I don’t know business.
At least I didn’t. I didn’t go to school for it. If you’ve been hanging around my site for awhile you might remember that I went to school to be a nurse.
I never learned about trademarking, LLCs, or taxes. Or the best way to transfer your business when you PCS.
I never learned about business finances, reinvesting in your business, or figuring out how to afford to have your own business.
Nope. We learned about anatomy, effective communication, and equations for figuring out the drip rate for IVs (even though the machine does it for you).
And yet, here I am- I have started a PCS proof business and I’m actually starting to know what I’m doing.
The cool thing is that there are TONS of resources for military spouses that teach the ins and outs of starting and running a business for little to no money. Owning your own business isn’t for everyone but it is possible if you put in the work.
And if you really want it, you will put in the work!
13 Resources for military spouses
1. Military Spouse Business Academy
A program developed by the Military Spouse Business Association that helps educate military spouses, service members, and veterans on how to start their own business. Learn more here.
2. Work From Anywhere Business Academy
The Work From Anywhere Business was created specifically for military spouses and teaches them everything they need to know about Business. This includes starting, running, and growing their own business so that they have the freedom to run their business from wherever they are located. Get on the waiting list (or check out the free training) here.
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3. MyCAA Programs
MyCAA offers up to $4,000 for military spouses to pursue license and certifications in various career fields. This can benefit you in so many ways as a business owner, the more credible you are in your field, the more likely you will be successful.
For example, say you want to start a fitness blog and sell a fitness e-course to help women get healthy. If you have completed one of the Personal Training courses or the Women’s Exercise Training and Wellness course, you can let your readers know that you are certified in that field. They will likely be more likely to trust you and your advice over another blogger that isn’t certified.
They also have programs that will help you with your business like Professional Bookkeeping with QuickBooks 2015, Software Included (not to mention, save you money from having to hire someone to do this for you!)
To learn more about what programs are offered, click here.
4. Operation Endure & Grow
A program offered through the SBA, it’s an 8-week training course that focuses on the fundamentals of starting and growing your own small business and is available for military families and veterans. They educate people on the following:
- business plans
- human resources
- finance operations
- inventory management
Click here to learn more.
5. Boots to Business
This is a two-step program from the SBA that includes an introduction to entrepreneurship which is a two-day course and then a Foundations of Entrepreneurship which is a more in-depth 8-week course that goes over business plans and techniques for starting your own business. Workshops are available at various locations. Click here to learn more.
Did you know that Boots to Business is coming to the NMSN Military Spouse Career Summit in October 2017? Find out more about the summit here!
6. Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veteran Families
This program integrates training in entrepreneurship with caregiver and family issues so that students are able learn how to balance family with starting their own business. Learn more by clicking here.
7. SBA District Offices
The Small Business Association has several offices that provide the following:
- Free counseling, advice and information on starting a business through SCORE.
- Financial assistance for new or existing businesses through guaranteed loans made by area bank and non-bank lenders.
- Free consulting and training services through the network of Small Business Development Centers.
- Assistance to businesses owned and controlled by disadvantaged individuals through the Minority Enterprise Development Program.
- Women’s Business Ownership Representatives available to advise women business owners.
- Special loan programs are available for businesses involved in international trade.
- Guaranteed loans are available for credit-worthy veterans.
To learn more or find any office near you, click here.
8. Veterans Business Outreach Centers
Not only available to veterans but also to service members and military spouses. These centers provide the following services:
- Pre-Business Plan Workshops
- Concept Assessments
- Business Plan Preparations
- Comprehensive Feasibility Analysis
- Entrepreneurial Training and Counseling
Click to learn more about the different services.
9. Women Business Centers
This organization provides so many resources to Women entrepreneurs, including best practice resources, funding information for grants, webinars, research, and conference material. You can even sign up for a paid membership for even more resources and information. Click here to learn more.
10. Small Business Development Centers
Did you just PCS to a different state and don’t know where to start with learning your new locations business laws? Just click on your state to get tons of free information and videos to help you make the adjustment.
SCORE provides free business advice and provides workshops and virtual conferences for military families. You can also get paired with a mentor so that you have someone to help you through the process of starting your own business. Click here to learn more (and also to register for any free training they are currently providing)
12. Red, White, & Blue Pages
The Red White & Blue pages help promote military spouse, service member and veteran businesses. After you join for free you will get a free listing in their directory, opportunities for marketing, and exclusive discounts. Join here.
This is a site that you can advertise your business on. Companies can go on and hire you from there. This is specifically for military spouses and makes finding clients really easy since they come to you! HireMadSkills is for military spouses in the following careers:
- Tech support
- Graphic Designers
- Email Marketers
- Web Developers
- HR Management
- Virtual Assistants
- Public Relations
(I told you there were a ton of opportunities for starting your own work from home business!)
A good foundation is everything
Like I said, I knew nothing about running a business. I knew nothing about advertising, or lead magnets, or email marketing. And it took me a long time to figure it out. In fact, it wasn’t until I actually started to invest in education that I really began to know what I was doing.
There are so many resources out there, some free and some very affordable, for military spouses to learn how to start and grow their own business. What are you waiting for?
Why not give it a shot?
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