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My Plan - Make the Govt Pay Me

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Lex DeVille, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille CAUTION! I hurt people's feelings... Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    It's been several months since I attempted importing. My wife left for Active Duty military and things have been crazy. I chose not to move forward with this due to the uncertainty of upcoming months but did successfully import items and learn a lot. At the present I am still in KS, but have finally discovered where we will be moving and have re-evaluated my Fastlane plan. So here it goes...

    BACKGROUND: I've stopped CL/Ebay hustling in favor of working a minimal part-time job (10-15hr/wk max) and selling my art hobby to create base capital for the new business. Since I'm familiar with the military and have access to all U.S. Military installations as a military spouse, the business needs to take advantage of this. The business also needs to be able to stand on its own without me in just a couple of years as we will probably move around a bit.

    THE GOAL: Create a State Approved Urban Defense & Security Specialist credentialing program available to civilians, military & law enforcement with Residency & Distance Ed. training programs. Then seek approval through MYCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts) & Dept. of VA & other financial aid resources so tuition can be paid for by education benefits instead of out of pocket.

    STEP 1 - Create the foundation then grow it.

    My Foundation - I'm a former Army Sgt. who previously served 4 years with 10th Special Forces Group and has put in countless hours of study in survival, security, tactics, intelligence etc. I do not have a degree, but do have over 50 certificates in advanced training such as Evasive Driving, Bomb Search methods, Disaster Response etc. As of this year I'm also an E.C.S.I. Lifesaving Instructor & Combatives Instructor. In the near future I plan to enlist in the Army Reserves for additional credentialing power and will attend an extensive Security Protection program using the GI BILL.

    Why is all of that important? It really doesn't matter how good I am at these things, but our clients want to feel confident that they are learning the best from the best.

    The Business Foundation - Before November I will create an L.L.C. in the new State and begin acquiring appropriate business licenses so I can hit the ground running. Obtaining State Approval as a certification program is going to take time and a lot of work, so until our curriculum is fully developed I will be offering Self Defense & First Aid courses both on & off base to build additional capital. Not only will this create income, it will give the local community a taste of what we offer. Basically we'll wet their appetite with entry level courses so they can see the VALUE in our credentialing programs.

    STEP 2 - PREPPING FOR GROWTH

    Instructors - In order to offer an education program we have to have "competent instructors". Instructors do not have to be certified teachers since what we are offering is not regulated in the same way as elementary or college programs. The State's only qualification is that they be competent in their field of knowledge. To meet this need I will seek out 2 - 3 employees who are either Reservists or Veterans with appropriate experience and will train them in my curriculum.

    State Approval - With Instructors on board and completion of all curriculum requirements we can apply for state approval for our certifications. Now we can offer ourselves as an "Approved Program through (State) Department of Higher Education". We can start offering our courses and can accept financial aid from students, creating our first opportunity for real growth.

    (NOTE: Gaining Approval with the state is a strong entry barrier)


    MYCAA Approval - As a state approved program we can now apply to MYCAA Military Spouse financial aid for their approval. MYCAA offers spouses of service members on Active Duty up to $4000 as a grant to pay for higher education. :) With State & MYCAA approval we'll start looking pretty official. :coolgleamA:

    I won't explain the intricacies of our programs but we will definitely offer an option that falls in the $4000 range. This part of the program will be marketed specifically to military spouses and will create the second opportunity for large growth as we now have a demographic that no longer has to pay out of pocket!

    STEP 3 - TIME FOR THE FASTLANE

    VA Approval - This is not listed in STEP 2 because in order for a "For Profit" Certification Program to even be considered it has to be in operation for 2 years continuously with students actively being taught during that time.

    (This is a VERY STRONG barrier for entry)


    Now the good part - In 2011 the Post 9-11 GI Bill benefits (Keep in mind this is only one type of VA benefits) were used by over 500,000 Veterans. The Dept. of VA paid out over 8 BILLION DOLLARS for education programs. Again, I don't have a degree (though I almost have enough credits for a Bachelors) but even 1 percent of those benefits = $80000000.00.

