Build An Online Presence For Your Veteran-Led Business
Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us today as we celebrate, national veterans small business week with today's live stream. Build an online presence for your veteran-led, business. Hosted by grow, google. Grow with google helps people grow their skills, careers, and businesses, by offering a free digital skills training, and tools. I'll start by introducing, myself. I'm donald allen and i'm excited, to be here with you today. I'm a program manager here at google. Currently working within the google maps team a team we call geo. However i spent most of my career within the us air force and i retired in 2018. As a master sergeant. My wife and i brought our four girls down to silicon valley so that i could continue doing what i love to do, which is to help people, get to where they want to go. That's a goal of mine that will be continuing, here today. Running a small business can be a great second career after serving in the military. We believe that digital skills training for veteran, owned businesses. Like building a website, preparing, a business, plan, and honing marketing, and audience strategy. Will be beneficial, as veterans try to grow, or start their business. For this year's national veterans small business week we want to celebrate, businesses, who identify, as veteran-led. And help them grow their businesses, through digital tools, and training. Before we begin, let's begin with some, logistics. We want this to be as helpful as possible for you, so type in your questions in the q a section found directly, under this video. Our team will reply, in the same place and shortly after, this virtual event concludes. If you would like to turn on youtube's, closed captioning. Click the close, captioning, button on the video player on your screen. And if you'd like to access. Access, additional, resources, for this class. Click the resources, tab at the top of the screen, but wait. There's a quick tip. Open the link in a new window or tab to keep the video playing, if you leave the video to visit the resources, page. You can get back by clicking the watch, link. In the resources, tab you can also find something called, the, follow along, guide. It a lot it contains, zoomed in images, of select, slides.
So That you can see the details, better. Again. To find it, click on the resources, tab on the at the top of the screen. If you miss something, no worries. You will be able to access a replay of this virtual event by clicking, on demand. On the grow with google on air homepage. And one final thing, if you'd like. Share what you learned on social media, using our hashtag. Grow with google. Before, we kick things off let's watch this quick video. You served your country. Then you transitioned, back to civilian, life. And began serving your communities. And for two and a half million of you. That meant starting a small, business. Your businesses, are hiring fellow veterans. And military, spouses. They're supporting charities. And giving your communities. A sense of community. Sure it hasn't always been easy. But you're doing what you've always done. Putting in the hard work. And learning as you go. So to help. Google has created one place, where your veteran owns small business. Can get a step-by-step. Guide to reaching customers, worldwide. Add a veteran-led, badge to your google listing. And let the world know that you. All two and a half million of you. Are open for business. Visit us online to get started. For today's workshop, i'm going to divide the information. Into four sections. First we will discuss what a business profile, is and what it includes. And where it appears. Then i will show you how to have your business profile stand out by adding, attributes. Highlights, like veteran led. Next i'll walk you through different ways you can manage your business information, through the google my business dashboard. And finally. I will wrap up with some additional resources. So let's get started. Alright. First, i want to make sure that everyone knows what a business profile, is on google. A business profile, is free, and allows your business information to appear correctly, on google search and maps. You will use a tool called google my business to create and manage your business profile. Within the dashboard, of google my business. You you're able to update your address, your phone number your website, your, operating, hours. Answer reviews. And more to help customers, find and connect with your business. Business profiles, on google can only be created for businesses, that either have a physical location, that customers, can visit. Or that travel to visit customers, where they are. The general, rule is that a business, must make, in-person, contact, with customers, during its stated hours. So, some examples, of ineligible. Businesses, would include. Like a rental, or for sale properties. Like a vacation, home, a model home, or vacant apartments. But. A sales or leasing, office however, is eligible, for verification. All right now. If your business hasn't opened yet you're still able to create a business profile, and let your community, know that you'll be opening soon. You can set your future opening date with customers, and announce, when and where you'll be, or. When you'll be open for business. To do this when you create your business profile. Be sure to choose the verify. Later option when you're prompted to verify. Then. Set your future, opening date before, you verify your business. That way you'll prevent, your business from falsely, appearing on google as open. So let's take a look at the anatomy of the business profile.
The Image on the screen is for a real business, called village, tailoring, cleaners. When a shopper discovers, your business profile, online. They will see a. Basic business information, about your business, plus. Photos, and videos. Which help customers preview your store and the products you offer. Customer reviews. Customers, can read what others say about your business. Quick links. These offer, people easy access to features such as directions. Messaging, and a link to your website. Uh and more. As well as location, information, for brick and mortar business, customers can get step-by-step. Directions, to your location. For those of you that have a home-based, businesses. That serve customers, at the customer's, location. We'll go over how to set up your profile in a few slides. So your home business home address, isn't visible on your business. Profile. This slide shows an example of a business profile, located, on the right side of the google search results page. Does that look familiar to you. By creating and verifying, your business profile, it will allow you to keep your business details, consistent. And up-to-date, across google search maps. Simply creating a business profile won't guarantee your business will appear in results, but it can help. Having a business profile, also helps you to appear on google maps which is important for your business. We know that, people visit, 1.5. Billion destinations. Every month related to their google searches. And people are searching locally. There are billions of local searches made monthly. And more than 30 percent of all mobile searches, are related to location. Businesses, with storefronts. Open to customers. And those that meet with customers, in local service, areas, can appear on google maps. This slide shows how the same business can appear on google maps. Pulling the information, from the same place, google my business. And just to note here that, this image shows that google my business village taylor and cleaners business profile, appearing on google maps on a laptop, computer.
