Tips for a Veteran Starting a Business
Your Employment Questions Answered: Tips For a Veteran Starting a Business
Sometimes the best way to learn something new is by seeking advice from those who have been there. Asking questions is how we learn about new resources or can give us perspectives that we might never have thought about before. When you ask a question, you can gain the knowledge you are looking for that will help you figure out what you need to know to move forward, whatever the subject might be.
Starting a business as a veteran can be a great idea. There are so many different options, and you can really expand into quite a successful business. However, getting started can be a bit of a challenge. There are a lot of things to think about beyond picking a name. You want to make sure you are setting the business up correctly. Here is a bit about what you need to do to set up that business.
Question: I am a veteran, can you help me with information about setting up a business?
I am a veteran and looking for advice on how to learn the details of starting a business. I have taken the SBA’s Boots to Business Curriculum and it was a great starting off point.
I was wondering about the specifics of having a business. I am wondering about legalities, marketing, financing, customer development, and research. It is overwhelming and having trouble finding much in my military experiences that translate all of this. Can you give me any advice?
The best thing to do is find a great network of other veterans who have started businesses. This will give you people to ask about your stage of business, gain inspiration from others, and remind you that you aren’t alone.
Places to Network
- Vets2Industry is a great place to go for networking. They are a free resource library for the military community and they offer veteran-based virtual networking events once a month.
- LinkedIn is also another place to network with others. Connect with those you served with, those in your industry, and leaders who can help you learn about everything business.
Finding a mentor would be a smart idea. Mentors can work with you to get what you want to get done, and offer advice along the way. You can check out our Military Veteran Employment Guide: Finding Mentors article for more information.
You will need to develop a “Next Steps” plan. That way you can get yourself on the right track and won’t miss any important steps for your business. Here are some ideas of what to put on your list.
- Market Research
Ask questions, listen to others in your market, listen to consumers, find problems, and figure out ways to solve them. Is what you are offering worth selling? And to who?
What is your brand? What will your logo look like? What about your colors?
- Brand Story
What is your brand’s story? What will you share with the public?
- Marketing Plan
How will you market your products? Do you have social media set up? Will you do the social yourself? What will your marketing plan look like?
Will you have employees? Will you have W-2 employees or hire contractors? How many people will be working with you?
- Be Compliant
Make sure your business is compliant. What licenses do you need? What written policies and products will you have? What about an employee handbook?
Network, share your business with others, find a local networking group, and talk with others who can help.
There is a lot more that goes into running a business besides this list but will give you something to think about. Start connecting with others and you should be able to find all the information that you need. Others can be helpful and point you in the right direction.