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Boots to Business

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by Janet Farley, Contributing Writer

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Article Sponsored by: Tim Hortons, Dryer Vent Wizard

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Here are some other cool things I learned:

  • Veterans are highly successful entrepreneurs.
  • Now is a great time to start a veteran-owned business.
  • There are various paths to business ownership, including creating a new venture, purchasing an existing business, franchising, starting/taking over a family business or participating in an employee to ownership plan.
  • If your idea is good and you have the passion to make it a reality, you can usually secure funding.
  • Once you have a business and find yourself competing with other business, realize that no one wins in a price war.
  • It’s more important to talk to other people and get their thoughts on your ideas than to worry about whether or not others will steal your ideas.
  • Multiple revenue drivers (ways to bring in income from your business) are important. If you only have one, you won’t last.
  • You have to completely understand the finances of your business.
  • Have good relationships with your banker, your lawyer and your accountant.
  • Customers are the most important part of your business.
  • It’s crucial that you select the correct legal entity for your business.
  • A business plan is needed not only for funding purposes, but for your own visionary ones, as well.
  • Network intelligently. If you ask someone for money, you will only get advice. If you ask someone for advice, you may get funding at some point.
  • Small business ownership is not for everyone.

Veterans Are Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

In addition to the opportunity to learn from experts who have navigated the self-employment waters, this particular TAP offering gives you something more: It puts you in a classroom, virtual or not, with other service members and their families who have similar interests and often unique experiences to add to the discussion. The generated synergy alone is worth it.

In short, Boots to Business is a great program to take if you’re thinking about going into business for yourself now or later. Even if you discover that self-employment isn’t right for you, it’s well worth the 16 hours of classroom time. Find out more through your TAP or read more about it online at http://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ovbd/resources/160511.

Janet Farley is a career strategist, a workplace consultant and the author of The Military Spouse’s Guide to Employment: Smart Job Choices for Mobile Lifestyles (Impact Publications, 2013) and Quick Military Transition Guide: Seven Steps to Landing a Civilian Job (Jist Inc., 2013). She blogs at Life’s Too Short to Hate Your Job.

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