Alright. Here's how to get started if you are if you haven't claimed your business profile, yet. You can do that by clicking the link labeled, own this business. Claim it now. If you don't see this link you can visit google my business, at, google.com. Business, to get the process, started. Another note here, that this image has a business, profile. Of village tailoring, cleaners appearing on mobile devices. With a call out pointing out for the own this business claim it now, link. All right, we're going to start with the veteran led attribute, a great way to help your business profile, stand out. Attributes, are one of the features, that can help your business stand out to local customers. Attributes, like customers, see what your business has to offer such as whether a restaurant, offers wi-fi, or outdoor, seating. Some attributes, are, like women lead or outdoor seating, can be highlighted, as badges. When customers, find your business on mobile. For our veteran. Veteran-led, businesses, watching today, we have created a specific. Veteran-led, business attribute to let your community, know that your business, is run by a veteran. To access, attributes, click on the info tab. Scroll, down in that section and click on the highlights. From there you can add the attributes, that best match your business. Some examples, of new attributes, are veteran-led. Black-owned. Women-led. Lgbtq. Friendly. As well as what payment types are accepted. Whether gift wrapping is available. If the location is what you're accessible and much more. These attributes. Are the attributes that you select, may be visually highlighted in search results. Helping your business, info stand out even more. Some attributes, are only available to certain business categories. There's a wide range of attributes. And we are always adding new ones so make sure you come back regularly, for additional attributes, to add to your. Profile. All right now that we've talked about the veteran-led, attribute, let's explore some tools within google my business. Starting with a tour of the info tab. The info tab is a section where you will update, most of your public-facing. Business information. Alright. So notice, on this slide that we have the info tab highlighted, in blue. Within this section we are going to start with how to update, your business, name and category. If you've already, created and verified, your business. You would have added your business name and category, when you created your profile. This is where you can confirm, it is, as it should appear. When people are looking at your profile. You want to make sure that the name in your business profile, is as your name is consistently. Represented, and recognized, from your customers. Make sure that the name matches, with your storefront. Your website. Stationery. Flyers. And any other branding that your customers, might know you buy. If you want to update your category. Or add additional, categories, this is where you would do that. You can add up to 10 categories. With the first category, being your primary, category. When searching for a category. You, you must choose an existing, category, you can't edit, or, or add new ones. It's okay if you can't find the perfect category. Just choose something that's close. You can get more detailed about your business when you fill out your business description. Which i'll show you in a few slides, also within this section. For those of you who join late.
If You'd like a closer, look, check out the follow along guide in the resources. Tab above the video player, you can find this, image on a page six. The next section within the info tab is your address. And or service area. This is the area where you can update your address, remove your address, and add a service area. So. It lets customers, see the business location, on google, by adding a street address. You do have the option to leave the address section, empty if you don't have a location, such as a storefront, or an office. You will also be able to set your, service area in this. Location. The next section within the info tab is your address, and or service area. This is area where you can update your address, remove your address. And add a service area. It lets customers, see your business location, on google by adding a street address. You do have the option to leave the address section, empty, if you don't, have a location, such as a storefront. Or an office. You will also be able to set your service. Area in this section. This feature is designed for businesses, who visit, or deliver to local customers. If your business serves customers, within a specific, service, area. You can list that service area on your business profile. Listing your service area helps, let customers, know, where you'll go to visit or to make deliveries, to them. You can add up to 20 service areas. You can specify, your service area by city, by the postal, code. Or other areas. Keep in mind the following if you, update your business information. If you don't serve customers, at your business address. Your office. Your office is in your home, or you want to hide your address. Leave the address field blank and only enters, your service area. This will remove the pin from the map section. And create a shading. On the areas that you serve. If you do serve customers, at your business address, but also have a service area. Enter both your address, and the service area for example. If you're a retail store that serves customers. In your store. But you also provide deliveries. Then you want to. You want to make sure to add. Your address. As well as the area, or service area that you provide to. The next section under the info tab are your hours of operation. So it's important to make sure that you have updated, and, provided, accurate, hours. We know that forty percent of searches for local businesses, are looking for hours of operation. And if your business has special hours throughout the year, like for holidays, when you're closed, or extending, hours for certain days. You can specify, particular days in advance, once you're verified, of course. And help shoppers know when you're open for. Business. A new option available underneath, ours is more hours, which describes, additional, business operations, such as. Delivery. Takeout. Senior hours, drive through hours, and more. More hours allows you to add day, and hours, for specific, services. Or specials, to your business, on google. In the more hours, box. Uh, in the more hours box under, add hours. Click on the pencil, to edit this section. Once you pick a service or special. You'll have the option to pick the day the week that you want to change. Check the box and enter your hours. After you entered all hours. Click apply. More hours will then display, for those. Selected, days of the week. It's important to note, is. That, more hours doesn't display. Until you first set your regular, hours. And after you update your more hours. Customers who visit your business profile, will find a message that confirms, your recent update. And when you update more hours, it will also create a post, which we'll discuss posts here in a few slides. That confirms, that you made an hour's change. This post shows up on the updates tab of your profile, on mobile devices. Once you're a verified, business, you can create a short name or a custom name for your business profile to make it easier to share your profile with customers, on google maps.
