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How To Start Your Own Business As A Military Spouse
Military spouses make great entrepreneurs, and small business ownership can be a transportable, flexible vocation that supports a military career. SBA knows this. So, as part of our mission, SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) empowers military spouse entrepreneurs by providing the same counseling and training, access to capital, and disaster assistance that are provided to servicemembers and veterans. We also build capacity for those who want to compete in the federal contracting landscape. You serve your country, and if you are pursuing small business ownership or other self-employment, SBA serves you!
ACCESS TO CAPITAL
Starting and Growing
Video Series (YouTube)
CH 1 Transitioning
CH 2 Business Planning
CH 5 Hiring
CH 6 Winning Contracts
CH 7 Networking
CH 8 Customer Service
CH 10 Inspiration
Think of it as a Business Resumé
A snapshot of your company highlighting it's unique features.
Running The VetBiz Gauntlet
How to Get Out Alive (Verified)
Legal Meets Pratical, LLC
A Wealth of International Resources
American Small Business
One of the biggest challenges to both current and potential exporters is access to accurate, reliable information about the markets they want to tap. One of the most common ways large exporters address this issue is by contracting “expert” help in each country or region where they do business, that is, a local representative or source in position to provide both information and market analysis. This type of service can be -and usually is- costly. If you happen to be a large exporter, cost may not be a major issue, but for small exporters this challenge can be daunting.
VETERAN SMALL BUSINESS AWARD
Three Awards Monthly
Three awards will be given to winning applicants each month:
1st Place: $5,000
2nd Place: $3,000
3rd Place: $2,000
♦ Applicant must be a veteran, reserve or active duty member of any of the United States Armed Forces, OR a spouse of a military member or veteran
♦ Applicant must be a U.S. person and at least 21 years old
♦ Applicant's business must be a legal entity(sole proprietorship or legally incorporated LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp or formal partnership)under the laws of any U.S. jurisdiction
♦ Applicant must own at least 50 percent of the business
Applicants qualify and apply. After applicants have been submitted for the month, the Foundation will choose 5-10 finalists. Based on five criteria below:
1. Business idea
2. Use of award funds and potential impact
3. Product-market fit
4. Team and company history
5. Influence of the business on the military and veterans community
Finalist profiles are then posted on the Foundation website for public vote to determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards
Our award program runs monthly. Business owners have until the end of each month to apply. Winners will be announced mid-month.
1. Download the featured eBook
2. Visit the Foundation blog
3. Write a business summary
4. Create a short video
The Ultimate Small Business
Operation Veteran Empowerment
Veterans in record number are out of work and many are considering starting their own business.
However, the majority of these talented men and women do not possess the knowledge needed to properly finance their operations.
The simple truth is that veteran businesses in all stages fail and will continue to do so without the necessary solid practical foundation and knowledge respecting all aspects of business financing in the real world..
8 Common Pitfalls to Avoid
When Seeking Money
Washington Business Journal
Entrepreneurs trying to raise money from investors frequently use the term “smart money” to describe the type of investors they are seeking. “Smart money” is money raised from experienced, well-informed investors who provide both money and additional value-added benefits to the company.
We believe that the best people to loan you money for your small business are the people who believe in you most: your friends and family.
Small Business Lending Group
Is VC Funding Right For You?
Venture capital can either take your company to the next level--or tear it apart. Here's how to decide whether VC funding is right for your business.
SBA Announces New Measures
to Help Get Small Business Loans
Into the Hands of Veterans
WASHINGTON – The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced new measures to help get small business loans into the hands of veterans by setting the borrower upfront fee to zero for all veteran loans authorized under the SBA Express program up to $350,000. This initiative will start on January 1 and continue through the end of the fiscal year.
The Microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides funds to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries administer the Microloan program for eligible borrowers.
Each intermediary lender has its own lending and credit requirements. Generally, intermediaries require some type of collateral as well as the personal guarantee of the business owner.
Use of Microloan Proceeds
Microloans can be used for:
• Working capital
• Inventory or supplies
• Furniture or fixtures
• Machinery or equipment
Proceeds from an SBA microloan cannot be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate.
