Five Essential Tips for Starting a Veteran-Owned Small Business

 

In today's age, it's easier than ever for budding entrepreneurs to introduce their products or services to a large market. Since the advent of the Internet, anyone with access can share their ideas to a worldwide audience. 

However, it takes real grit to make it in the world of business, and those with military experience often have a leg up on the competition. In fact, according to a study done by Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, veterans are 45 percent more likely to attempt a small business than those with no active-duty military experience. If you're thinking of joining this statistic, there are five essential tips to keep in mind. 

1. Solid Business Plan


Financing is likely going to be necessary, and you must ensure you're prepared to provide potential lenders the information they need to know to assess the risks. That's why taking the time to prepare a solid business plan in advance is crucial. Things to consider include:

  • Basic concept
  • Actions to be implemented
  • Competitive advantage of product or service
  • Overview of financing needs


2. Reach Out for Help


The SBA is designed to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses and promote a good overall economy. As you prepare to seek financing and officially launch your business, they can offer free help and advice to help you achieve. Just some of the things they can do include:

  • Assisting in creating a strong business plan
  • Helping identify resources to put your plan in action
  • Helping you understand the competition


3. Be Prepared With Proper Documentation


As you set off to seek financing, it's important that you appear professional and are prepared with all the necessary documentation. After all, you're trying to convince a financing company that you're capable of managing a large sum of money. Aside from the obvious such as your photo id, you should also bring things such as your credit report, resume, financial statements, income tax returns, bank statements, collateral, business license, commercial leases, and other legal documents. 

4. Prepare for the Interview


When you appear for your loan application interview, it's important to polish up and allow yourself to put your best foot forward. There are so many questions the loan officer could ask, so it's important to be prepared to give quick and adequate answers. Just some examples of questions they could throw your way include:

  • What is your repayment plan?
  • Why are you requesting this specific amount?
  • What do you intend to use the money for?


5. Research Lenders


You have options when it comes to selecting a lender, and you should use this to your advantage. There are so many offers available. To ensure you get the best interest rate, check with multiple options before making the final decision. This patience can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.