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VAMBOA TipsOwning and operating a small business is one of the most demanding career choices that Veterans can make. Starting a new business is not a get rich quick scheme. Most newly-minted small business owners may have to put in a lot of hours and hard work in the beginning, but it pays off in the long run. Here are some tips provided by Veteran business owners that new small business owners might find useful:

Set the standard: As the owner, your employees will do as you do. Therefore, you need to lead by example. Whether its customer service, personal grooming, keeping your business clean or any other function specific to your company, hold yourself to the highest standard, one your employees can proudly emulate.

Put customer satisfaction before profits: When your customers are thrilled with the products and service that your company provides, they will return again and again, giving you repeat business. If, as an owner, you are more concerned with profits than your customers, it will show, and customers may not do business with you in the future. Customers are what generate profits.

Don’t neglect to pay yourself. You and none of your employees should ever go without pay. If your personal finances are a mess, it will distract you from what you need to do to help your business grow.

Learn from your mistakes: Small business ownership is not an exact science. There is not one book with all of the definitive answers containing the hidden secrets that your business can use to guarantee success. Small business ownership is all about learning your customer base, the community, and how to bring your business to them. Be aware of the risks, make bold decisions, and then learn from them.

Employees are your business’ most effective resource: Learn how to delegate, and don’t micromanage. Start by hiring the right individuals to work for you, and then, let them do their jobs with you as their confident, but not stifling leader. This ties in with customer satisfaction; customers who want good service know when they are dealing with employees who truly understand their job and do it to the best of their ability, and when an employee is handcuffed by micromanagement. No customer wants to repeat business with a firm whose employees aren’t capable of providing good service.

Show up: There will be days when you won’t feel like going to work. And as the boss, it would be easy to just take the day off. But don’t let the temptation to slack off a little ruin your business… because it will, if you let it.

Keep your integrity intact: At the toughest times, it may seem conceivable to shortchange a customer or employee, or hide a receipt from the taxman. But taking ethical shortcuts will always cost you in the long run. Besides, would you do business with someone who acted unscrupulously? Others might feel the same way.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Tips from Veteran Small Biz Owners: By Debbie Gregory

SBA Learning CenterOne of the greatest advantages to running your own small business is that you are your own boss. The down-side to this is that there usually isn’t anyone else within the company that has more experience or knowledge to rely on; it’s just you. As the owner of a small business, you need to be on top of the latest business trends, technologies and laws. Luckily, to that end, entrepreneurs can utilize the SBA Learning Center.

The SBA Learning Center, powered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offers small business owners a wealth of resources. The site provides online training courses, videos, and live chat sessions with SBA representatives. Some of these resources help business owners learn about the government programs available to them, including grants, loans and exemptions.

There are also “Featured Training” courses that every entrepreneur should take. Whether you’re just getting your feet wet, trying to tread water, or sailing full-steam ahead, your business questions can be answered by utilizing the learning center’s educational resources. The site also contains tools that go beyond just education.

There is a link that connects small business owners directly to assistance in their area. By clicking on the “Find Resources” tab, under “Get Local Assistance,” entrepreneurs can be locate mentors, counselors, and training from SBA district offices, SCORE chapters, Small Biz Development Centers, and Women’s Biz Centers by zip code.

The SBA Learning Center also showcases the “Featured Tool” that shows entrepreneurs how their small business matches up against similar companies in their communities, in their state, and in the nation.

By clicking “Start Analysis” you are prompted to input your industry and location. From there, business owners can compare their business to industry competitors, find the best places in your town to target an advertising campaign, and map out competitors, customers and suppliers.

There is a multitude of resources available to small business owners through the SBA at www.sba.gov.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: SBA Learning Center: By Debbie Gregory

SCOREOn August 14, 2014 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrated the 50th anniversary of SCORE.

SCORE, a coalition of experienced and successful businessmen, was officially launched in 1964 as the Service Corps of Retired Executives by then SBA administrator Eugene Foley. From the start, the group was dedicated to the education of entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE mentors have achieved this goal by providing resources and expertise to maximize the success of existing and emerging small businesses.

Today, SCORE consists of more than 11,000 mentors, serving every state in the country. These men and women share invaluable small business wisdom with today’s small business owners. They help with writing business plans, preparing for obtaining business loans and help small business owners manage their revenue, handle their cash flow and market themselves to build their customer base and hopefully go from small businesses to big businesses.

In its half century existence, the coalition became a non-profit organization and dropped the acronym, but SCORE volunteers are still carrying out the original mission of passing their knowledge on to future generations of American entrepreneurs and innovators. Over the five decades, the volunteers have given back because they’ve accumulated a lifetime’s worth of expertise and have chosen to share what they’ve learned with the people of their communities. Their dedication has helped an estimated 10.5 million entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.

See how the mentors at SCORE can help you and your small business at www.score.org

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: 50 Years of SCORE: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA goals metThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced on Friday, August 1, this 2014 that the U.S. government achieved its small business federal contracting goal. The federal government awarded more than 23% of its federal contracts to small businesses, totaling more than $83 billion. This was the first time in eight years that the federal government has reached its contracting goal.

The announcement was made at a press conference that was held at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. She was joined by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Senator Ben Cardin.

“When we hit our small business procurement target, it’s a win.  Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow and create jobs, and the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the U.S. while the economy grows,” Contreras-Sweet said.  “Thanks to the president’s leadership and a team effort among all federal agencies, we were able to meet this goal.”

While contract expenditures have gone down in all categories as a result of overall reduced federal spending, small businesses managed to secure a greater percentage of the contracts. This is due inpart to the SBA working with other federal agencies to help small businesses win federal contracts.

The SBA also facilitated the requirement for larger companies with substantial federal contracts to sub-contract with Veteran-owned small businesses.

Along with the announcement, the SBA released the FY 2013 Small Business Procurement Scorecard. These annual scorecard provides an assessment of each federal agency’s yearly small business contracting achievement against its goal, with 20 agencies receiving an A or A+.  Overall, the federal government received an “A” on the government-wide Scorecard.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Government Achieves Small Business Contracting Goal

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) provides many networking and membership benefits for military business owners and veteran business owners. Military small business owners can utilize VAMBOA to connect with other veterans who have good advice on the best business loans for military small business owners. The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association acts as a pivotal networking point for veteran small business and military small business owners.  When veterans and military business owners establish their membership with VAMBOA, they gain access to the multitude of networking and business-building tools unavailable in abundance elsewhere.

Many military small business owners, military business owners and veteran business owners need help finding or obtaining business loans for military businesses or a veteran small business. There are many business loans for military and veteran business owners available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). About 5% of the small businesses located in the United States are run by military business owners. That makes up for about 4 million of the 80 million small businesses. Because of the impressive amount of veteran owned small businesses, the SBA offers many business loans for military small business owners and veteran business owners. Sometimes, the paperwork and filing procedures can be a bit confusing for veterans, which is why it is nice to have a membership with the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association. Veterans who own a small business and military small business owners alike have networking abilities for situations like this only with VAMBOA. With their membership, they not only gain thousands of connections to other veteran and military business owners like themselves, but they also tap into a dense well of experience, wisdom and information.

Military business owners have generally been extremely successful, and a large reason why is because of their networking and communications skills. This is why the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association is a great reference to have at your fingertips when military business owners embark on new ventures or want to continue their success.

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