The average age that American military personnel retire is 46.8 years old. After a full career of service, for many veterans the question is - what’s next? This is the ideal time to think about starting your own business and pursuing your passions in life. You can be your own boss, set your own hours and kickstart a new future for you and your family.
When you are starting your own business however, it is important to find your own niche market and develop your ideas. It is virtually impossible to compete with the conglomerate giants, but if you have a great idea that is realistic and manageable, you can build a successful business after military service.
Funding your business
To get your business up and running, you are going to need startup funds. It may be that you have accumulated savings during your years of service, but if you haven’t, there are still ways to get your business off the ground. A Hero Loan is a VA loan program that is designed specifically for veterans and military families.
This type of home loan could give you the capital that you need to fund your business. Kickstarter is another popular option for raising business capital, but you will need to have a clear vision that you can market to the masses, showing that you have an investable product or service. Successful companies that were built using Kickstarter include Oculus, Pebble and M3D.
Get some great advice
If you are new to the business world, it is a good idea to get some advice and mentorship to help develop your business plans. There are many free programs for veterans that can help you to succeed and thrive. In fact research done by Experian has found that businesses that are owned by veterans have greater sustainability and longevity than non-veteran-owned businesses. The Reboot program is open to all veterans and their spouses and can help you get to grips with entrepreneurial business concepts and fundamentals. VETRN helps to train new small business owners, completely free of charge, so if you’re on a tight budget, this is a great program to get involved in.
Developing your ideas
Even if you are completely new to the world of business, the average veteran has a wealth of life experience and an understanding of the community that you can build on. Look around your local community and see what they need - it’s a simple concept - find a need and then fill it. You can then start creating a business plan to incorporate your goals, service or product development and financial projections. It will help to develop market surveys and take part in competitive analysis to help bring your niche business ideas into fruition.
After military service, there can be a great career ahead of you, developing your own business. With some startup funding and a mentorship program, you can work towards turning your business into a thriving, successful enterprise.