Before we jump into the Veteran Entrepreneur information, it's time for a shameless plug of a book that you must read! It’s as simple as this… wildly successful entrepreneurs do NOT possess some special gift that makes them wildly successful. What they do have is the ability to get themselves to take action. The military personality type is, in my estimation, 99% ahead of their non-military counterparts when it comes to being successful as a pathfinding entrepreneur. If you’ve served in the military then you already have the ability to deal with uncertainty, have the stomach to take risks, and have a high tolerance for ambiguity. In addition, you probably have a high degree of self-confidence, tend to be over-optimistic, and rely extensively on your own intuition. These qualities are the textbook definition of a successful entrepreneur. Join me for a step by step guide from legally forming your business to profitability and a guide of the veteran's resources that are available to you to throughout your journey. Arriving March 2014!
Statistically, veteran owned small businesses have a higher rate of success than those run by non-veterans. Small businesses
are known as the cornerstone of the American economy. Nine out of ten businesses in the country are small businesses that employ over 50% of the nation’s workforce and produce almost half of the gross national product. Veteran owned businesses range from home based sole proprietorships to high-tech world wide corporations. Fourteen percent of American businesses are owned by veterans. Over 4 million veterans own their own small business with approximately 235,000 of those being service-connected disabled veterans. Veterans have help available to them if starting a business is goal they would like to achieve. Veterans can get assistance building a business from scratch through the Veterans Business Outreach Program. In conjunction with the Small Business Association Workshops are offered at 16 Veterans Business Outreach Center locations throughout the country. The following are some of the classes provided at these centers.
This workshop deals with all the major issues of self-employment. One also touches on how the Internet can be used as an important tool to develop and expand your business. Veterans are given the opportunity to work directly with a business counselor.
In this class, veterans are given assistance in assessing their entrepreneurial needs and requirements.
Business Plan Preparations
Veterans are assisted with the development and maintenance of a five-year business plan. The business plan will give a complete picture of the business overall, including the legal formation, equipment requirements and their costs, the organizational structure, the strategic plan, market analysis and in depth financial plans the include financial and budget projections as well as funding requirements. The business plan will serve as a solid foundation for the organization.
Comprehensive Feasibility Analysis
During this workshop, the strengths and weaknesses of your business plan will be evaluated so any necessary changes can be made to the strategic plan that will increase the probability of success for your business.
Entrepreneurial training and counseling
These courses are designed specifically to touch on the needs and concerns of the service-disabled veteran entrepreneur.
This is a unique service where a member of the Veterans Business Outreach Center will make an onsite visit to veteran owned businesses to assess whether the business plans are being followed and producing the desired results and suggest any revisions that would be of benefit to make to the business plan to achieve greater success.
Other business development services offered through the Veterans Business Outreach Centers are assistance and training in the areas such as international trade, franchising, Internet marketing, accounting as well as other similar types of courses.
Veteran Owned Small Business Loans
When starting a small business, it is common practice to apply for a Small Business Association loan to help cover startup costs and get the company going. One alternative eligible veteran entrepreneurs have is to consider seeking a Patriot Express Loan. These loans are specifically designated financing with enhanced guaranty and lower interest rates for qualified veterans. In order to be eligible for a Patriot Express Loan you must meet the Small Business Administration eligibility rules and the business must be owned and controlled, 51% or more, by eligible veterans or members of the military community. The following are considered eligible military community members:
Must be a veteran with a discharge status other than dishonorable
Active-duty service members Transition Assistance Program eligible (potential retiree within 24 months of separation and discharging active-duty members within 12 months of discharge)
Reservists and National Guard Members
Current spouses of any of the above mentioned
Widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or as a result of a service-connected disability
For Those Veterans Who Already Own a Business
The Small Business Administration offers assistance in many aspects of business development. They provide help with services ranging from loaning funds, providing advice on how to sell goods and services to the government and business counseling to offering free or low-cost online training. Financing through the Small Business Administration can be used for the following purposes:
Patriot Express Loans up to $500,000
Major fixed-asset loans to purchase land and buildings
Surety bond guarantees for construction contractors who are veterans
Equity financing matching venture capitalists with veteran-owned small businesses
Export assistance programs to help veteran-owned businesses enter into the global economy