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I am hoping to start a small business in the near future and I need tips and professional advice.

Veteran

Alhajie Fofanah Frederick, MD

Start a small business.
Effective communication skills
Networking
Fine tune my management & leadership skills.

19 August 2020 11 replies Small Business

Answers

Veteran

Randall Short Pasadena, MD

Hey,

Take you VA assessments seriously. It is NOT the time to “suck it up”. If it hurts when they check, tell them. If you don’t, they won’t record it.

Why? Because VRE has a great program to help disabled vets start businesses. It’s not just about going back to school. You have to insist on it, but they will eventually set you up in a program with business plan help, mentors and capital. I started my business this way. The VA provided the equipment needed to get going. Between the equipment and a few classes I needed they funded over $40k to help. They also stick with you mentoring for at least a year. Note, you WON’T be able to also get a degree from VRE, it’s one or the other. Good luck!

Veteran

Randall Short Pasadena, MD

Hey,

Take you VA assessments seriously. It is NOT the time to “suck it up”. If it hurts when they check, tell them. If you don’t, they won’t record it.

Why? Because VRE has a great program to help disabled vets start businesses. It’s not just about going back to school. You have to insist on it, but they will eventually set you up in a program with business plan help, mentors and capital. I started my business this way. The VA provided the equipment needed to get going. Between the equipment and a few classes I needed they funded over $40k to help. They also stick with you mentoring for at least a year. Note, you WON’T be able to also get a degree from VRE, it’s one or the other. Good luck!

Veteran

Scott Fischer Show Low, AZ

Quick books — get it - learn it - use it. The lifeblood of any business is cash flow. Whatever your business without mastery of your cash flow, you will NOT succeed. While a number of the cheerleadering courses including SCORE, may provide amusement at the end of the day it is you and you alone who will determine your success or failure. I wasted little time with the cheerleadering programs when a SCORE advisor suggested I place flyers in Walmart - I own and operate a medical clinic not a Car wash. Good luck, stay focused And keep it real if the numbers say your Business is dying — plan a funeral.

Veteran

Tim Allen Hoboken, NJ

I strongly suggest finding a local program where you can pair with a mentor who will help walk you through the process. For example, I took a lot of value from this program: https://www.fdu.edu/academics/centers-institutes/rothman/veterans-launching-ventures/?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Idea8_FDU&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwOz6BRCgARIsAKEG4FVH4N5iEGyPOEgIIRIUhkdxbILveGAvOOZf4Nv24jtJ_Kb-YP_4WzAaAkdlEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Tim

Advisor

Patrick E Alcorn Arlington, TX

Join the entrepreneur community on Alice at bit.ly/B3community3 and connect with your local VBOC for up to date answers to your small business questions. https://www.sba.gov/page/veterans-business-outreach-center-vboc-program

Advisor

Andrew Woodland Orlando, FL

Hi Alhajie

Thank you for your service. I really like the answer from Chet Frame ⋅ El Paso, TX

I am a business mentor in the UK and we have similar support groups such as the Chamber of Commerce.

Coming up with a business idea is relatively easy, coming up with a great business idea is hard. It is critical to your success that when starting out you explore as many ideas as possible before deciding on the final one you will take forward.

Starting a business is a process that requires an enormous amount of thought and careful examination. As already mentioned - take a good look at your strengths, weaknesses and skills.

Before you start a business, you should be absolutely clear about why you are doing it. Understanding what is driving you to start a business is a major factor in determining what type of business you should start.

A business plan is a great exercise for sorting out your thoughts and it allows you to plan your business in a structured way, for yourself and so outside parties such as investors or partners can understand what you are trying to achieve and how.

Think about finding a business mentor - A mentor is there to guide, advise and educate you in areas where you may not have experience.

SCORE is a non-profit that works with the Small Business Association to help connect small businesses and volunteer mentors across the United States.

Research shows that 70% of mentored small businesses survive past the five-year mark — nearly twice the rate of non-mentored businesses.

Good luck

Advisor

Jennifer Polhemus Santa Monica, CA

To avoid failure (the fate of too many well-intentioned small businesses), it might help to face up to the two main causes of those failures: lack of management/skills and insufficient capital. And then work backwards to stay away from those problems.

And become passionate about reading books/articles/blogs, etc. in your field. Try to make it a daily practice. Onward!

Advisor

Chet Frame El Paso, TX

Good morning, Alhajie.

I suggest you contact your local Score chapter. Go to www.score.org and look for a mentor. The men and women of Score are all volunteers who have made it on their own and are now giving back. All of the mentoring services are provided at no cost to you. They are connected with the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Centers, Chambers of Commerce, and other organizations that are here to help small business owners succeed.

They are here for the life of your business!

Advisor

Taube Weiner Dedham, MA

Hi Alhajie,
I am a career coach who has helped many people start their own business. I do not charge for people in service. It's may way of saying thank you. My website is TransitionsbyTaube.com. take a look and if you think you'd like to work with me, contact me through email.
Blessings,
Taube Weiner (pronounced TobyI)

Advisor

Jason French Jacksonville Beach, FL

The most important thing you can do before you start on that path is to list your strengths and weaknesses. Be realistic though; double down on your strengths and hire people to compliment your weaknesses. Second is network, network, network. You should always have someone in your network who can help you along the way.

Advisor

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