Marie Stuart Noel

Active Military Personnel and Veterans are ready for your business, are you ready for theirs?

Military US flagActive Military and Veterans are ready for your business, are you ready for theirs?

Background

I was 17 years old when I decided to join the military. My mother signed for me to join, two months before I turned 18 years old.

At 18, I went to boot camp and begun my military journey. Everything moved quickly in the military. One of the things that moved quickly is money. See, I never had a job or  money prior to joining the US. Army Reserve. My parents would give like 50 cents to pay for the bus and couple dollars, a week, to pay for my lunch co-pay at school. So once I started earning money, in the military, I bought everything I wanted.

Then I got older and retired from the military, became a veteran. My spending shifted. I became more budget conscious but there were expenses I couldn’t avoid. For example, I became a homeowner, I had a lot of home expenses.

I would receive these post cards from local small businesses. They would say something along the line “We work with veterans like you” or “This offer is for Veterans and Service Members Only.” I understood the marketing ploy. However, I would be more likely to contact these companies for a quote, than other companies that didn’t mention my service in the military.

Purpose

The purpose of the article is not to tell you to take advantage of military personnel or veterans. I want to tell you military personnel shouldn’t be neglected, in your market segmentation, because they do have the money to spend, on your business.

Due to the fact that my home loan was backed by the VA, I believe these companies targeting me, had a list of Veteran-owned homes. Therefore, when they sent out their marketing materials, they understood using certain keywords, like “VA, Veteran, Military, Servicemen,” gave them a foot in the door, they wouldn’t normally have.

Show me the money

According to Council On Foreign Relations:

  1. There are currently 1.3 million active members of the U.S. military: Put together a strategy to put your business in front of enlisted military personnel, and officers. Join forums and Facebook groups that cater to military personnel. If allowed, introduce yourself and your business. Provide valuable replies to threads that align with your expertise.
  2. 50% the 1.3 active members have spouses and 39% have children: There are a number of benefits military personnel who are married receive, that singles do not receive. If you have a business that caters to families, then military families can be a large part of your annual revenue. Also, the spouses of the military personnel tend to have a large network. Once you’re in with one family, you can receive referrals to friends and other families within their network.
  3. The average salary for an active military member is $51,584: Military personnel move up in ranks every 1-3 years which means an increase in salary. And a large number of military personnel receive bonuses for certain jobs or for enlistment and reenlistment.
  4. Active military and veterans account for a whopping $1.2 trillion in spending power:  A lot of the money U.S. Military and Veterans spend are at Government establishments and services. A large amount of that money goes to contractors. Take an assessment of your offerings and skills to see what you could provide, as a contractor, to the U.S. Government.
  5. Become a Vendor for the U.S. Government: Tap into servicemen and veterans by selling something to the U.S. government that they already buy, for military personnel. Want to become a vendor, check out The 8(a) Business Development Program.

Finally, if you have a business that provides a solution to customers, Servicemen and Veterans are an audience you should consider looking into more closely.

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