Your service to your country deserves all the appreciation that society can muster. Military veterans answered the call to serve the United States in the armed forces, and too often, their reward is a challenging transition back into civilian life. The attitudes and everyday habits of civilians look very different from your time in the military, so you could be facing an uphill battle as you attempt to re-integrate and find a path forward.
One path that you might be considering is starting your own business. Many veterans return home with a new perspective on things, and this perspective often gives them ideas for new businesses.
While starting and maintaining success for a new business is incredibly challenging, it is something that veterans can succeed in. There are numerous perks to being a small business owner as a veteran, so let’s discuss a few of them.
Implementing Skills Learned in the Military
Although many of the practical skills learned during your time serving may not translate perfectly to a job in the States, the soft skills are often more than enough to compensate for this gap. You are forced to learn certain character traits such as discipline, communication, and even leadership, all of which are skills that must be cultivated to improve. These traits, which are often stronger in military veterans than most civilians, can give you the drive and ambition needed to lead a successful business. Your approach may look different because of your past experiences, but that can be an advantage in a competitive industry. Veterans often show more resilience and resourcefulness as business owners, giving them a leg up on other entrepreneurs.
Access to a Network of Veteran Resources
Although society is imperfect at supporting and caring for veterans after their service, there are many resources available only to veterans that can help with your small business journey. Many of them are accessible through the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, you could partake in free career counseling that will teach you important lessons about the business world and how to make it as an entrepreneur. You will also have an instant point of connection with other businesses that are veteran-owned, providing you with an important professional network.
There are plenty of people around the country who are truly grateful for your military service. Often, they are unsure how to thank you, so they never do. However, if you have a small business that you are running, it provides a practical channel through which the community can demonstrate its gratitude. When they find out that your business is veteran-owned, they might be more willing to support it. Additionally, your friends and family could become important customers and advocates for the business in the local community. Many civilians have tremendous respect for veterans, and this can lead to growth in your customer base.
Unique Financial Assistance
People do not join the military for the money. However, there are some financial benefits that can manifest once your service is done. Many services, such as taxes and legal counsel, are given to veterans for free. Housing can be obtained at a lower cost, thanks to VA home loans. Solid retirement plans often have better benefits than private civilian plans. If you have a service-related injury or illness, you can find VA disability claim help online and start receiving tax-free monthly payments. All these circumstances add up to having more resources to dedicate to your business. By saving in all these other areas of life, you can use personal finances to fund the early startup costs of your venture.
Understanding the Value of Teamwork
Most businesses do not grow if there is just one person involved. There is only so much that an individual can handle. When other employees are added to the mix in a veteran-owned business, the concept of teamwork becomes very important. In general, military veterans exceed expectations when it comes to managing team environments. Your past service as a member of the armed forces gives you a ton of experience working as a team to solve problems. The whole idea of the military is serving alongside others and trusting them. When you bring this trait to a business, your company’s team can thrive under your leadership.
Veterans Have a Unique Path to Entrepreneurship
If you have served in the military and you have a great business idea, then you have a lot of what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur. The skills you have acquired, such as leadership and teamwork, will be invaluable when the going gets tough. Additionally, your resourcefulness will help with problem-solving when the business faces certain obstacles. Add in your access to community support, the veteran network, and unique financial benefits, and you have a recipe for business success.
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