Many women dream of starting their own business some day, and the itch to pursue this path may intensify when a career setback presents itself. Is heading in a new direction and creating a new business the right answer? Check out these tips to become a powerful, independent female entrepreneur.
Starting your own business takes determination
The idea of working for yourself is an attractive one, but the reality can be overwhelming. Starting a solo business feels intense, especially if you have a family that is reliant on your steady income and that of a spouse or partner. Those female entrepreneurs who are ultimately successful make serious commitments to the path. You will work long hours (possibly weekends) and invest your own money. Don’t forget about customers or clients. The success of your business is dependent upon how well the strategies you use work to attract customers. You will need to invest in advertising and marketing, and tap into your existing network of contacts and business professionals. There may be times when you have to step out of your comfort zone and add a personal touch by meeting potential clients in person, sometimes even traveling by plane using your own funds. Taking your business from an idea to reality is hard work, but remember, almost everybody will face some obstacles and setbacks along the way.
Despite the potential obstacles, starting your own business can be a successful venture. It is important to believe success is possible, and women who are successful often make an effort to listen to as many people as possible to gain insight. Talking with friends, family members, and former co-workers about your ideas can provide some valuable feedback as you work toward developing your new business. Perhaps you know a woman who has successfully started her own business. Don’t be afraid to pick her brain and ask about the challenges she faced being a female diving into the world of business. Times have changed but women business owners still face more of an uphill battle when it comes to facing off against their male counterparts.
Research the options and consider what may be the best fit
These days, there is a wealth of opportunities available to women when it comes to starting your own business. Some people look to franchise opportunities, like shops or restaurants, while others begin businesses such as tutoring or child care services. There are online opportunities, which allow you to work from home, both in the consumer and business-to-business markets.
The key initial steps are to think about your potential business ideas and research everything involved with developing the business. Check out the competition, the need for your service or offering in your community, and be sure to investigate what would be involved in starting up your business, especially if licensing or training is needed.
Dig into the specifics before committing
It is important to put together a business plan before moving ahead. This plan should break down the business’s purpose, plans for pricing and marketing, the target customer and competition, and where you expect to be financially over the next few years. You also need to consider what business structure to choose. Options include a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company, as these decisions will impact your tax planning. At this point, consulting a financial or tax expert may be a useful move.
There is a lot of paperwork to be done in these early stages, and you will need to check your local statutes regarding registration and license requirements. Depending on your business type, there may be trademarks and other details like that to handle. Reach out to professionals who can lend accounting, legal, and tax insight and don’t forget about potential insurance needs.
Consider the financial aspect when choosing a new business
Money is certainly a consideration when starting your own business, and even more so due to the fact that women entrepreneurs receive 80 percent less first-year financing capital than men. Keeping this in mind, first-time entrepreneurs might want to consider ventures that require little upfront funding. For example, if you have a passion for animals, you might start a dog walking and/or pet sitting business. Companies like Rover.com make it easy to get a business going in the pet care field and you can do so with little to no startup capital.
Career setbacks can be frustrating and discouraging, but they can also provide the opportunity to head in a new direction and start a new business. Some women find success with businesses such as child care or tutoring while others embrace consulting, retail, or franchise ventures. Whatever path you choose to follow, put in the legwork on the front end to ensure that your plan is detailed and executable. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and become your own boss.
Guest post by Gloria Martinez: Gloria Martinez started WomenLed.org to celebrate the advancements women have made and inspire women to become entrepreneurs and seek promotions in the workplace.
[Image by gillie1864/Pixabay]