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StreetShares Blog - The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

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Starting Out in the Government Contracting Market

By Rabiah Sutton on October 18, 2017

This post is a guest submission from Rabiah Sutton from FWDthinkThe views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions, policies, or positions of StreetShares or any of its affiliates.

When your company is new to government contracting, it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s tempting to start by targeting an agency you’ve heard about in the news, from a friend or family member, or even a client you’ve done work with in the past.

While it’s important to document which agencies could be possible targets because you have inroads there, it’s usually a mistake to start there or worse create a strategy around those inroads. Instead, ponder the following three questions:

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Take the Road Less Traveled: 8 Awesome Reasons to Start Alternative Investing Today

You know that saving for retirement, education, and life’s big moments is more important than ever. If you’re considering making alternative investments a part of your savings plan, here are 8 great reasons you should get started today.

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"I Want To Show The World That Entrepreneurs Like Me Can Exist"

This story was originally posted in Forbes on September 27, 2017.

Meet Andy Williams.

He's a Marine Corps veteran who owns a sizable chunk of the real estate rental market in the same Texas town where he once picked up cans on the side of the road to make money.

His path to prosperity has been hard-fought and incremental: he has launched multiple successful companies, closed over $250,000,000 of real estate finance transactions, personally invested in over 100 real estate deals, and is currently hosting a TV show for HGTV, Flip or Flop Fort Worth.

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Defying Unemployment Rates Among Military Spouses through Entrepreneurship

Military spouses share a commonality among themselves as they may go through several permanent change of station (PCS) moves and are always transitioning with new friends and communities. The military spouse lifestyle not only affects one’s personal life, but also his or her professional life. 

More than 18 percent of employed military spouses have seasonal or temporary jobs and 82 percent of those spouses would prefer a permanent position, according to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation1.

Even though there has been a decline in military spouse unemployment from 23 to 16 percent, according to recent studies by the Department of Defense and the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation, military spouse survey respondents appear to be underemployed and not fully utilizing their skill sets.

We’ve worked with several military spouses who are defying these statistics because they’ve turned into entrepreneurs and small business owners. You may remember our list of the Top 10 Most Influential Military Spouse Business Owners who have made a difference in military spouse communities and are helping to decrease military spouse unemployment and underemployment. 

Today, we’ll take a deeper dive into the story of one military spouse business owner, Stephanie Brown, CEO of The Rosie Network. She'll tell us how she got started, how she's impacting the veteran and military spouse community and how she continues to grow with veteran business loans and small business financing.

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“Serving” Again to Support Military Veteran Business Owners

By Ed Walters, Chief Marketing Officer on September 7, 2017

I come from a family of military veterans. I am a graduate of West Point and served in the US Army before entering business. My grandfather served in the Army Air Corps during WWII, my father served as an Infantry Officer in Vietnam, my brother served in the US Army at the same time I did, and now my oldest son is finishing Army ROTC with plans to become an Army medical doctor.

There were times when I wished I had stayed in the Army for a full 20+ year career instead of entering the corporate world. I have worked for amazing companies, but the camaraderie of going through tough shared experiences in the military with my brothers and sisters in arms built bonds that we will forever share. I missed the supportive social network where everyone helped their teammates through the good and bad times, and to be honest, how we joked and ribbed each other in good nature. 

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Applying for a Small Business Loan? Here are 10 Things to Know

By StreetShares on September 1, 2017

For many small business owners as well as veteran-owned business owners, the loan application process can be tedious and overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start and how exactly to present yourself to a potential lender. That’s why we’ve compiled this checklist for you to reference as you pull together your business loan application for a term loan, line of credit or if you’re mobilizing for contract financing from a factoring company.

What to Know Before You Go

Loan request approvals depend on how well you present yourself, your business and your financial needs to your business lender. The best way to do that is to know beforehand the answers to the most common questions lenders may ask:

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Traditional Investment Options to Power Your Retirement Savings [Infographic]

By StreetShares on August 24, 2017

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Just as military members have carefully and thoughtfully planned countless missions over the years, there’s a mission that anyone, regardless of military affiliation, should be planning for with equal care: planning for retirement.

We’ve touched on this “mission” previously; in fact, we recently shared some ideas on the military’s retirement systems, comparing the new Blended Retirement System (BRS) to the old Legacy Retirement system, and discussing steps to plan for retirement.

In this post, we’ve detailed what everyone, whether you’re in the service or not, needs to know about the most commonly offered retirement savings options. With this information, you’ll be well on your way to creating a retirement plan that works for you – and maybe even help a few veterans along the way. 

Here’s an easy-to-follow infographic on Mission: Retirement, outlining three steps to assist you in determining, calculating and ultimately learning more about your retirement.

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4 Things to Do Before You Submit & How to Bid for a Government Contract

By StreetShares on August 16, 2017

In our government contracting blog series, we’ve looked at why the Federal Government is a good opportunity for many different types of small businesses. We’ve discussed potential advantages like set-asides made for veteran-owned businesses, how some great modern tools can help you evaluate your market and find the financing you need to start these projects. Now, let’s dive into how to bid for a government contract.

This article is an excerpt from, “The Government Contractor’s Handbook,” which includes step-by-step guides and eight chapters of resources. Download it now.

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Closing the Civilian-Military Gap with Small Business Lending and Investing

Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson

Many people have asked why a lifelong finance professional like myself, with years of experience from large banks such as Capital One and Wells Fargo, would join a veteran-focused startup even though I’m not a veteran. While the answer might not be clear to some, it is very clear for me. My personal, very focused mission is to give back to veterans who have created this space for me to be free. Some call actions like this an attempt to close the Civilian-Military divide.

During World War II, more than 9 percent of the American adult population served in the military. In the past decade, less than 1 percent of Americans have served in the armed forces, according to the Pew Research Center. The result is that the younger population has less of a family connection with the military. For 18-29 year olds, just 33 percent have an immediate family member who served in the military, according to a survey by Pew Research Center, while 70 percent of adults aged 50 and older do. 

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Legacy vs. Blended Retirement System (BRS): How Your Pension is Calculated

By StreetShares on August 8, 2017

A quick Google search on the subject of retirement readiness quickly resulted in an overarching feeling that Americans have rapidly been falling behind. For instance, one-third of Americans currently have no retirement savings, according to a recent GoBankingRates survey. So what about you? Will you have enough saved in retirement? Will your retirement be sustainable?

For military members, ‘retirement’ has taken on a whole new set of complications with the updated pension system the government is rolling out in 2018. We’ve provided a guide and outlined the general implications of this Blended Retirement System (BRS), such as whom it affects and when the changes will begin to be implemented; however, there are deeper weeds to dig into about how specifically this new BRS plan will truly affect military members’ retirement from a “numbers” perspective.

Let’s look at how the military’s pension plans, old and new, work and how to think about building your savings for retirement.

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