• From Battlefield to Boardroom: Resources for Veterans Starting Businesses

    As a veteran transitioning back into civilian life, you may be considering the exciting prospect of starting your own business. There are numerous resources available to guide and support you in this journey. Keep reading to learn more.

    Write Stellar Business Proposals

    For veterans embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship, creating compelling business proposals is paramount to success. Winning proposals not only secure funding but also lay the groundwork for expanding projects and fostering business growth. Your proposal should provide a thorough overview of your business's offerings, solutions, implementation strategies, and the associated financial and time commitments. To streamline this process and ensure professionalism, consider starting with a business proposal template. A template offers a structured framework for presenting your ideas effectively, enhancing your chances of securing valuable opportunities in the competitive business landscape.

    Forming Your Business as an LLC

    Starting a business involves making many decisions, one of the most important being the type of business structure you’ll file. Forming your business as an LLC offers multiple benefits. It separates your personal assets from your business debts, providing legal protection. It also offers tax advantages and flexibility in business operations. Instead of hiring a lawyer, you can use a formation service to register your LLC.

    Your Business Website

    Creating a website for your business is an essential step in establishing your digital presence. It serves as the hub of your online operations, providing information about your products or services to potential customers. A well-designed website can also help build credibility and trust with your audience, increasing the likelihood of conversions. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to engage with your customers directly, offering support, receiving feedback, and fostering relationships that can lead to lasting customer loyalty. If you’re on a tight budget, you can use free web builders like Wix or GoDaddy to get started.


    Designing a Logo


    Designing a logo for your business is a fundamental step in building your brand identity. A well-crafted logo can convey your company's mission, values, and the products or services you offer. To get started with creating a unique and memorable logo, consider using a free logo generator that offers customizable design options. Simply choose a template and adapt it to your design preferences. 

    The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP)

    The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is another valuable resource. This program helps veterans develop skills necessary for entrepreneurial success. It offers a rigorous entrepreneurial learning and development opportunity for veterans and service members with a passion for business. VEP is designed to open the door to business ownership for our veterans by developing competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture.

    The Small Business Administration (SBA)

    The SBA is a significant resource for any aspiring entrepreneur. For veterans, they offer services through their Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). The OVBD provides veterans with business training, counseling, and assistance in accessing capital. The SBA also hosts the Boots to Business (B2B) program, an entrepreneurial education initiative for service members transitioning into civilian life.

    The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)

    NaVOBA is an organization that aims to create corporate contracting opportunities for America's Veterans and Service-Disabled Veterans' Business Enterprises (VBEs/SDVBEs). Membership provides access to a network of fellow veteran entrepreneurs, educational resources, and advocacy for veteran-owned businesses at a national level.


    The transition from military to civilian life can be challenging, but the dream of owning a business can become a reality with the right resources. Whether it's writing effective business proposals, utilizing the VEP, building a business website, joining NaVOBA, or taking one of the other steps discussed in this guide, there are numerous ways to gain the support and skills you need to succeed as a veteran entrepreneur. You've served your country with honor, and now it's time to take the next step in your career journey. The world of entrepreneurship awaits!


    Join the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development to get the tools and make the connections you need to build a winning business in our community!