Army Veteran on New Mission to Secure Small Business Success
Are you a veteran business owner, active military or a military spouse who is thinking about starting or buying a small business or acquiring commercial real estate? Check out CDC’s Mission: Small Business Finance program, designed to mobilize military entrepreneurs.
In the middle of a busy house – dogs barking, boy petting dogs, mom corralling them all – Army veteran Orlando Tagaloguin knows he needs to head to the office.
In this case though, it’s just down the hall.
Orlando’s gotten the system down, telling his family when he’s going to work, even though his office is only a few steps away from the living room.
“Even though you’re going to be home, at the same time you need to establish that time that you’re going to be doing business,” Orlando said of the lesson he’s learned.
So far, Globalnet manages six contracts, for the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies that need a broad range of aid, supplies or project management.
During his lengthy military career, which included an Army special-operations stint, he saw many methods of handling government contracts.
He hopes he’s bringing the best of his experience to Globalnet. Add that to the knowledge he gained from several veteran-focused business classes and workshops, and he found himself ready to take the plunge by opening his own company.
“Starting up a business is not easy,” Orlando said. “There can never be a perfect time to start your own business. I think you just have to be prepared (about) the industry or market you try to enter.”
SMALL BUSINESS LOAN REFERRAL
Knowing he needed working capital to take on more sizable contracts, though, Orlando sought a bank loan. But Globalnet didn’t have a steady revenue stream at that point, so the bank referred him to CDC Small Business Finance.
As a mission-based lender, CDC supports small businesses like Orlando’s, while also offering advisory services to help him find the best path to success.
The native of the Philippines credited CDC with making the steps clear while he navigated the loan process.
“They gave me the requirements, and as long as you’re proactive with the process things become simpler,” he said.
Being proactive is embedded in his approach due to his Army training. The discipline he learned, “the tenacity to accomplish the mission,” helped him do what he needed to do to secure the loan. He thinks it will continue to help as Globalnet becomes more established.
“Three-quarters of my life is still the military,” he said. “I’m hopeful I find success in business (to) be able to apply all the lessons I learned in the military.”
Orlando aims to run a “very lean” operation, plumbing his funds back into services for his clients. In doing so, he’s guided by Rich Kraus, a senior business adviser at CDC Small Business Finance.
Rich has a willing student. Endlessly curious, Orlando taps a variety of business and motivational sources for inspiration. His books line three shelves, and he enjoys YouTube videos and podcasts too. His current favorites include Dave Ramsey and Les Brown, but he says “there’s always golden nuggets you can take away,” even from unexpected places.
Orlando values Rich’s genuine interest in his business.
“He is there as the second brain. He gives me advice that (my) money is well spent,” Orlando said.
Orlando keeps an eye out for those who, unlike Rich, are trying to sell him a product under the guise of offering him guidance.
“It was very important for me to observe from Mr. Kraus that he really has an interest in my business growing,” he said.
For his part, Rich appreciates the “discipline, passion and drive” Orlando brings to Globalnet.
“He is very open to new ideas and suggestions that could grow or improve his business,” Rich said.
One means for growth is Globalnet’s designation as a “Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business.”
He accumulated his injuries over the course of his 20-year military career, in which he rose to become a part of the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, and embarked on deployments to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The disabled, veteran-owned stamp is key. The federal government sets an annual goal of awarding 3% of all federal contracts to such businesses. In addition, the VA manages the Veterans First Contracting Program, to direct opportunities to those who have served.
The father of four sees his business not just as a means of providing for his family, but also as a chance to contract with and employ other veterans.
His connections to this point have proven fruitful. As part of a training program for Bunker Labs, a nonprofit that links early- and later-stage veteran entrepreneurs, WeWork selected him for a six-month “Veterans in Residency” program in their San Diego co-working space.
ARMY, OTHER VETS NETWORKS
He also joined the Veterans Business Action Committee, a community networking group for former service members. They bill themselves as “battle-tested entrepreneurs.”
At a Bunker Labs event, Orlando heard Matthew Griffin of Combat Flip Flops tell his success story. When he approached the stage after the speech to shake the CEO’s hand, they recognized each other. Turns out they served in the same unit as Army Rangers.
It’s inspiring to him, he said, to realize that he’s not a trailblazer. There are other successful veterans out there for him to model.
“Looking at those veteran business owners just gives me a motivation to say, ‘If they can do it, I can do it as well,’” he said.Learn more about our Mission: Small Business Finance program
In case you missed it:
- Veteran-owned businesses generate $1T in annual sales – SBA loans offer key support
- Meet Dr. Jeremy Busch, a Navy veteran who sought loan to fund improvements to practice
Like Orlando, you also may talk to one of our loan experts who can explain all of your options in minutes and find a financing match for you and your business. Let’s talk! Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 243-8667. You also can apply online.