This column is designed to give sound advice on entrepreneurship and business ownership to veteran entrepreneurs and their families.
I have a great business idea and a business plan. What do I do next?
Don’t quit your day job just yet. Continue working on your business idea on the side—like at night and on the weekend. Your business plan is a great starting point but it will start changing on day one. It’s ok to deviate from your plan and tinker a little bit to see what works and what doesn’t. If you begin to make traction and can’t keep up with demand, then it may be time to consider making your new venture your full-time priority.
If you’re recently transitioning out of the military and are eager to start your own business, I recommend checking out VetToCEO. They offer a seven-week program called Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors that teaches Veterans how to take the skills learned in combat and apply them directly into business.
I’ve started my own business, but I have no idea where to find mentors or resources. Help!
There are many wonderful programs, incubators and resources available for Veteran entrepreneurs—there is no reason you should ever have to go through starting a business alone.
For Veteran business owners in the DC area wanting to break into government contracting, Eastern Foundry is a Veteran-owned co-working space and accelerator for startups and small businesses. They provide mentors, professional service providers and business development support teams that offer structured and personalized coaching for the businesses housed in their shared space.
The Bunker Labs is another great program built by Veteran entrepreneurs for Veteran entrepreneurs. The Bunker Labs targets existing Veteran-owned tech startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to “come, create and conquer” the business world. They have several locations around the U.S.
Mark L. Rockefeller is an entrepreneur, attorney and Veteran. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of StreetShares, an online marketplace where investors compete to provide shares of commercial loans to small businesses. StreetShares has been described as “Shark Tank meets eBay” for small business loans and has secured a commitment of $200 million to fund Veteran-owned businesses.
Have a question? Send them to Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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