Dell Technologies
BMS-center-logo
 

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Are you looking for a side business? In today’s world, it is incredibly simple to start a small side business for a second income stream. Most people have marketable skills or knowledge that they aren’t utilizing in their day-job.

Below are ten ideas that may help you find a side-business that not only will complement your life but generate a new source of income.

1.) Miscellaneous Services

Do you have skills someone would pay money for? Maybe are a more than decent handyman with skills, have DJ equipment and enjoy doing that, or other miscellaneous skills of this nature. Try offering your services through sharing economy websites such as TaskRabbit or Thumbtack.

2.) Rideshare Driver

Ridesharing is incredibly popular right now.   The two most popular are Uber and Lyft. They both offer a very flexible schedule: you can work just about any time of day and you set your own hours. Getting paid is also very easy and instant through the various company apps and don’t forget the tips from happy customers.

3.) Food Delivery

Food delivery companies have become incredibly popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can sign up with one of the online delivery companies, such as Door Dash, Uber Eats, or BiteSquad; or you can partner with local restaurants and food businesses to deliver their products.

4.) Grocery Delivery

This is another delivery service that has skyrocketed in popularity due to the pandemic. This one has similar options to the food delivery too and there are many online companies you can apply to work for to deliver groceries such as Instacart.  You can also partner directly with local health food stores or co-ops that offer organically grown produce.

5.) Start a Food Truck

If you are an aspiring restaurateur but lack the capital (or desire) to have a brick and mortar restaurant, a food truck is a great alternative! The demand is very high for trucks of this nature at large events such as weddings or farmer’s markets. Become a “moveable feast”.

6.) House Cleaner

Cleaning other people’s homes is always a lucrative business. It can be a bit strenuous and gritty but it is an affordable startup and an easy one to find clients and obtain referrals.

7.) Professional Organizer

If you don’t necessarily like to clean homes but are really into organizing spaces, becoming a professional organizer may be a great choice for you and is a skill that is in high demand especially with so many people spending more time in their homes.  They want to reclaim space in rooms and garages and want everything in order.

8.) Travel Agent 

If you really enjoy travel and researching exotic destinations, a small travel agency could be the business for you. This one requires a little bit more than some of the others on this list since you will need to take a course or two on travel planning (such as those offered by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)). You may also need to register with your state as a travel agent, depending on where you live. A handful of states, including California and Florida require this registration.   Now with so many Americans becoming vaccinated, many are looking forward to traveling again.

9.) Career/Life Coach 

If you like counseling people and helping them, you may want to consider becoming a career or life coach. You will need training and certification through organizations accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

10.) Bookkeeper

This is an excellent opportunity for people who already manage financial records. Start a side business out of your home helping other businesses manage their finances, pay their bills, prepare their taxes and payroll, taxes, and more.

This is a three-part mini-series so please stay tuned for more ideas in Parts 2 and 3.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Productivity is important.  As a small business owner with more to do in a day than there are hours, getting started on your day can often be difficult. Where do you begin? Starting your day with the largest and most daunting tasks on your to-do list can make a big difference in your day and overall effectiveness as a leader. Below are a few activities to not only get your day started right but will make your day better and more productive.

1.) Get some exercise

The best way to ensure you get a good workout every day is to begin your day with one! If you simply begin your work day, odds are good at the end of the day you will feel too drained from work to get to the gym. Working out also reduces anxiety and boosts your overall decision-making, problem-solving and planning skills.

2.) Eat a good breakfast

Skipping breakfast is never a good idea. You body and brain both need energy and fuel to concentrate and stay on task. Make sure to get in a good meal before you tackle your day.

3.) Scan your email for the most important items

Those emails in your inbox waiting for you are a pressing concern for most people these days. It is a good idea to begin by giving your inbox a quick few scan that will take just a few minutes.  You can then properly schedule time blocks of time to take care of these emails more efficiently. Scanning what is waiting and scheduling this time also keeps your mind from wondering what is waiting for you in your inbox while you are trying to focus on other tasks.

4.) Make and practice a morning ritual

Morning rituals are a great way to get a little bit of “me” time before you give your time to everyone else. This ritual sets the tone for your day and can help you calm your mind and put life into perspective. It can also help boost your confidence to face your daily challenges.

These rituals do not need to be long and involved.

Maybe try a few things such as:

  • Listening to an audio book
  • Reading a book for a few minutes
  • Listening to music
  • Journaling
  • Meditating
  • Enjoying some aromatherapy
  • Drinking a cup of tea
  • Doing a small craft
  • And more

5.) Stand for morning meetings

Meetings first thing in the morning tend to be unpleasant and waste a lot of valuable time. However, sometimes they are necessary to touch base with your team. If you absolutely have to start your day with a meeting, don’t sit down. Conduct the meeting sitting up or walking. Not only is standing or walking healthier than sitting, moving around also increases creative output. It may also encourage and lead to a shorter meeting.

