Starting a business is not an easy decision.

February 4, 2012

The risk and stress involved can be overwhelming and can take it’s toll on the entrepreneur. At the end of the day, if all goes well it will be the most rewarding decision an entrepreneur will ever make.

Giving up a comfortable corporate job with excellent benefits and perks is truly a tough decision. A decision not to be lightly.

Transitioning out of the military and not having a job lined up can be extremely stressful. For many Veterans this is the reality. Especially for an Army Reserve or National Guard soldier that has just returned from a long deployment.

Many of the soldiers today find it hard to maintain long term employment because they don’t know if/when their next deployment is going to happen. A lot of young soldiers have taken on the role of a part time Active Duty soldier bouncing from deployment to deployment. Eventually they tire of the life or the deployments dry up and they are forced to seek full time employment.  (more…)

Why young entrepreneurs don’t have to start with BIG loans

February 3, 2012

In a recent study published by the Kauffman Foundation, young people listed two main challenges in becoming entrepreneurs: access to entrepreneurial training and access to capital.

There are many resources for young entrepreneurs to gain knowledge about starting their own business. The idea of funding your enterprise through sales is “The Lemonade Stand”approach. This idea can also be applied to funding entrepreneurial learning. Here are seven ways to get affordable entrepreneurial enlightenment without risking it all.

1.      Work for another entrepreneur to learn the ropes.

2. Read as many books and publications about entrepreneurship, start-ups and business as possible.

3. Volunteer for a company that needs extra assistance. See if there is a problem you can solve in a unique way, and take action.  (more…)

Free E-Guide to Help Your Business Prepare for Disaster

January 31, 2012

What runs through your mind when you flip on the evening news or catch the headlines on your mobile device and see that another tornado or hurricane has devastated town “X”, leaving countless businesses, not to mention residents, in dire straits? I’m guessing you feel empathy, perhaps followed by the question, “Wow, if that happened to me, would my business survive?”

Well, these are actually really important questions to be asking yourself, regardless of whether you live in an area prone to natural disasters. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and they’re not just physical. Virtual disasters that wreak havoc on IT networks can be just as destructive as physical catastrophes, paralyzing businesses and threatening their survival.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster and, of the remaining companies, at least 25 percent will close in two years. Furthermore, with fewer resources than larger corporations, SMBs have a harder time recovering from virtual and physical disasters than their larger counterparts.  (more…)

Veteran Entrepreneurs: Demonstrating Our Gratitude Through Acts of Support.

January 29, 2012

They served and fought on our behalf. They devoted years of their lives and many endured repeated deployments. Now is our opportunity to help them in return. 26% of returning veterans are not looking for a job or a degree: they’re looking to get into business for themselves, and we should all be contributing in one way or another to help. We can help returned vets build new lives and thrive as they launch new business and grow their piece of the “American dream” in these tough economic times.

Imagine the impact it would have if millions of experienced business people individually stepped up and did just one thing, like mentoring, coaching, investing, creating strategic partnerships, making introductions to contacts and connections to help further an enterprise, donating or discounting equipment or materials, office space, and so much more that might be needed. What a powerful thing it would be to show our gratitude in this way and pay it forward to help support local veteran entrepreneurs in our towns and neighborhoods all across the country. Imagine if the rest of us were to make a point of buying their products and services and do whatever we can to help give them a leg up.  (more…)