BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Posts Tagged ‘small business’

BPW/NC Provides Grants to Women Veterans

Posted by YWM on July 17, 2014

NC grantsIn 2014 BPW/NC launched a grant program to provide funding to women veteran professionals or business owners in North Carolina to be used for training, startup capital or business related expenses. During BPW/NC’s recent convention, $500 grants were awarded to MSgt Barbara J. Bozeman, USAF (Ret.) and Tina Smith, USA (E-4 Specialist).

Ms. Bozeman joined the Air Force because she knew she wanted a career and ended up staying for over twenty years. The most important lesson she learned in the military was that regardless of the circumstances, she was never alone, and that she was responsible to and responsible for everyone with whom she served. This gave her both a great sense of freedom to grow as an individual and as a leader. She plans to use the Women Veteran Grant to create a more professional display for her photography business, Sights and Hounds Photography.

When Ms. Smith was in the 9th grade she knew she wanted to be a soldier and enrolled in the Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps program. She has gone on to obtain a Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Service and a Master’s of Science of in Organizational Management Leadership. Her career goal has always been to use her degrees to help others out. She plans to use the Women Veteran Grant to help boost her business, Germacide Cleaning Solutions.


Posted in Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Small Business, Uncategorized, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Benefits of Mentoring for Women Veterans

Posted by YWM on May 7, 2014

Testimony of Dawn Smith, Joining Forces Mentoring Plus mentee, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, May 7,2014.

Dawn SmithMr. Chair, Madam Ranking Member, and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here today. My name is Dawn Smith. I am the Founder and CEO of Mystic Reme Teas in Greenville, South Carolina, and testifying today on behalf of Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.

As a woman veteran who recently started my own business, I hope my experiences can be helpful to the committee as you examine which government and nonprofit programs can best assist and meet the unique needs of women veterans as they transition back to civilian life.

I am very proud of my military service. I served in the Air Force for eight years and was deployed six times to Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and Germany. My expertise in the military was logistics, which means I was responsible for making sure that the movement of both troops and cargo got to the right place and were on time. In both Iraq and Afghanistan I was a Terminal Operations Manager responsible for processing and loading more than 7,000 passengers and directing the shipment of hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo. My work was consistently recognized for meeting excellent delivery and departure standards. I also earned my MBA while in the military.

Because of my advanced logistics experience and MBA, I really didn’t think I would have a problem finding a rewarding career when I left the service. But when I returned home to North Carolina to raise my children on my own, I was not even considered for management jobs; instead, I was offered positions like a warehouse worker, which I did not think utilized my skills, education and experience. For a couple of years I took various jobs that did not fit my background including working as a high school teacher and secretary since I needed to feed my children. These jobs offered neither the career I was seeking nor the salary commensurate with my experience.

BPW JFMPlogo.lowWhile working, I continued to look for a more rewarding and financially secure position. I returned to school to begin a master’s program in accounting. But looking for a job while managing the demands of work, school and motherhood, I became discouraged. I knew I needed help, so I turned to the internet to see what career resources might be available for a woman veteran. I was very fortunate to find Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that runs a free career mentoring program for women veterans, Joining Forces Mentoring Plus®. What attracted me to their program was that working women volunteers mentor women veterans (like me) to help us navigate a path to successful civilian careers, and even pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. Participants can access a free “high-tech/high-touch” internet community that includes experienced women mentors as coaches, navigators and supporters.

I immediately signed up and was assigned a wonderfully accomplished mentor, Sandy Smith. Sandy worked with me one-on-one and was persistent in offering advice and support on everything from interviewing skills to resume development. She pushed me, checking on how many resumes I sent out each day. She helped me create a new mindset that gave me the courage to apply for positions that previously I wouldn’t have thought possible. In 2012, I was hired as an auditor by the U.S. Defense Contract Audit Agency. I am happy to report that my salary at this job was twice what I had been making previously. After landing the job, Sandy, my mentor, did not leave me on my own but coached me on office etiquette and protocols necessary to successfully navigate the civilian sector workplace. All of Sandy’s mentoring and coaching paid off: I love my job and feel my career is now on very solid ground.

But even though I love my job, I have always dreamed of owning my own business. With Sandy’s encouragement and sustained mentoring last year, I started an online store that sells my own brand of tea. I am very excited that Mystic Reme Teas is currently in the final selection round to appear on Shark Tank. If I am chosen, I will be seeking funding to open my own tea bar.

