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Owning your own business, being your own boss – it’s the American dream. You can see it every Friday night on Shark Tank, or in commercials for Small Business Saturdays. It’s no surprise that military veterans make excellent entrepreneurs because of the skills they gained while serving. And in a challenging economy when jobs for military veterans may be scarce, a great option for veterans is to start their own business.

Entrepreneurs can be at the helm of a mom & pop corner store, or a major corporation like Enterprise Rental Car or Starbucks. But just because you have many of the required skills to be an entrepreneur, that doesn’t guarantee success.

A military veteran benefit for entrepreneurs comes in the form of a boost from the VA when starting or growing a business. While everyone knows that a major veteran benefit is education for veterans, many may not know that the VA will pay for other programs. Education for veterans offered by Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States, is one such program.

Entrepreneurship training through the SBDC allows eligible service members and veterans to use VA education benefits to take courses they offer. SBDCs can help you plan your veteran finances with business plan development, procurement, market research, lending assistance and more.

Those who are eligible to receive reimbursement for approved entrepreneurship courses include those eligible for any of the following VA Education Programs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve
  • Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill

For additional information on using your military veteran benefits with SBDCs, visit the VA Entrepreneurship Training Web page.

To locate course offerings near you, or view training opportunities on the web, contact the Small Business Development Center directly athttp://www.sba.gov/sbdc/ or by phone at 800-8 ASK SBA.

SBA Santa Ana District Office

Women Veterans Entrepreneurial Network (WOVEN) |  November 4, 2015  |  8:30 am – 5:00 pm  |  The Delhi Center  |  505 E Central Ave  |  Santa Ana, CA 92707

Whatever stage your business is in, WOVEN will have interactive, informative sessions that will give you concrete steps to move your business forward.

  • Transform your business with your uniqueness
  • Negotiate better deals, find more power, and create win-win results
  • Become a junior expert in your market
  • Find your perfect client or customer

Barbara Carson, Acting Associate Administrator, SBA Office of Veterans Business Development will be the lunchtime keynote speaker for WOVEN.

Register
for WOVEN
today!

Registration fees of $25 cover continental
breakfast, lunch and a copy of “Think
Like A Negotiator
” by
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez.

Find more information: bit.ly/cameowoven

Download a WOVEN flyer and
help spread the word.

Micro-business and self-employment offers
veterans increased opportunities to maximize their strengths and skills to
achieve their financial and career goals. CAMEO is working with the US Small Business Administration to
bring you a special intensive business training as part of Veterans Small
Business Week. The event is geared toward women veterans and military spouses
(but we are inclusive) who want to be their own boss and become a small
business owner.

hobby-job

Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious via photopin cc

Looking to start a business?

Or would you rather have a J-O-B… maybe that hobby would be fun, perhaps you can profit with that?

To clarify, hobbies, jobs, and startups are great ideas. Just be sure to approach them in the right way.

Webster’s Definitions:

Hobby – an interest outside one’s general occupation, particularly for unwinding.

JOB – routine work that someone does to earn a paycheck.

Business – a venture of making, purchasing, or offering products/services in return for money.

Can I turn my hobby into a business?

You can. But it won’t be your hobby any more. We all ought to have a diversion in life…something you do on special occasion or to relax.

I love awesome BBQ (like I’m the only one, right?). I love cooking it, hanging around the smoker and seeing it reach perfection.

However, imagine a scenario where I needed to get up each morning at 3am to put meat on the smoker and get everything prepared for my customers. Would I like it as much? Would it transform my enthusiasm into drudgery? Possibly.

Owning a BBQ smokehouse has around 22,418 more “jobs” to it than simply smoking some brisket from a lawn chair. I would need to have a full comprehension of the restaurant business before making my BBQ pastime into a business.

At that point I would need to get another hobby!

What if I make a business out of my current job?

Ok. Suppose you have killer welding abilities at the place you work at presently. Why not open a welding shop in your town and satisfy all their welding needs?

But your welding skills were just one part of your previous employers company. How did they attract customers? Who purchased the supplies? Who did the bookwork…managed the utilities?

You might need to trade in your welder’s helmet for the various business hats you’ll end up wearing. At that point, are you doing more jobs than the just the welding, at which you excelled?

But won’t I be more relaxed if I great my business like a hobby?

Sure…if by “relaxed” you mean “failed”. You just can’t run your business the same way you treat your hobby.

I took up biking and it cost me $300 for a used mountain bike. Fishing is fun and got a fly rod for Christmas last year. I purchase a few flies each time I go to Bass Pro.

However, I can stop fly fishing for a time and not have any effect on my salary, employment or business.

That’s the reason it’s a hobby… you don’t HAVE to do it.

And, in the event that you switch or stop a hobby,

you likely won’t miss a car payment.

You can start and stop hobbies often. Nobody will mind. Well maybe if you have 28 fly rods and only use them once every 4 years, your wife might comment on it! But that topic is for another day.

Run your business with intention. Create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound). Define the jobs within the business and the people that should be doing them.

Organizations ought to be run diligently (with the proper time off for those hobbies). Try not to “wish” or “hope” things get completed… dole out every one of the tasks BEFORE you open for business. You’ll have enough surprises without making them yourself.

Brian Richardson runs VetLaunched.com. He helps veterans start their own business through coaching, training, classes and trusted resources. Pick up a copy of his unique resource list at www.VetLaunched.com.

SBA Michigan District Office

Starting or Growing a
Veteran-Owned Business?

Sign up for Boots to Business Reboot, an entrepreneurship training program for
veterans and their spouses. Part one is a one day Introduction to Entrepreneurship
course instructed by SBA resource partners.
This course’s curriculum includes steps for evaluating business
concepts, foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan, and
information on SBA resources available for accessing start-up capital and additional
technical assistance. Part two is a
eight week high touch instructor-led online course called Foundations of
Entrepreneurship which is available to those who complete part one the
Introduction to Entrepreneurship.

BOOTS TO BUSINESS REBOOT -PART ONE
Date: Thursday,
October 22, 2015
Time: 8:00 am –
4:00 pm
Location: Grand
Valley State University
The Bicycle Factory
Room 330
201 Front Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

For more information please contact VetBizCentral at
810-767-8387.

To register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/boot-to-business-reboot-tickets-18187181349

Seating is limited to the first 50 veterans.

Brought to you locally by:
Small Business Administration
VetBizCentral
Michigan Small Business Development Center
SCORE

Cosponsorship Authorization # 15-2110-147. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

SBA Fresno District Office

GROW your Small Business with the State of California’s
Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise & Small Business Certifications!

Each year, California’s Procurement Division purchases nearly $10 billion of goods and services ranging from pencils to temporary labor for state agencies, institutions, community colleges, technical institutes and other organizations.  A percentage of these purchases are ‘set aside’ for firms that are certified by the state as Small Businesses and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises.

This FREE webinar will teach you the step by step process to be certified as a Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise. Hear from experts with SBA, the Veterans Business Outreach Center, (VBOC) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) who can assist you for free.  Learn how to obtain these certifications, market to contracting officers, and GROW your company with government contracting.

Click here to register for this free webinar: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grow-your-small-business-state-of-california-dvbe-sb-certifications-tickets-18544626477

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