Office of Veterans Business Development

First Steps for Starting Your #VetBiz in 2020

Happy New Year! Are you ready to turn that small business idea into reality? It’s your year to become an entrepreneur.

With the start of a new year (and decade!), it may be time for you to consider taking your first steps into small business ownership. The good news is, as a veteran, you’re already well-equipped with the skills needed to run a successful business. But remember, you don’t have to tackle entrepreneurship all at once—and you don’t have to do it alone. The SBA has a variety of resources to guide you from the very beginning of your small business journey, and we can continue to support you even when you’re ready to grow and expand. 

Here are some simple steps to help you start the business of your dreams in 2020:

Step 1: Learn the fundamentals of business.

There are many moving parts when it comes to launching a small business—so why not start with the fundamentals? If you’re transitioning out of the military and into business ownership, the SBA’s Boots to Business (B2B) program is a great place to start.

As part of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP), B2B introduces you to all things entrepreneurship. During the two-day course, you’ll learn about the skills and resources you need to launch a small business, including steps for formulating business concepts, how to develop a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help. And if you’re not sure if business ownership is right for you, B2B can help you answer that too.

Are you off of the military installation? No problem! Our B2B Reboot program allows you to take the same course in your local community. Learn more about how you can kickstart your 2020 small business journey through B2B and B2B Reboot.

Step 2: Connect with a business counselor.

Once you’re familiar with the business fundamentals, it’s the perfect time to sit down with a business counselor to figure out how to get your business idea off the ground. Did you know that you can find veteran business counseling and mentorship near you?

Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) are your one-stop shop for small business resources—and there are 22 VBOCs located across the country. Your local VBOC can connect you with business trainings, like B2B, and SBA resource partner referrals to fit all of your business needs. You can work directly with a business counselor to streamline your business idea, conduct a feasibility analysis of your business concept, and build out your detailed business plan. If you’re ready to dive into marketing and financials, you guessed it—VBOCs are the place for that too.

Make a resolution to visit a VBOC near you this year!

Step 3: Participate in an entrepreneurial training program.

Like all successful missions, small business ownership starts with training. That’s why the SBA offers specialized entrepreneurship training programs for veterans—including the Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP) and Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP). 

WVETP gives women service members, veterans, and military spouses the support they need to become successful entrepreneurs and leverage the advantages set aside for both women- and veteran-owned small businesses. SDVETP allows you to translate your service-connected disability into the skills you need to become a successful small business owner—and jump start your entrepreneurship journey through immersive, personalized, and hands-on training in all things business.

For those who are interested in entering or expanding a small business into the federal marketplace, you can also check out the Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program.

Let the SBA help you take your small business to the next level this year! To learn more about first steps for starting your #VetBiz in 2020, visit the SBA veterans page at http://bit.ly/JanVetBiz2.