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Veterans Take the Initiative to Explore Entrepreneurship

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Past military experience helps “veteran entrepreneurs” find success especially when they team up.  Working in teams is part of the military culture. Veterans tend to have a greater desire to create their own destiny, which is why starting a business is so appealing.  Veterans tend to have a unique point of view based on their past military experience.   They come up with different solutions to problems than non-military personnel do and are more creative and focused on crafting solutions.

 

Veterans have unique experiences and inner strengths that include:  

  • Initiative
  • Dependability
  • Commitment to a greater cause than self
  • Love for fellow comrades in arms regardless of their ethnicity or background
  • A drive to succeed against the odds
  • Focusing on the end goal and achieving the mission
  • Working in teams to get the job done

 

All of these attributes benefit veteran entrepreneurs.  This is one of the reasos that veterans tend to lean more towards starting their own businesses.  These same traits lead a lot of veteran business owners to want to help others pursue entrepreneurship as well.  They also become mentors and are leaders.

 

In the last few years there has been a surge of businesses, organizations, lenders, and programs that have been formed to provide veterans ways to explore entrepreneurship with the direct support of their colleagues.

 

Some of them include:

 

All of these organizations have one thing in common, they were created by a veteran, a group of veterans or those who support veterans to help veteran brothers and sisters in arms achieve their business dreams.

 

Military life has prepared many for the challenges that are unique to military service and those will also greatly benefit business life as a civilian. Veterans also face unique challenges when they return home from active duty. Seeking assistance from other veterans will help boost success as a civilian entrepreneur.

 

In today’s ever-changing economy, global climate, and interpersonal relationships, it is best to find programs and funding sources that focus on bringing together veterans and like-minded business owners who can help each other flourish.

 

We encourage all military and veteran business owners to join VAMBOA, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association.  VAMBOA does not charge any fees or dues.  Here is a link to register:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

Veteran Entrepreneurs Who Rock It!

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By Debbie Gregory.

It is becoming more and more common for veterans to leave the battlefield and enter the world of entrepreneurship. This article will introduce a few outstanding veteran entrepreneurs.   They set a high bar.

  • U.S. Marine Corps veteran Travis McVey of Heroes Vodka combines being a veteran entrepreneur with a commitment to support his fellow veterans. Heroes Vodka was first bottled on Veteran’s Day, 11.11.11. As the “Official Spirit of a Grateful Nation,” the mission of Heroes Vodka is to deliver exceptional taste and superior value to consumers, while honoring veterans and other American service organizations through charitable contributions. McVey donates a portion of all sales to AMVETS. 
  • U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Nick Taranto, founded Plated, a meal delivery service that offers healthy, affordable, and delicious food. The service, which was acquired by Albertson’s Grocery Stores, delivers boxed chef-designed dinners that can be prepared at home in around thirty minutes. 
  • U.S. Navy veteran, Brandon Buttrey founded Counterstrike Coffee Buttrey reflected on his time in the service when coffee was highly valued and enabled servicemembers to better function. He knew that if he designed a military/veteran friendly coffee brand, he would have some serious customers. Counterstrike Coffee offers pre-packaged coffee in both whole bean or ground form. A portion of the proceeds goes to the veteran warfighter community. 
  • Michael J. Penney is the co-founder of Cigars and Sea Stories, a podcast devoted to sharing stories with veterans who are adding value to the world. In March of 2016 he presented at TEDxRaleigh, “What’s Your IED: How to Add Value During Life’s Explosive Situations”, combining military and personal experiences to bridge the lives of veterans and civilians. Penney is the creator of the “5 Paragraph Business Plan” – taking the military operations order format and applying it to business. 
  • Few entrepreneurs can say they founded an internet business that grew from zero to a billion dollars in revenue. Chuck Wallace is one of those rare entrepreneurs. In 1999, Wallace co-founded eSurance, a company that not only survived the bubble burst, but thrived and provides a quick and easy way to purchase insurance.  Before starting eSurance, Wallace was a U.S. Air Force pilot who taught undergraduates to fly.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

Turning Construction Contacts into Contracts

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PROCUREMENT EQUALS PROFITS – 5 STEP METHOD FOR RFPs

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Establishing Business Credit for the First Time

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By Debbie Gregory.

Establishing business credit is an important step for any new business. Business credit allows a company to borrow money that can be used to purchase products or services.

Having a business credit history separate from a personal one minimizes the effect negative events on one might have on the other. For example, financial missteps that impact personal credit history and score wouldn’t impact the business credit if there is a clear separation, and vice versa. Setting up a separate legal entity, such as a limited liability company or corporation also provides protection of personal assets.

The first step is to structure your business as a separate legal entity.

Next, obtain a federal tax identification number (EIN). The EIN is basically a social security number for a business.

Open a business checking account in the legal business name. Once open, be sure to pay the financial transactions of the business from that account. Apply for and use a business credit card, and be sure to pay the credit card bill from your business checking account.

Open a business credit file with all three business reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It’s important to closely monitor your business credit reports and scores on a regular basis to ensure the information reporting is accurate and up to date.

Establish a line of credit with vendors or suppliers. Work with at least five vendors and/or suppliers to create credit for your company to use when purchasing with them. Ask them to report your payment history to the credit reporting agencies.

Most importantly, be sure to pay your bills on time. Just like with your personal credit, late payments will negatively impact your business credit.

By establishing business credit; banks, lenders, suppliers, retailers, insurers and investors will now be able to better access the viability and creditworthiness of your business. Ultimately, your business credit report will impact the amount of credit, payment terms, interest rates and insurance premiums your business will pay.

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