Running a small business can be great second career after serving in the military. As a U.S. Army veteran, I would know. In addition to my role at Google helping small businesses get found online, I also co-own an occupational therapy practice with my wife in Kirkland, Washington.
We were one of the first small businesses to add the “Veteran-Led” attribute to our business profile on Google My Business after it was introduced last August. It’s a simple way to share a piece of the personal history behind our business with fellow veterans and people in my community. Since then, thousands of veteran-led businesses across the U.S. have added the attribute to their business profiles, including Old School Boxing and Fitness Center in San Diego, California, and Honest Soul Yoga in Alexandria, Virginia.
At Propel Electric Bikes in Brooklyn, New York, owner and U.S. Army veteran Chris Nolte uses the attribute to help his veteran-led business stand out on Google Search and Maps. And with Google Ads, Chris is able to put his bikes in front of potential customers in New York and across the country. With support from digital tools like these, he’s successfully grown his business, even opening a second location in California.
Now, in honor of National Veterans Small Business Week, Grow with Google is introducing a resource hub where veterans like Chris can find products, tools, and programs to start or grow their businesses. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find there.
Almost one in four transitioning service members have an interest in starting their own business. So to make it simpler for veterans to grow their business and marketing skills, the Primer app offers quick, easy-to-understand lessons that they can access from anywhere. The lessons offer helpful tips on topics like creating a business plan, increasing sales, managing finances, and more. Primer also offers custom mini-courses tailored to veterans and military spouses that you can find by searching “veteranled” or “milspousebiz” in the app.
This National Veterans Small Business Week, we’re also inviting veteran business owners to a livestream workshop focused on growing a small business. Viewers will learn how Google My Business can help an entrepreneur establish a local online presence, build a loyal customer base, show off products or services and drive online and physical traffic to their business. We’ll also be joined by the California Veterans Business Outreach Center, a program from the Small Business Administration, to hear more about their offerings for veteran-owned businesses. Tune in on YouTube for Tuesday’s livestream workshop.
When I was making my own transition to civilian life in 2013, I looked to fellow veterans for career guidance. As a Googler and a business owner myself, I’m proud to help fellow veteran-led businesses find new online resources to grow.