Veteran Benefits For the Men and Women Who Serve and For Your Small Business

How small business can support veterans

In business, the ideal outcome is the classic “win-win.”

When you make a sale, your customer should benefit as should your business.

I think there are a lot of opportunities for your small business to experience a win-win where the other “winner” in the equation is our country’s military personnel returning to private life.

There are several ways you can support your veterans as they transition out of the military. The single biggest is hiring a veteran.

Hire a vet

There are many skills and traits that are acquired while serving in any branch of the military that transfer well to private employment. First, as a small business owner, you know you’re getting a person who doesn’t shy away from difficult challenges. The training and duties that service men and women go through stretch them in ways many of us can’t even imagine.

Of course, many pick up skills that transfer to a wide range of job duties, but frankly, in almost any work setting, the specifically required skills are transferred via on-the-job training. This is the same way most veterans learned their duties while in the military.

But more important than specific skills, I believe, is the ability to work as a team. When I talk to small business owners across the country, what they prize most in employees is reliability and the ability to work together as a team toward a common goal. These traits are at the core of what makes a good soldier, sailor, aviator or marine.

By the way, there are various tax incentives from the federal government for hiring veterans. You can get an overview on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Raise awareness

Even if you don’t have any slots on your staff right now for a veteran, consider supporting their cause. When they are on active duty and in uniform, it’s common for people to approach them and thank them for their service. However, once they’re discharged, it is easy for our veterans to just blend into the background of our society and disappear.

I often encourage small business owners to become involved in civic causes and local charities and to publicize their work. It raises awareness of the cause as well as of your business and it demonstrates your commitment to the community. Local residents like to do business with people who they know are invested in making their towns better places to live.

Recently, many buildings and stadiums in cities across the United States were bathed in pink light at night to help raise awareness for breast cancer research. In a similar way, the color green has become a way to show support for veterans. With the sponsorship of Walmart, Greenlight a Vet encourages people to keep one green light burning to show support for veteran causes.

If you have a window display at your small business, or another area where you could keep a green light going, why not participate? The idea is to promote a national conversation on how we might better recognize and support our veterans. Burning a green light at your small business would probably spark a few questions and conversations.

I encourage you to consider the ways you can support your local veterans. Any effort you make will be helpful and well received – a win-win.