Entrepreneurship Tips for Veterans
There are more than two million small businesses in the United States owned by veterans. This makes sense since veterans are disciplined and accustomed to working under stress. But, just because it’s been done doesn’t mean that it’s always easy. If you are looking for a few tips on how to prepare yourself for the world of entrepreneurship, keep reading this guide presented by Future Business Ventures, Ltd. Co.
Map out your plan.
You’re no stranger to strategy, and you have to have a plan on this battlefield as well. One way you can plan for your business is by going back to school now. Even if you don’t have time to jump headfirst into a brick-and-mortar setting, there are plenty of online opportunities that provide the flexibility to get settled into your life as a civilian. Before you choose a degree, look for one that either aligns with your current expertise or gives you the tools you need to run a business. If you’re not great with numbers, for example, you might benefit from earning a degree in accounting, which can help you better manage the financial aspects of your business, including accounting principles, auditing, and how to read and understand financial statements.
Get set up right from the start.
No matter what type of business you plan to run, take the time to research ways to get started so that you can launch at full steam on day one. A few examples here include knowing where you will work (at home or in a brick-and-mortar location) and following your business formation. If you choose an LLC, you may be able to save some taxes, and there’s actually not a lot of paperwork to go along with it. When you’re just starting out and don't have the extra money in your budget, you can even file online without using an attorney’s office.
Know what you specialize in.
Many of us go into our first businesses hoping to cast a wide net. However, that isn’t always possible, and as Entrepreneur explains, smaller is bigger when it comes to your business. Define your niche, refine your products, and know your target clients so that you can best cater to the people who are most likely to support you.
Establish efficient processes.
If you’ve ever been into a business where nobody seemed to know what was going on, then you know the importance of having efficient and established processes. Tallyfy suggests drawing out your flowchart or using a graphing software or workflow management system. This will help you ensure that you know where everything is in your pipeline at all times. Something else crucial to your operations is efficient invoicing. Sending bills and getting paid is much faster with an invoice maker, which is a template that lets you customize your invoices and download the format into your systems. You should also allow your patrons to pay in many different ways, including with cash, credit card, or online payment processing service, such as PayPal.
Know your start-up budget.
Although your customer payments will help you sustain once you get started, you also have to know your startup budget and where, exactly, the money to get up and running will come from. For many others, it’s our personal savings. Unfortunately, many military families have very little ($500 or less) in savings. It typically costs around $3,000 to open a new small business, according to Incfile. This is a huge discrepancy, so you may need to find investors or business loans that target veterans.
Starting a business as a veteran is one of the greatest ways that you can have control over your life as a civilian. And, although your brothers and sisters are opening businesses every day, there’s still lots of work you have to do to get your own name on the door. Remember, make sure that you are armed with the knowledge you need to run your business, and then use the tips above to map out your path toward success.