How to Participate in the Boots to Business Training Program

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Making the transition to civilian life can be difficult for many veterans. The free-for-all of the private sector can be a jarring adjustment, and many former service members have a difficult time knowing where they fit in. One area where many veterans have found success is through entrepreneurship. Indeed, veterans are over forty-five percent more likely to be self-employed than civilians. While the discipline the military life instills is a contributing factor to the disproportionate number of veteran-entrepreneurs, there are also a wealth of resources freely available to veterans, giving them an additional leg-up over civilians. One of the most successful of these is the Boots to Business program, a joint venture between the Small Business Administration and the Transition Assistance Program.

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Completing the Introductory Course

Register for the program. Registering for the Boots to Business program is easy. All you have to do is contact the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) office on your base. They’ll tell you when and where the closest class with open spaces is located—attendance is completely free—and you tell them you want to come.

  • You can find the TAP office on your base by going to military installations.dod.mil and going to the drop-down box that says “looking for a specific program or service.” Find the TAP listing in the drop-down box, and enter the name of your base or your zip code to go along with it.
  • You can look at a calendar of upcoming class dates and locations at http://boots2business.org/calendar/.

Following up with the Eight-Week Course

Register for the course. Once you’ve completed the two-day course, you’ll have the opportunity to register for the full eight-week course. Since this is an online course, you won’t have to worry about finding a place to take it.

The course is taught by real live instructors, and you’ll get a lot of individual attention. That’s great for the learning process, but it limits class size. You probably won’t be able to start classes for a week or two after registering. Register at http://boots2business.org/boots-to-business/boots-to-business-8-week-online-course-registration/.

Making the Most of Your Training

Milk the opportunity to get feedback. The professors teaching your course are experts in the field of business. As consultants, their services would probably cost hundreds of dollars an hour. You’re getting them for free, so make the most of it. You should make every attempt to make the business plan you present to the loan officers and venture capitalists the most polished and professional business plan they’ve ever seen.

  • You should also treat the course as an opportunity to get feedback on ways to better market and operate your business. Certain strategies work well for certain businesses. For example, in retail, where the margins are low, it pays to aggressively market your business, because profit is strictly tied to volume.
How to Participate in the Boots to Business Training Program

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