Unexpected Capabilities. Unmatched Service.

Tips for Veteran Small Business Owners

Are you a U.S. military veteran who’s considering starting a small business? If so, get ready to join a community of literally millions of fellow former servicemen and women.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), veterans own 2.4 million businesses in the U.S. – that’s roughly 10% of all businesses in America. As it turns out, veterans simply lean toward entrepreneurship, with the SBA claiming that vets are “at least 45 percent more likely than those with no military experience to be entrepreneurs.”

They’re also likely to find plenty of helping hands extended their way.

Military veterans have access to a wide variety of training programs, financing, resources and even business opportunities that simply aren’t available to the general public. The following are some of the benefits for veterans looking to start a small business.

Tips for Veteran Entrepreneurs

Vets have a wide range of opportunities at their fingertips, be it government programs, nonprofit organizations or just veteran-friendly businesses. Take advantage of these programs, which include:

  • Transition services: Consider this the first step before you take your first step to starting a new business. Transition services help veterans make the often difficult adjustment from military life to civilian life, which covers everything from handling day-to-day life to applying for jobs. Simply being able to handle civilian life will give you the proper foundation from which to start your own business.
  • Mentorship services: More specific to company-building, there are numerous programs available that link aspiring and new veteran business owners with established veteran entrepreneurs. These mentorships can be invaluable, as these leaders can teach not just the basics of growing a business, but also educate through their real-life experience. Better still, these mentors may become important resources and potentially even clients/customers down the road.
  • Financial resources: If you’re wondering where you’ll get money to start up a small business, wonder no more. Not only are there numerous grants available to aspiring business owners, but there are several financial opportunities available specifically to veterans.

Popular Resources for Veteran Small Business Owners

Here is a look at several resources for veteran small business owners that we’ve recommended in the past, with a couple of additions. Consider all of these potential partners in your journey ahead.

American Corporate Partners: ACP is a nonprofit that helps military personnel transition into the civilian workforce. It provides services for veterans and spouses alike, including connecting people with mentors and other leaders for business advice.

Boots to BusinessThe B2B is a beginner’s program offered up by the SBA to help participants learn more about entrepreneurship. The journey begins with a “foundational two-day, in-person course,” then continues via optional follow-on online courses, such as “B2b: Market Research” and “B2B: Revenue Readiness.”

Federal Business OpportunitiesFedBizOpps is a place where businesses of any type can seek out federal contracting jobs. That said, in some cases, contracts are specifically available to veterans, so this still is a useful site for vets.

Veteran Business Outreach CentersThe SBA also has a few regional centers that help veterans start businesses within their local communities, putting them in touch with services ranging from pre-business plan workshops to comprehensive feasibility analysis to mentorship.

Veteran Entrepreneur PortalThe VEP is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: It’s a portal site that helps connect current and would-be veteran business owners with information about basics such as starting a company, accessing funding and growing your business.

Vets First Verification ProgramThe VFVP is a system that takes veteran and service-disabled veteran applicants through four stages of verification, then allows them to compete for set-aside and sole-source contracts.

V-WiseVeteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, or V-WISE, is a training program for female veterans, as well as military spouses. The three-phase program includes a 15-day online course, three-day training event and ongoing support to help them learn the skills necessary to start their own business.

McManamon & Co. is another great resource for veterans trying to get a start in the business world. We provide consulting services to small and midsize businesses covering a wide array of topics, from banking relationships to tax planning to strategy sessions.

Join the booming community of veteran small business owners. Call McManamon & Co. at 440.892.9088 or contact us online today.


Tags:  , , | Posted in Consulting, Financing, McManamon & Co., small business