Veteran Entrepreneur Explains How Focusing Helped Him Succeed

Knight Solutions

Knight Solutions – Kevin Knight (center; gray shirt) with one of his landscaping crews.

Kevin Knight, the founder and CEO of Knight Solutions, was honorably discharged from the Army due to a training injury, but he’s found another way to serve his country: by employing veterans to maintain military cemeteries.

Earlier this year, he won the U.S. Small Business Association’s Virginia Small Business Person of the Year award for growing his contracting company’s revenue 1,400% in just three years and for helping veterans transition to civilian life.

In 2009, he created a new vision for the company: one dedicated to hiring veterans. He quit his job to work on it full time.

From 2009 to 2012, Knight took Knight Solutions from a little over $1 million in annual revenue to $16.3 million. He credits the tremendous growth to a key decision to transform his general landscaping company into one specializing in recruiting veterans to renovate national cemeteries for fallen soldiers.

As he looked for projects to tackle, Knight learned from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that there were over 100 national cemeteries in need of renewal and maintenance. When he considered this largely untapped niche market in the context of high post-9/11 veteran unemployment, he realized that he had a perfect business opportunity that could not only be profitable, but meaningful.

Knight recruits vets through the VA’s Compensated Work Therapy program, as well as through a local veterans’ group and the Wounded Warrior Project. “We’re hiring people who care about these cemeteries,” he tells BI. The cemetery projects give veterans transitioning to civilian life a chance to reflect on their service and revitalize the graves of forgotten soldiers.

Read more at Business Insider

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