4 Skills That Give Veterans an Entrepreneurial Advantage

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Veterans, we totally understand if this Veterans Small Business Week, you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. As a veteran-owned business ourselves, we know how hard entrepreneurship can be, especially when everyone else looks like they’re running a business without breaking a sweat.

Before we go any further, why not take a minute to reward yourself for your service by claiming our free Veterans Appreciation Package?

Our founder, Ben Donahower, served honorably in the Pennsylvania National Guard member and put this package of free marketing tools and services together specifically with veteran-owned businesses in mind. It’s a great way to make your company more user-friendly and customer-optimized in 2019 with very little effort. It’s out way of thanking you for your service.

Getting back to business: despite how unpredictable and chaotic entrepreneurship can be, you’ve learned (at least) four skills in the military that many civilians just don’t get.

So this Veterans Small Business Week, instead of feeling a little anxious about growing your business, let’s celebrate the skills that make you an awesome entrepreneur.

1.) You run circles around the competition when it comes to productivity

You’re used to waking up at zero-dark-thirty.

When most people are drinking their morning coffee and scrolling through Twitter, you’ve spent hours steadily chipping away at your to-do list.

By the time people are off to the nine-to-five grind, you’ve accomplished more than most people will in the entire workday.

In other words, you’re practically productivity made flesh.

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And while your to-do list may feel like an ever-growing hydra, your productivity skills put you miles ahead of most other entrepreneurs out there.

You’re used to starting your days early, and can use that experience to tackle the day’s most important and complex tasks as soon as you sit down at your computer.

Because you’ve worked on high-stakes projects with a team, you know how to break down complex undertakings into more manageable and logical steps.

You’ve learned how to focus with laser-like precision. You won’t let distractions divert you from your goals and will find every way you can to eliminate, or at least minimize, any diversions.

When something needs done in your business, you’ll find a way to not it only get it done, but get it done before your civilian counterparts wake up.

Your productivity made you excellent service member, and it’s a competitive advantage as an entrepreneur.

2.) You’re meticulous and apply PMCS in all aspects of your life

As a member of the armed forces, you performed proper maintenance checks and services on your weapon and other equipment.

You know that it’s better to measure twice and cut once, so to speak, than to take unnecessary risks.

What some people think is perfectionism and over-attention to detail, you know is meticulousness and an appreciation for always being prepared.

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As an entrepreneur, use your attention to detail to turn your business into a well-oiled machine.

Design SMART goals for your team and put together systems to make your team’s work more efficient.

See an employee who’s struggling to meet their quotas or who could stand to update some of their skills? Use your sharp eye to help them pinpoint the issue and work out a solution together.

Feel like your business isn’t as efficient as it could be? Take time to step back and analyze your company with a bird’s eye view.

Gather insight from your employees and perhaps some fellow business owners. Immerse yourself with data and analysis, from quantifiable data from places like your CRM and Google Analytics account to anecdotes from customers and employees.

What areas do they think could be improved?

And more importantly, what is the data you’ve gathered telling you that you should improve?

There’s something to be said for trusting your gut, but trust your data just the same.

3.) You learn from what went well and what didn’t

In the military, you participated in countless after action reviews.

While proper planning prevent poor performance, you know that you learn the most after executing a big project. Perhaps you just landed a huge client, lost an important one, or launched a new product that you spent months developing.

Whatever the case, you know that after each project, you need to conduct an analysis to see what went well and didn’t to make your business stronger in the long run.

But don’t limit your AAR’s to major events. Instead, conduct periodic reviews of all the major aspects of your business, from your marketing analytics to website design and customer feedback.

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Are your analytics showing that you have a high bounce rate on your website? Consider making your website more user-friendly and client-optimized. Feel like you can’t spot what can be improved? Then why not claim the complimentary website audit from our Veteran Appreciation Package?

Do you regularly receive customer feedback that is less than stellar? Consider installing a live chat tool on your homepage. Live chat installation is super easy (and part of our Veterans Appreciation Package to boot) and could be an excellent way to generate more leads and conversions while giving your clients better customer service.

However often you conduct AARs, the fact that you relish critiques and analyses means that you’re dedicated to improving every aspect of your business.

4.) You’re mission-driven with a knack for looking beyond obstacles

Let’s be blunt: You’re not even going to graduate from basic training unless you learn how to stick to your goals and look past – or find a way to solve – any obstacle you encounter.

And while this skill is perhaps most useful when you’re running in the wee-hours of the morning as you try to fight your fatigue and screaming muscles, it’s also pretty darn useful when you’re trying to nurture a growing business.

In business, there are countless things that will fight for your attention, from the critical to the frivolous and a thousand things in-between.

But as an entrepreneur, you must be discerning with what you give attention to, and what gets dismissed. Don’t let the little tasks distract you simply because checking them off your to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Instead, focus on the important, the hard, the gnarly, and the tasks that you know need to be done (but you wish you didn’t have to do) first.

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While you may not see results immediately, you’ll get a great sense of accomplishment and (hopefully) financial reward by focusing only on those tasks that help you to improve the business, build relationships with your clients, and generate revenue.

You didn’t become a soldier, sailor, or airman by worrying about your sore muscles and how grating the drill sergeant’s voice is at 5:00 AM. You passed basic training and so much more by focusing on your end goal and doing whatever you had to do to achieve.

Do the same in your business, and your chances of success will skyrocket.

You’ve got the skills to succeed as a business owner – but do you have all of the tools?

Frankly, veterans, we think you’re awesome. You’ve dedicated yourself to a life of service, first as a member of the armed forces, and now to your local community as a business owner.

Call us sentimental, but we think that the world needs more people like you.

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That’s why this Veteran’s Small Business Week, we want to thank you for your service with our free Veterans Appreciation Package. You can read more about out package here, but suffice to say that it was designed specifically to help veteran-owned businesses like yours generate more leads and sales in 2019.

You’ve got the all of the skills needed to succeed in business – let us give you some of the tools.

Happy Veterans Small Business Week!

Author: Ben Donahower

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