AMGEN
 

VAMBOA TipsOwning and operating a small business is one of the most demanding career choices that Veterans can make. Starting a new business is not a get rich quick scheme. Most newly-minted small business owners may have to put in a lot of hours and hard work in the beginning, but it pays off in the long run. Here are some tips provided by Veteran business owners that new small business owners might find useful:

Set the standard: As the owner, your employees will do as you do. Therefore, you need to lead by example. Whether its customer service, personal grooming, keeping your business clean or any other function specific to your company, hold yourself to the highest standard, one your employees can proudly emulate.

Put customer satisfaction before profits: When your customers are thrilled with the products and service that your company provides, they will return again and again, giving you repeat business. If, as an owner, you are more concerned with profits than your customers, it will show, and customers may not do business with you in the future. Customers are what generate profits.

Don’t neglect to pay yourself. You and none of your employees should ever go without pay. If your personal finances are a mess, it will distract you from what you need to do to help your business grow.

Learn from your mistakes: Small business ownership is not an exact science. There is not one book with all of the definitive answers containing the hidden secrets that your business can use to guarantee success. Small business ownership is all about learning your customer base, the community, and how to bring your business to them. Be aware of the risks, make bold decisions, and then learn from them.

Employees are your business’ most effective resource: Learn how to delegate, and don’t micromanage. Start by hiring the right individuals to work for you, and then, let them do their jobs with you as their confident, but not stifling leader. This ties in with customer satisfaction; customers who want good service know when they are dealing with employees who truly understand their job and do it to the best of their ability, and when an employee is handcuffed by micromanagement. No customer wants to repeat business with a firm whose employees aren’t capable of providing good service.

Show up: There will be days when you won’t feel like going to work. And as the boss, it would be easy to just take the day off. But don’t let the temptation to slack off a little ruin your business… because it will, if you let it.

Keep your integrity intact: At the toughest times, it may seem conceivable to shortchange a customer or employee, or hide a receipt from the taxman. But taking ethical shortcuts will always cost you in the long run. Besides, would you do business with someone who acted unscrupulously? Others might feel the same way.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Tips from Veteran Small Biz Owners: By Debbie Gregory

sharktankABC’s “Shark Tank” will air all-Veterans episode.

“Shark Tank” is a reality television show that captures the dramatic experience of entrepreneurs making a sales pitch to would-be investors. For this show, the would-be financiers are “sharks,” and they can be as ruthless as their namesakes.

Entrepreneurs  make their pitch to a panel of sharks, with the hope that one or more of them will make an investment in their business or product. The sharks can participate by giving capital in exchange for equity or royalties, or opt out. Most contestants are at the mercy of the sharks, but a select few have been creative or savvy enough turn the sharks against each other, sparking a feeding frenzy. Dozens of entrepreneurs have survived the tank to earn huge investments and financial backing.

The current list of sharks include: Barbara Corcoran, a real estate mogul from New York; Kevin O’Leary, a financial investor who made it big after selling his software company; Daymond John, founder of the FUBU clothing brand; Lori Greiner, the “Queen of QVC;” Robert Herjavec, who founded two successful internet security companies; and Mark Cuban, arguably the most recognizable shark as owner of the  Dallas Mavericks.

Since 2009, hundreds of entrepreneurs have braved the waters of ABC’s “Shark Tank” for a chance to convince the sharks to invest in their business or product. Just in time for Veterans Day 2014, the reality show will be airing an all-Veterans episode.

The special episode will air on Friday, November 7. This episode will feature a Navy SEAL from Tucson, AZ, an Army Captain from Louisville, KY, a Marine from Columbus, OH, and an Army Veteran from Front Royal, VA.

This episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank” is a great opportunity for transitioning service members and Veterans to see that entrepreneurship is a real path for them after service. The all-Veterans episode also gives the show’s viewers further insight to the struggles that Veterans have transitioning when their service to their country is through.