Repayment Terms, Interest Rates, and Fees
Loan repayment terms vary according to several factors:
• Loan amount
• Planned use of funds
• Requirements determined by the intermediary lender
• Needs of the small business borrower
The maximum repayment term allowed for an SBA microloan is six years.
Interest rates vary, depending on the intermediary lender and costs to the intermediary from the U.S. Treasury. Generally, these rates will be between 8 and 13 percent.
Microloans are available through certain nonprofit, community-based organizations that are experienced in lending and business management assistance. If you apply for SBA microloan financing, you may be required to fulfill training or planning requirements before your loan application is considered. This business training is designed to help you launch or expand your business.
Find a Microloan Provider
To apply for a Microloan, you must work with an SBA approved intermediary in your area. Approved intermediaries make all credit decisions on SBA microloans. For more information, you can contact your local SBA District Office or view the list of Participating Microloan Intermediary Lenders in the Attachments list below.
Flagship Enterprise Center, Inc.
2701 Enterprise Drive
Anderson, IN 46013
Microlending: DeWayne Landwehr
Service Area: Hamilton, Hancock, Madison, Rush, Shelby, Tipton, Grant, Delaware, Henry, Marion
501 N. Morton Street Suite 101
Bloomington, IN 47404
Executive Director: Terri Brown
Microlending: Terri Brown
Service Area: Owen, Morgan, Monroe, Lawrence, Jennings, Jackson, Greene, Decatur, Bartholomew, Brown
Center for Empowerment and
Economic Development (CEED)
2002 Hogback Road Suite 17
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Executive Director: Michelle Richards
Microlending: Michelle Richards
Service Area: Livingston, Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe
Detroit Midtown Micro-Enterprise Fund
440 Burroughs, Suite 140
Detroit, MI 48202
Executive Director: Lorenzo Thurman
Microlending: Lorenzo Thurman
Service Area: Wayne, Oakland
Entrepreneur Institute of Mid-Michigan
105 W. Allegan Suite 10
Lansing, MI 48933
Microlending: Denise Peek
Service Area: Clinton, Ingham, Eaton
Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW)
25 Sheldon Blvd. SE Suite 210
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Microlending: Bill Hahn
Microlending: Bonnie Nawara
Service Area: Ottawa, Allegan, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oceana, Barry, Kalamazoo, Newaygo
Metro Community Development, Inc.
503 S. Saginaw St., STE 804
Flint, MI 48502
Microlending: Ravi Yalamanchi
Service Area: Oakland, Livingston, Lapeer, Genesee, Saint Clair, Shiawasse
Northern Economic Initiative Corp.
P.O. Box 7009
Marquette, MI 49855
Executive Director: Dennis West
Microlending: Barbara Krause
Service Area: Newaygo, Montmorency, Osceola, Presque Isle, Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft, Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Cheboygan, Clare, Emmet, Gladwin, Iosco, Isabella, Lake, Ogemaw, Mason, Oceana
Renaissance Development Fund
38 West Wall Street
P O Box 428
Benton Harbor, MI 49023-0428
Executive Director: Gregory Vaughn
Microlending: Gregory Vaughn
Service Area: Van Buren, Cass, Berrien
Economic and Community Development Institute
1655 Old Leonard Avenue
Columbus, OH 43219
Executive Director: Inna Kinney
Microlending: Inna Kinney
Microlending: Kathy Brown
Microlending: Peter Dunleavy
Service Area: Mahoning, Butler, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Fayette, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Warren, Champaign, Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Mercer, Morrow, Paulding, Pickaway, Richland, Union, Van Wert, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Henry, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Medina, Ottawa, Sandusky, Summit, Wayne, Williams, Wood, Harrison, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Defiance, Fulton, Jefferson, Portage, Seneca, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Clermont, Coshocton, Crawford, Gallia, Guernsey, Hancock, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Putnam, Ross, Scioto, Shelby, Vinton, Washington, Wyandot
Kent Regional Business Alliance
aka Regional Economic Growth Corporation
211 East Summit Street
Kent, OH 44240
Executive Director: Jack Crews
Microlending: Betty Sweda
Microlending: Jack Crews
Service Area: Harrison, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Holmes, Portage, Stark, Trumbull, Geauga
Veteran Business Services
Where Veterans come to make their franchise
and small business ideas a reality!