So The benefit of a short name is that it allows you to promote. Your profile. In new ways. Both, online, like requesting a review via social. And offline, like putting onto a flyer. Helping you create a consistent, online presence. And here's how it works. First. Notice on this slide you can create, your short name directly, on the google my business dashboard, from the info section. You can choose a personalized, short name. So for this example we'll use at short name. Once you have created your short name it also creates a shorter url. That can help, make it easier for customers to find you. The format, for the short url, is g. Dot, page. Slash, short. Name. Customers, can, use your short name to help them find your business. They can search for your business by typing, at, and then short name. Into google maps. You can then use the custom link to share via email. You can put in social media. You put in printed materials, like receipts. Uh have it on business cards, etc. Another great bonus of having a short url, is that you can share to make it easier for customers, to leave reviews. Just share a short url, with your customers, and when they click the link. They go right to the review section for your business profile. As you continue through the info section you will have the option to add your business phone number you can add up to three numbers. And your website url. When adding your phone number, it must be either a mobile number, or a landline, but not a fax number. By adding your phone number what this does it allows the shopper to click to call you. When they find your profile, on google. As a reminder. If you'd like a closer, look at this slide. Check out the follow along guide in the resources, tab above, the video player. You can find this image on page 11, of that resource. Next in the info section is your business description. This area allows you to write an introduction, to your business. You have up to 750. Characters to describe, your business. You want to review this section and make sure that you have updated, with any major changes, in your business, and whatever is most important for the customer, to know. Especially in today's changing times. The information, that you add will show up in your business details, within your business profile. Once you're done editing, make sure you click the apply button. Remember that only a snippet, of the description, will appear within your profile. So make sure that you put the most important information, first. Now, if your business hasn't opened yet you can still create a business profile, and let your community, know that you'll be opening soon. You can add a feature open date. When, you create your business profile. Be sure to. Select the option of verify. Later, when you're prompted to verify. Then set your future opening date before, you verify, your business. That way. Yeah that'll prevent your business, from showing up falsely, as being, open. On google. And so when you add your opening day only the year and month of your opening day are required. And you can enter a date, up to one year in the future. Once you've entered the date and verified, your business, your profile, will show up on google, 90 days prior to that opening. Date. You can let customers, make appointments, to your business profile by adding a link to an appointments, page. If your business, offers, in-home, educational. Or professional, services. You will see the option to add appointment, links in the info tab on the left navigation. If you already have a booking system set up on your website, or, through a third-party. Platform like mind body or appointee. It's as simple as dropping in the link here. Once published customers, can see the link directly, on your business profile. Just enter a url, where consumers. Can schedule, online services. With your business. You can choose a preferred. Link. Like click the star or so just click to start next to the appointment field, to display at the top. Your preference, will be labeled on your business profile, on google search and maps. The preferred link is available for action-oriented. Links like an appointment, order. Or like an appointment. By placing an order or making a reservation. This option isn't available, for informational, links like, a link to a menu or covet 19 related or service related links.
It Is important to note though that businesses, still need to have a physical, offering, presence. And online, only businesses, are not eligible to verify their business profiles, on google my business. These attributes, are here to assist, physical businesses, that now offer, online, services. Let's move from the info tab and discuss, some of the other tabs are available. If your business is in eligible, or in an eligible, category, such as like health beauty and professional, services. Companies. You may see the bookings, tab in the left navigation. These businesses, have the option to connect a third-party. Online booking provider with their business, profile. This option is connected with a service called reserve, with google. And you can learn more about it and participating, providers, by clicking the bookings tab, or. Visit google.com. Maps, slash reserve. The example, on this slide though shows, a business called honest soul yoga. They have a bookings link in the left navigation. But you can also see a recent update highlighted, here on the home page. Businesses, now have the option to enable an attribute, that helps potential customers, see that, that they offer online, services. The attribute. Works in conjunction, with bookings. When you indicate, that online services, are provided. Your business profile will prominently. Show online, classes, appointments, or estimates. A few important, notes. Businesses, still need to have a physical, operating presence. Online, only businesses, are not a little eligible, to verify their business profiles, on google my business. To qualify for online appointments, you must provide at least one service. Fully remotely. So this is like online, video. Via google meet. And online tutoring, virtual classes, and live video or phone consultations. Qualify, if they take place, in real time. Services, that involve, contact list delivery, or require you to visit a client's location, do not qualify, even if the service is booked, online.
The Post tab, highlighted, on this slide. Is another great feature to use to update your customers, during these times. Posts allow you to provide live updates, directly in your business profile. They allow you to communicate, news. Any covenanting, support or updates. Provide an offer. And an event or more. Posts appear within the body of your business profile, on search, and maps. But. Not in the organic, what we call the center well section of a search page. You can create posts directly from the business profile mobile app or desktop. Dashboard. A post includes, text up to 1500, characters of information. One or more images, so you can put up to 10 images. Or a video. 30 seconds or less. And a link to where you want to drive traffic. There are a variety of different types of posts available, and type of posts available to you are dependent on your business category. Now here, the post you're seeing on this screen. Is an example. Of asking for support from your customers. You can let customers, buy gift cards, from you or make a donation, to your business directly, from your business profile. Ineligible. Businesses, can create, two types of posts with the support, links feature, in google my business. This feature lets you add a short message and a link to your gift card or donation, page. All right, but in order to set up a gift card or donation, campaign, you must create your own gift card. Or donation, page before, you compose. Gift card links can be can go to a supported, provider. And some examples, of the, support, providers, today, are like square. Toast. Clover, and sum up. Or a page on your own website. You can see the supported, provider when you click a select a platform. From. Within the profile, as you're creating the post. Donation, links can only go to a supported, provider. So currently. The two platforms, that sync with your profile, are gofundme. And paypal. As i mentioned before the types of posts available to you are dependent, on your business category. You can see on this, on this slide, some of the types of posts available. And here are a few ways to use the post. So the what's new post. These are announcements. Uh and these posts. Are the posts that, provide general information, about your business, you can include a photo or video, remember, up to 30 seconds or less. A link, a call to action button. And other information. For example. A restaurant, could make a post to promote a new menu item. Or, in this example. Village taylor and cleaners, announces, that in kobe 19 they will be open from limited, hours. Another post is the product post. Product posts are posts that emphasize, a specific, product or business, or a specific, product that your business sells. Product posts require, a title. And, photo or video. You can also, include a call to action button. And other information. This is available, only to businesses, with categories, that offer products. Offer, post. Is a post that provides, promotional, sales or offers, from your business.
