You’ve probably heard of the U.S. Army’s mantra “Army Strong.” Military branding is famous for consistency and success. Your small business can really benefit from marketing tactics used by the Army. Keep reading to find out how you can make your business strong.

You’ve probably heard of the U.S. Army’s mantra “Army Strong.” Military branding is famous for consistency and success. Your small business can really benefit from marketing tactics used by the Army. Keep reading to find out how you can make your business strong.

 

Nearly ten percent of businesses in the United States are owned by veterans. All of these veterans took valuable skills and attitudes from their military service into a journey of starting their own businesses.

The U.S. Army teaches service members skills that are essential to successfully running a small business: leadership, teamwork, perseverance, resourcefulness, and a variety of concrete industry skills.

Some of these traits are what Don McPeck of Mess Hall Canteen brought to the table – or rather, to the food truck – when he opened his mobile food business themed around the military. Previously, we wrote a success story about how Opportunity Fund helped Don realize his entrepreneurial dreams.

We asked Don about how he used his military experience in running his business and how other small business owners can use the same techniques to improve marketing.

 

Grilling Cheese in Full Battle Rattle

Don and his son Jake McPeck always wanted a military theme. This theme is rare, and the decor could be really cool. The idea of a mess hall on wheels was a good concept that really took off.

The military theme extends from the image to the way Don runs his business. Although there is a long list of traits he picked up from serving in the Army that helps him better serve his customers, he believes that work ethic and dedication to the mission is huge.

On any given morning, a walk into the truck would reveal a spotless, brand new kitchen. Every evening, the kitchen is “GI’ed from top to bottom” and ready for inspection at any time. Using leadership and teamwork refined by his military experience, Don makes sure his employees know his expectations of higher standards of preparedness.

“If you want to be the best, you have to outwork everybody.”

 

Marketing is Mission Critical

Marketing is important for growing a small business, and theme is crucial. Don has seen many food trucks come and go with poorly thought out names that are sometimes offensive to customers. He and his son are thinking about starting a television show where they help save failing food trucks by rebranding them.

Branding, especially for food trucks where space and visibility is limited, is essential to getting your message out to potential customers. From the decorative wrap that covers the truck to the names of menu items, everything about Mess Hall Canteen is dialed into the theme.

In addition to a consistent and unique theme, Don offers another piece of advice to other small business owners. To him, social media is mandatory. He sees a lot of food trucks that don’t use social media to get to build interest, and his secret is promoting his business “all day, every day.”

 

Army Marketing Tips You Can Use For Your Small Business

The U.S. Army has an interesting challenge of re-branding itself to younger generations using social media and digital marketing, something you are probably facing as well.

Check out these two social media handbooks for help making the most out of social media to promote your business.

The first one is published by the U.S. Army. While the messaging is catered to soldiers and officers, the advice will also benefit your small business’ digital marketing plan: The United States Army Social Media Handbook 

This second handbook was created by us, for you. While not as detailed, this handbook is geared specifically to small business marketing: Get and Keep More Customers with Better Digital Marketing – Today

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org