BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

Posted by egehl on May 10, 2010

Lately I have spoken with a number of friends who are self-employed, artists, consultants or jack-of-all-trades.  All of them are interested in starting their own business or turning their craft into a money maker, but feel a bit overwhelmed on how to reach their goals.  Each one is happy they have followed their passions however they are struggling financially and hoping to create and cultivate a stronger business venture. 

Women-owned small businesses are increasing in number, range, diversity and earning power.  As women business owners expand their companies, they contribute to the growth of our national economy which is more important than ever. And luckily it seems that now is a great time for women to start their own business because there is less competition and available low interest rates. 

Many women fantasize about starting their own venture because they can focus on what they love to do with the freedom of making their own schedule, and being their own boss.   Women start their own business for a variety of reasons including motherhood and desiring a better work-life balance, craving more autonomy in their professional life, not finding the right job opportunity, or realizing they can offer a niche that needs to be filled. 

Women with a keen and focused entrepreneurial spirit should follow their dreams now because ironically a good time to start a business is during a bad economy.  And this is positive news for the many women who have lost their jobs, have been unable to find new employment, or are ready to think more creatively about other options.

If you are thinking about becoming self-employed either by creating a small business or doing free-lance work here are some tips to keep in mind (and for more resources check out Womanowned.com):

Self-Assess

There are a number of things you have to consider before diving into starting your own business.  How old you are will affect your business goals.  You must come to terms with having no job security for a while and nothing to fall back on if times get tough.  In addition you should ask yourself a few questions such as, Does starting a business match up with your lifestyle and personal goals?  Are you prepared to handle the risk? What are your personal wealth goals?

Brainstorm and Research Ideas

Research your idea and find out if it fills a needed niche in your community.  Your first idea may not be the best therefore adjust your plans accordingly to figure out your product or service, and how to provide it effectively.   Then figure out if your final idea will generate money and offer you real financial security. 

Understand the Market

Decide what type of business you should start and whether something similar already exists. It could be more advantageous to buy an existing business or merge with one, instead of starting a brand new one. 

Start-Up Funding

Every new business needs start-up capital. You will have to research and understand whether loans, credit, or savings will help get your business off the ground.  You can make the process easier by understanding what you need and how to manage it.  This aspect of your start-up process is very important because you want to make a sound financial decision that will give you needed capital, yet not be an unwise investment. 

Networking, networking, networking

It’s important to build relationships with many people so that your business can succeed.  Tell a lot of people about your immerging venture because marketing is key to any successful venture.  Get out in the community often and seek free ways to showcase your work such as festivals, fundraisers and volunteering. 

Seek Professional Help

If you lack strong business and marketing skills, it may be worth taking a class or seeking professional assistance from an expert.  For those women without a business background, they are prone to focusing solely on their area of expertise and not enough on the business side such as marketing, auditing, cash flows and maintaining clients. 

Join local networking groups, business associations and professional organizations to meet other like-minded individuals.  In addition, engage in peer-to-peer learning with other entrepreneurs who can share their experiences and advice.

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One Response to “Advice for Women Entrepreneurs”

  1. joyinhome said

    Thank you for this article. As women, many of us would prefer to use our professional skills to further our passions but it requires doing your homework, dedication and a plan. These are great tips and should be helpful to those women who are considering striking out on their own,

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