Offer Posts require, a title, and a start and end date as well as, start and end times. A view, offer. Call to action button, is automatically, added to that post. You can also include a photo or video. A coupon, code, a link, in terms and conditions, within the post. And this is great for seasonal, offers as well. An event post. Our posts and mention, upcoming, events, celebrations. Fundraisers. And etc. Posts would appear within the body of the business profile, on search, and maps. You can also see how posts are influencing, potential, customers. By reviewing the activity from the google my business dashboard. Remember all uploaded media, must, meet, following, size, criteria. So the minimum, is a 400, by 300, pixels. And 10 kilobyte, size limit, image. But the maximum. Is a 10 000 by 10 000 pixel image with a 25, megabyte, size. Limit. Next we have the photo tab. By adding business, business photos, you can help your business profile stand out on google. Here we've shown an example of the google my business, dashboard. With a variety of photos, associated, with their business profile. In addition to adding photos, you can add videos, to your business. Profile. Are a few photo ideas you can use. Show how a product is made, or packaged, and shipped. Maybe give a tour of your space. Highlight, an employee. Or show an unboxing, of a new product, or merchandise. Alright. The next tab i want to discuss, is the products tab. Which allows you to add and showcase. Your products and drive customer, interactions. Customers, will see a more curated, showcase, of the store's products, on the business profile. Products, tab. On mobile. Or the product, overview, module, on their computer. The products tab is only available to businesses, in categories, that typically, offer products. And if your business is in a service, oriented, category. You'll have the option of setting up services, that apply to your business, by clicking on the services, tab, in your dashboard. Your business profile is where your, google reviews, can be found. When a customer writes a review of your business on google, you will be notified, via email, and or, via the google my business app. Once your business profile is verified. You have the option to read and respond to reviews about your business, published, on google. Customer, reviews, appear. When signed into the google my business dashboard. Business owners, often ask for advice, about, negative reviews. And it's usually along the lines of how can i remove them. It's important to understand, that google won't remove a review, unless it violates, a content, policy.
Instead. Google encourages, business owners to respond. Responses, might explain a company, policy. Or, think happy customers for positive, feedback. The timeliness. And professionalism. Of responses, demonstrates. The business. That the business, listens to customer feedback. And can positively. Influence, potential. Customers. One of the last tabs we will review, is the users, tab. The users tab allows, a business profile, owner to invite others to help manage their profile. Incidentally. Inviting, another person, only gives them access to the google my business profile. But not any other google products that you might use. So. In other words. They're not going to be able to read your email. To add a manager. Click users from the left side navigation. Then click the icon of the, of the people to the top right corner. Now add the email addresses, or the managers, you'd like to. Invite. There are four, access, levels. First is the primary, owner and that's that's you. Uh, so unless you transfer ownership, you're the primary, owner. You can also have co-owners. And. Co-owners. Are. Carry the same rights, as the primary, owner. Managers. Is our third. Access level. And they can do almost, everything that the owners can do, except they can't delete the profile, or transfer, ownership. And then there's the site managers. Site managers. Have a more limited access than managers. To the business profile. And when you're done. Click invite to send an email to the new page managers. Once they open the email and accept the invitation. You will see them listed as authorized, managers. As a primary, owner. You can revoke, access to the business profile. Or transfer, ownership, at any time. You can invite multiple, managers, to help manage your business, profile. All right. The last tab i want to show you is the insights tab, and this feature is available for verified, profiles. Within the insights, it will show you how people found your business profile on the web. All the reports available, can be broken down by week, by month or by quarter.
And The reports focus on how customers, use search and maps to find your profile. And what they did once they found it. Insights, provided, you different ways to understand how customers, interact with your listing. How customers, find your profile. This, uh shows you how many customers, found you in a direct, search. Or in other words they search for your business, name or address. Versus a discovery. Search which is where they search for. Like a category, or product or service. And your profile, just appeared. And that is also different from the branded, search where customers, find your listing searching for a particular, brand that's related to your business. You'll also see search queries which is available on the web. Desktop. Not the app. Search queries focuses, on the terms that your customers, use to find your business, on local search, maps. This does not mean they clicked on your business profile. But that your profile did appear in front of them, when they search for that term. Where customers, view your business on google. If they found your profile on google search, or versus, google maps. Customer, actions. So this tells you what searchers did once they found your profile on google. The actions, include, visiting your website. Requesting, directions. Calling you or messaging, you. Direction, requests. You'll see your location, pinned on the map, and then you'll see a heat map that shows the most popular, places from which people ask google maps. For driving directions, to your address. The total number of requests is broken down by zip code. Or city. Uh. Sorry the total number of requests are broken down by the zip code or city that are displayed. Uh. All right then we have phone calls, when and how often searchers call your business via the google business profile, on google. You can view trends by day of the week or time of day. And then finally photos. This is the number of photos associated, with your profile, and how often their view compared to photos of your business, similar to yours. No, i did want to say here, that the driving, directions, on. On the app does not just. The driving directions. On the app does not display a heat map just, zip codes, so you'll still have some insight. All right your next steps. So schedule time to update your google business profile on a regular, basis. Make it a habit. Be active, updating your information, and make sure, that you have updated, the information, based on changes, to your business. Add photos. Add videos. Make posts, as often as you can. And learn how customers, engage with your profile, on search, and maps, through insights. Now one thing i really want to point out this this is not a set it and forget it sort of thing, you've got to be constantly, updating, this, otherwise. The data the information you have on your profile, gets stale, and even out of date and becomes useless, to your consumers. Last i want to, introduce you to some of the additional, tools that are available. And you can find, more, free online, business tools, at grow, dot google, slash, veteran, led. Another great resources, are quick help videos. Get answers, and learn how to make the most of google's tools in just a few minutes. You'll learn things like. How to get your business, listed on google search and maps, how to create a youtube channel for your business, and how to start a google me conference. Check out the playlist, on g dot co, slash grow. Quick help. If you want to continue your online education, and grow your digital skills. No matter where you're located. Join us at grow, with google, on air. Through online workshops, you can learn skills that help you stay connected, and productive, while working, or managing, a business remotely. Curious about workshops, you can take virtually, from home, or visit, g dot co. Grow on air. For our current virtual, digital skills workshop. And their descriptions. Stay tuned for more upcoming, classes. All right, so that wraps up our the presentation, part of this workshop. I'll now pass it off to my colleague, james, who's going to introduce you to our special, panel guest today.