I truly believe none of this would have happened without the personal mentoring and wide array of career resources offered by BPW Foundation. It was so successful for me because it was designed by and for women. Generic veteran-based employment and career development programs too often miss the unique elements and needs that matter most to women veterans. We need awareness and guidance about available support and employment resources, and programs that support and recognize the multiple roles impacting women veterans and their access to jobs.

I can attest to the fact that women leaving the service often face unique challenges including single motherhood or care giving for family members, including wounded warriors. Also women veterans often do not identify as veterans and don’t know they can access a wide array of benefits. We are frequently looked at differently from our fellow male veterans. Women who served in war zones are often not afforded the same level of prestige as their male counterparts.

Thanks to the generous support of BPW Foundation and its partners such as Alliant Credit Union Foundation, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cengage Learning, Citi, CVS Caremark, and others, there is no cost to participate in this mentoring program – it’s absolutely free for the women who participate.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story and tell you about the resources that helped me begin my successful career and start my business. I hope that other women veterans will benefit from my experience and that the committee will support programs that are tailored for the challenges and needs that our women veterans face as they seek meaningful lives after our time in the military

Click here to read Dawn’s full testimony

Posted in Career Advancement, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Small Business, Uncategorized, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Survey of Women Small Business Owners Highlights Need for Financing, Importance of Mentorship

Posted by YWM on September 3, 2013

As women continue to start businesses in this country at ever increasing numbers, it is imperative they have the right tools to be successful. But do they? Results from a recently-conducted Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) FoundationWomencontractors survey to gauge the current environment for women entrepreneurs and small business owners addressed this question. In the executive summaryReady to Grow: A Snapshot of Women Small Business Owners some of the critical findings on topics such as the importance of technology, the role of mentorship, financing, barriers to entry, and gender impact are examined. Most survey respondents said they are not using outside financing to run their businesses. Not surprisingly, financing was also cited as one of the top barriers to entry/growth. Half of survey respondents indicated that mentorship is important to their success as small business owners. The results also indicated a correlation between women’s decision or choice to run their own businesses and their perception of gender impact. Among the women veterans who responded to the survey, it is clear that available targeted benefits are under-utilized. The full survey summary results are available at www.BPWFoundation.org.

This survey was conducted among approximately 500 women, current and former small business owners and entrepreneurs who posted a range of success rates for their businesses, and included questions specifically targeted to women veterans and military/veteran spouses. BPW Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett presented the preliminary results in June at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Annual Meeting. Results from this survey will help BPW Foundation define areas of further research as well as fine-tune program resources for women small business owners. T

The following organizations distributed BPW Foundation’s Women in Small Business Survey to their members and networks: Alliant Credit Union; California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls; Dell & Intel; National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship; National Association for the Self-Employed; National Council of Women’s Organizations; U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce; and Women Impacting Public Policy.

Posted in Mentoring, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You are NOT your paycheck

Posted by ptanji on August 2, 2013

By Patty Tanji

money_signLet’s get this straight. A salary is the price you charge your employer in exchange for your skills and experience. A fee is the price you charge your customer for your product or service in exchange for the benefit derived from use of that product.

Contrary to popular belief your salary and fees are NOT a reflection of your value as a human being on this planet. You are NOT your paycheck!

Hard to believe that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are NOT more valuable than you.  Yup, its true. Neither is Lady Gaga or Madonna or Meryl Streep. Fame does not grant anyone the status of “more than.” And, neither does position in a company organizational chart.

In the U.S. where we are obsessed with our positions in the social and economic hierarchy, it is very easy to get wrapped up in the whole nonsense around fame and fortune as the American way. What am I saying! The name of my blog is “How To Ask For A Pay Raise and Get It!” and I’ve been advocating for women’s higher pay for over a decade! What I mean is there is a difference between taking responsibility for your earnings, paying bills on time, having a prudent reserve in the bank, and paying off credit cards debt versus feeling like crap because we’ve placed some false sense of monetary value on our worth as human beings.

And, this false sense of value can stop us from asking for more, asking for what we want, or asking for what we’ve earned. The little voice inside us is repeating over and over that we are not as famous, as smart, as rich, as powerful, as talented as [fill-in-the-blank], so we could not possibly get what we want.

