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StreetShares Blog - The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

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The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

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7 Things to Know About the Military’s New Blended Retirement System (BRS)

By Virginia Newell on February 12, 2018

A huge change has happened for many of our nation’s service members in the form of a new retirement system. The military has begun implementation of the Blended Retirement System, affecting not only military members who will begin their careers in 2018, but also those who currently serve. Why the change? As it stands, only 19 percent of active duty members and 14 percent of reserve members will actually hit the 20-year service mark required to receive retirement benefits from the military – about 1/6 of its population, according to the DoD.

Click here to download our guide to military retirement: Blended Retirement  System

The Department of Defense has rolled out the Blended Retirement System to serve the remaining 80 percent of service members currently left out in the cold. The goal is to offer a retirement system that aligns more closely with a civilian 401(k) plan, as well as to offer benefits for those who serve their country in uniform but not for a full 20-year career. While this new system is designed to save the government money, many benefits are available for military members who understand the new system and want to build their savings for retirement as a veteran who may be seeking to open a small business or become a government contractor with a certification as a veteran-owned smalll business. 

Below are some highlights to help you understand the alterations that will result from the implementation, as well as dig in to better define the significance of these changes. None of this is financial advice. It's just meant to be informative.

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5 Inspiring TED Talks for Your Veteran-owned Small Business

By StreetShares on February 9, 2018

Whether you’re a thriving veteran small business owner looking for some inspiration to get you through the day, or a fresh-off-the-press entrepreneur seeking a little sage advice, here are 5 TED talks we believe will inspire you to dream bigger, work harder and never give up:

1. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action


“People don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.”

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Best Small Business Accounting & Finance Software for VOSBs without a CFO

In business, cash is king. From your own financial independence, to your investors if you have them, to your top and bottom lines, everything pretty much begins and ends with money. Small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses are no different, regardless of scale. Your business might not have an official Chief Financial Officer, but “CFO” is just a title. The functions they typically perform are essential to the core of every business, so someone is getting this job done, and it might just be you. 

So put on your CFO hat and check out these tools that can help your small business finance functions:

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Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Shifts from VA to SBA

Currently, it takes 73 days to process an application for a business owner wanting to be certified as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) and there is a backlog of 706 applications, according to a town hall at the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization. These are two of many reasons why the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recently proposed two changes regarding the verification and programs for Veteran-owned Small Businesses. Knowing how to get verified will help you when working with a factoring company when you're ready for invoice factoring.

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5 Books Every Veteran Small Business Owner Should Read

By StreetShares on February 1, 2018

 

Veteran business owners and military spouse business owners need mentors who can give them great advice. Thankfully, books can be those mentors that help drive their mission forward. Here are five we heartily recommend:

1) Rise: The Veteran’s Field Manual for Staring Your Own Business & Conquering the Online Economy by Wes O’Donnell

What it’s about: 
Military veteran and entrepreneur Wes O’Donnell provides step by step instructions for veterans looking to start their own business. The book is full of tips and detailed, real world examples—and an awesome appendix filled with veteran-specific business resources.

Why we love it: 
We believe veterans make natural entrepreneurs and are an invaluable asset to any business. We love O’Donnell’s honesty as he shares events from his experience—including embarrassing mistakes he made in his own business.

Best quote: 
“Being an entrepreneur is like jumping out of an airplane and assembling your parachute on the way down.”

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7 Things Government Contractors Should Beware of if the Government Shuts Down Again

The three-day shutdown has come to an end. However, the Senate has only reached a compromise to fund the government until February 8. What will happen after that? Will small business government contractors have to anticipate another shutdown? Even though this shutdown only lasted three days, let’s take a look at a few things you should know and remember from the 17-day 2013 shutdown that may affect you during another potential government shutdown.1 

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Why The Military Is The Best Entrepreneurship Training Program In America

By Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder & CEO on January 17, 2018

 

This story was originally posted in Forbes on August 3, 2016.

One organization has produced more business owners than any other single institution in the nation.

It has a proven track record of teaching leadership, strategic planning, creative problem-solving, task execution, and resiliency—all traits essential to business ownership. It is not a fancy MBA or university program.

The organization is the United States military.

For many years, military veterans have become entrepreneurs at a much higher rate than non-veterans. Indeed, a shocking 49% of World War II veterans went on to own or operate their own businesses, according to a study from Syracuse University.

In the modern era, an exciting veterans’ entrepreneurship movement is once again spreading across America. These so-called “vetrepreneurs” are thriving. They have their own accelerators and incubators, their own venture capitalists, their own support organizations and coaches, and even their own Shark Tank stars (shout out to Navy SEAL-led Bottle Breacher and Army Ranger-led Combat Flip Flops).

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Tips from a CFO: Get to Know Your Cash Flow and Receivables Turnover Ratio

By StreetShares on January 16, 2018

Watch your receivables turnover ratio to keep your business healthy

This post is a guest submission from Manuel “Manny” Cosme, President and CEO of CFO Services Group, which provides accounting solutions for small and growing businesses. The 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.

Do you know when your next client or customer payment is coming in? Is it likely to arrive on time? If you can’t answer these simple questions, you may have cash flow troubles brewing – and no early warning system in place.

As a small business owner, you know the pain of waiting on a check that’s “in the mail.” Unpredictable cash inflow and outflow can create chaos and stress. (Not to mention panic on payroll day.) We encourage business owners to get a handle on your receivables turnover ratio as soon as possible, and to check it regularly. Understanding and managing your cash flow can help avoid ugly surprises and help you know when to ask for a small business loan or line of credit in advance.

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Highlighting Our Heroes: Building Momentum

By Thomas Moody on November 8, 2017

Meet Brad Halsey.

Brad is a Navy veteran and the CEO & Founder of Building Momentum. Building Momentum is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that provides world-class professional technology education through challenge-driven emerging technology instruction (like robotics, 3D printing, and drones). Using StreetShares contract financing, Brad was able to buy the equipment he needed to provide Marine Corps units with technical training in real-world scenarios.

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Veteran Owned Small Business Award Finalists

By Thomas Moody on November 7, 2017

The Veteran Small Business Award continues! We have 12 great veteran business owners with very unique companies. Take a quick peak at the finalists below and remember to cast your vote on the StreetShares Foundation voting page. Vote now and help three veteran business owners get grant funding.

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