Although every military veteran is different, the qualities they develop while in active service are very similar to those of a successful business owner. Veterans possess the leadership, drive, and ingenuity needed to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. They are resourceful, mission-focused, and passionate about everything they do, as well as hardworking and dedicated to team success. These characteristics, combined with the challenges they face when transitioning to civilian life, propel large numbers of ex-military men and women to become small business owners when they leave the service.
A survey conducted by the Center for Research and Public Policy found that one of the biggest concerns among U.S. veterans when returning home is applying military training to the workplace. For many, entrepreneurship offers the opportunity to put their skills to use in a field that allows them to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. Those with active-duty experience were 45% more likely to be self-employed than those without.
According to the Small Business Association’s 2017 report, “Veteran-Owned Businesses and Their Owners,” small businesses owned by veterans employed 5.03 million people, had an annual payroll of $195 billion, and receipts of $1.14 trillion. These veteran-owned firms represented 9.1% of all U.S. businesses, and included industries ranging from construction and technical services to finance, insurance, and transportation.
Veterans Embody the Entrepreneurial Spirit
In many ways, veterans embody the entrepreneurial spirit, which requires courage, self-confidence, and determination. Among the traits that make veterans especially well suited to entrepreneurship are the following:
- Veterans are experts at manage risk. Running a business requires a willingness to take calculated risks. The military teaches its leaders how to evaluate risk and capitalize on opportunities. As a result, many veterans have developed a fair amount of risk-tolerance. Where others may believe the risk is too great, veterans are more likely to move forward, accept responsibility for the outcome, and put failure into perspective.
- Veterans exhibit grace under pressure. Operating a small business that may be understaffed and undercapitalized requires leaders to deal with the stress of juggling multiple responsibilities. Many veterans have had to learn to remain calm under pressure in difficult, often dangerous, situations. This means they are well equipped to tackle the ups and downs of a growing business, even during the most tumultuous times.
- Veterans know how to accomplish a lot with a little. Small business owners often have to deal with the challenge of allocating limited resources on an everyday basis. Veterans are skilled at evaluating what resources are available and using them as efficiently and effectively as possible. Their ability to prioritize initiatives and identify those that offer the greatest possibility of success is an invaluable skill that comes in handy, especially when money and resources are stretched thin.
- Veterans learn from their mistakes. The consequences of making a mistake in the heat of battle can far exceed the risks involved in the day-to-day operations of a small business. Veterans understand the importance of seeing a plan through and remaining determined to succeed, even in the face of potential loss. When mistakes happen, they use what they have learned from the experience to quickly shift gears, adapt, and adjust their strategy and goals accordingly.
Providing Financial Support for Veteran Business Owners
Although veterans may be more qualified to run a small business than the average entrepreneur, they still need access to guidance, support, and working capital to achieve their entrepreneurial goals. Summit Financial Resources is proud to be a resource for veterans who need funds to manage their cash flow and develop their businesses.
We occupy the middle ground between easy, but expensive financing and lower-cost, harder-to-get loans, and we offer custom solutions that use your accounts receivable and other assets as collateral. We can mix and match from a variety of product options, including invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing. Because we are not regulated like a bank, we can structure more flexible deals, take more risks, and make funding decisions quickly.
If you are a veteran entrepreneur who is just starting out or on the fast track to growth, we celebrate you today and every day through our commitment to providing unique working capital solutions that are just right for your business.
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Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.