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Published October 27, 2022
A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Nicholas Giraldo, program manager, Wyoming SBDC Network
Starting a small business is tough. It takes grit, courage and discipline to take an idea and make it a functioning business in the face of difficult odds. There is one segment of Wyoming’s population that has those qualities and can beat those odds: veterans and military spouses.
These men and women -- who have served as soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines -- and their spouses, have proven themselves as the world’s finest fighting force through their service to our country. And it’s this level of professionalism and selfless service that makes them a natural fit for entrepreneurship.
So, where do Wyoming veterans start their entrepreneurial journeys? While there’s no foolproof technical manual or field guide for starting a business, there are plenty of resources to guide veterans through the process.
The Wyoming Community Navigator Program is joining forces with the Big Sky Veterans Business Outreach Center and will host an online webinar series titled “Boots to Business Reboot.” Sessions will run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. three consecutive Tuesdays -- Nov. 1, 8 and 15.
To register for the series, visit www.wyomingcommunitynavigator.org/event/wy-boots-to-business-reboot-3-part-webinar-series/2022-11-08/.
The three-part series is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Veterans Small Business Week and will cover the basics of how to turn your business idea into a functional concept. Veterans will learn from fellow veterans who know the process of starting a business and how to tap into the Wyoming Business Resource Network for resources and advice.
The first session will provide an overview of the entrepreneurial process and the paths veterans can take to owning their own businesses, including how to start from square one, buying an existing business or even how to purchase a franchise. Next, veterans will learn how to take an idea and turn it into a workable concept that delivers value for customers. This session will then stress-test that idea through market analysis and the development of a stronger business strategy.
In the second session, veterans will learn the economic nuts and bolts of what makes a business run. The session will cover terms such as revenue, margins, profits and losses. Additionally, veterans will learn that the path to entrepreneurship includes assembling a team of professionals such as bankers, accountants, insurance agents and lawyers who can flesh out the legal, financial and administrative considerations impacting veteran-owned businesses.
The last session will explore the types of financing available to Wyoming veterans to start or grow a business. It will help determine how much money is required to start a venture and what local lenders are looking for when it comes to small-business loans. The session also will introduce veterans to business planning and how to build an effective business plan. Finally, the session ends with an introduction to the veteran small-business support network that includes the Wyoming SBDC Network, the Veteran Business Outreach Center and the entire Wyoming Business Resource Network.
The “Boots to Business Reboot” series is a good first step for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs, but their small-business journey does not need to be a lonely one. Wyoming has a robust business support network for those who served, which means Wyoming veterans and their spouses are not alone in this fight.
The Wyoming SBDC Network offers no-cost advising and technical assistance to help Wyoming entrepreneurs think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. In 2021, the Wyoming SBDC Network helped Wyoming entrepreneurs start 80 new businesses; support 4,077 jobs; and bring a capital impact of $9.2 million to the state. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. SBA.
To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com, or write Dept. 3922, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071-3922.