Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Transition Mission: Army Veteran Starts Solar Business

Transition Mission: Army Veteran Starts Solar Business


# I’m Thom Besch, I’m the owner
of Veteran Solar Systems, and we install PV solar systems
on residences and businesses here in the Albany area. I retired from the Army and I decided that I really
wanted to do something that I was
interested in rather than
the easiest thing to do, which would be go work
for a defense contractor. Figuring out
what I wanted to do, what I wanted to wake up
excited about every day was probably the hardest thing, and once I figured out it was
going to be renewable energy, I did have to start
all over again at the bottom. Nothing in my Army career
prepared me to install or design
solar systems, so I was fortunate enough to
get on basically as an intern. Eventually I learned
the business, continued to go to school, I learned the technical side
of things, I’m nationally accredited now
as a NABCEP installer. So, it wasn’t easy,
but I did my homework and I worked with people that were willing
to teach me the trade. The military doesn’t prepare you
to be an entrepreneur, so I found the Small Business
Development Center and I got a hold of Amy Amoroso,
who’s the Vet counselor, and told her what my goals were and she laid out for me all
the aspects that I would need in order to start
my own business: different kinds of insurances, what’s the advantage
of one kind of company vs. another kind of company. And, if she didn’t have the information
or experience herself, she would connect me
to the right people to get those answers
taken care of. AMY AMOROSO: Thom just enrolled into my Boots to Business
Reboot class, and even though
he is up and going, he has been established
in business for a year, he still saw that there was
a great opportunity in the Boots to Business Reboot, he attended the program
and, actually, he loved it. He did learn something,
as we all do every day. I was able to attend
and learned a lot. I learned about how to bond
some of my jobs, what financing was available, how I could get a small business
loan through my local bank. Boots to Business
is really a great resource because they’re able to discuss
so many different aspects of how to start
your own business, and for people
that have the desire but no background
or experience doing it. #


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *