Congratulations! Your veteran-owned small business is up and running and you’re ready to start exploring ways to expand your reach. The first question that may come to mind is: how?
Before you dive into opening a new location or expanding your product line, it’s important to consider which growth strategy makes the most sense for you and your business. The good news is the SBA has a number of resources to help you successfully take this next step on your small business mission.
Here are five ways to grow your veteran-owned small business.
1) Secure additional funding. If you’re interested in operating your business at a higher capacity or increasing your offerings, you’ll likely need to acquire more capital. Potential funders are going to want to be confident in their investment, so now is a good time to prepare a solid business case to convince lenders to capitalize on your business. This may include updating your business plan and reviewing your financial statements to showcase how additional funding will help you maintain your positive financial history or foster new growth opportunities if progress has been stagnant.
2) Expand to new locations. Before you expand your business to new locations, it’s a good idea to update your marketing plan and confirm that your business is financially and legally prepared to make the move. Think about the market in your new region and what your sales plan will be. You’ll also want to consider potential expenses and revenues along with any legal items – like licenses, permits, and tax regulations – that may arise from your new venture. Chances are you’ll have to make a few adjustments to your business strategy in order to move forward with expansion and effectively reach target customers in other areas.
3) Merge and acquire businesses. Another way to grow your business is by merging with or buying smaller businesses. The main difference between the two is that mergers combine two separate business into one legal entity while acquisitions result in the full absorption of one company into the acquiring company. Before you go either route, do extensive research to determine the value of the company you’re interested in and confirm that you’re making a worthwhile investment.
4) Become a federal contractor. The U.S. government is the largest customer in the world, and government contracting can offer tremendous opportunities for your veteran-owned small business. For example, did you know the federal government's goal is to award at least three percent of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses each year? In order to begin competing for contracts, start by qualifying as a small business, registering as a government contractor, and ensuring your business complies with federal contracting rules.
5) Export your products. Nearly 96 percent of consumers live outside the U.S., and two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries. So, it’s no surprise that exporting goods can help increase profits for your business. SBA can connect you with counseling and training to help you explore the world of exporting. Our business advisors can also help you find international buyers and secure export financing to support all of your trade needs.
Are you ready to get started? Connect with your local Veterans Business Outreach Center for access to specialized tools and resources to help you successfully grow your veteran-owned small business. And for more growth tips from the SBA, visit http://bit.ly/Feb21VetBiz5.
SBA’s top priority is to continue to support the small business community, including the military and veteran small business community, through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit sba.gov/coronavirus for information.
This blog was originally written by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development. To learn more about OVBD visit, sba.gov/ovbd.