Starting in business: Advice from veterans & pros



By Holly LaFon

Going from service member to CEO is a more natural transition than many veterans realize. A large support network has sprung up to help vets start their own businesses, but many don’t know it exists.

The Small Business Administration and the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program recently partnered with Marriott’s TownPlace Suites in Clinton, Maryland, to host a workshop aimed at educating veterans on the basics of entrepreneurship and special programs available to former service members.

The two biggest components for veterans preparing to start their own businesses are choosing the right kind of business for them and securing capital, experts said.

They also recommended that aspiring business owners take time to think about their passion.

“If they’ve always wanted to own their own business, they should definitely write down what they’re passionate about, what their interests are, what they want to do,” said Paul C. Rocchio, senior director of development and member services for the International Franchise Association. “Maybe tie it into what they did in their military service — what kind of responsibility, what kind of job they had.”

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