If you are a military veteran thinking about starting a business, you are not alone. Thousands of military personnel return to civilian life every year, and many, rather than taking a corporate job, are opting to start a small business. While it is challenging, veterans have the discipline, focus, and determination to build a successful start-up. Therefore, today’s article provides some useful tips for those looking to become an entrepreneur.

Reasons Veterans Make Great Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is a solid way for ex-soldiers and sailors to return to the workforce. More than most, they share many skills and characteristics with successful entrepreneurs, such as self-determination, time-management, motivation, and commitment. A college student can learn these concepts in the classroom as theories, but a soldier acquires these skills through real-world conditions. Of all these talents, three stand out above all others.

1. Risk Management

Of course, entrepreneurs do not face the harsh risks associated with military service. Yet, owning a business does include a significant amount of personal and financial risk. The typical person is risk averse, opting for the presumed safety of working for someone else. On the other hand, people in the military are trained to capitalize on opportunities.

2. Performing Under Stress

When it is time to get the job done, soldiers are trained to work under pressure and effectively deal with stress. This gives them an advantage over their counterparts who have not had the training or real-world experiences to effectively deal with being shorthanded or underfunded.

3. Resource Management

Military training focuses on exercising conscious control over recourses. Moreover, there is a continual focus on increasing effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. Having these skills brings with it the greatest possibility for success. Start-ups need to continually manage resources and set priorities.

Tips for Veterans Starting a Business

If you are a military veteran considering starting a business, you have many things in your favor. Even though it can be a bit tricky, you should not fear the challenge. Below are some helpful tips to get you started.

1. Consider Opening a Fitness Franchise

Many military skills translate into the civilian world. Regardless of your job in the service, every military person knows fitness. This makes a fitness franchise a good fit for virtually every veteran. Moreover, your ability to be organized, goal oriented, and ready to take on smart risks will allow you to quickly plunge into business ownership.

2. Complete Your Market Research

Having the desire and dedication is a good start, but you will need to research the industry and your local market. The health and fitness club industry generates over $27 Billion annually. Yet, this is occurring while obesity has become a national health crisis. Still, you will need to discover how you fill a needed space in your market.

3. Seek Expert Advice

The U.S. Small Business Association offers a training program called Boots to Business, specifically designed to help veterans understand how to start a new business. It is a roughly 8-week course that will supply you the information and tools to identify business opportunities, create a business plan, and launch a start-up.

4. Take Advantage of Veteran Financing

Special financing is available to military veterans with loans backed by the government. This can make getting a small business loan a little smoother. Even if you don’t have great credit, being a veteran may make the process easier. You may want to start by reaching out to the Office of Veterans Business Development.

5. Network with Other Veterans

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association is a nonprofit that works to generate opportunities for veteran-owned businesses. The NaVOBA provides many benefits that can help you start and grow your business. 

Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you are a military veteran who wants to be their own boss or would like to talk about a related topic, please contact us.

David Michael Gilbertson is the founder and president of 3 Elements Lifestyle, LLC., a Fitness and Weight Loss company that specializes in YOU!. With more than 15 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, David lectures, delivers seminars and gives workshops on the practical skills required to successfully help you with your health and fitness goals. David also helps you build the teamwork, management, and training necessary to open your own fitness center. For more information on Licensing and Consulting Services Visit his Web site at: www.3elementslifestyle.com or email at daveg@3elementslifestyle.com or call 805.499.3030

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