The problem: Military life doesn’t make it easy to start a business. Keep reading because you will soon learn how you can become a milspouse entrepreneur, and why military spouses are great business owners!
Guest post by: Jenny Hale
The skills military spouses have make them great entrepreneurs. I work with them every day, so I’ve seen this first-hand! Business ownership is tough, but military spouses have the skills and attitudes to make it work for them.
If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you need to prepare for these three things you’ll face as a business owner. I’m breaking down the truth about entrepreneurship that nobody wants to tell you – entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but I do believe it is an amazing opportunity for the military community.
If it’s not for you, hey, that’s okay! But, if you are willing to overcome the challenges entrepreneurship brings, then you may be ready to explore business ownership options to help your military family find a second revenue stream.
1. Entrepreneurship takes time
“If you build it, they will come.”
Ummm…how about “if you build it, they will come…but only with hard work and purposeful strategy!” There – that’s much better!
As a business owner, you will spend a lot of time corresponding with customers, writing content, scheduling on social media, networking online and in person, tracking finances, and more. Phew – and that was just today for me!
As a social media and marketing coach for military community business owners, I hear the “I don’t have time” line often. There are a ton of ways you can create the time you need for your business – purposeful productivity is key. To help manage your time, create “office hours” and a daily schedule. Set alarms, make lists, get an accountability buddy – whatever you need to do to make time for your business. After all, this is something you really want to do, right?
If you’re considering entrepreneurship, evaluate what type of business you want to start and if you have the time to invest in it. If you still want to be an entrepreneur, but have less time, consider less labor-intensive types of businesses. However, be aware that all businesses take time and effort to fully market and make successful.
2. Entrepreneurship takes investment
“You have to spend money to make money.”
I feel strongly about helping military spouse and veteran entrepreneurs market their services and products organically. No money, no problem!
However, every business is going to require *some* investment. This can range from a website, to social media scheduling tools, to business coaching, to tax management, to employees, and of course, registering your company with the government.
The idea when you start a business is that you’re going to make money. However, you will need systems in place to allow that to happen, as well as structures that free up your time with mundane tasks in order to focus your energy on building relationships with clients.
There are so many ways you can bootstrap your start-up. Social media is one of my go-to sources for building a business. In fact, I built my first company as a teenager up to a client base of hundreds in just a couple years…all through social media and without spending a dime. It’s possible if you have a strategy at hand and a knowledge of how algorithms work.
3. Entrepreneurship has its ups and downs
Owning your own business can be freeing. No rules, set hours, or boss! It sounds very exciting, especially if you’re someone who isn’t happy in their full-time job.
But be prepared for the roller coaster of business ownership. There are so many days where my clients are having “ah-ha!” moments and then others where we’re having pep talks to find a way to keep moving forward in the right direction.
For me personally, serving the military community is close to my heart, so I put all my passion, blood, sweat, and tears into my business. It can be very discouraging on the low days and wonderful excitement on the good days because of this!
Before starting an entrepreneurial journey, get to know yourself. Find a support system – a mentor, family, friends, fellow entrepreneurs – that you can lean on during both the good and bad days. Become confident in yourself. Not believing in yourself can hold you back tremendously from moving forward in your business’ success. Trust in yourself and you’ll kick butt at business ownership!
Military spouses have so much to offer the entrepreneurship community. They are incredibly hard workers, know what it takes to get any task done, and understand what it’s like to take on big tasks. They are the perfect CEOs and if entrepreneurship is right for you, join the Facebook community created to help hundreds of entrepreneurs market their military-themed businesses!
Jenny Hale is a civilian marketing and social media consultant, coach, and teacher for military spouse and veteran business owners. Nicknamed “The Military Social Media Guru,” she uses her background working with military non-profits, military-focused corporate companies, Army Public Affairs, and as an entrepreneur to help others struggling to meet their business dreams. After missing out on her dream of enlisting due to not being medically qualified, Jenny set out to serve the military community another way – by providing her years of entrepreneurship knowledge to the community she believes in the most. With the goal of bridging the gap between the military community’s marketing efforts to civilians and vice versa, Jenny works to make an entrepreneur’s vision come to life. You can follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Groups, and Pinterest.