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This is a Guest Post from Erica Francis from ReadyJob.Org. This article is VERY informing and we are excited to post her work on our blog for all of our readers to enjoy. We hope that you will take advantage of any of the below opportunities.
When 2018 ended, the veteran population in the U.S. numbered an estimated 18 million. Those leaving the military for civilian life may face challenges, including difficulty reentering the workforce.
Starting a small business offers you flexibility with fewer constraints and educational requirements. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you should begin your journey with these few crucial steps.
1. Identify the Area You Want to Enter
Your startup should involve something you are interested in (research shows that passion is a key contributor to success), but that can't be the only criteria you assess. You need to have the skills and knowledge to perform the services or produce the products you wish to offer. If you already have an idea in mind, you also need to research its viability. Look at the competition and the existing market. Ask established businesspeople, friends, and relatives for opinions and advice. Ask, "Is my idea a good one?" and answer objectively.
If you are unsure of anything besides the fact that you want to start a business, there are many possibilities out there. Examples of simple startups that suit beginners include drop shipping, food trucks, pet sitting, virtual education (tutoring, teaching, and course creation), life coaching, and housekeeping.
If you enjoy creative endeavors, you could start your own business selling crafts, such as jewelry, knit or crochet plushes, greeting cards, custom art, embroidered items, or other artistic products or offer art lessons. Designing T-shirts, mugs, stickers, stationery, and other specialized merchandise is another option.
Once you have identified what your business will do, write it down. Specify your goals and what your enterprise will stand for and incorporate them into a mission statement that will represent the values you want your eventual clients and customers to associate with your brand.
2. Develop a Plan
One of the most vital preliminary steps when starting a business is the creation of a business plan. This should outline subjects like your objectives, a timeline with goalposts, products and services, marketing plan, financial plan, and key personnel. There are also free online resources you can use to help get set up. For example, you can create business cards with an online business card maker. Use this tool to add your logo, copy, images, and colors to a predesigned template.
3. Choose a Business Structure
There are four basic structures, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, corporation, and partnership. The first is easy to set up, but it does not separate your business from your personal affairs, meaning you can be held personally liable for your business's obligations, including debt. A partnership is what it sounds like, a structure for two or more people to go into business with each other. Corporations offer the best protection from personal liability, but they also come with a considerably higher cost ceiling and more stringent requirements.
An LLC shields you from most personal liability and offers the advantages of both a partnership and a corporation. It also comes with tax benefits, greater flexibility, and less paperwork. Different states have different regulations about forming LLCs and other business structures, so look into your area's laws first.
4. Research Available Resources
As you search for funding, take advantage of resources offered by the government and other entities. Besides traditional loans, there are grants and loans specifically for veterans starting businesses. There are also programs to help you get started. Search online, visit your local Veterans Affairs office or ask local veterans groups like Ellis County Det. 1452to learn about resources.Starting your path as an entrepreneur with a clear idea of what to do and the resources out there for veterans can help you find success and satisfaction with your new business.