Veterans across the country are selecting franchise opportunities in multiple industries. VBS supports Veterans by providing information about the best incentives in the franchise marketplace.
Franchise organizations within our directory provide Veterans with discounts on franchise fees, reduced royalties and special financing options. Keep up with the newest franchise incentives on the VBS website and find out more about franchise opportunities.
Finding the right franchise requires research. Click on any of the logos below to go specifically to the franchise advertisement on VBS and take a look at our complete franchise directory at:
Startup and Venture Capital Terms
The startup world operates on a lot of lingo. This guide will give you a better context to understand the language of startups, venture capitalists, angel investors, and incubators.
ASK THE LAWYER
Before You Launch
Veterans who are considering starting a business have a multitude of items on their checklist.
C Corp or Limited Liability Company? What about a succession plan? Tax implications?
Aside from those technical issues, veterans should become aware of what assistance and services are available. VetBizCentral, for example, offers a variety of programs for start-ups and others, such as Syracuse University, provide assistance for service disabled veterans and other veterans.
Sometime, one needs to look close to home to find some answers to the host of issues involved in starting a business.
The Pure Michigan Business Connect program is designed to link aspiring entrepreneurs, including veterans, with resources. Accounting as well as law firms have stepped up to donate services, at no charge. The concept is for existing businesses to donate their services to start-ups and thus enhance our state’s economy.
Jeremy M. Johnson is a Navy veteran and client relations director for the law firm of Plachta Murhpy & Associates in Grand Rapids. That firm is participating in the Pure Michigan Business Connect program and is reaching out to veterans in Western Michigan and beyond.
The firm conducts several presentations on start-up issues each year and partners with the Michigan Small Business Technology Development Centers and SCORE.
”There are no partners that are veterans, but there are several veterans on staff.
Starting a business is a complicated undertaking, and you need all the help you can get to make sure you are doing it right,” Johnson said. He cited several examples of issues entrepreneurs face when launching an enterprise.
• Entity Selection. Talk to an attorney about entity choice, i.e., corporations versus limited liability companies. Using the correct form of business entity can save you costs and complexity in the future.
• Ownership Structure. Talk to an attorney about ownership structure if there are multiple owners. If you are a minority member (less than 51% ownership interest) you will want to make sure you have written limits on the authority of the majority owners so that you don’t get thrown under the bus if problems arise with the business.
• Name Protection. Have an attorney help select a name that does not violate trademarks. Using a properly researched legal name and protecting the business name will avoid costly trademark claims and disputes down the road.
• Lease or Real Estate Purchase Agreements. Have an attorney review the lease or real estate purchase agreement. If the business is going to rent or own real estate, you need to make sure the lease or purchase agreements do not put unnecessary legal burdens on you individually.
• What-If Agreements. If you have a business partner or partners, have an attorney draft a buy/sell agreement. Establishing a legal agreement between the business owners up front about what happens if a business owner dies, becomes disabled or retires will avoid the cost and expense of litigation in the future if the business owners have conflicts or want out of the business.
Edward L. Ronders
Creative Summer Marketing Ideas
American Small Business
Summer is here and it’s time to take to the streets. In the summer, your customers feel festive and spend more time outdoors. So, it’s the perfect time to get outside and get creative with your marketing efforts. Here are some ideas to try.
Top 10 of All Time
Essential books for entrepreneurs who really want to understand how and why their customers buy.
List Your Business on VAMBOA
And Much More
Veteran And Military
Business Owners Association
VAMBOA is a non-profit veteran business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. We know that you possess special skills including leadership abilities and a work ethic second to none. Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners are highly qualified to build successful businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation.
Membership in VAMBOA is free and provides a multitude of resources.
