. They have the organizational skills and confidence necessary to run a business. They are also more willing to take calculated risks than people without a military background.

If you are a veteran looking to start your own Business, you have a head start. Here are some tips.

Finding Support

There are plenty of programs by the SBA and other institutions that support people to transition from military service to entrepreneurship.

Boots to Business is a training program by the Small Business Administration that focuses on business ownership. It’s available to both veterans and their spouses. It’s a two-day in-person course that can help you decide how to structure your Business. The program allows veterans to figure out how to use the skills attained during their service years to make a living.

Hivers and Strivers is an investment group that provides startup capital for veterans. Typically, they give checks of $250,000 and $1 million depending on the idea and funding round. If a business needs more money, the investment group has the clout to pull in other investors and structure syndicate groups to buy equity in a startup.

Street Shares is a company that identifies people with viable startup ideas and connects them with investors. The shareholders are veterans, although they accept proposals from people without a military background too.

Importance of Going Back to School

Many veterans opt to get into business school before starting a business or expanding an existing one. Earning an undergraduate degree or a master’s in business administration provides broad knowledge that’s impossible to compress into a short training program. You get to write and interrogate business plans and understand capital budgeting, principles of marketing, and organizational theory.

Business school is also great because you’ll learn how to conduct market research and correctly use the insight you find. You’ll be able to find a market gap and position your Business accordingly.

Choosing a Business Structure

One of the most critical decisions you’ll make will be the type of Business to register with the relevant authorities. A sole proprietorship is easy to start, but it has its limitations because creditors will hold you liable for the debts and obligations of the Business. You will have limited access to funding and may not bid for specific contracts. A limited liability company (LLC) combines a corporation and a partnership business structure features. It protects your assets from the liabilities of the Business.

From Military Service to Entrepreneurship

Coming from a military background to entrepreneurship can be an advantage due to your organizational skills. With the help of veteran-focused programs from the SBA and other organizations, you can have a thriving business up and running before you know it.

For free resume services, job listings, and links to veteran-friendly organizations that will help you along your business path, contact Put Veterans to Work today.


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