Take It away james. Thanks don hi everyone, my name is james chirago, and i'm a recruiting manager at google. I served in the us army as a medic, after which i completed my bachelor's, degree at arizona, state university. Go devils. And eventually, found my way to google, two jobs post college. I'm excited to be hosting this panel in honor of national, veterans small business week. That said i'm thrilled to introduce you to. Our two panel guests today, jen pilcher, and charles, catholic. Jen is the ceo of patriot boot camp or pbc. I first met jen in the pbc, team when we google, hosted their mentoring, sessions for their austin bootcamp, in 2019.. I was so impressed, with the boot camp that i helped them build a partnership, with google for startups. And charles is the ceo and co-founder, of true genomics. Inc. That being said let's bring in jen and charles. Hey james hey charles. Great seeing you. You too. Welcome and thanks for joining us today, we're so happy that you both could be here to share more about your experiences. With and as veteran-owned, businesses. Let's start with learning a little bit more about each of you. Jen, could you start us off and tell us a little bit about yourself. Your background, and how you work with veteran-owned, businesses. Sure and, uh thanks again james for your. Hard work in making the, pbc. Google for startups, partnership, happen. Back in austin, where. The mentor, program, hosted, at google headquarters, in austin was incredible, so thanks again for. Making that happen, hi i'm jen pilcher, i'm the ceo of patriot, boot camp, we are a non-profit. Serving, veteran, mill spouse, and active duty. Entrepreneurs. To help them start and scale their businesses. I first learned about patreon bootcamp, back in, 2013. When i had my own company. And, i had no idea, where to get help and how to get help. So. Taylor mclemore. Is the founder of patreon bootcamp. And he, enthusiastically. Welcomed, military. Spouse, entrepreneurs. In addition to veterans. To apply to the program. So i was accepted in 2013. With my own company. Military, one click, and, uh patreon bootcamp, helped, me. Both, personally and professionally. And so. Uh in 2015. My company, was, acquired. I stayed with it as a ceo, until, 2017. And then in 2017. I completely, exited, the company. And fortunately, in 2019, they asked me to throw my hat in the ring. For the ceo, position, and fortunately, i'm here now serving as the ceo, of patriot bootcamp, and, proud alumni. Uh i'm also, a. Military, spouse my husband, is still serving active duty navy, and we're stationed. In the washington, dc, area. So thank you so much for having me. Sure thing we're so glad that you're now serving, as the ceo of pbc. Charles. Can you also share a little bit about yourself, your transition, story, and your business. Yeah absolutely, i'm charles kathleen, i'm the ceo of true genomics. In our company we're developing, a genetic. Test to help, identify. Posttraumatic, stress, um, better, and we're very very excited about uh, cutting edge technology, that's, uh only available. Um, today because, of some of the progress, that we've, we've made in genomic, uh sequencing, technology. So. Um, we're doing some very exciting, uh cutting cutting edge stuff and, very happy about the partnership, that we've had with. Google for startups, and also with a patriot bootcamp. Um, and i've been working with jen over, the last couple of couple of years but been involved with patriot. Boot camp. I would say. It's been about eight years now, um started in in 20. 2012, i was in that first, class. The dc class. For patriot boot camp. And, it's just been an invaluable, resource, to. To our company. Me originally i'm from, brooklyn. New york but our company is based out of the. Dc metro, area. We're headquartered, in in maryland, but we have our laboratory, facilities, in, uh in virginia. In terms of my transition. Um from the from the military, i've always sort of had a an entrepreneurial, mindset, i think a lot of people think that, uh in the military. You're not, um, allowed to really bring good ideas to the to the table, and, and if you if you, see a problem. They actually do want you to jump in and find solutions, to solve these these problems in the military, in fact i would say it's important. Um for the military. Uh to. Um. To be a a. Highly productive. Um organization. Uh is because. People, will bring good ideas to the table, and, and many times, uh given, the autonomy. To, to work on these ideas and i think these these are, opportunities. And experiences, are that are very beneficial, to the, um to the entrepreneur. Um particularly if that's something that you're you're interested in, interested in interested in as you're transitioning, from the, um from the military.
