3 Tips for Military Veteran Entrepreneurs

06/21/2014   
 

Over the next few years, experts estimate that approximately one million U.S. Military Veterans will be entering the civilian workforce. As an extension of the leadership skills gained by being a member of the U.S. Military, entrepreneurship and independent business ownership is an ideal way for our well-trained veterans to gain professional and personal control over their future.

Veterans make excellent entrepreneurs, due to the methodology, work ethic, dedication and experience they can offer. To build your plan towards independent business ownership, here are a few key checkpoints that all veterans and entrepreneurs alike should keep in mind:

Play to Your Strengths. The military teaches men and women the kind of discipline, integrity and determination necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. Veterans are excellent leaders, with experience collaborating with others and both setting and achieving goals. Consider your skills in the broader sense, not just your MOS. Operations experience, problem solving, and drive are just a few of the many skills that naturally equip you to become a successful veteran entrepreneur.

As the CEO of a franchise business, I have had the privilege of working with dozens of veteran franchisees. I am most struck by their perseverance, integrity, and drive to achieve goals.

Follow a Formula. One of the greatest strengths Veterans possess is their ability to closely follow standard operating procedures. If you already have an innovative business idea, go for it! To start, consider seeking out a business coach that can help you build a step-by-step plan of action to guide your processes for launching and sustaining the business. As another alternative, consider choosing a business with a proven formula for success and a tremendous support network. Franchise businesses provide entrepreneurs not only with a proven track record that serves as a guide for business success, but also the necessary training and ongoing support from those who know the company inside and out.

“In the military, we are taught to follow specific structures and systems in order to accomplish goals,” said Larry Sportello, a U.S. Navy veteran and current Budget Blinds franchise owner. “Owning a franchise is very similar in that there is a tried and tested business plan in place and all we need to do is follow it. Another similarity between the military and franchising is that we receive extensive training and a broad support network from corporate to help ensure we reach success.”

Leverage Help. No entrepreneur is successful without help from family, friends, and communities. Many veteran entrepreneurs seek assistance from spouses, especially during the initial start-up phase.

“Since founding our Budget Blinds franchise, my husband Larry and I have worked as a team in order to run the business successfully,” said Kathy Sportello, co-owner of Budget Blinds serving Keene, NH. “We’ve been there supporting each other every step of
the way and it’s been a great experience setting goals and accomplishing them together!”

Disabled veterans can be equally successful entrepreneurs with the right help. Whether managing PTSD or physical limitations, disabled veterans may find that entrepreneurship offers the ultimate control of a working environment. As your own boss, you determine what you can and cannot do, while also having the ability to delegate certain tasks to family or employees when needed.

With their extensive Military training to follow methods and processes, it is no wonder that 1 out of 7 franchise business entrepreneurs are veterans (66,000+ veteran owned franchises in the U.S. alone*). The skills gained through a military career undoubtedly create driven and disciplined business owners, with the kind of work ethic needed to establish and sustain success.

After years of witnessing the success of veteran-owned businesses and learning first-hand the power of the American Dream, I wanted to give back. To help more veterans become entrepreneurs and create a future for themselves and their families, I created the Million Dollar Franchise Event, a commitment to help at least 30 deserving veterans become franchise business owners, with the help of $1Million in discounts for Budget Blinds® and Tailored Living® franchises across the U.S. Whether you are an active military member or a veteran, or know someone who is, you can learn more by visiting www.BB4Vets.com

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