How to Write a Business Plan for Your Veteran-Owned Startup

Starting a business can be a daunting task, and for veterans transitioning from military to civilian life, this new mission of entrepreneurship requires a solid plan of action. A well-structured business plan is not just a tool for seeking investment, but it’s a roadmap that guides you through the early stages of your business journey. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan tailored for a veteran-owned startup.

Executive Summary: Your Mission Statement

Start with an executive summary. This is your elevator pitch—the hook that captures the essence of your business. As a veteran, your mission-oriented approach can be a powerful tool here. Clearly state what your business does, the problem it solves, and why it’s unique. Include your business name, the products or services you offer, and basic information about your team and location.

Company Description: Your Field of Operation

In the company description, delve into the details of what your business does. How does your military experience influence your business approach? What are the core values that guide your business, perhaps inspired by your service? This section should also outline your target market, your customers, and what gives your business a competitive edge.

Market Analysis: Reconnaissance and Intelligence

Just like a military operation requires thorough reconnaissance, your business needs a detailed market analysis. Research your industry, market trends, and target demographic. What are the needs of your customer base, and how does your product or service meet those needs? Include a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to demonstrate that you understand your business’s position in the market landscape.

Organization and Management: Your Troop Structure

Here, detail your business’s organizational structure. Who are the leaders in your team, and what experience do they bring to the table? If you’re a solo entrepreneur, highlight your military experience and how it translates to business leadership. Include an organizational chart if your team is larger, and explain the roles and responsibilities of each member.

Services or Product Line: Your Arsenal

In this section, describe the products or services your business offers. How do these benefit your customers? Are there any unique aspects of your product or service that stem from your military experience? Explain the lifecycle of your product or service and any research and development activities that might be relevant.

Marketing and Sales Strategy: Your Campaign for Success

Your marketing and sales strategy should reflect how you plan to attract and retain customers. As a veteran, your approach might include discipline, precision, and strategic planning. Outline your sales process, marketing initiatives, and how you’ll build your brand. If you have insights from your military training that influence your approach, include them here.

Funding Request: Your Financial Strategy

If you’re seeking funding, this section is crucial. Specify the amount of funding you need over the next five years and what you will use it for. Include detailed financial projections and a strategy for repayment or investor exit. This section should demonstrate a clear understanding of the financial aspects of running a business.

Financial Projections: Charting the Course

Even if you’re not seeking funding, financial projections are essential. Include income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets for the next three to five years. These should be forward-looking and consider your market analysis and sales predictions.

Appendix: Supporting Documents

Finally, include an appendix with any additional information that supports your business plan. This could be resumes, permits, legal documents, detailed market studies, or product pictures. For veteran-owned businesses, any certifications or special qualifications related to your military service can also be included here.

Marching Forward

Writing a business plan for your veteran-owned startup is about translating your military skills and experiences into the language of business. The discipline, strategic thinking, leadership, and resilience you’ve honed in the military are invaluable assets in the entrepreneurial world. Your business plan is not just a document; it’s a reflection of your journey from the military to the marketplace, a roadmap that articulates your mission, strategy, and tactical plan for business success.


If you are ready to take the next step – let’s jump on a 30-Minute Strategy Call to start really building out your roadmap to success.