Starting a Business after Leaving the Military
It can be very difficult transitioning from the military to civilian life and many veterans struggle holding down non-military jobs. For many of these veterans, starting their own business gives back a sense of control and, more importantly, assists psychologically by making veterans feel that they are still useful with skills to offer. If you think this sounds like you then read on for some words of advice gleaned from those who have already embarked on this road.
Identify Your Key Skills
You might already have a very clear idea of what type of business you would most like to start, but don’t be too hasty though! It’s important that you are honest with yourself about what you are and aren’t capable of, and what your specific strengths and weaknesses are. It might be hard to come to terms with the fact that you have a burning desire to do something which realistically is beyond you but don’t be discouraged. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and being able to identify and act on them is in itself a very valuable strength. A large number of ex-military personnel work in fields like private security where their unique skillset can be worth a lot of money. This isn’t for everyone, however. In fact, many veterans are looking to get as far away from the military atmosphere as possible.
Networking simply means meeting new people who can, in turn, introduce you to more people, gradually providing you with a link to more and more local businessman. Good relationships, even with your competitors, are crucial to the success of a small or first-time business. Not only will you gain contacts relevant to your business venture you will also broaden the range of experience and expertise you have access to, so don’t be afraid to ask your new contacts for help. It might be a good idea to maintain a mailing list to allow you to contact multiple recipients at once. You can use an email verification service such as The Email Finder to ensure that you don’t waste time chasing up individuals whose email address has changed.
Whether it’s a hands-on course to learn a practical skill or evening classes learning how to run and organise a business, you can never know too much before considering investing in starting your own business. Entrepreneurs are required to be jacks of all trades, especially in the beginning when it isn’t feasible to hire accountants etc. Taking online courses in some of the more commonly used software packages is a wise investment as software proficiency can dramatically improve your company’s efficiency.
Starting your own business is a very effective way to ease the transition from military to civilian life and also offers many veterans an important long-term goal. As a veteran, many of the skills you learned during your service are applicable to the world of business; discipline in particular. Follow your passions and your skills and you can create a satisfying post-military career.