Being in the military can sometimes test the mettle of even the strongest individuals, but when you feel supported, the challenges that you face can seem more conquerable. You go into battle as a unit, never on your own—and while the home front may not present nearly the same degree of difficulties, it can often feel as though you’re on a solo mission unless you know who, exactly, will be your ally when you need one.
Helping you find those allies is the very mission behind the newly launching website bizvets.biz, which acts much like the well-known Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor sites. Connecting everyone from small businesses and service providers to military advocacy organizations, bizvets.biz is a one-stop site that puts countless resources at your fingertips, literally within a few clicks of a mouse. It even serves to create an online community of other service members so that you may be more aware of fellow vets who might live nearby in your area.
The focus is a local one, of course, so that you can tap into everything available in your area and take advantage of military discounts, special pricing events, and specialized services targeting members of the military community. It’s an amazing resource for the men and women of the armed forces and their families, but it’s also a great boon to local businesses and an ideal way to encourage new clients to learn more about their offerings.
“Currently, there is no prevalent service that allows customers to search out and connect with local veteran-friendly or veteran-owned businesses; and our research has identified a huge untapped market of veterans, active duty military, and their families who would all very much appreciate the opportunity to deal with veteran-friendly businesses,” says Tim Shank, co-creator of bizvets.biz. A service-minded individual himself, Shank has had many years of working on a one-on-one basis with countless members of the military when they come to him seeking out insurance. And while he may play the lead role in his Clarksville-based office for Shelter Insurance Group, Shank was more than willing to team up with website wizard Don Wood after the pair had a conversation with Sherri Pickering during which the Director of Montgomery County Veterans Coalition shone a spotlight on the unmet demand for such a service-minded service site.
With his years in web analytics and design as the owner of Next Century Consulting, Wood’s proficiency in all things web-based made him an ideal partner; and over the next months, Shank and Wood invested both time and personal finances to research, refine, and launch the website that would ultimately become bizvets.biz. “We knew it was crucial to do it right and to make it simple so that it would be reliable and user-friendly, so we really took everything into account in getting it to work across all operating platforms and on all devices,” Wood explains.
More than simply a business-minded move, the desire to create the website was also personally driven, as Shank’s son is a Marine, while Wood’s father served in the Army Aircorp. “We saw a real need, and we felt a burden to meet that need. This is a great way to serve those who serve us so selflessly, and that’s a true honor,” Shank says.
The concept itself is a simple one. Users simply sign up—free of charge—and navigate the site to search by business name, category, or use the BizVet EZ Finder to search by keyword. Businesses, service providers, and organizations with listings on the site may then connect directly with their potential clients and provide them with the solutions they need; and that connection is unique in that it caters specifically to the military community. “Our users are simply consumers who need a service or are wishing to make a purchase, yet they do not know what service organizations are available to meet their need or which veteran-friendly business is available locally to sell them the product or service—often with military discounts,” Wood says. “None of the existing online databases focus specifically on veterans and active-duty military to promote local options; so what our site offers is certainly unique in that respect.”
So, too, is their desire to give back. “We see this as a unique opportunity to do something important for these individuals. Therefor a portion of the proceeds from the vendors and business members signed up on the site is being donated to support the Veterans’ Coalition, which provides valuable services to the military community. It’s a fitting way for us to operate,” says Shank. “At the end of the day, this is a service honoring those who have served our country, and we want to do that in every way possible.”
One simple click, and the reinforcements are called in to make life at home a little less complicated of a mission. And as this website grows in its reach, it shows great potential to connect greater networks of users to one another in communities all across the country as they navigate the challenges to find everything they need when they need it the most.
To learn more about becoming a member or provider, log onto www.bizvets.biz.