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StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

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How to Start a Business Without Quitting Your Full-Time Gig
| StreetShares Blog

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.

Having the desire and drive to have a side business on top of a full-time job is an empowering moment. You could be at the point where you want to change your quality of life, make extra money or not have to work for anyone other than yourself. Sometimes being an entrepreneur has us stuck between the worlds of the unattainable and the whimsical. I'm here to tell you that it's not either of those things. What it is, however, is passion, dedication and a ton of work. Before you jump ship on your full-time job to become a full-time entrepreneur, there are a few things to consider to ensure the journey to your version of freedom is as smooth as possible.

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9 Ways to Make a Budget – and Stick to It!
| StreetShares Blog

By StreetShares on December 19, 2018

Everyone knows that a personal budget is key to financial success, but getting started can feel overwhelming. If you’re tired of getting to the end of your budget before you get to the end of the month, we’re here to help.

Money management is tricky but with discipline and determination, you can make your money work for you. There are several steps to take to create a successful personal budget. Creating a successful and manageable budget will keep you in the green and help you better understand where all your money goes. A personal budget will also help you when you ask for a raise or looking to make more money in your career. You will want to look at two to three months of your spending habits to get an idea of your current spending habits versus your income. This will make it easier to understand how savings will factor into your future. Whether you want to save money for a big trip or retirement, you’ll be able to calculate what you need to save and how long it will take. There are several tools you can use or you can go old school with spreadsheets and a traditional bank account. 

Click here to download a monthly personal budget spreadsheet now.

Create a simple budget that you can actually stick to. Here are nine simple things to take into account:

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

The potential for another partial government shutdown is looming on the horizon. Is your small business prepared? 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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Building a Credit Score from Scratch
| StreetShares Blog

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.

Perform a quick Google search and you will discover that there is no shortage of articles and ideas online clamoring to offer you tips and pointers about how to best manage your credit. You can find videos, podcasts, and even television shows from many self-proclaimed "gurus" who are quick to share their credit secrets with you. Add in the well meaning credit advice you may have received from your family, friends, and acquaintances and before long your head will be spinning with dozens of contradictory credit improvement strategies.

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4 Ways You Can Optimize Your Business's Brick-and-Mortar Experience
| StreetShares Blog

 

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.

It's no secret e-commerce has had an impact on brick-and-mortar businesses, and you can point to its growth in annual sales as proof: a steady 17% increase in annual sales year over year. However, people often miss out on the fact that e-commerce shopping is still tiny compared to brick-and-mortar sales. Also, the health of the brick-and-mortar industry shouldn't be summed up in just one metric.

It's not to say that e-commerce hasn't affected brick-and-mortar sales. More than 6,400 brick-and-mortar stores closed down in 2017, and key brands in the industry, like Sears, have also recently closed their doors. Much of that has to do with the growing e-commerce space.

Additionally, consumers are now largely plagued by the Amazon effect, which means they expect a seamless shopping experience with instant rewards. Consumers expect to find exactly what they're looking for with little effort and want the item(s) delivered within a very short time frame. However, this is by no means the end of retail. In fact, numerous stores have taken steps to take advantage of the intersection of technology and retail shopping.

Here are four ways you can optimize your brick-and-mortar experience to best fit today's modern consumer. 

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How to Become Known, Liked, & Trusted in the Federal Marketplace
| StreetShares Blog

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.

Can’t seem to gain traction marketing to the federal government?

Wondering why your federal proposals aren’t winning?

See other contractors that seem to have the inside track on upcoming procurements?

As objective as the federal procurement process is, it is still run by people and relationships still play a large role in how those people view your business.  Taking the time to build relationships with a solid foundation can help your business gain traction in the federal government, earn credibility in proposal evaluations, and gain an inside track on upcoming procurements. 

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Legacy vs. Blended Retirement System (BRS): A Quick Military Pension Calculator
| StreetShares Blog

By Virginia Newell on December 11, 2018

A short Google search on the subject of retirement readiness quickly results in an overarching feeling that Americans have rapidly been falling behind. In fact,, 42% of Americans currently aren’t saving for retirement at all.So what about you? Will you have enough saved in retirement? Will your retirement be sustainable? Use this post as a quick military pension calculator for guidance on how best to start saving.

Military Retirement Changes

For military members, ‘retirement’ has taken on a whole new set of complications with the updated pension system the government rolled 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 be implemented; however, there are deeper weeds to dig into about how specifically the BRS plan will truly affect military members’ retirement from a “numbers” perspective.

Let’s look at how the military’s pension planswork (old & new) and how to think about building your savings with help from our military retirement calculators.

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Who Is Allowed to Check Your Credit Reports?
| StreetShares Blog

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.

Accessing your credit information is easier now than it has been at any other point in history. Thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you even have the right to view a free copy of all 3 of your credit reports every 12 months. To claim your free reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian simply visit AnnualCreditReport.com. Depending upon your state of residence you may have access to additional free copies of your 3 credit reports each year as well.

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8 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Foster Your Veteran-owned Small Business 
| StreetShares Blog

By StreetShares on December 5, 2018

Even for veteran small business owners who are accustomed to multi-tasking and problem-solving, the entrepreneurial quagmire is still a reality. Entrepreneurs don't want to stop creating products and enhancing their services in order to spend time marketing. Running a business is a juggling act that requires developing the product or service, attending to administrative demands, and managing professional relationships. So where does that leave time to trumpet the company value propositions with a social media marketing strategy?   

In order for a business to stay vibrant in today's economy, it’s necessary to establish your brand, create brand awareness and get the word out. Even if your business is brick and mortar, it’s even more important to stay relevant and promote your business online.

Learn more marketing trends in the ebook, "5 Small Business Trends for  Vet-owned Businesses." Download now >>

The idea of utilizing social media to promote your business might seem tedious but think of it this way: online presence isn't just shameless promotion. If approached correctly, it's an opportunity to connect with your customers, other servicemembers, veterans and veteran business owners and to start smart and helpful conversations. Here's a basic social media strategy that will boost your company visibility without investing a ton of time or money. 

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Characteristics of a Responsible Business Lender
| StreetShares Blog

By StreetShares on December 4, 2018

Responsible lending is a term that can get thrown around in the lending industry—it sounds great and certainly makes financial institutions look good when they use it... But practically speaking, what does it mean? And more importantly, how does it affect you as a business owner?

It matters a lot, actually. If you’re looking for business funding to grow your veteran business, you want to work with small business lenders who will set you up for success. It’s in your best interest to work with a lender who practices responsible credit reporting, has an alignment of interests and provides you with the right-sized funding so you won’t default on a loan.

If your small business lender claims to practice fair and responsible lending, here are the top six characteristics you should expect to see in them:

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