Military service equips you with skills and experiences you won’t find anywhere else. After the rigors of active duty, you’ll likely emerge with far greater strengths than you realized.
Unfortunately, though, many veterans find themselves struggling to get back on their feet after reentering civilian life. A nine-to-five job simply might not suit you. Or you may have suffered debilitating injuries that require rethinking your line of work.
In the face of these challenges, many veterans find success in starting their own businesses. Your abilities and background may fill a niche in the market. Even if you’re doing something totally unrelated to your military service, the discipline and determination you’ve honed will serve you well in the entrepreneurial world.
Leveraging your opportunities for success
As a veteran, you have access to many valuable tools and strategies for setting your business apart. Whether you’re still just thinking about starting a business or have already gotten off the ground, you don’t have to go it alone. Consider taking advantage of some of the countless resources for veteran business owners such as:
- The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA): This nationwide organization offers networking and marketing opportunities, including a listing in their online directory of vet-owned businesses and connections with corporations that work with vet-owned businesses. The association is heavily involved in raising awareness for veteran-owned businesses and promoting vet-friendly legislation. It’s also in the process of developing a certification process for veteran-owned businesses.
- Vets First Verification: Federal law prioritizes vet-owned businesses (and especially those owned by service-disabled veterans) when it comes to government contracts. If you plan to do any business with the federal government, this verification is a must. You have to meet certain requirements to qualify, including owning at least 51 percent of the business and maintaining an active role in management and operations.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to make it known that you’re a veteran. Roughly 70 percent of consumers would rather do business with veterans over nonveteran-owned businesses, according to NaVOBA. Your status as a veteran can be a strong source of goodwill, enhancing your business’s visibility and reputation.