Military training instills discipline and a sense of responsibility in the soldiers. This is why vets are more likely to succeed when they venture into business. They know how to control their impulses and won’t make the mistake of making rush judgments. Veterans also know how to manage their time well – an important trait in any entrepreneur. However, not all vets are good at business, some require additional training to hone their financial management skills.
How Veterans Can Start and Run Successful Businesses
They should rely on their military skills and experience. Soldiers are trained to be leaders, resilient, persevere, and have passion in whatever they do. These traits not only make a soldier great, but can also make a vet an excellent entrepreneur. For those that don’t know how to effectively use these traits in business, they can use the VICTORY strategy.
VICTORY is an acronym that stands for:
- Vision: The veteran should start a business with a vision in mind.
- Intel: They ought to have intel that will help them drive the venture towards both long and short-term prosperity.
- Coaching: They should use the coaching and mentorship skills that they learned from the military when dealing with stakeholders.
- Team: They should encourage team work if they want the business to succeed.
- Operations: They should come up with consistent operations to make sure that the venture doesn’t stall.
- Rapid: They need to take rapid action since that’s what brings results.
- You: The ‘you’ part means that firm’s overall success will depend on them.
- Opportunity Assessment
Vets should know how to distinguish an opportunity from an idea. The basic definition of an opportunity is something which is attractive, lasts long, and is available at that particular moment. The item or service presented by the opportunity often adds value to end users or buyers. Alternatively, an idea is a feeling that something can be profitable, but it’s not guaranteed.
An idea can help a vet identify an opportunity, but not the other way round. The best way for veterans to come up with brilliant ideas that create wonderful opportunities is to engage workers in a brainstorming session or conduct a survey of the target population to find out what they prefer.
- Going with what is Familiar
Military personnel are trained on different disciplines. There are some that are taught computer technology and communications. Others learn to become experts in the medical field and flying. Others are trained to become excellent civil and mechanical engineers.
A vet should always rely on their technical skills to run a successful business. This is because going with what is familiar makes it easier to manage. For example, a squad leader would make a great project manager. Similarly, a veteran trained in engineering would make a great consultant for construction projects.
- Seeking Expert Advice
A good soldier knows when to ask for help. The same is true for business. A vet should not be afraid to seek expert financial advice when they are stuck. Perhaps the books of account don’t add up or they are having cash flow problems. Seeking the advice of a trained accountant can help them identify loopholes in their operations.
The good thing with seeking expert advice is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Various government websites offer free online training on financial skills. The organizations also have financial experts on stand by ready to assist anyone that calls them.
- Finding Finance for the Business
Running a business requires cash flow. A veteran should be aware of the potential sources of funding, even if they managed to start the venture using personal savings. Businesses can be unpredictable – one day the cash flow is good, the next day the firm faces financial collapse due to impatient debtors or a new law.
In such a scenario, the vet needs to know where they can find emergency funding. Although family and friends are a good option, financial institutions like BMG money are better because they have ready cash and don’t make any excuses. The institution gives the business person the emergency loan in exchange for a small interest. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
The following tips can help retired military personnel run a successful business. And its very possible to do so. One only needs to go through the list of great business founders, and they will find a vet among those leaders.
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