Believe it or not your role as a military spouse has molded you into a prime candidate for entrepreneurial success. Think about it. Have you ever managed to make a paycheck go that extra mile? Have you ever handled school, kids and your spouse’s deployment all at the same time? The list could go on. My point is whether you are the wife of a sailor or husband of Marine, your time as a military spouse has taught you budgeting, organization, stress management and numerous other traits required of a small business owner.
As a young entrepreneur I was lucky enough to learn a thing or two from those who were willing to guide me. In my experience, there are six key points to get any aspiring entrepreneur started on the right foot when entering the new business world.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Hardships are inevitable on the path to success and making mistakes is a reality. If you’re new to the entrepreneurial space, you should embrace early mistakes, learn from them and move on.
Recognize the value of a small number of employees
A small team allows you to create a unique, well-crafted culture that is specific to your business. This will facilitate easy adoption by other team members and therefore ensure your business culture and goals are in line with each other. A small team will also allow you to take advantage of a fragmented business structure, drawing the best talent from key geographical areas that are beneficial to growth.
Don’t feel obliged to move your business to an industry hub
When conducting business from an industry hub, competition for exceptional talent is stiff and it’s easy to get caught up in the status quo. Operating in a lesser-known area provides you the opportunity to standout and builds a business based on your goals and ideas, not someone else’s.
Listen to your client / customer
No question, comment or concern should be off limits. Your customer base may raise a question or identify an opportunity not originally envisioned by you and your entrepreneurial team. This can require thick skin but the benefits can outweigh the costs.
More importantly, practice pitching your business to people who are unfamiliar with your product or service. This will provide you with valuable experience in speaking real-world language and help build the confidence you will need when soliciting investors.
Be diligent when soliciting investors
When the time comes to enlist investors, target seasoned professionals who welcome strategy discussions and have experience with the many ups and downs you anticipate going though. If done right, this can facilitate a smooth transition from the bootstrapping phase straight into the professional investor phase.
With these six tips and the existing experience that comes with being a military spouse, feel confident in pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams.
The thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of AAFMAA.