Veteran Institute for Procurement
Boots to Business: Federal Procurement
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide support to the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation (MCCCF) to provide technical training to veteran-owned businesses seeking federal procurement opportunities. Through a Cooperative Agreement with SBA, the Foundation’s National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) will expand and host three training sessions a year (over a twelve month period) to support up to 150 service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) to attend the program.
The “Contract Capture Process”
(HOW TO WIN A LARGE NAVY CONTRACT)
The information provided in this document is provided as information only and does not reflect the official position of the Department of the Navy. The reader should refer to the specific regulations governing acquisitions for detailed information.
Courtesy of James Phillips
President Obama signed the Improper Payment Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA) with the goal of reducing the federal government’s improper payments. Electronic invoicing is the leading technological solution to prevent improper payments by eliminating error –prone manual processing.
To comply with IPERA, VA has finalized actions to mandate electronic invoice submission to the VA Financial Services Center (VAFSC). A Federal Register rule mandating electronic invoice submission was published November 27th, 2012. The mandate requiring contractors to submit payment requests in electronic form is effective December 27th, 2012.
(Small Business Tool Kit)
Courtesy of James Phillips
It's a Matter of Trust
"Your response to my solicitation must convince me that YOU understand my requirement; so that in selecting you, I will get the job done successfully, not regret my decision in selecting you, and consider you for future opportunities." Jim Phillips
The Tool Kit is based on common and frequent challenges encountered when determining if you should bid or not bid a project and when preparing a competitive proposal. The Tool Kit is not the only published work on the market devoted to this subject. Where the Tool Kit is the most beneficial to you is the practical knowledge which you learn through exercises and interaction with the materials.
DOWNLOAD Jim Phillips FREE Book
"Understanding Solicitations & Preparing Proposals"
Cash vs Accrual Accounting
for Taxable Income and Expenses
Are you starting a small business and trying to set up an accounting and bookkeeping method?
Are you filing your taxes and are confused about how to record your business income and expenses?
If you answer yes to either of the questions above, read on to learn when cash vs accrual accounting method can work better for your small business.
12 TAX TIPS
For Small Business
Sales tax calculation and corresponding laws are constantly changing!
Staying up-to-date and knowing what you can do to be prepared for an audit is why our tax experts compiled this list of 12 Sales Tax Tips for Small Business.
Download this white paper and learn what your business can do to automate tax processes, stay on top of use taxes, e-commerce legislation, and streamline remittance procedures.
Failing Startup Checklist:
4 Signs It's Time
To Pull The Plug
Mar. 24, 2014 – Facing failure as an entrepreneur can be devastating. Here are four factors that can help you figure out if you should close the casket on your startup.
10 Extreme Bootstrapping Ideas
Cost Saving Tips
Putting every dollar you make back into your company, and not your pocket, can be brutal. These cost-saving tips can help.
8 Words to Avoid
Over the two years, I've read hundreds of sales messages and heard dozens of sales presentations.
Probably 90 percent of them are full of words that are both trite and ineffective.
Here are the worst offenders:
There is no word more boring than the word "exciting." Claiming that something is "exciting" tells everybody that it's not. Instead, find something about your offering that actually excites the customer's interest.
4 Ways to Make
Assumptions and biases get in the way of making better business decisions. Learn to root them out with these tips.
Veteran Owned Business Magazine
REQUEST FOR COUNSELING
The U.S. Small Business Administration requires all clients to complete the Request for Counseling (Form 641). This form will act as our Confidentiality and Code of Conduct Agreements. All client information is held in strictest of confidence.
To start the process, please click on the above e-CENTER button to access our electronic Request for Counseling form. After submission, a counselor will contact you shortly.
Verification Process Training Opportunities
PLEASE NOTE: CVE will be off-line 11-22 August 2016
Preparing For Re-Evaluation
1st Tuesday of Each Month
Designed for firms whose verification will be expiring
3rd Tuesday of Each Month
Designed for firms interested in submitting their first CVE Verification application
4th Tuesday of Each Month
Designed for firms who have been verified in six months
Center For Verification
Apply here for VOSB or SDVOSB status with the VA
CVE Business Locator
A Nonprofit assisting veterans since 2005, serving Michigan, Ohio and Indiana