6.) Get that dreaded item over with

The most valuable input we can provide you is the advice for you to get the worst item of your day off of your plate first thing. As Mark Twain famously quipped, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning.” Getting that one awful task off of your to-do list first can give the rest of your day a boost and give you a feeling of accomplishment. It also prevents that task from taking up your valuable mental space and causing you stress.

As a business owner you are a busy person, hopefully these tips can help you de-stress a bit and enable you to start your day on a better foot so that you are able to be more productive and an overall better leader for your team.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

In Part 1 of this article, we provided six outstanding resources for veterans looking for grants or small business loans. Below are six more excellent resources as well as a few things to think on or plan for prior to submitting any application.

7.) Veteran Readiness and Employment

The Veteran Readiness and Employment program was designed for Service-Disabled Veterans who are unable to work at a traditional job. They offer assistance for those who would like to start their own business or receive new employment training.

8.) GrantWatch

GrantWatch is a free site that brings together all federal, regional, and local grants for small businesses, veterans, and nonprofits in one place. They update the site every few days.  It is a great place to keep an eye on for the newest veteran grant opportunities out there.

9.) Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The SBA offers what they call a Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This loan is for small businesses that are unable to meet their operating expenses due to the owner or key employee being called to active military duty. The loan program can provide up to $2 million dollars to cover working capital in order for the business to maintain operations until the service member returns from duty.

10.) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is managed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and is dedicated to helping veterans seek federal contracting opportunities. They also offer a wide variety of business resources for veteran entrepreneurs who need help starting, running, and financing their businesses. Additionally, they have a portal to help you find and apply for government contracts, locate franchising opportunities, and access other training and employment programs.

11.) VetFran

VetFran is a portal to help veterans find franchising opportunities and they can connect you to well over 600 different franchises. A lot of these franchise opportunities provide generous financial incentives for veterans and their spouses who are interested in entering a franchise system; incentives such as discounting the initial franchise fee.

12.) Boots to Business

Boots to Business is another program offered by the SBA as part of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program. It is a series of free courses on entrepreneurship and how to successfully start and run a business.

 

A few thoughts before you apply for any veteran business grants

Applying for a grant is a process that takes a bit of time and a lot of paperwork. It is a good idea to be well prepared before you begin the process. Below are some things that you really need to keep in mind before you apply for a grant.

  • Know and Understand Eligibility

Every single grant has its own set of eligibility requirements. You need to take the time to carefully look over the requirements of the grant you desire, prior to applying for to be sure that you qualify. For example, some programs are only open to veterans with honorable discharges, others are open to the veteran’s family members, some are only for service-disabled, while some for new entrepreneurs, etc. Read over the eligibility carefully as you narrow down your list for potential grants.

  • Create a Schedule

Grant application and processing takes quite a bit of time and most are very competitive. It is a good idea to setup a reasonable schedule so you can plan ahead and get your application in well within the timeframe for applying.

Good luck!  VAMBOA wishes you great success in your endeavor.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

According to a survey in 2019, there were over 2.5 million veteran-owned small businesses in the United States. This accounts for almost ten percent (10%) of all American businesses!

Veteran-owned businesses, like any other businesses, sometimes require grants or other sources of funds in order to get started or to grow and prosper. Below are the top resources for veterans looking for business financing in 2021.

1.) Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business

The federal government sets aside 3% of its contracting budget every year specifically for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

In order to qualify you must:

  • Be a small business according to the SBA’s definition of a small business
  • Be at least 51% owned/controlled by a service-disabled veteran
  • Have at least one service-disabled veteran managing the day-to-day operations and long-term decisions at the business
  • You must have a service-connected disability

If your business meets the above requirements, you can represent and bid federal contract jobs for your service-disabled veteran-owned business on SAM.gov.   Corporations that sell goods or services to the government are required to have a diverse network of suppliers.   Veterans hit all the boxes and they want to do business with Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.

2.) Innovation Research Grants

This money stream is not exclusive to Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, however, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides grants to small businesses that create technological innovations.

They offer two categories of grants: Phase I and Phase II.

  • Phase I grants are awarded up to $150,000 (non-dilutive) and are awarded for businesses who are in need of funds to figure out their business’s overall commercial viability. If you qualify for this grant and prove your proposal is viable, you are then eligible for Phase II.
  • Phase II grants are awarded up to $1 million over a two year period and are based upon Phase I performance.