To, Uh the private sector. Thanks so much for that charles, um, i'm really excited to be here with you and learning more about true genomics. As someone who is a mental health advocate. Uh, i think it's really important, the work that you're doing, and, again, excited to learn more about it, uh back to you jen can you, share more about the work that pbc, does to help, aspiring, veterans. For veteran entrepreneurs. Sure. So patriot boot camp was based off of the techstars. Model. Of they have a three-month. Accelerator. Program, and taylor was going through that at the time that he. Started, patriot boot camp so patriot boot camp traditionally, is a. Three-day. Intensive. Entrepreneurial. Program. Boot camp. Located. Around the united, states. And, traditionally. We bring in. About 50, entrepreneurs. It's an application. Based. Program, it is competitive. Uh, our most recent program, we had 431. Applications. For 50 spots. So it has grown, and. Become. Pretty popular, but what we do is we look for. Veterans. Military spouses. And. Service members, who are in that early, stage. So for insurance. Transitioning. Service members it's a great, way to. Start to find out um how well your business, idea, can. Um. Grow, and that's what we're here for now with covid we've transferred. Over to, virtual, like everyone else uh but that's been actually. A plus. We are doing, uh weekly, live lunch and learn so. Veterans who are even thinking about transitioning. Uh can come over to our website, and catch all the recordings, and the live ones to just. Talk about entrepreneurship. And figure out if this is something you want to do which is step one. And then if it is. You can apply to our programs. And we have one coming up in. Early. Q1. It's a patriot boot camp, brought to you by google for startup so we're excited for our partnership. Originally it was supposed to take place in atlanta. But it will be an awesome virtual, experience, over two days, and, uh everyone, listening all our friends can. Find out more information, at, patreonbootcamp.org. Awesome i'm excited for that, um. Now jen you've been working, a lot with, charles, and the pbc, team has as well over the years. We'd love to hear the story, about. How you've, been able to support, him, and to genomics.
Yeah So, i think what's really great is, uh, i still think of myself as an entrepreneur, first so that, the fact that charles and i are part of the original crew. Uh i laughed when we were both 18.. Um. Back. Many many years, uh i think it shows, to the audience, listening, that patriot bootcamp really does become a family. Uh when you're leaving the military. I would imagine, that is very hard leaving your unit your squadron. Uh your teammates, and in entrepreneurship. You need that, uh you cannot go at this alone. And that's what patriot bootcamp, becomes. Is your, new entrepreneurial. Family, so over the years. Charles fortunately we're also both in maryland, so. We've, stayed in touch, and. Really watched each other's companies, grow, and then. Charles even participated. In our. Patriot patreon, bootcamp, rise, program, last year which was for our alumni. And then, uh his company, has just been, exploding. So much that fortunately, he was also, part of our partnership, with google for startups for the google sales academy. So i'm sure charles can fill you in more on that but um. Really what patriot bootcamp, tries to do is give our entrepreneurs. Very practical, and tactical. Resources. And tools. We, they don't need the, motivational. Speech they're already motivated, they're already ready to go what we do in those three days is get down to business, and we set them up with, uh, a one-on-one. Mentorship. Program, so james you served as one of our mentors, and we'll be again which we're excited, about, but during those 25, minutes can be transformative. For these entrepreneurs, in their business, and they get to meet with multiple, mentors, during those three days. One-on-one, with their business plan so, and the mentors, can be. Anywhere from ceos. To entrepreneurs. To subject matter experts. Attorneys. Uh. You know, you name it we have it for. Mentors, who volunteer. Their time and typically when we travel travel expenses, to meet up and.
I Think when you ask anyone who's a pbc, alumni. It is, that. Part, of our program, that is the heart and soul that can really make a difference. And then the networking. Um, you know we really become your new. Uh entrepreneurial. Unit, and. Can be there, uh, during the program, and we are constantly. Uh, you know talking and fielding emails, from our. Thousand, one thousand plus alumni, now uh across, the world. Uh so it's it's a great organization. And we are proud to have so many incredible, alumni, like charles. And, charles from your vantage, point what was so special about partnering, pbc. And, can you share their impact, on you and your business. Yeah absolutely, so, as jen mentioned i i attended the first, um. A pbc, event, in. Uh 20, 2012, actually. Uh so i've had a relationship. With the organization. For you know, coming up on eight years. Um, and and that that actually occurred in dc. I was still active duty at the time, uh and it was just a tremendous, opportunity, for me to. Um, be able to work with uh mentors. And the faculty, at uh pbc. To, to just pitch my idea just to kind of let them know, what i was thinking about in terms of creating a business, after. My active duty um uh career. At that time i i thought i'd probably would be in, in the uh service. Another, uh. Two to three years i ended up being in for another five years. Uh but at the same time, that that five years, was, um. Was very helpful. In terms of me getting uh. Additional, skill sets and additional, experiences. Um, towards uh starting, starting my my business. But it was the experience, at pbc, that. Allowed, me or gave me the, reference point to think a little bit differently, about my approach, um, to. Business so i you know i'll be quite frank. The the, uh mentors. They don't hold any punches. So there's, a couple of different ideas that i was throwing around and at that time i was, very very very much interested, in, mental behavioral health particularly. Ways that we can help. Service members. And veterans, uh um, identify, when they're struggling with, mental health, disorders, such as ptsd. Much earlier because i felt that at the time. Um based off of the work that i was doing. Um, from an academic, standpoint, and also. The, areas i was, working with the organizations, i was working at. Uh that we we have a, a system, that works, that waits way too long before we intervene. In order to help veterans so i was very, excited, about. The technologies. That were out there and as i was searching for different technologies. It became very. Um. Clear, that. No matter how great the technology, is unless you can. Have sustainability. Around that. It's going to be difficult. To gain any traction, so a bit creating a business. To me was the best way. To. Um, ensure, that the sustainability. In terms of an intervention. And so that was very exciting to me, in terms of the prospects, of, uh, learning from the uh, from the mentors, and entrepreneurs, at patriot boot camp. Thanks so much for that charles, um, it sounds like it was, uh. Very. Difficult, transition. To to kind of go from. Idea. To, where you are today. For, the thousands of service members, who are, you know going through this transition, phase and are thinking about, entrepreneurship. What. You know what, questions, did you ask yourself. When deciding, between, being an employee, versus, being an employer slash, entrepreneur. That. Aspiring. Veterans or even active duty church. Active duty, transitioning, service members, can, ask themselves. Right well, you know i i think one of the the first things you want to really ask yourself, is, you know are you, um. Are you prepared. To. Put yourself. Through the. Um. I'll just say through the stress, of, starting a and building a company. Um because there it it is a tremendous, effort, you really don't know. Um, how much work it is until you're you're in it you think you may have an idea. But you don't and so yeah so you try it, um the great thing about it though is that um being a veteran, and someone who, spent 23 years in the. Active duty service. Um, that time prepares, you for entrepreneurship. In a number of different, ways. But just by the nature of a military, career it can be a bit of a stressful.
