When it comes to entrepreneurship, veterans bring a lot to the table. Veterans are often skilled in strategic planning, organization, decision-making, and working around obstacles to reach their goals. The skills you developed while serving in the military put you in an excellent position to start your own business! Plus, veterans have access to all kinds of valuable resources to make business ownership a realistic and affordable venture regardless of experience or financial position. To help you get your business off the ground, check out the following tips and resources from The DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce!
Consider Your Skills and Interests
If you already have a business idea in mind, great! But if not, take a look at your existing skills and experience to see if you can build a business idea based on your strengths. For example, Niche Pursuits suggests that veterans may enjoy teaching wilderness survival or disaster planning courses, running an automotive repair shop, opening a fitness center, or building a business to serve the needs of other veterans and military families. If you love being outside, look for business models that will enable you to work in the great outdoors, like offering adventure tours or hunting guide services.
If you want to run your business from home, look for remote freelancing opportunities. For example, you could work as a digital marketing director, bookkeeper, copywriter, social media manager, website designer, project manager, or cybersecurity expert. Once you have more work than you can handle, you can begin hiring help and building a full-fledged agency!
Use Digital Tools
Digital tools will make your life a lot easier as you build your new business. Even if you have zero entrepreneur experience, you can launch and run a business on your own with access to the right tools. Put together a custom software suite to meet the needs of your business. This might include accounting software, client management tools, project management software, and marketing apps, just to name a few.
Digital tools are particularly useful when it comes to client invoicing and financial management. For example, an invoice generator will allow you to choose a premade invoice template and customize it with your own text, photos, logo, and other important information. Look for a free invoice maker that offers different formatting options to ensure you can upload your invoice to your chosen accounting software.
Take Advantage of Veteran Entrepreneur Resources
As a veteran, you have access to several valuable resources that can offer education, training, mentoring, funding, hiring help, and other forms of assistance to get your business off the ground. Take advantage of these resources! Military-Transition.org lists several entrepreneur resources designed for veterans, including Bunker Labs, Patriot Boot Camp, Boots to Business, and VetToCeo.
Create a Startup Checklist
Starting a business can be overwhelming. There’s just so much to do! Create a startup checklist so you can keep your thoughts organized and avoid missing any important steps in the process. Here are some key tasks to include on your startup checklist:
- Conduct market research.
- Write a business plan.
- Raise or borrow capital to fund your business.
- Choose a formal business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.)
- Pick a unique business name.
- Register your business with your state.
- Apply for the appropriate licenses and permits
There are countless online resources out there to walk you through each step in the startup process. Turn to Google whenever you’re feeling unsure of your next move. Of course, you can always hire professionals to help as well! Accounts, lawyers, business coaches, and marketing professionals can offer advice and tangible assistance as you prepare to launch your company.
Veterans make great entrepreneurs. If you’re looking for ways to make money after leaving the military, consider starting your own business! With the right resources and some good research skills, you’ll be up and running before you know it!
For more entrepreneur resources, join The DFW Veterans Chamber of Commerce! As a member, you’ll have access to networking opportunities, training programs, advertising opportunities, and more!
For more resources on hiring project managers click here.