AMGEN
BMS-center-logo
 

Turning Construction Contacts into Contracts

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

(Click on image to view larger image)

Don’t Miss This – December 13, 2018

Over 60 exhibitors looking for business with small certified firms DVBE’s, DBE’s, WBE’s, and SBE’s.

By Debbie Gregory.

Many veterans transition out of the military with the skills and attributes necessary to succeed as veteran business owners. Often times, the main roadblock for these entrepreneurs is financing their new mission: to become a veteran business owner or a service disabled veteran business owner.

Investing in your business operations doesn’t always have to come with a big price tag, as there are some cost-efficient ways to invest in your small business to get it going and growing.

Begin by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Invest in personal growth, so that you can turn those weaknesses into strengths. Take classes. Do your research on the web. Seek out tutorials. Don’t overlook the value of a digital marketing platform. Make sure you have a website.  Utilize Facebook, LinkedIn, Google AdWords, Instagram, etc. There are plenty of free resources available to help you navigate these waters.

If there are skills that you can’t or don’t want to do, and you don’t have the staff to do them, outsource! Perhaps tax returns, web design and the like are best left in the hands of the experts. You might even be able to barter services. And for those occasions when the work load is on an upswing, don’t rule out freelancers or temporary workers.

But when it comes time to assemble a staff, your hiring strategy should be based on talent, not functions. If your team is versatile with diverse talents, they will be better positioned to grow with the business.

Identify your business’s core values and build a team aligned with them. Having your values in place will give your business purpose and direction, and will in turn provide a culture for your employees to be proud of. Along with values, don’t underestimate the value of a corporate identity. You want to be your own company, not just a “light’ version of another company.

Have a rainy-day reserve account. As a business owner you’re probably thinking, “How in the world can I save for this?” The key is to start small and build up. This safety net will get you through rough times, which are inevitable.

Invest the time in writing Standing Operating Procedures, a set of step-by-step instructions to make sure there is a “Bible” for routine operations. Answer what tasks need to done? Who needs to do them? What are the best ways to approach these tasks?

Veteran Business Owners and Franchises- A Good Fit

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

By Debbie Gregory.

It’s encouraging to see military veterans take advantage of entrepreneurship opportunities available to them, especially when it comes to franchise opportunities. For many, a franchise business offers them the chance to be their own boss, but it comes with an established structure. Someone’s already proven that this works.

According to the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program, approximately 14 percent of franchises are owned by veterans.

Having served, many of these entrepreneurs find that their military experience easily translates into franchise success. Franchisors believe that veterans make for great franchisees for several reasons. Many of the factors that made veterans excel within the military environment make them ideal for franchisees.

The world of franchising represents a marriage between the self-start world of entrepreneurship and the rigorous discipline needed to follow a set of instructions and execute on a proven plan. The ideal franchisee is someone who can take direction and work within guidelines provided by the franchisor, but who can also effectively lead a team and get things done.

Attention to detail, knowledge, and understanding of chain of command and how things work contribute to their success.

Most brands offer a discount to veterans and people with connections to the military, most commonly a markdown on the initial franchise fee, averaging a little more than 18 percent. Discounts are typically restricted to people opening their first franchise.

Veteran-owned franchisees contribute to the economy not only for the franchisee, but also for their fellow veterans: franchisees are 30 percent more likely to hire their fellow veterans than their civilian counterparts.

The largest numbers of veteran-owned franchises are in California, Texas and Florida, which have the first-, second- and fifth-highest military populations.

Remember, doing your homework about the franchise first will help you gain a solid understanding of what to expect as well as the risks that could be involved. With that said, more than 87 percent of veteran-run franchises stayed in business over the past three years.

Funding for Veteran Business Owners

No comments
Share this Article:
Share Article on Facebook Share Article on Linked In Share Article on Twitter


According to the most recent census data, there are 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. Veteran entrepreneurs contribute to the economy through their businesses and their willingness to hire veterans.
There are a number of funding resources available to veterans in order to get their business off the ground, or expand an existing business.
• The Office of Veterans Business Development, through the Small Business Administration (SBA) supports new and existing veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses. The program offers a variety of training and financial services. The SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans program offers loans of $150,000 or less with no guaranty fee. Larger loans carry a low guarantee fee. SBA Express Loans have no upfront borrower fee for eligible veterans and military spouses on loans up to $35,000. Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital matches businesses with SBA-approved non-profit lenders. The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s most common loan program, and includes financial help for businesses with special requirements.
• The Department of Veteran Affairs is a great starting point when looking for financing, and has created the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP), which can help you quickly identify financing resources for your business.
• The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan provide funds to eligible small businesses to meet necessary operating expenses that it could have met, but is unable to meet, because an owner/essential employee was “called-up” to active duty.
• The USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant, run by the Department of Agriculture, aims to bring traditionally underserved people into farming through training and technical and financial assistance.
• The VetFran(R) program is designed to help veterans start their own business. While these aren’t traditional business loans for veterans, the program offers financial incentive for veterans to launch a franchise.
In addition to lending resources, don’t discount the value of networking resources. Who better to share advice than those who have walked the path before you?
• American Corporate Partners links veteran entrepreneurs with successful businesspeople for training and mentorship.
• National Veteran-Owned Business Association presents you with a great networking opportunity and the chance to learn much more about running a business.
• SCORE Foundation Veteran Fast Launch Initiative offers advertising, marketing and business mentoring, all at no cost.

• Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families provides entrepreneurial training. Their Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans program is free for post-9/11 veterans.
• Veterans Business Resource Center provides business consulting and mentoring.
• Veterans Business Services can assist in obtaining capital for your business.

Take-aways from VETCON

No comments
Share this Article:
Share Article on Facebook Share Article on Linked In Share Article on Twitter

vetcon

By Debbie Gregory.

Northern California played host to the VETCON conference that was held in March for veteran entrepreneurs.

The percentage of Veterans who are starting their own businesses is steadily declining. Today’s veterans are not launching companies at the same high rate as past generations. More than 40 percent of veterans returning from World War II and Korea began their own businesses, as compared today, where that number is less than five percent.

Important takeaways regarding veteran business owners/entrepreneurs from the conference include the following:

  1. Veterans build different kinds of companies than  civilian entrepreneurs
  2. Veterans have a desire to create social impact in their communities, rather than just making money
  3. Veterans often stumble into great entrepreneurial opportunities and leverage their military experience
  4. Veteran overcome challenges and execute at a world-class level.
  5. Veterans will work together to help fellow veterans, and those who are successful want to see other veterans succeed with their own companies.
  6. Veterans tend to build revenues, and are not big fans of venture capital.
  7. There is diversity among veteran owned  businesses, and more women are becoming veteran entrepreneurs

Veterans have the discipline, work ethic, leadership skills and other dynamic traits to succeed. I believe the best is yet to come, and veteran entrepreneurship will be growing and at a rapid rate.  In the future, we should be seeing more and more veteran business owners in all types of businesses.   And it is a fact that Americans trust veterans, and truly want to do business with them.

ibmpos_blurgb