The Results are in!
2020 VIB Network Annual National Veteran Business Survey
The annual VIB Network veteran business survey was conducted from January to March 2020 and hundreds of veteran businesses shared their opinions with us. The results of this survey helped us learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the veteran business community.
2020 VIB Network Survey Results:
We were happy to have so many veteran businesses participate in this year’s survey. Through this survey we have found that veteran businesses represent every diversity category in a variety of industries, and nearly 84% of respondents reported having under 10 employees.
While many of the businesses taking the survey are VA CVE certified, there are still roughly 20% of veteran businesses that have no certification at all. Additionally, approximately 65% of veteran businesses who responded are still unaware of, or opposed to, “Paid – Third Party” Veteran Business certifications, with less than 2% of survey respondents actually utilizing a third-party certification. As advocates for the Veteran Business Community, we need to examine why Veteran Businesses choose not to take advantage of, at the very least, the free CVE certification, and evaluate the business case/return on investment for being certified at all.
We were delighted to see participation and engagement was high in relation to the VIB events. Our national conference attendee numbers have grown and is becoming one of the premier veteran business events in the country. Since we began offering webinars three years ago, we’ve seen engagement climb year after year. Our success has been reflected in the number of suggestions for topics and speakers we’ve received.
We were happy to see that many veteran businesses have created a VIB directory profile. However, there was still a significant number who have not created a profile. The VIB Network realizes that there’s still work that needs to be done to emphasize the value of creating a directory profile and explaining the benefits. The VIB directory is used by corporations, government agencies and veteran businesses to find partnerships for contracting opportunities.
Regarding the question, “How has your veteran certification helped you?” we noticed that it has helped several veteran businesses win a contract, but a majority still haven’t seen any benefits of the certification. We need to ask, where is the disconnect? Why don’t more veteran businesses know how to utilize their certifications to win contracts?
The best way to learn about contracting opportunities is still face-to-face meetings. Through the survey we found that most veteran businesses attend outreach events, business matchmaking, procurement fairs and conferences. These networking events help build relationship with corporate/government agencies and are essential to the continued growth of a veteran’s business. This will present a unique challenge for 2020 and beyond given the current COVID-19 precautions and social distancing measures.
In conclusion, certifications are only one weapon in a veteran’s business arsenal. We must continue to impress upon our Veteran business members that they cannot rely on certifications alone. While it may open some doors and expand available opportunities, all businesses – including Veteran Owned businesses – must be better, cheaper, or faster than their competition. The VIB offers a variety of tools to help veteran businesses learn and connect. Being active in the veteran business community, constantly marketing, learning, sharing and networking are a few elements we’ve noticed to becoming a successful veteran business.
“With shared knowledge and support all Veterans in business can succeed together”
If you took the survey, Thank You – the information you shared is valuable.