Making the transition back to civilian life after completing your military service can be challenging. There is a common misconception that it’s only combats veterans with PTSD who struggle to return to civilian life after serving. In reality, anyone who has grown accustomed to the military lifestyle might find it jarring to return to their old routine.
Starting your own business provides you with a routine and gives you something to focus your energy on. For many veterans, this makes a huge difference.
Identify Your Skills And Talents
Everyone has their own individual set of skills and talents that they have accumulated over the course of their lives. Some of these will be obvious. For example, the skills that you have learned over the course of your professional work, including your military service, will be valuable when you are starting your own business venture.
However, lots of people have numerous skills and talents that they are unaware of or have never thought about before. Take some time to sit down and really think about the things you have to offer a business.
Consider Earning New Qualifications
No matter what your prior experiences outside the military might be, there is an entire world of degrees and courses that you can opt to study to further enhance your abilities and your resume. The best part of this is that you no longer need to attend a physical institution to earn a qualification. You can choose to study online instead. Studying for a degree or qualification online isn’t just more convenient, but it is also often much cheaper than conventional alternatives.
For example, an online leadership degree can provide you with very valuable insights into what makes an effective leader and how you can nurture your own leadership abilities. If you have never held a leadership position before, but you would like to have a shot at winning your own business, then enrolling on a leadership course is a great way of bringing yourself up to speed as quickly as possible. Leadership comes naturally to some people, especially those who have experience leading within a military chain of command. But even so, a leadership degree is an excellent opportunity to focus your leadership skills on achieving business goals.
Utilize Support Groups
Sometimes, it helps to have someone to talk to who has direct experience of the circumstances that you are currently in. The only people who can truly understand what it is like to try and build a new life for yourself after leaving the military are other veterans. No one else can fully appreciate the experience that you are currently navigating, which can make it difficult to find the personal and professional support that you need to achieve success.
Many veterans are hesitant to attend support groups, and there are a number of reasons why individuals might be apprehensive. However, it is worth overcoming these fears and concerns and pushing yourself to attend. If you feel uncomfortable at first, then you can always observe the group before you participate in discussions. Most support groups will be understanding about your reluctance and will be happy to accommodate you until you feel comfortable joining in.
These support groups aren’t just a great way of meeting people who understand your current predicament, but they also provide you an opportunity to meet other veterans who might wish to be involved with your next venture. There are examples of businesses that are run entirely by ex-veterans and their families, and many of them have found this to be a powerful USP. Some people, not least of all other veterans, are more inclined to spend their money with a business that has clear moral values at its core.
Write A Business Plan That Knocks It Out Of The Park
Every business needs to have a business plan. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs assume that a business plan is only for people who are planning on applying for a business loan from the bank or trying to woo investors for some private funding. In reality, a business plan serves several important functions, and it is worth drawing up a proper plan, even if it’s just for you and your partners (if you have any).
A comprehensive business plan will set out exactly what your business does and what’s key milestones you will aim for. It will also provide you with a roadmap for hitting those milestones.
Starting your own business is always a challenge, but if you succeed, then the emotional and financial rewards are enormous. Sticking to the advice above will help you maximize your chances of success.