There are approximately 2.5 million veteran majority-owned businesses in the United States today. While it may seem like joining their ranks would be difficult, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are resources that assist veterans who want to become entrepreneurs, giving you critical support. If you aren’t sure where to begin, the Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere Foundation details what you need to know.
The Basics of Starting a Business
In many cases, starting a business is far easier than many veterans would expect. Mainly, this is because the process itself is surprisingly straightforward. Typically, you’ll need to:
- Come up with a business idea
- Select your business structure
- Prepare for taxes by getting an EIN
- Create a business plan
- Conduct market research
- Get funding
- Secure your permits and licenses
If you’re struggling with an idea, use your military experience as a guide. Consider the skills you have and the knowledge you’ve acquired and see if that gives you some direction.
If not, then focus on your passions, ensuring you’re enthusiastic about the road that lies ahead. This could be a product sector or service industry you believe in, or an idea that resonates strongly with you.
When it comes to choosing your business structure, going with an LLC is an intelligent move in many situations. Along with less paperwork and more flexibility, you reduce your liability and could potentially capture some tax advantages. Just be aware that the filing rules do vary by state.
There are many web-based and software tools available to businesses. For example, you can use an invoice generator to create professional invoices for your new business. There are also programs that use a transaction data API to enable easy access to your historical transaction information. For just about any business need you may have for your new business, there is likely a solution for it.
Resources to Help Veterans Launch a Business
There are many resources that can support veterans that want to start a business. On the education front, your VA benefits are a great starting point. If you qualify, take advantage of military transition assistance services, as you can get career-related guidance that could help you pave a path for your business.
Also, head to the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP). You can find information and interactive tools that can assist you on your journey there. Along with financial support, you may be able to find government contracting options that could help you get your company moving.
You’ll also want to make use of veteran programs through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) operates numerous Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs). There, you can find out about mentorship programs, training opportunities, and workshops that could make launching your company easier. While the Boots to Business (B2B) program is one of the most popular options, it isn’t the only one available.
The SBA also runs a Lender Match program. You may have an easier time finding loans that you can use to start your business there.
Since having a mentor can be vital to your success, you should also explore the American Corporate Partners mentoring program. It gives you a chance to connect with a skilled professional that can offer your customized, personalized, one-on-one guidance as you start your entrepreneurship journey.
The pairing process is incredibly strategic. American Corporate Partners learns about your exact goals and preferences, allowing them to match you with a mentor that’s best suited to your situation. That way, the mentor will be able to make the biggest difference in the shortest time, increasing your odds of success.
If you are a veteran and are interested in starting a business, there are a host of resources available to help. Check out some of the resources mentioned in this guide today.
This article is brought to you by the Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides a golf instructional program for eligible injured or disabled Iowa-based veterans who use the Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux Falls VA Health Care Systems. The GIVE program features a five-week training curriculum that enhances an injured veteran’s and accompanying family members’ mental, social, physical, and emotional well-being and improves their quality of life. For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!