Career. Uh stressful, endeavor, from the standpoint. Of you know you're having to move every every few years. Obviously you can get deployed, you can be. Exposed to combat, and things of that nature. So resilience. Is something that's very, very important that you can that every veteran can take with them as they're thinking about. Moving into, entrepreneurship. The other thing i would say is that the. Leadership experience, you get leadership experience at a very young age in the military. I take myself for example. I went to the air force academy so i started my, military career when i was 17 years old. So that's pretty much been my my entire life and the great thing about it is even in that environment, you, you get to. Learn from other leaders you get to learn about. Leadership. And then when you transition, to active duty, then you you get to actually, uh apply. That training into a real, real world scenario. Uh. And so those things are going to be very important, for entrepreneurship. Um. The leadership. The resiliency, and the last thing i would say is just, just. Building the right team and teamwork. Military, also prepares you, for, working with other people it doesn't matter what their background. Is their ethnicity. Uh where they're from. Uh you have to figure out a way to work with them and, and. In a military typically not an issue you know this is something that just naturally, occurs. And, i think that's a skill, that is invaluable, in, today's world particularly as you're, looking to build a business, and you're building partnerships, and relationships, with other organizations. That that team and then building your own team, that teamwork, uh mindset is going to be very very instrumental. Definitely great questions, to ask yourself and also, um. Thank you for, just illuminating. Some of the. Internal, or innate. Uh qualities, that veterans, have. Just by virtue of being in the service. Um it also sounds like that you've obviously done really well and excelled in those areas to the point where, you've recently, been awarded. Uh capital from the google for startups, black founders funds so congratulations. Thank you for, being awarded. Uh, obviously, a huge accomplishment. Um. For those. Fellow entrepreneurs, that are thinking about raising, funding. Uh. You know what tips would you have. Uh for them, as they, venture into, the, raising capital, part of their their, business. Yeah absolutely. So the opportunity, to get the award from from google, as a black founder was was an honor. Um so very excited, uh by that opportunity. You know i would say. Veterans. Military. Members if you're looking to. Become an entrepreneur. Um. Fundraising, is is a lot of work. So it comes back to what i was saying earlier about, having. Resiliency. Um, because you're you're gonna get turned down. Quite a bit as you're, as you're fundraising. But one thing i learned is that it's very very important. Um. To. Build relationships. Uh and so a lot of that is really identifying, who are the right investors, for your company who's, interested in what you're doing. Um who's interested in maybe investing, in in veterans, uh specifically. Uh and then you're gonna have to do some work and some research to to find those. Um those investors. And but it can be done and it's a lot of work you may have to talk to. Several hundred, investors, before you find one that that says. Yes, and you're just gonna have to accept that's going to be the, um. Something that you have to do. So with that in mind just being organized, that will take you very far so have a plan, all the things you learn in military, have a plan. Be organized. Execute, on that plan.
And Build and make sure you're building relationships. And last one for you what. Products, or tools, or even programs, that, you have access, now. Um that you'd recommend. To aspiring, veteran entrepreneurs. That may or may not have existed, when you were first starting off. Yeah. Absolutely. Well you know we use a number of different uh google. Um, products and services. We use google works workspace. Um that's very important to our business in terms of having us organized, and, having access to uh, the entire team having access to email. Google meet. Obviously. Being able to. Put together your your presentations. Uh to pitch investors, and things of that nature. Uh i will also say that um. The. This is the best time to be an entrepreneur. Um. There are so many different resources, that are that are out there. There, um there are a lot of. Different, um. Local resources. That you can plug into. Um right in your backyard, i'll use myself for an example we're in a dc metro, area. Uh there are a tremendous amount of resources, if you're a biotech, company. Whether. Those resources, are in maryland, and or virginia, and for for example we have. Our corporate headquarters, in maryland but we have labs in virginia. And we also, have a lot of partnerships, and relationships, within the within dc, so we try to take, take advantage, of. All the different local. Resources because they're there. In order, to for you to be successful, and create jobs in the local economy. So they want to see you succeed. So you're gonna have to do a little bit of homework to find out who are the who are the people who are working in, in these areas who are there to support, um small businesses. And make sure you contact, them and see what resources, are available. And speaking of resources. Jen, uh i know you. You at, and, pvc. Have a ton of them to. Uh, to essentially. Give away, or, uh. Have veteran entrepreneurs, have access to so what would y'all. Usually, recommend. And. Um what do you use when working with your entrepreneurs. Yeah uh, my team knows that and in fact two of my team members, were part of my company. Back in the day and they hear me say like oh, man if this was available, when i had my company, it's almost, almost, making me want to go back and do it all again.
