Tips for Starting a Business as a Veteran

Tips for Starting a Business as a Veteran

If you’re a veteran, you might be thinking about starting your own business. You’ve likely developed a myriad of skills and qualities that are assets for starting and running a company. You also have access to various support services and financing options that are tailored for veterans. As you plan your business, it’s important to explore the resources that are available to you.

Know Your Resources

A key resource is the Office of Veterans Business Development. Also known as the OVBD, which is focused on promoting entrepreneurship for veterans. Their services include orienting veterans to financial resources for starting a business, such as veteran loans, as well as providing various types of training.

The OVBD facilitates veteran loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) program. As well as provides support to veterans, transitioning active-duty members, military spouses and widows, reservists, National Guard members, and service-disabled veterans. The OVBD helps veterans hone the skills and capabilities they’ve developed during service into assets that they can apply to business through training and mentorships. One of their programs is a two-day training program called “Boots to Business,” which focuses on business fundamentals for entrepreneurs.

Explore a Veteran Business Outreach Center

If you’re looking for training, market research, or help in creating a business plan, consider contacting a Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC). Twenty-two centers serve different regions of the country, and you can locate your closest center through their main website or a web search. You can find several tools to help you research your prospective market, perform competitive analyses, examine funding options and take other key steps that are important in starting a business.

Research Financing Options

While you should research all the funding options for your prospective business. One key resource to consider is veteran loans that are backed by the SBA. Some programs, such as the SBA Express, offer reduced fees for loans up to a specified amount. For most programs, a business must be at least 51% owned by someone who is a veteran or meets other requirements. Such as being a reservist, spouse, or other criteria related to military service.

If you start a new company, you will be joining the more than 2.5 million other veteran-owned businesses in the United States that generate more than a trillion dollars in revenue. By exploring your available options, you can help increase your chances for success and impact with your new endeavor.