Okay now that we are clear that your product and service price is NOT the value of you as a human being, here are three ideas you must embrace in order to increase your price so you can live responsibly and with freedom:

  1. You are not a commodity! Your expertise, your years of service, the books you’ve written, your college degree, that research paper you wrote, your certification, the program you developed, the number of clients you brought in. All lumped together, these transformational events are worth paying more for. These unique experiences have increased your ability to do more therefore charge more.
  2. Facting not bragging!  Sometimes we just don’t believe in our own greatness. If you can’t say or see how your skills make you stand out from the crowd, its time to look at the facts. My daughter, who is 16 years old, can’t understand why I encourage her to ask for a pay raise. After coaching for one year, she doesn’t believe her national competitions, her medals, or her 8 years of gymnastics experience are enough to earn more. How about you? Are you denying your brilliance? Time for memory jarring! Bring out the photos, the news articles, the letters of recommendation, etc. to remind yourself of your greatness.
  3. What you stand for. There are no two people on the planet that believe, act, or are passionate about exactly the same causes at the same level of commitment. For example, there are a lot of people who believe in living ‘green’ and reducing their carbon footprint. However, your level of commitment to your cause is how you will set yourself apart from others. Living a life trash free is noteworthy. Choosing paper instead of plastic at the grocery store is the equivalent to lip service to living green. When differentiating yourself show the world what you stand for. You will attract others who would rather do business with or hire you because of that one thing that drives your passion and your enthusiasm for your work.

Stand out from the crowd so you can earn more. Know that you are not a commodity, that facting is not bragging, and know what you stand for.  Ready to explore? Set up a time to chat with Patty Tanji to Discover Your Hidden Gifts . This blog post was originally posted at www.howtoaskforapayraiseandgetit.com/blog

Posted in Career Advancement | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Expanded Technology and Entrepreneurship Resources for Women Veterans and Military Spouses

Posted by YWM on July 2, 2013

Dell IntelDell & Intel and Business and Professional Women’s Foundation are partnering to provide free technology assistance and entrepreneurial tools to guide and support the expanding community of women veterans and military/veteran spouses served by Joining Forces Mentoring Plu who are interested in starting and/or growing small businesses. These Dell-Intel resources will be accessible to all members of BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring BPW JFMPlogo.lowPlus® online employment mentoring platform.

Dell & Intel’s technology and entrepreneurship expertise will strengthen the “Working Women Helping Women Work®” mentoring component of Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® and supplement the program’s employment/career resource library. These important new resources recognize the growing number of military women who want to start their own businesses and are looking to gain the expertise and skills needed for success. Dell & Intel will offer individualized guidance to educate and guide these women as they evaluate their job-seeking and professional hardware and software needs. Dell’s Center for Entrepreneurs will supply tools for Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® military women-launched businesses, and the company will enlist mentors and subject matter experts to advise and meet the specific needs of this targeted audience of women.

“BPW Foundation is pleased and proud to welcome Dell & Intel into the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® community,” said Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO. “Their support of women in the workplace, as employees and employers, aligns with our goal of creating work environments that are inclusive and value the skills and contributions of working women. BPW Foundation applauds their specific focus in this partnership to help provide women veteran and military/veteran spouse entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed in their new businesses, and in their civilian lives.”

“Research indicates that women veterans’ civilian entrepreneurial career progress is hindered by obstacles they face translating their skills and their lack of hands-on career support. Similarly, military spouses’ workplace success is often compromised by frequent moves, lack of job transition guidance, caregiving and single parent childcare issues,” said Belinda Matingou, Business Development Director at Dell who focuses on diverse small businesses, including those owned by women and veterans. ”Dell is proud to support the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® online platform to build on the existing framework of Dell’s Center for Entrepreneurs that provides resources and information to entrepreneurs everywhere.”

Dell & Intel’s technology and entrepreneurship resources are an important addition to the growing list of free tools and information available to women veterans and military/veteran spouses via BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® internet platform, which connects volunteer working women mentors and subject matter experts to support success in the civilian workplace. The program’s “Working Women Helping Women Work®” philosophy builds on a workforce development model to help women veterans and military/veteran spouses navigate their individual challenges as they find and succeed in civilian careers.