But Working with google, i mean it's a dream come true, uh so. But the coolest part is pbc, is really the the microphone. To, google for startups. Uh products, and. Opportunities. The same with grow with google, so, please if you're listening check out both of those on google's websites, because there's. An unbelievable. Amount of help and resources. That were not available. Back in the day now i sound like the parent who says i hiked both ways to school in the snow. Uphill, but. We just have this incredible, honor, of now sharing those resources, and opportunities. Uh with our entrepreneurs. But also in addition to, pbc. And google for startups. Something that really helped me when i was going through this, as charles said it is the hardest thing you're ever going to do, without a doubt but it's it's rewarding, and it's it's amazing. Um, is score, so fortunately, for me a score, is part of sba. And it's a free program, and i learned about it at an entrepreneurial. Conference, back in the day, when i heard a gentleman. Walt abbott speaking, about all the benefits, free benefits, to. Entrepreneurs. And i had to go check it out for myself, to make sure it was the real deal and it is. So for those of you who are listening, check out your local, score, office as charles said. A good. Plan of attack, is, local. Even though you might be reaching, clients, nationally. Or building a national, presence for your company. I agree with his strategy, is go local, first, and, um, so score, offers, uh local. Offices. And then also, you know. We encourage, everyone to reach out to our, brother and sister organizations. Bunker labs, uh, ivmf. Institute of veteran and military, families up at syracuse. Each of our organizations. Wants you to participate. With all of us you're gonna get something different, from all of us and the biggest, most important resource. Is just, the one you reach out to. Make sure that like charles said you're getting your ideas out there you're sharing with a mentor, you're meeting up with fellow entrepreneurs.
It Is essential. Uh back to what charles, and you know james thinking about you guys in your. Veteran training can you imagine trying to go through the military, alone, it's the same thing with entrepreneurship. You need to build your team you need to have a unit. That's what patriot boot camp is here for. We are a family, but we also, need you and want you to take advantage. And use those other free resources, that are available. Really to figure out if this is what you want to do. And. I know we're coming back at a time so. Then let's start with you any parting, tips, or, words of wisdom, for those tuning in. Sure, so uh, as we talked about entrepreneurship. It is hard, uh we're not gonna, you know i think that's the best part of when we go to patreon bootcamps, we don't have to sugarcoat, it and we don't have to do many motivational. Speeches. Uh you're probably, watching, this because you are interested or you are an entrepreneur, you need to take the next step. And the next step is getting involved, getting involved in the veteran, and military, spouse entrepreneurial, community. Whether it's through google for startups, grow with google page your bootcamp. Whatever, it is. We need you to reach out to us and get your idea going get your company, started. As i mentioned earlier, we are thrilled to have our. Uh, first program, in 2021. We'll be. Presented by google for startups, originally, it was supposed to be in atlanta, and we're all bummed that we can't meet in person yet. Uh but we have a fantastic. Virtual. Uh, program, instead. And, we still have a lot of the same things, uh, for. Our traditions, here at patreon bootcamp, you still get to meet one-on-one, with your mentors. You still get a really cool patriot bootcamp, class t-shirt, and some other. Fun things so. Please reach out uh the information, will be on, patreonbootcamp.org. And, if you need to reach out to me through info, at, patreonbootcamp.org. But, we're here for you for that next step in your transition, and we wish you the best. And charles, what about you sir. Yeah, obviously as a company that's involved in, mental health. I would say first thing you know you want to think about self-care. Um being an entrepreneur, i mean that's uh, it's difficult, um, and. You may, you may be working every day, um, and, if you don't have some first of all some boundaries. Um and also some some different ways that you can relieve some of that stress. Obviously, military, community they're used to, working out and doing exercise, that's something that i would encourage. People to continue doing if they're not, you have to take the time to do those things and to take care of yourself. So that you can perform. Um not only you know for for yourself but for your team um particularly if you're going to be leading that, that company. Um and the the other thing uh, i can't emphasize, enough, jen mentioned it i might, mention it earlier. Um, have the right team in place um you're going to be spending. More time. Uh with your co-founders. Or. Their, early, employees, than you than you may with your your own family so. Make sure, you there's a common set of shared values that you that you have with the individuals, that you're bringing to the team early because that's going to really set the culture. Um for your company. Uh moving forward. Um so i i can't um, again i can't emphasize, that enough having, um, those right uh people in place that will sort of sharpen you. And then you have those shared, uh common values with and, the last thing i would say is that um. Celebrate, the the small wins this is something i struggle with i'm very. Goal, and milestone. Oriented. I check something off a checklist, and then i move on to the next thing. And i don't i don't celebrate, i don't sit back to.
Just. Reflect, on, what it has taken to get that to that particular, goal of milestone. Even if it's for a day or or two, or for a weekend. Just sit back, enjoy the win, uh for example. Us getting the award, for google, someone had to remind me hey that's a great, thing. Just, enjoy the win. Um as opposed, to all right, check that's great got that move on to the next thing. Uh so those are the three things i would i would encourage everyone who's looking at entrepreneurship. To to continue, doing if they're not doing that already. Thank you both normally, i would jot down one or two nuggets, but i think for this particular, session. I'm gonna have to rewatch it later because there was just a bunch of them, that is applicable. To, my. Personal, professional, lives. Well, thank you all for joining us today, for build an online presence for your veteran-led, business. We hope you enjoyed, your experience. And learn some tips to grow your business online. Also, huge thank you to our two special guests jen and charles. Thank you so much for sharing your stories today. And your advice, for, aspiring, veteran entrepreneurs. You can find all of our follow-up resources, on the same page you're watching in the resources, tab. Above the video player, you can also, access a recording of today's, session by clicking on demand. At g dot co slash grow on air. We'll be sending a follow-up, email with a survey for you to fill out regarding, your experience, in the virtual workshop today. So it's really important to get your feedback so we can quickly improve these sessions. And offer, content, that is most helpful, to other learners. Thanks again for joining grow with google. And from all of us at google. Happy, national, veteran small business week, we'll see you. Soon.