Hey Friends! I am back with another post related to the Military Community. I mean who doesn’t need a little help, encouragement and inspiration in this crazy life we live in. However, this time, I have a good friend of mine, Jenny Hale, better known as “The Military Social Media Guru” from www.jennyhale.com and she will be discussing How You Can Support Military Spouse and Veteran Entrepreneurs. Now, if you have no military affiliation, please do not get discouraged by the title. Jenny and I both believe that everyone (including civilian and military families ) has the power to support the Military Community in some way and Jenny has come up with some AMAZING tips to help you with that.
“We buy American-made!”
“We support our troops!”
“We hire veterans and spouses!”
But, where are the “we buy from veteran-owned” or “we buy from military spouse-run” slogans in America?
I may be a civilian, but the more I work with military spouse and veteran entrepreneurs, the more I discover how common they are. In fact, nearly one in 10 businesses in our country are owned by veterans, accounting for over 2 Million businesses total. Add in military spouse businesses, and our country has a huge amount of money being generated by military community entrepreneurship.
For military spouses, entrepreneurship makes sense due to frequent moves because of military life. Only a few years ago, military spouse unemployment was at 26%, with most spouses wanting to work and unable to obtain a job. Employers sometimes view the frequent moves on a spouse’s resume as a “red flag” and spouses earn an average of 25% less than an equally qualified non-military peer.
Yeah, that’s a problem!
Entrepreneurship is a great alternative, one that allows a military spouse to pick up and move their business with them and provide a second source of income for their family. Never again does a military spouse have to leave their “dream job” for a PCS because entrepreneurship allows them to create their own dreams.
For veterans, it’s a logical step too. Post-military life can be challenging and some veterans look to find a sense of “purpose” again. Others may be looking for greater and more exciting challenges than a civilian job, after being “in the action” for so many years. Some veterans are looking to supplement their retirement or perhaps their new civilian job, which can start them out at the bottom of a company or at a lower pay rate than military service, until they work their way up.
From personal experience,I see a lot of civilians and companies saying that they support America’s military. However, I don’t see many go out of their way to ensure they support military community business owners through purchases.
Here’s how you can help:
Use Business Directories.
A simple online search will deliver multiple private websites that act as a directory for military community entrepreneurs. Search for veteran and military spouse business owners and you’ll see a wide variety of industries. If you’re looking to connect with bloggers and writers, you can view my list of approximately 150 military spouse bloggers to support.
Sharing is caring
Sometimes the easiest way you can support a military spouse or veteran entrepreneur is to speak highly of their work when you like their products or services. Write a raving review after purchasing their product, share their website and social media accounts with your friends, and send referrals to them. If you like the new shirt you bought at Old Navy, you’d tell your friends and family where you got it, right? It’s the same for any product or service you purchase from local entrepreneurs (or the ones you find online), except it’s even more important when you’re buying local.
Get to know them
They say that 1% of the population is in the military. If you’re a civilian, you may not directly know a service member or spouse. I grew up not knowing what the military was like. I chose to learn more about it and made lots of military friends as I got older. My best friends are now veterans, service members, and military spouses. They live a different kind of life, but one of the greatest ways to support the military community is by just getting to know them. Follow a military community entrepreneur’s blog and learn about their life or get on social media and follow their business. Get to know the community and be an advocate by purchasing from and supporting their businesses!
If you’re a civilian or military community entrepreneur, you can support other business owners by being a mentor. Share what you have learned as a business owner and help others out along the way. Offer to collaborate and share each other’s’ audiences by mutually promoting your businesses. Practice “community over competition” and build each other up. Great entrepreneurs provide value to the community!
A military spouse or veteran entrepreneur runs a business no differently than your next-door neighbor would, but when you support a military community entrepreneur with a purchase, you help a military family build a dream bigger than themselves during military service and well after.
What a powerful message? Jenny has certainly done her part to encourage and support the Military community in her work efforts. She has used her background working with military non-profits, military corporate companies, the Army, and as an entrepreneur to help others struggling to meet their business dreams. With the goal of increasing military entrepreneur marketing efforts online and creating content that makes military spouse and veteran business owners thought leaders, Jenny works to make an entrepreneur’s vision come to life! I just want to say thank you again to Jenny for stopping by and offering her amazing tips!
Click Here To Read More Posts About Military Life!