Working for yourself is the American dream. As a veteran entrepreneur, you may face more challenges than the average individual, such as not having local connections because you’ve moved around or even health-related problems because of your service. Fortunately, the Small Business Administration offers a number of resources for veterans who want to own their own business. The Veterans Business Outreach Center has 15 organizations participating with the SBA to put veterans on track to starting a small business.
10-Step Plan to Starting a Business
According to the SBA, here are the steps you need to take when starting a veteran owned business. You may not necessarily take them in order, but you should make sure to cover your legal liabilities.
- Get training and assistance to get started.
- Write your business plan.
- Choose a location.
- Determine how your business will be structured (sole proprietor, LLC, partnership, etc.).
- Find financing for your business venture.
- Research and register your business name.
- Legally register your business with your state for a tax ID number.
- Get your business permits and licenses.
- Understand your responsibilities as an employer and business owner.
- Get local assistance from the SBA to keep learning.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
VBOC offers assistance to veterans along every step of the way, from concept to implementation to financing. Start with a business plan, because you will need this as you move forward. By writing this guide, it helps you keep focused on your goals, and you can more easily demonstrate to stakeholders and investors that you’ve thought the plan through.
Take a bookkeeping class. You don’t need a college degree in accounting, but you should have some knowledge about how business books are kept. You should hire a CPA to help you with the finances of your business, but you shouldn’t just give them complete control. A basic accounting class that takes eight to ten weeks should be a good start.
VBOC and the SBA also offer mentoring through the organization. This pairs you with an experienced business owner in your community who can help you as you work toward your goals. Join your local Chamber of Commerce to get local information for businesses. The C of C in most communities offer many marketing opportunities.
Remember, you’re not alone in this venture. There are many people in the community who want to see you succeed. Reach out for help in areas where you feel inadequate and shoot for the stars.
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