Starting a small business is tough. It takes grit, courage, and discipline to take an idea and make it a functioning business in the face of difficult odds. There is one segment of Wyoming’s population that has those qualities and can beat those odds: veterans and military spouses. These men and women who have served as soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, and their spouses, have proven themselves as the world’s finest fighting force through their service to our country, and it’s this level of professionalism and selfless service that makes them a natural fit for entrepreneurship.
So, where does a Wyoming veteran start their entrepreneurial journey? While there’s no foolproof technical manual or field guide for starting a business there are plenty of resources to guide you through the process.
The Wyoming Community Navigator Program is joining forces with the Big Sky Veterans Business Outreach Center and will be hosting an online webinar series titled ‘Boots to Business Reboot.’ The three-part series is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Veterans Small Business Week and will cover the basics of how to turn your business idea into a functional concept. Veterans will learn from fellow veterans who know the process of starting a business and how to tap into the Wyoming Business Resource Network for resources and advice.
The first session will provide an overview of the entrepreneurial process and the paths veterans can take to owning their own businesses including how to start from square one, to buying an existing business, or even how to purchase a franchise. Next, veterans will learn how to take an idea and turn it into a workable concept that delivers value for customers. This session will then stress-test that idea through market analysis and the development of a stronger business strategy.
In the second session, veterans will learn the economic nuts and bolts of what makes a business run. The session will cover terms like revenue, margins, profits, and losses. Additionally, veterans will learn that the path to entrepreneurship includes assembling a team of professionals such as bankers, accountants, insurance agents, and lawyers who can flesh out the legal, financial, and administrative considerations impacting veteran-owned businesses.
The last session explores the types of financing available to Wyoming veterans to start or grow a business. It will help determine how much money is required to start a venture, and what local lenders are looking for when it comes to small business loans. The session will also introduce veterans to business planning, and how to build an effective business plan. Finally, the session ends with an introduction to the veteran small business support network that includes the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network, the Veteran Business Outreach Center, and the entire Wyoming Business Resource Network.
The ‘Boots to Business Reboot’ series is a good first step for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs, but their small business journey does not need to be a lonely one. Wyoming has a robust business support network for those who served, which means Wyoming veterans and their spouses are not alone in this fight.
The ‘Boots to Business Reboot’ series will run on three consecutive Tuesdays, from 4:30-6:30 pm on:
- November 1
- November 8
- November 15
To register for the series, please visit https://wyomingcommunitynavigator.org/event/wy-boots-to-business-reboot-3-part-webinar-series/2022-11-08/.