    But I will need a lot of students to get anywhere near that! :(

    Instructor Training Program - This may be my favorite part. In order to put a lot of students through the program we need more instructors. We also need more locations. The problem is I don't want to pay more than my 2 - 3 instructors at the corporate location. To solve this I'll create an instructor training program that can be taught to ANYONE regardless of experience. It will require some kind of reoccurring payment (such as a monthly due) and they will have to visit the corporate office to take the course in person. This way we ensure they are receiving quality instruction and have learned the curriculum.

    Once they are certified as an Instructor they can immediately return to where they came from and begin teaching as one of our branch locations. The company will already be approved by the certifying agencies so branch offices operating in our name can immediately start accepting benefits without going through the 2 year wait!

    FASTLANE EXIT
    At this point we are reaching A LOT of people and can quickly spread our brand / name meaning big money FAST. There are also countless other opportunities available here or I can sell the company and retire.

    SUMMARY

    - Start the Business & set the foundation
    - Offer base courses & create initial value
    - Hire Instructors to promote growth
    - Get approved by State (Strong Barrier)
    - Get approved by MYCAA (Strong Barrier)
    - Get approved by VA (Strongest Barrier)
    - Create value by offering training that students don't pay for out of pocket
    - Create value by offering certifications leading to future employment opportunities
    - Create value by creating employment for Veterans and Civilians
    - Tap into scale by expanding the business and reaching large numbers of students
    - Tap into magnitude by offering tuition based programs (one of our programs will start around $10,000)
    - Grow big, grow fast, and get off at the next exit all while letting my money work for me.

    The end goal is to pull this off within 3 - 5 years max.

    I'm sure somethings still need worked out, and I definitely left a few important details out :smug2: but you get the general idea, and of course that is all part of the process! Now it's time to get back to action. I've spent too much time typing this and have phone calls to make!

    Thoughts are welcome.
     
  2. Mike Kavanagh
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    Mike Kavanagh Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Your demographics do not just include military personnel or high-risk civys. Look at preppers, they are the one largest consumers of tactical training and tactical goods.

    Also take a look at the competition within your state. If you're in one of the Carolinas,or east coast in general, your direct competition is Academi (Blackwater, Xe Corp).

    I don't know where you're at but I know if I want to go learn something along the lines of tactical building clearing, I'd go to Academi. They have 3k acres of land to offer various different trainings. Survival and Evasion, Night Ops, Run-N-Gun pistol and AR/M4/M16 range, etc...

    If I had $5k to blow I'd more than likely go down there. What can you offer better than them(They bought land out west, 'nother 3-5k acres I believe)? Are there any other groups like this in your state?

    In the mid-west you have Dave Canterbury and the Pathfinder School, No run-n-gun but solid survival and tracking.
    James Yeager is another option, west coast I think.

    One thing I noticed is the lack of hand to hand combat training options. I'd look at getting a Krav Maga(H2H) or Kali/Eskrima instructor.

    Sorry for slamming all this info down, this is one of my passions in life. I couldn't join the military due to a broken foot set incorrectly, severely affected my running and body weight. Kinda mad that I wont be able to HALO jump in my life.

    Thank you completely for your service to this country.
     
  3. SeanKelly
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    SeanKelly Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Thank you for you and your wife's service
     
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  4. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille CAUTION! I hurt people's feelings... Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Mike,

    Thanks for the input!

    I've checked for other tactical & survival schools near our location. There is one several hours from us, but it isn't offering a comprehensive program and is mainly geared toward a few select skill sets. They've been in operation for several years but there are a few huge advantages we'll have over them. Our corporate office will be located only a few miles off a military base (we'll acquire land for training as needed) so we'll have direct access to troops/families new to the area. They aren't accepting any form of financial assistance as payment. This is a big one. As you said yourself "If I had $5,000 to blow". What if you don't? Who will train you then? We will because we accept FA & other forms of payment! :D They aren't approved by the state and don't offer any credentials.

