Autocare is an extremely in-depth career-based industry that has so many opportunities for veterans. Consider the careers available today that many obviously know about, but others that are rarely considered. To name a few:
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- vehicle service shop technician
- counter service shop advisor
- internal shop bookkeeper
- shop manager
- wholesale jobber sales representative and/or all the various positions within the independent jobber business
- warehouse distributor positions from district managers, on the street sales reps to internal office personnel
- manufacturing positions, including sales reps, engineers and various management positions
- the technology development end of the industry, in various IT departments of every level
- accountants who specialize in the autocare industry
- lawyers who specialize in the autocare industry
- insurance brokers and agents who specialize in the autocare industry
As you can see, the imagination of what is available is really unlimited, and has been the best-kept secret the Industry has retained. It is time to let the news out — and let veterans know that they would be excellent candidates to apply to companies offering many of their skills and talents.
The reasons why veterans make excellent employees and partners are numerous, including:
- the ability to research a task topic and determine a strategy to obtain results
- self-discipline, to focus and accomplish the task at hand
- understanding the need for teamwork always
- the acceptance and understanding of the individual accountability to the position held
- understanding the need for and the ability to communicate in a timely and concise fashion
These characteristics of individuals create a positive culture within a company, and with most veterans, the characteristics listed above are a natural part of their DNA.
The issue for veterans may be, “Where do I find opportunities for my skillset and interest?” There are many websites out there listing opportunities, such as:
• Veterans Pipeline: usveteranspipeline.com/industries/25-aftermarket
• Hiring Our Heroes: www.hiringourheroes.org
• Hire Veterans: www.hireveterans.com
Of course, the normal route of searching on various job bank sites or specific companies of the industry would also be a natural procedure. Keep in mind that loan fees are waived for veterans who use SBA Express. Visit www.va.gov/osdbu/pressreleases/news20131203.asp
Another issue would be “entrepreneurship,” where a veteran or group of veterans would like to start or take over a small business. That can be very exciting; however, a deep breath must be taken and a proper checklist drawn up to ensure the opportunity is approached properly.
Opening a business is just not about your passion; it must be systematically approached to make sure it is the right thing for each individual. To give a basic example, here are a few items that would have to be reviewed from a financing point of view
See whether you can answer yes or no to the following:
- Have you determined the gross profit return required for each revenue department in the business?
- Have you determined the correct balance sheet ratios for the business? (accounts receivable, inventory, etc.)
- Have you determined your potential return on investment in this business? Is it an acceptable figure?
- Have you determined the amount of capital you need to grow and expand the business?
- Have you determined how much capital you can raise on your own?
- Do you have enough ready cash to pay your bills during the slow months of the business?
- Have you prepared an annual budget and cash flow forecast?
- Have you allowed for an adequate living wage for yourself?
- Have you determined your future borrowing requirements?
- Have you investigated the following financing options, and determined which ones apply to your business? BANKS AND NEAR-BANKS | INSURANCE POLICIES | FRIENDS AND FAMILY
- Have you accessed available government assistance programs at the federal and state levels?
- Have you established a working relationship with a banker, including line-of-credit arrangements?
- Have you established and reviewed your credit rating?
These items are just the tip of the iceberg, but they point out the seriousness and detail that is required to open any kind of business. Always seek out professional advice to engage in a complete discussion about the business you may be interested in entering into or purchasing.
The autocare industry is immense, and has many incredible opportunities. The trick is to reach out, take the time and investigate what would interest you, the veteran, whom this industry needs very much. Thank you for your service, and thank you for having the character that you do.
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