Guest Writer – Rhonda Underhill; How to Start a Veteran-Owned Business

 

Today’s guest article is provided by Rhonda Underhill. Rhonda is a health care advocate for senior citizens and veterans.

 

After a health crisis involving her husband Pete, Rhonda and Pete dedicated themselves to healthy living through diet, exercise and awareness. Rhonda created http://www.getwellderly.com/ a website dedicated to the health and well being of seniors.

 

Rhonda’s latest article is dedicated to the Veterans in our community who may be interested in starting their own business.

 

 

How to Start a Veteran-Owned Business

 

 

If you’re a veteran looking to make your mark on the business world, you’re not alone. A recent study showed that veterans are 45% more likely to start a business than non-veterans. There’s a misconception that trying to get a veteran-owned business off the ground is far more difficult; in fact, with your status as a veteran, there are unique opportunities available to you. We are grateful to Joe Campolo, Jr. for allowing us to share this information through his website.

 

Plan Your Business

 

The first step in starting a business is figuring out what you want your business to look like. This includes choosing and registering a name and location, as well as deciding on the market you want to tackle. Conduct research on your prospective industry before making any major decisions, because the market will determine how viable your business idea is. Veterans in particular are highly represented in the professional, scientific, technical, and construction industries, so start there if you’re unsure where to begin. Special programs for veterans can give you ideas if you’re hoping to start a business that can support your fellow vets.

 

You should also create a written business plan, useful for strategizing, focusing, and securing financing. The formal structure can change depending on the industry and your specific operations, but at its foundation, a business plan should have key elements such as a business summary, a description of products or services, an industry analysis, financial plans, marketing strategies, and goals.

 

Form Your Business

 

There are several legal requirements necessary to start a business, but you need to first choose a business structure in order to navigate them. You can choose a limited liability company, a corporation, a sole proprietorship, or a partnership. Each has its own set of rules, but typically, forming an LLC is a simple and affordable option. An LLC provides a degree of protection against personal liability, involves far less paperwork, and allows for increased flexibility in managing your business.

 

If you need funding, you’re likely better off registering as a corporation as this entity makes it easier to transfer shares to stakeholders. Creating a corporation involves a few basic steps. The details are dependent on the state you’ll do business in, so ensure that you know the appropriate regulations. To protect yourself from working outside of legal compliance, there are formation services available to assist with all the necessary paperwork.

 

Fund Your Business

 

There can be significant startup costs when establishing a new business. It’s a good idea to look for ways to save on costs when you start out. For example, you can use an online business logo design tool to create a professional logo for free. This can allow you to begin building your brand without a significant outlay of money.

 

Bootstrapping is usually only possible for those with high working capital or excess savings. New entrepreneurs typically get funding through grants or small business loans. Grants are typically reserved for businesses within specific industries or run by people within certain demographics, which means there are plenty of grants for veterans available. Most federal grants are for established businesses rather than startups, but take the time to search and apply for corporate ones.

 

Small business loans come in many sizes, and some are offered for specific applications. A conventional bank loan may be difficult to land for new businesses because institutional lenders consider startups high-risk. However, the Small Business Administration offers several loan programs that reduce the risk for lenders, making it easier for entrepreneurs to access funding. These programs include 7(a) loans, microloans, and community advantage loans, all with varying loan sizes, terms, and eligibility requirements. Many SBA loans even offer breaks for veterans. With any loan, you need a robust business plan to negotiate terms.

 

Being a veteran isn’t a deterrent; you are able to start a business just like everyone else but with the perk of accessing funds specific to veterans. Make a plan, create the right business structure for your vision, and secure the funding you need to get your idea off the ground.

 

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This article is brought to you by Joe Campolo, Jr., an award winning author, poet and public speaker. He is known for his award winning books The Kansas NCO,  Back to the World, Three Wars, and his most recent publication On War, Fishing and Philosophy.  A United States Air Force Vietnam War veteran, Joe belongs to the VFW, The American Legion, the Kenosha Area Vietnam Vets (KAVV), and Vietnam Vets of America (VVA). For more information, please visit his website or contact him today!

 

 

Please share this article with anyone you feel may benefit from it. Please share in it’s entirety, citing Joe and his guest author when sharing. Copyright protected © Joe Campolo Jr

 

About the Author

Joe Campolo Jr.

Joe Campolo, Jr. is an award winning author, poet and public speaker. A Vietnam War Veteran, Joe writes and speaks about the war, and is a Veteran's advocate. Some of Joe's stories are gripping, some humorous. Joe also writes about other experiences, many of which are also humorous. Joe enjoys fishing, traveling, writing and spending time with his family. Joe loves to hear from his readers, please send him a note on this page or the contact page! (and order one of Joe's popular books from the link on his author page)

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