    One other big advantage is that they are mainly looking for military / police / preppers etc. We will offer programs to those groups but will also be offering a different kind of program that feels less intimidating so those without experience such as spouses and civilians won't shy away. This is key since the spouses have access to the govt. grant and civilians can use Financial Aid. Oh yeah and we'll be offering a distance ed. program!

    We'll offer H2H Combatives training (self-defense for the low intensity programs). We use a non-sport, highly effective system developed out of WWII & Modern Military Combatives as well as other styles. Basically it keeps what works from other programs, gets rid of things that don't, and can be used by anyone of any size / gender. There are a few more things that set it apart and make it superior to other systems (both in theory and practice) but that is for another time. :cool:

    Probably the biggest advantage we'll have over others is that we aren't competing with them for customers. If we can start getting in with the military spouse community then the soldier boys will follow. I can only imagine if my wife said "Hey I can use my spouse money for this cool defense / tactical / etc. training... Want to train with me?" She wouldn't have to ask twice.

    Have you tried regular skydiving instead of HALO? It may not be 30k feet but 12 - 14k feet is still pretty good fall!
     
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  5. Mrs. BRKb
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    Mrs. BRKb Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Hiya, S.L.! The mil vet network is growing, so you are in a great position to get support for your growing business.

    - Broughton Advisory does a free monthly biz webinar. (Larry B., CEO Broughton Hotels, was a SF guy.)

    - FYI, SEAL Larry Yatch has a business a bit akin to yours in Minnesota - SealedMindset.

    - NaVOBA - National Veteran-Owned Business Association.

    - Insider Call; Insider membership required - Selling products and services to the U.S. Federal Government.

    - https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/ed...eneurship-resources-us-military-veterans.html .
     
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  6. Mike Kavanagh
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    Mike Kavanagh Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Oh god I would love to, I've done something similar but it was more liken to tandem bungee jumping. However my caveat is I like to do stuff that isn't normally possible like halo jumping where you need a complete breathing apparatus.



    Aside from being several hours from you and you taking FFA and GI Money, have you checked their reviews to see if there is any negative feedback?

    I know there is a TTC north of me that has major complaints of being sexist and not pacing themselves to the needs of the group. Not bringing everyone up to speed or proficiency with the task they are trying to accomplish.


    Tactical training courses can definitely be a fastlane once you know how to scale. Even the time commandment can be procured once you get big enough to bring some of you specfor brothers in. That way you can focus on something else. I think if you hype enough you could probably brand it.


    I would also like to say that the reason why Academi is so popular is because of what Blackwater did in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     
  7. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille CAUTION! I hurt people's feelings... Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I'll check into the reviews and see if they have any negative feedback. Glad you pointed that out.

    EGO Plays a huge role in what we do, and is a big part of why we can market to more than just the military. Our systems are easy to learn and we leave the EGO at home. This is also a foundational aspect of the combatives program I teach. Our goal is to teach people what works, and get rid of the rest. You can't learn the things that work if you come in with an attitude of superiority thinking you know it all. We DON'T know it all and are open to learning and implementing new methods if someone brings something to our attention that works better than the way we teach it.

    Most of the training programs out there are very intimidating for people who have never taken a course like this. We need to be different and teach in a different way because we will be training people who may not have any training at all. First impressions will play a big role, so I'm working on developing a logo, and website that won't scare people off as soon as they enter. We want to attract a different crowd so we have to approach things from a different view.

    Academi's website does very well at creating a professional image that isn't "in your face" as soon as you enter, yet they still seem to be marketing mainly to people with prior experience in these fields. I had my wife visit the Academi site and a couple of others and she liked theirs the best. The other sites had darker colors and were harder to navigate. Not to mention having M-4's and explosives being the first thing you see!

    I have some branding ideas, but they've kind of been at the back of my mind lately. Just getting through the phone calls is killer as no one seems to know where to transfer for what I'm looking for. I did finally get through to the VA rep I needed and got the ball rolling, but it took several hours.
     