Be sure to check your local listings for ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: “Shark Tank” Airs All Veterans Episode: By Debbie Gregory

SBA Los Angeles District Office

Women Veteran Entrepreneurial Network

 November 6, 2014 · 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Bob Hope Patriotic Hall · 1816 Figueroa St · Los Angeles

Our team of small business experts delivers advice on how to start and grow your business.

Gain valuable, expert insight on finding financing, applying for government certifications, and other resources for Women Veteran Entrepreneurs and military spouses. This one-day training will:

  • Provide skills and business training for 200 women veterans;
  • Connect participants with community-based training;
  • Connect participants to capital resources; and
  • Network women veterans with each other for ongoing support.

Join us for a full day of training including continental breakfast and lunch.

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

  • Start Up – from the ‘I’ve got an idea stage’ to in business less than a year
  • Stable – in business for less than three years, but I’m up and running
  • Stretch – ready to stretch my wings and grow my businesses

Use this link for complimentary registration and to find more information: bit.ly/cameowoven.

Washington Metro Area SBA District Office

Are you interested owning a small business franchise? Need basic information on what to do next, costs, and where to go for assistance? Join the Small Business Administration and the Women Business Center of Northern Virginia to learn what it takes to pursue franchise opportunities.  We will have a representative from FRANET, and feature successful businesses franchise owners, sharing their stories of sustainability, growth, pitfalls, and rewards.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL….

We will have a representative from SCORE discussing commercial leasing language.

Title:     Veteran’s Workshop on Starting a Franchise
When:   Monday, November 3, 2014
Time:    10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Where:  U.S. Small Business Administration
409 3rd Street, SW, (Eisenhower Conference Room B)
Washington, DC  20024

There is no charge to attend but advance registration is required.  To register please send an email to WMADOEE@sba.gov, with the Subject: Veteran’s Workshop on Starting a Franchise.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is conveniently located on the Orange, Silver, and Blue Metro Lines at the Federal Center SW station.  Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow time to go through security.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided to those who make a request by Monday, October 27, 2014, to shuraie.mackin@sba.gov.

SBA extends loan programsRecently, the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that fee relief for small business loans made to Veterans will be extended through fiscal year 2015, and that programs for its Veterans Advantage program will be enhanced.

Last year, the SBA implemented its zero-fee loans for Veteran owned small businesses on 7(a) loans of $150,000 or less. This benefit was supposed to expire on September 30, 2014. The continuation of the loan relief was slated to extend from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

“We zeroed out fees on loans of less than $150,000 to any 7(a) borrower because we don’t want SBA fees to be an impediment to getting capital out to communities where it can make a game-changing difference, especially to our underserved communities, who use these small dollar loans more frequently,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “We also owe a debt of gratitude and so much more to our service men and women, and veterans who are the cornerstone of small business ownership. This fee relief will continue to help veterans business owners who grow their businesses, create jobs in their communities, and put their training and passion for our country to work in their neighborhoods.”

As of the middle of September, the SBA had guaranteed more than 28,800 loans under $150,000 for a total of over $1.74 billion in FY 2014. These totals are up from FY 2013, when the SBA guaranteed $1.34 billion for 23,337 loans under $150,000.

For loans larger than $150,000, the SBA will continue to offer an annual servicing fee at 0.519% of the guaranteed portion of the outstanding balance of the loan. The upfront guarantee fee will continue to depend on both the amount and the maturity of the loan.

The SBA will also continue to offer zero upfront guaranty fee on all SBA Express loans to veterans, on loans of $150,000 up to $350,000 through FY2015.

One of the other enhancements that the SBA is implementing is the upfront guaranty fee for non “SBA Express” loans $150,000 up to $5 million, which will be reduced by 50%. There is no reduction on the annual servicing fee for loans over $150,000.

The SBA determined that 70% of its loans made to Veterans are $350,000 or less. In FY 2014, the SBA had guaranteed 153 loans for $38,861,900 through its Veterans Advantage program. Fee relief for these loans resulted in savings to borrowers of about $571,000.

For further information on all SBA programs and services, visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov, or contact your local SBA field office.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: SBA Extends Loan Programs: By Debbie Gregory