Starting a business can be an intimidating prospect since it involves so many steps and details, but it can also be a wise career move. For veterans looking to branch out, here are some tips ranging from finding funding opportunities to furthering education.
Think before you leap
You may have an idea of which direction you want your business to go, but it’s important to consider all your options and think about which ones you’re best suited for. Many veterans have special skills due to their time in the military that make them perfect candidates for fields like consulting, security, veteran’s services, or technology, to name a few; franchise opportunities are also abundant these days and come with a ready-made manual of operations, making it easier to get started. Do a little research to find out more about the field you’re interested in and how you can translate it into a new business.
Set up your business
Forming an LLC, or limited liability company, can help you start your business off on the right foot by taking some of the pressure off your shoulders. Because LLC owners aren’t responsible personally for the company’s debt or possible lawsuits, you can rest assured knowing that your savings are sound. Not only that, an LLC also allows for more freedom in running a business and provides tax benefits while creating less paperwork than a corporation would.
You’ll also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so you can report taxes to the IRS, hire employees, and open a bank account for your business. You can apply for your IRS business number online by providing information like what kind of company you have, how many members there are in the LLC, where you are physically located, etc.
Keep an eye out for grants
While you’re making sure your business is protected, it’s also important to be on the lookout for possible funding assistance. There are several grants and funding opportunities out there that are specifically made for veterans getting their start with a small business, so keep an eye out for deadlines and make sure you understand the requirements and paperwork involved. Some are only open to active-duty members, while others require that you own a certain percentage of the business. Read the fine print carefully to avoid any issues and to prevent your application from being rejected.
If none of the grant options apply to you, consider applying for an SBA loan. These loans are backed by government funding, so even if you don’t meet the criteria for a traditional loan, you might still be accepted.
Further your education
It pays to consider going back to school or taking some online classes when you’re starting a business. Not only can you learn more about the business world, you can further your knowledge in academic areas as well. For instance, online degree programs and courses can help you learn more about virtually any topic you want to pursue. And you may be eligible for grants and scholarships as a veteran. Expanding your education can help you broaden your network and skillset and may open doors you never even knew existed.
Starting a business can be a lot of hard work, but the benefits almost always outweigh the negatives. Seek support from resources at hand and set up social media accounts that will help you connect to other entrepreneurs. You got this!
Guest Blog provided by Linda Chase:
Linda Chase created Able Hire to help people with disabilities build rewarding, successful careers. As a person with disabilities herself, Linda understands the challenges people with disabilities face when trying to get hired. She hopes Able Hire will be a resource for people with disabilities seeking jobs and for hiring managers seeking a better understanding of what people with disabilities have to offer.