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  8. Clayton
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    If this is a credential program, what are the credentials typically used for?
     
  9. Mike Kavanagh
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    Several things, including security professionals, bodyguard training, escape and evasion(Recommended to anyone going to South America or anywhere in Africa besides the south).

    It can be "continuing education" to any Secret Service, FBI, CIA members who commonly use firearms, tactical driving techniques, etc...

    Just a numerous amount of things can apply to this. I'd like someone who I would hire to protect me to be certified in Tac-driving and Small arms firefights. Then again I would like to be cert'd myself.
     
  10. Clayton
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    Is there a certifying body then?

    I'm just asking because I remember seeing a school that was churning out security guards and then helping them find placement. Actually, this particular school that I saw was in trouble because they were promising placement, but not finding it. Besides that though, they were getting a lot of people paying to improve their lives through this career education. I'm also pretty familiar with how truck driving schools use a similar approach.
     
  11. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille CAUTION! I hurt people's feelings... Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Certifying body may vary by state but my state falls under the dept of public safety for those professions. We won't be promising placement but that doesn't mean we won't have a well developed network of resources to help people out.
     
  12. Clayton
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    The only reason I mention the placement was that it was bringing in a ton of people. Now I guess they were supposed to be promising placement assistance instead of placement, but it was the amount of people they were putting through the school that impressed me.
     
  13. Rabby
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    So, it's been 5 years and I see you're doing other things. Did this project go by the wayside? My classes also have a high barrier to entry; I'm in the education business so to speak. If you're not working on this anymore, what made you decide it was not the right project?
     
  14. Lex DeVille
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    Lex DeVille CAUTION! I hurt people's feelings... Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Jesus, it's been 5 years since I posted this! Didn't realize it was that long ago. Kind of cool looking back at how different my path went. The school idea hasn't slipped my mind. We discussed it the other day on my email newsletter.

    I chose not to pursue it as described above. I don't remember why. Probably because we were in transition with the military and moving around. I still think it's a good idea.

    There are some challenges with getting approved for military funding depending on the kind of school you create. Also there are challenges with getting accredited as a school offering degree programs. You need a physical location, and qualified staff too.

    If I were doing this today I'd approach it a little differently..

    1) I would open a vocational (trade) school and offer certificate programs, not degrees
    2) I would limit the subjects taught to 1-5 programs that can be taught online
    3)
    I would set up the business in a state with easier requirements for schools (like Texas)
    4) I'd seek accreditation as early as possible (usually a 2 year wait)
    5) I'd start enrolling students as soon as possible because of the 2 year wait

    I'm not sure if vocational schools are eligible for GI Bill or MYCAA. But once they're accredited either regionally or nationally they can accept regular ole financial aid. That means federal student loans and also pell grant. If you set it up as an online trade school you can potentially operate it as a single person without any staff or physical location.

    This guy has a breakdown of the process (though it may be a bit dated).
     
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  15. Rabby
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    Rabby Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Cool. Depending on your state laws, you can avoid regulation of classes by your state's DOE by offering them as "personal development" classes -- meaning they are not marketed in such a way that employers rely on them to make hiring decisions, or students assume they will get jobs as a result of them. For your starting-out classes, maybe this would lower the compliance burden.

    Also, a different government department may regulate different classes. For example in my state, Department of Business and Professional Regulation would approve security guard course providers (for various classes of security license). But Department of Agriculture regulates other firearms-related classes, such as concealed carry and hunter safety classes. In both cases, Department of Education has no jurisdiction.

    Another thing, if you pick this back up. Universities and other educational institutions may partner with you to offer classes. I have a university contract ongoing, and some industry associations wrapping up deals. Making a deal with another organization starts with "hmm... I wonder what they want." Turns out, they usually want a few bucks per student, or some benefit to their members or students. They're willing to help market a class, delegate some legal authority for designations or certifications, and/or give you space to hold your classes. If you can show an organization (read: the guy/gal making decisions there) some value and find common interest, interesting things become possible.
     
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