Military veterans have many qualities that make them attractive to employers.
Things like loyalty, dependability, drive and determination, and honesty are all attractive traits to employers.
The current job market and economy can still make landing a great job difficult even with all of these traits.
There is no need to despair, however.
These same traits that are attractive to employers tend to make a person a great small business owner.
Resources for Veterans
One veteran I know found himself suffering through corporate America and having a hard time adjusting to the business world, especially with his diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After three years of working and feeling miserable he decided to pursue his own passions of photography and writing.
Luckily he had the resources through his disability payments to make do while he started his business. After a year of struggling between photography and writing he has found himself happily providing web content and writing for a local newspaper from the comfort of his home.
This person did this with very little investment of his own money and managed to accomplish it with no business loans to incur debt. Some people aren’t as lucky and do have to take out a loan to achieve what they want. Regardless of if you need a loan or not, the basic principle in this situation is that it can happen for you as well. As a veteran you know you possess the drive and determination to get the job done despite the odds you face. What you may lack is the vision. Here are some things to consider if you feel like you should strike out on your own:
- What are you passionate about? If you are passionate about computers, for example, then you could consider a home based computer repair service. The sky is the limit here, if you can think of it then there is likely a viable market for it.
- What are you good at? One veteran I know was a gunsmith for the military. After working for a major sporting goods retailer he decided to open his own gunsmith business in his garage. Within five years he had expanded to his own shop and several employees.
- Consider your training and education. Your military training can provide a great source of small business income as it did for the gunsmith above. The veteran who writes has a degree in English and used those skills to build a solid reputation.
- Know your resources and how to get to them. The Small Business Administration has many programs to help veterans start small businesses and secure SBA loans. These range from extremely specialized grants to low interest loans. The Veterans Administration and many veterans’ service organizations also offer assistance to veterans starting small businesses.
- Don’t overlook the small stuff. Breaking out on your own after serving in the military can seem daunting but it is rewarding. Remember the small things such as healthcare, low cost life insurance, and property insurance and you can make your business experience that much more rewarding.
Veterans Deserve a Chance
Veterans have served and fought to protect this country for many years and veteran owned small businesses can offer long strides in its economic recovery. Tap into the discipline and skills you learned in the military and you can make a successful small business owner. A good place to find the support you may need to start a small business can come from your local veteran’s organization. The military taught you all about doing things the right way, apply this training to your small business and you will find you have made a wise and rewarding transition.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and writes business news. ChamberofCommerce.com can connect you to your local Chamber of Commerce.