BPW Foundation identified employment and career mentoring as a critical need of transitioning women veterans during its inaugural Joining Forces for Women Veterans National Summit in October 2010. First Lady Michelle Obama recognized this “mentorship gap” in the White House’s selection of BPW Foundation as the lead organization for a large-scale mentoring initiative to benefit women veterans and military/veteran spouses. BPW Foundation has since forged partnerships with more than 55 corporations and non-profit organizations to fulfill this mandate, and at the recent White House Champions for Change: Women Veterans event The First Lady recognized BPW Foundation “for the exceptional work that they do every day for women veterans.”

Posted in BPW, Joining Forces, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Mentoring, Military Families, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

BPW Foundations Joining Forces Mentoring Plus Spotlighted at Clinton Global Initiative

Posted by YWM on June 14, 2013

Debbie 2012 head shot revisedCEO Deborah L. Frett returned to the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI) Meeting this week to report on Business and Professional Women’s Foundation’s Commitment to Action, Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentoring Plus®, recognized by CGI America “as an exemplary approach to addressing challenges faced by women veterans in the small business arena.”

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® provides free employment tools and connects women veterans (all branches, eras, ranks) and military/veteran spouses with volunteer working women mentors and subject matter experts. The program, framed around “Working Women Helping Women Work®, meets these women where they are and helps them translate their military skills and build self confidence to find and keep meaningful civilian careers or start and grow their own businesses.

In the words of one woman veteran mentee: “I was empowered by the first phone call, and the connection with this organization that has the experience and professionalism to support me in facing some snags on my way toward my career goals. My first need was to build self-esteem to feel inspired to face the challenges that used to get me down and make me feel hopeless.”

Expanding upon last year’s CGI Commitment to Action and the formation of over 50 private and public sector partnerships, BPW Foundation is now enlisting new partners to build the “high-tech, high touch” program’s financial literacy, entrepreneurial, and small business resources, as well as expand mentoring capacity to serve the current audience of 2.2 million women veterans and two million military/veteran spouses.

“Recent BPW Foundation partnerships with Alliant Credit Union Foundation, Dell-Intel, and Booz Allen Hamilton will guide the expanded commitment.  These partners contribute expertise and organizational resources that address the needs and requests of those we serve,” she added.

In another part of the CGI America program, Ms. Frett will share the results of BPW Foundation’s recent survey of more than 500 women small business owners. This baseline data includes motivators, barriers to entry, the influence of gender, the impact of technology, as well as financing experiences and mentoring relationships. The cornerstone for future research and program development, a follow-up report will be presented at CGI 2014.

CGICGI America is an annual forum for leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions and prompt others to take action, preparing Americans to be competitive global citizens and rethink current models that shape our economy and society. BPW Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett took the CGI America stage to share the updated Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® commitment on Friday, June 14th.

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 211 commitments valued at $13.6 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.

Please tune in to follow CGI America 2013:

Twitter at @ClintonGlobal and the event hashtag #CGIAmerica

Watch video highlights on the CGI YouTube channel

Follow CGI America on Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative

Posted in Joining Forces, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Military Families, Small Business, Uncategorized, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

We Are Not Amused

Posted by YWM on March 26, 2012

Our guest blogger is Ann Sullivan, President of Madison Services Group and head of Government Relations for Women Impacting Public Policy, the nation’s largest women business owners policy group.

Those of us who are involved in advocating for the success of women-owned businesses are used to the challenges that come with running a successful business. Access to credit, complicated taxes, high healthcare costs, employing a talented workforce in a down economy – these challenges require strong women who are eternally optimistic. We are responsible for meeting a payroll and running a profitable business – no one else holds that responsibility for our businesses.

Women business owners follow economic news and economic policy. The changes we seek have to do with business. We leave the social debates to someone else. Although we certainly have opinions about social issues, we unite behind a business agenda and push for changes that affect the bottom line. A key element of being effective is being bipartisan or nonpartisan, if you include independents. The ability to work across party lines to achieve legislative results is a hallmark of women’s business organizations, such as Women Impacting Public Policy and organizations that join together under a common policy umbrella.

