If you’re returning to civilian life after being in the military and wondering what your next career step will be, maybe entering the business world as an entrepreneur would be the right move for you. Statistics show that the success rate of veteran-owned businesses is higher than other startups – more than likely a byproduct of the discipline and specialized skills developed during service.
There are over 3 million U.S. military veteran-owned businesses in the country today, which accounted for nine percent of all businesses across the country. That’s quite a large chunk of our economy and job market. If you’re ready to dive in, here are a few ideas and resources can help get you started. Read more about veteran entrepreneurship below.
Were you responsible for maintaining aircraft systems in the Air Force? Did you specialize in automobile repair for the Army? Were you a diver for the Navy? The details of each military job can translate into career potential back here at home. Your knowledge and unique perspective form a solid base for establishing a unique small business. Did you think of an idea for a useful product while you were away on a deployment? Now is your chance to make that idea become a reality.
Another popular choice for business-minded military veterans is that of franchises. This is an appealing option if you want to be your own boss but are worried about the risks involved with starting a business from scratch. There are plenty of resources to help you explore franchising opportunities too, so you don’t have to go it alone. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is a great source of information, and a franchise business plan can help you get off to a great start.
Talk with other veteran business owners. Networking is an essential ingredient for business growth, and you can learn a lot by talking with other folks who are, or have been, in your place. Check out local events or conferences designed for the community of veteran business owners and entrepreneurs. Try your best to get involved and to learn the “tricks of the trade” from other veteran small business owners.
Most important, don’t give up on your dream of owning your own business. Remember, there are millions of other veterans who have gone before you and become successful veteran business owners, and you can, too!