A recent Military Times article, “Starting and supporting vet-owned businesses,” focused on the growing number of veterans who are going into business for themselves. Now more than ever, it’s important for those leaving the service to consider all their career options and support fellow veterans who own their own businesses.
If you’re transitioning military and missed this article, here are five things it called out you should know about becoming your own boss.
Start with TAP: The military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) now offers guidance on starting a small business. Operation Boots to Business, a Small Business Administration program, is offered at TAP classes throughout the U.S.
Get help post-transition: The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a crash course on starting and running a small business, is offered at select universities around the country. Syracuse University has V-WISE, a small-business workshop just for female vets that travels the country. The SBA’s Veterans Business Outreach Centers and district offices can also provide guidance.
Consider a franchise: Many franchise brands offer special discounts, incentives or training to franchisees who are military veterans. VetFran, a branch of the International Franchise Association trade group, includes more than 580 franchises that offer such perks, and its website lets you search for the companies by business type.
Find financing: The SBA’s Patriot Express Loan program is designed for vets and people connected to the military. Starting this year, SBA also has begun discounting and waiving loan fees for vets. Outside of the federal government, vets can turn to the nonprofit Veterans Business Fund and the crowd-funding website RepayVets.com.
Patronize other vet businesses: The Veterans Affairs Department has a searchable database of registered vet businesses at www.vetbiz.gov. The site also offers detailed instructions on how owners can register their businesses with the VA as vet-owned, which adds a company to the database and grants priority for federal contracts.
While you’re checking out your post-transition options, visit the USBA Military Jobs Center online powered by Orion International. The job placement services and white papers are 100% free. Over 25,000 veterans have found civilian careers thanks to Orion.