One of the hardest tasks for many veterans after they’ve left the service is securing solid and long term employment. This is because, even with all of the skills and training they gained through their time in the service, civilian jobs are still scarce. When faced with the lack of employment opportunities, many service people do one of three things:
They re-up for another service contract
They enroll in college
They decide to start their own businesses
Let’s talk about that last one.
The easiest business to start, especially when funds are low and you are still transitioning from active duty life to civilian life, is a home-based business. Home based businesses are cheaper and easier to set up and, often, can be flexibly arranged around things like meeting with a transition specialist, getting your benefits set up, etc.
Of course, before you start your home based business, you need to find a home in which to house it. It’s true that many home-based entrepreneurs start their businesses in spare rooms, garages or even corners of their living rooms when space is limited. It is also true that, if you’re serious about starting your own company and you’re still in house hunting mode, looking for a home that will have a spare room or extra space in which you can base your business is a good idea.
This doesn’t mean that you should look for something that is bigger than you can afford! Far from it! You shouldn’t, though, count something out because a civilian mortgage lender tries to steer you clear of it. Civilian mortgage rates are incredibly high and the loans are difficult to get–especially if your business isn’t already profitable and your spouse isn’t as gainfully employed as the lender would like. There are, however, special mortgage rates afforded to veterans through their benefits package. Lowvarates.com has a good explanation of veterans mortgage rates if you’re not sure what they are.
Of course, the amount of space you’ll need is going to depend upon the type of business that you decide to start.
This is where things can get dicey. There are a lot of scam artists out there who are just waiting to take advantage of people like you–people who want to go into business for themselves but aren’t sure where to start or what to do. They count upon your naivete to sell you “super easy” business tutorials that teach you to build companies that can be “profitable right away.” Here are a couple of tips for how to spot them:
They want to sell you a “course” for hundreds of dollars that will teach you how to set up a business from scratch and earn thousands within weeks.
They try to get you to buy into an opportunity whose profitability is dependent upon your recruiting others to sell as a part of your “down line.” (These are called MLM businesses and almost all of them are scams)
The best way to figure out what kind of business to start is to take an objective look at your existing skills and then ask yourself if you would want to put those skills to work every day. For instance, maybe while you were in the service you worked in the kitchen. Do you want to start your own catering company? Gigi Butler started her empire with just a few cupcake recipes. Maybe you love knitting…but do you really want to spend all of your time making things to sell on Etsy? Would you be able to recoup the cost of materials as well as well as something for your time?
What do you want to do? What do you know how to do? If you can combine those things, that’s the key to your business. Whatever you do, don’t count yourself out because finding a day job is more difficult than you had hoped. There are opportunities out there, you just have to make them!
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