This year, however, the climate changed for women in this country and, looking back, it has been in the works for some time. Gender bias is shockingly accepted in the media and political discussions in this country. If our daughters voice their opinions about their health, some in the media feel completely free to call them names. And then the apologies, which are certain to follow, say the comments were an attempt at poor humor. In politics, some suggest that women are incapable of making decisions about their health care while others in politics suggest that women should be making these decisions alone – without their partners. Gender bias, which we felt certain was at least a generation behind us, has crept into state legislature discussions under the guise of talking about reproductive choice.

It feels like everyone is talking about us but no one is talking to us.

There is simply nothing funny about trivializing women and telling them to sit down and shut up. And for those women who have chosen to take their families’ economic well-being into their own hands by running a business, that attitude is nothing short of distressing. But it may explain why women business owners have to make many attempts at finding financing for their businesses before finding operating or growth capital. It may explain why the government awards less than 5% of all of its contracts to women-owned businesses. It might explain why, until recently prohibited by law, our insurance rates were higher.

Almost as upsetting, is that the political parties are having a heyday at our expense. The partisan emails, from both parties, are trying to exploit this nasty name calling to garner our votes. This is an example of how vitriolic is the partisanship which has invaded the Nation’s Capital and state legislatures. It is a by-product of the political atmosphere where anything is fair game. The breakdown in respect for differing opinions allows ignorance and bias to thrive.

But there is a way to fix this. We can start by electing more women to the U.S. House and Senate and in the State Capitals. We can insist that the media refrain from perpetuating gender bias, and we can refuse to support companies that sponsor those who perpetuate it. We can band together in large coalitions to demand a stop to the insults without being beholden to any political party.

There is a direct connection between how society views women and the success of women business owners. Gender bias affects us at all levels – whether we are trying to secure a loan, buy a property, get a contract or buy insurance. How can women business owners expect to get a seat at the economic table if they aren’t afforded the respect that they should come to expect?

It’s time to speak up and it’s time to get active.

For more on the WIPP effort visit the Talk To Us Facebook page

Posted in Small Business, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Joining Forces: Women Veterans Speak Out

Posted by danielleac on August 30, 2011

Read the latest article of BPW Foundation’s every-other-week Joining Forces feature that brings us the voices of women veterans telling their stories.  If you are a women veteran who would like to share your story, please contact us through our Joining Forces for Women Veterans Facebook page, or email dcorazza@bpwfoundation.org

In the Spirit of Entrepreneurship..

by Danielle Corazza

I’ve got a lot to learn.

I’ve always been a fan of the idea of being my own boss, and in light of the newly enacted 5% set-asides for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs), on top of the existing 3% set-aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs), the timing seems right for me to strike out on my own. But first, I needed to figure out how to do it!

Thanks to a grant from the Small Business Administration, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management has developed a program specifically for women veterans to learn how to be entrepreneurs: the Veterans as Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) course.

After applying and being accepted, my books arrived a week later, with instructions on how to log into the online course that was going to be my guide for the next month (at the end of a month’s worth of online instruction there is a three day, face-to-face conference).

I’m not sure what I expected, but I don’t think I realized how much I needed to learn about the proper way to go about being in business for yourself. I mean, I’ve got an Masters in Business Administration.. I’ve written business plans for school assignments, and I’d consider myself a great proposal writer… but, I have never taken the time to drill down to the aptly named Nuts and Bolts of taking an idea and making it a reality..

Although a bit tasking (you try developing a marketing plan overnight!), the course so far is great. Not only is it thorough, but the other 199 women veterans I’m interacting with are inspiring and the camaraderie among us is growing tremendously as we each find our comfort zone.

Fingers crossed, as I’m not done yet, but I can’t wait to learn more!

(Danielle is enrolled in V-WISE’s Baltimore Session, for more information and a schedule of upcoming classes, visit their website.)

Posted in Career Advancement, Education, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, multigenerational, Small Business, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Small Biz Saturday

Posted by joyinhome on November 23, 2010


Support your local businesses on Small Biz Saturday! As you take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, do your holiday shopping this Saturday, November 27. Sponsored by AmEx, let your dollars keep small businesses going!

YWM is a big supporter of small business, especially encouraging women to establish and own businesses. Small biz has historically been the backbone for this country’s economy and is essential to jump-start it now.

Posted in Advocacy, Economy, Small Business, YWM | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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):


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.

Posted in Career Advancement, Economy, Families, Financial Security, Lifestyle, Successful Workplaces, Worklife Balance | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »