Starting and running a business can be a challenging task, especially for veterans who are transitioning into civilian life. However, with the right marketing strategies, your business can reach new heights. Here are some marketing tips for veteran-owned businesses.
1. Build a Website:
A website is the cornerstone of any business’s online presence. It is crucial for veteran-owned businesses to have a website that clearly showcases their products or services. The website should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and visually appealing.
There are DIY website options, but hiring a web designer will help ensure everything is done correctly and free you up to concentrate on other vital aspects of your business.
Make sure your site includes easy-to-find contact and “About Us” pages. Potential customers want to know your story: which branch of the service you were in, what motivated you to become an entrepreneur, and what your goals are. Include pictures of yourself (in uniform and out) and a bio touting your expertise and experiences.
Finally, consider the domain name for your website. Although .com extensions are the most common, finding available names is difficult. Many veteran-owned businesses prefer to use a .us or .vet extension.
2. Use Social Media to attract new customers:
Having a presence on social media platforms is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have for small businesses. If you don’t already have social accounts, create one on all the major platforms, even if you don’t plan to use them all now.
To use social media effectively, it is important to identify the platforms that your target audience uses the most and create a strong presence on those platforms. Regularly posting content that is relevant to your audience and utilising paid advertising options can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Engage with your followers and respond to comments and messages in a timely manner to establish a positive online reputation.
Use popular vet-related hashtags so followers (and friends of followers) can see that your business is veteran-owned. Hashtag popularity changes often; however, currently, the top hashtags are:
3. Utilise Business Resources for Veterans to Maximise Success
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) are just a couple of examples of the many resources available to veteran entrepreneurs.
The SBA offers a wide range of resources including counselling, workshops, and funding opportunities. These resources can help you develop a solid business plan, apply for loans, and access government contracting opportunities.
The VBOC is dedicated to providing veteran entrepreneurs with the necessary training and counselling to start and grow their businesses. They also offer access to capital and other resources.
In addition, there are numerous networking groups and communities specifically for veteran-owned businesses. Joining these groups and engaging with other veteran entrepreneurs can help you make valuable connections, share resources, and stay up to date on industry news and trends.
One such platform is Veterans Growing America, which is dedicated to helping veteran entrepreneurs promote their businesses. The platform features a directory of veteran-owned businesses and provides resources, networking, and support for veteran entrepreneurs.
Utilising these business resources can help veteran entrepreneurs maximise their chances of success. By taking advantage of the available resources and networking opportunities, veteran-owned businesses can gain valuable insights, support, and guidance to help them overcome the unique challenges of entrepreneurship.
4. Join Veteran Networking Communities
Networking with other veteran-owned businesses can provide valuable insights, mentorship opportunities, and potential partnerships. Platforms such as Veterans Growing America can offer a variety of resources for veteran entrepreneurs.
It offers professional development opportunities, such as conferences, workshops, and seminars. These resources can provide veteran entrepreneurs with valuable insights and strategies to help them succeed in their respective industries.
Veterans Growing America also hosts a weekly Veteran Business Pop Up Shop. This is a great opportunity for veteran entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services to the public, and to network with other veteran business owners.
Furthermore, Veterans Growing America hosts networking events that allow veteran business owners to connect, share ideas, and form relationships that can help them grow their businesses. Engaging with other veteran-owned businesses can also provide opportunities for collaboration and mutually beneficial partnerships.
5. Back to Basics
And, of course, don’t overlook the obvious. Be sure to include the fact that your business is veteran-owned in your email signature and on all your social media profiles.