This Sunday I drove down to Stafford with Sam J and got a chance to take a peak at Ricks Roasters. Sean Ricks and his wife Keely are the owners. One part of Spotter Up is trying to learn a bit about military personnel from different walks of life and exposing some of our readers to what people like Sean and Keely experience as entrepreneurs. Some veterans are very curious about getting started in their own business but don’t really know how. Doing a start-up is a lot of work but if you have the drive and a small idea, the rest will come, and you have to stay on it to ensure it can grow. I particularly enjoy speaking with people from military and law enforcement backgrounds because they bring another perspective to business that can enhance the business.
I’ve spoken to quite a few business owners, and being one myself, I have to agree that having a passion for it must come first. Sean Ricks got his start with Ricks Roasters when he was looking for the coffee he liked that came out of Singapore. From that small moment to 2.5 years later, he and his wife have increased their footprint, and continue to grow steadily. What began in their apartment with a few store-bought microwaves ended up being a business that is now housed in a warehouse, incorporates the use of a large coffee roaster and they continue to develop multiple distribution sites. In this video, Sean shares his passion, discusses how he got started, and maybe something in the video will jump out for you; deciding to be an entrepreneur has its risks but the payoffs are great, such as: working for yourself, building relationships with people, serving communities, and working to make something out of nothing.
They have done the hard work and built valuable relationships with Ricks Roasters.
Here are some of the facts about veteran business owners.
- Veteran business owners were overwhelmingly male (94.8 percent) and White (89.7 percent); 7.6 percent of veteran-owned firms were owned by African Americans and 4.6 percent by Hispanic Americans.
- The owners were predominantly over the age of 55 (75.1 percent), reflecting the ages of veterans overall, and they tended to be better educated than other business owners.
- Of the veteran business owners who responded to the survey, 8.3 percent had service-connected disabilities.
- By far the largest source of capital for veteran owned business startup or acquisition was personal or family savings: 61.7 percent of respondents reported using this source. Business loans from banks or other commercial lenders were the second most important source at 9.8 percent.
- For business expansion or capital improvements, 30 percent used personal or family savings. Personal and business credit cards were also important sources of capital, at 10.9 percent.
- Veteran-owned businesses were more likely to be home-based, less likely to be family-owned, and somewhat less likely to be franchises than the business population overall.
- Veteran-owned employer businesses were slightly more likely to offer benefits such as health insurance, contributions to retirement plans, profit sharing, and paid leave than businesses overall.