You served your country overseas, and you paid a price and came back with a disability. Some days, it feels like that’s going to stop you from taking advantage of the American dream you put your life on the line to protect.
Nothing can be further from the truth. Veteran’s health issues and disabilities (even mental health problems) are not a barrier to starting your own business, one of the cores of the American dream. Sure, it will take a lot of work, but that won’t scare you away, will it?
Choose What You Love
You are in love with the idea of being your own boss, and why wouldn’t you be? Everyone dreams of starting their own company. But what kind of business should you start? That depends a lot on what you love.
Being a successful entrepreneur takes passion and dedication. If you love baking, do you think you’d ever be successful in a cupcake startup? That’s why you need to pick something you love. Of course, it still needs to be marketable and meet a consumer’s need. But without a love for what you’re doing, you’ll soon learn to hate it.
Some disabled veterans and civilians have started their own business doing the following:
- Tech support: Offer on-site and remote help with computers, networking, and more.
- Copywriter/blogger: More and more companies want someone to write content for webpages and social media posts.
- Pet support: Some people need help walking and taking care of their pets.
- Artist: You don’t need to open a gallery. Sites like Etsy allow you to sell your art (in whatever medium works for you) online.
- Tutor: Whether in-person or online, many people need help learning.
Start With A Business Plan
Being a veteran, you know the importance of planning before executing. The same applies to starting your own business. Before you start applying for loans or grants, you need a proper business plan.
There are many versions and formats for such a plan, but one that works well is to consider five C’s:
- Concept: What is your business about? What product or service will you offer customers, what are you goals, and why is this going to work for you?
- Capacity: Do you have what it takes to make your small business venture succeed? Do you have people with the right skills, and how will your veteran’s health issues affect things?
- Customers: What kind of people will be your customers, and how you will convince them to buy your good or service?
- Competition: Who will be your competition, and what’s your competitive edge?
- Cash flow: What is your break-even point, and can you project being able to operate without outside investment?
Some veterans with disabilities or mental health issues might be receiving benefits from social security. Can you still accept them if you start your own business? That depends. As a general rule, you won’t be eligible for such benefits if your small business income is more than $1,170 per month. There are ways to go over that, but if your small business is taking off, you might not need SSA benefits anyway.
Go For It
Veterans can enjoy several benefits when starting a new business. Don’t forget that many government offices want to pay businesses owned by veterans and people with disabilities. That can give you the edge you need to be successful in your new business.