To apply your business must be:

  • A for-profit business
  • Majority owned by a US citizens or permanent resident of the USA
  • Employ less than 500 employees

3.) Veterans Business Outreach Centers

Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) are overseen by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Veterans Business Development and they provide a wide range of tools and training programs to help veterans and their spouses start businesses.

Such as:

  • Business plan writing workshops
  • Mentorship programs
  • Management training
  • and more

There are 22 VBOC centers across the country and some even offer remote services. These centers can also assist with applying for SBA loans, provide loan referrals, and help you package loan applications.

4.) Hivers and Strivers

Hivers and Strivers is an investment group that provides startup funding to small businesses that are founded by graduates of US Military Academies. They will invest between $250,000 and $1 million dollars.

5.) Warrior Rising Small Business Grants

Warrior Rising is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Veteran Business Owners.

They provide:

  • Workshops
  • Training
  • Mentorship
  • Grants
  • and more

In order to take advantage of their services and apply for their grants you must become a member. To do so, you will need to complete a telephone interview and complete a virtual training course.

6.)StreetShares Foundation

StreetShares is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, launched by a group of military entrepreneurs. Their mission is “to inspire, educate and support the military entrepreneurial community.”

They offer:

  • Grants up to $15,000 to veteran entrepreneurs
  • Female Founders Veteran Small Business Award Grant Program
  • Three types of loans specifically for veterans: term loans up to $250,000; lines of credit up to $250,000; and contract financing
  • And more

Please stay tuned for Part 2 of this series which has more resources and a few tips you should read before you apply for any business grants.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

 

Social Media Business Success

Share this Article:
Share Article on Facebook Share Article on Linked In Share Article on Twitter

By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

  • Be Comfortable with Failure. It will Happen:

Forget the aphorism “failure is not an option.” Failure is an inevitability. Most social media campaigns fail. Social media campaigners should understand this inevitability and plan accordingly.

Knowledgeable professionals generally run many social media/marketing campaigns simultaneously, and plan for mostly dead ends. However, when success comes, the payoff should more than compensate for the effort.

Resilience counts. For example, in 2012, a clothing company did a promotion offering 20% clothes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Were customers in relevant areas amused? No. Did this spell the end for this clothing brand? Absolutely not. They even survived a bankruptcy in the meantime.

This clothing apparel company continues as a viable brand. In other words, if at first you do not succeed, try, try again. In learning from mistakes, business owners should ensure their social media content is memorable, understand their target, and use relevant data. Finally, appreciate the power of social media to reach a large, targeted audience more efficiently than ever before in the past.

  • Stay Within your Budget- But Have One:

Back in the day, a social media campaign could start from scratch. Now, the competition can outclass even the most talented independent business proprietor on the advertising front. These days, going alone rarely works. Successful online advertisement requires some sort of a budget.

One good use of funds is social media expertise. Maybe someone you know has succeeded in their small business through social media. Social media consultants abound. Best practice is to find the right match.

Other worthwhile expenditures may include social media campaigns. Social media sites such as Facebook allow users to boost small business posts, sending advertisements for goods and services far and wide. Many sites even provide tools for targeting certain demographic and interest groups. While these resources are within your means, their wise use may determine the fate of your enterprise.

  • Know your Goals:

A money-making business must consider its bottom-line. Companies may have various goals for growth and product development. These goals should remain aligned with the capacities of the business owners.

Different platforms have various ways to quantify short-term goals. Perhaps in the short term, clicks may take precedence. On Facebook and Twitter, you can even track posts that lead to sales.

Just remember your strategy and bottom line. These measures, such as tracking “clicks” and “likes,” are mere stepping-stones. Your company needs to succeed.

  • Know your Platform:

Effective use of social media requires intimate knowledge of the relevant platform. Professional users should consider which platform can best reach their target audience. Detailed, specific knowledge of one resource unlocks a full range of social media capacities. This expertise allows the most detailed and specific advertising campaigns and outreach efforts. Each social media platform has its ins and outs. Owners who understand their platforms the best develop the most precise marketing skills.

The more time you have spent on a given platform, the more you are likely to know about its capacities. Once you start a small business, your social media “habit” could become a porthole to make your dreams a reality.

  • Reaching your Bottom Line:

Social media remains a means to an end. However, as various platforms have developed, different marketing strategies have emerged to best exploit each of these platforms. Small business owners should carefully research methods to get their word out, correctly, through the right channels. The earliest days of “going viral” are behind us. What remains are marketing strategies that provide careful, well-considered paths to deliver your goods and services to just the right interested customers.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been helpful.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

ibmpos_blurgb