As Veterans Day approaches, Nav wants to remind veteran entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners that there are a ton of resources to help you start and grow your business.
There are 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses, which in total employ 5.8 million people and generate $1.2 trillion in annual receipts, according to the Small Business Administration. Furthermore, veterans are more likely than non-veterans to own two or more businesses, and veteran-owned businesses tend to have a longer lifespan. In the spirit of ensuring a nice long life for your business, here are several resources to consider tapping into.
The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development offers small business programs for veterans and their dependents or survivors. It’s a good resource for training, counseling, and mentorship opportunities.
There are 19 Veterans Business Outreach Centers nationwide that offer business training, counseling, and mentoring for veterans who own or are planning to open a small business.
The OSDBU offers an invaluable support system for veteran-owned businesses, aiming to connect those businesses to more opportunities in the government and commercial realms. It offers business verification through the Vets First Verification Program, oversees VA subcontracting, and aims to maximize partnerships.
This organization offers mentorship and business coaching. It recently offered a free lecture series to help you hone your marketing skills and get up to date on human resource and legal issues. It also reports on the latest government contract opportunities.
LINC is, as the SBA calls it, a sort of matchmaking tool for business owners and financing. It puts SMBs in touch with nonprofit lenders that can offer financial guidance, and that specialize in microlending and smaller loans.
Finally, building good business credit is critically important. Financial institutions look at your credit history and credit scores when determining whether to extend credit to you—and vendors, suppliers, and potential business partners might also check your credit prior to doing business with you. Checking your own credit on a regular basis helps you find out where you stand, can help you spot credit-killing errors, and determine what steps you need to take to get a stronger score.
There are several ways to check your credit, but Nav is a resource that gives free access to easy-to-read personal and business credit reports and monitoring. It also provides tools to build business credit and matches users to lending options based on their approval odds. This can make it easier for business owners to get affordable funding, lower their costs, and save time.
More answers to pressing questions
This article was originally written on November 4, 2016 and updated on September 9, 2022.