Transitioning from life as a military service member to a civilian employee can be an overwhelming experience. However, with the leadership skills and dedication gained from time spent as a service member, veterans have a leg up on the competition when it comes to competing with others for jobs. These attributes are also ideal for starting a small business. This may be why there are 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. alone, according to recent statistics from Fundera Ledger.
If you’re a veteran interested in beginning your own company, the first step is laying out a plan to secure your small business loan to get the process moving along, as this will help reduce the capital you need to grow your company. There are a variety of resources out there to assist retired service members as they work to get the loans they need to see small business growth. Here are a few good places to start.
After you’ve established a business plan and know how much money you need to get your company started, registering your company with VetBiz.gov to become an official veteran-owned business is an important step before continuing the process. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides free services such as the Mentor-Protege program, where you’ll receive developmental assistance, including how to find a small business loan. Once you’re fully registered in the system, you’ll also be eligible for Veteran-Owned Small Business and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business set-asides provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
2. Veteran Entrepreneur Portal
The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal is an important starting point for those trying to launch their own companies. It will help you get in touch with federal services designed to provide help to small business professionals looking for access to financing and development assistance. The portal can also help you connect with government agencies that focus on providing guidance to veterans starting their own businesses as well as resources that find small business loans for retired servicemembers.
3. Veteran Business Outreach Centers
With 16 locations established in 10 regions throughout the U.S., the Veteran Business Outreach Centers have become a popular resource for veteran entrepreneurs. The program the centers offer focuses on providing a business development boot camp, counseling and mentorship as retired service members get started on building a strong foundation for their new companies.
One aspect that sets the resource apart from others is that veteran entrepreneurs get face-to-face assistance, which many professionals prefer. You may be eligible for low-cost or even free services that connect you to small business funding, which can be very useful if you don’t have the finances to pay for a private consultant.
4. SBA database
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a great place to find training programs catering to entrepreneurs who need guidance with funding and business development. On SBA’s site you’ll have access to a variety of articles that highlight how to launch and grow a small company. You’ll also find a database that will point you in the right direction when searching for grants and loans that are available specifically for veteran small business owners who want to expand their companies or those who are just starting out.
While these resources are just starting points in the process involved in beginning your new business, they’ll make the first few stages a lot easier and less daunting, especially if this is the first time you’ve tackled starting your own company. As finding assistance in securing small business loans is one of the most important steps to getting your company started, consider looking into these sites and programs to ensure you’re getting the guidance you require.
However, if you’re a veteran who has already started your own company and has been in business for over a year, consider the fast, flexible and affordable business loan programs available from RapidAdvance. We can help fund your small business to get you on the path to success.