Recent statistics on women-owned businesses reveal that “women receive just 7% of venture funds for their startups.”
Lack of funding, stereotypes, and limited support are just the beginning of a long list of reasons why women hesitate to start their own businesses. However, those women business owners who pushed past these challenges give male-owned companies a run for their money, literally and figuratively.
There are several considerations to make when starting a women-owned business. But unfortunately, many potential owners gloss over them and end up struggling in business or not starting their companies at all. Don’t let this be you.
If you’re thinking about starting a women-owned business, read on for advice on doing so with your best foot forward.
Pay Special Attention to Finances
Finances are an integral part of starting your women-owned business. First, you must ensure that your personal finances are stable enough to keep you afloat while launching your business.
For instance, let’s say you’re leaving a job to work on your business full-time. In that case, you’ll need to consider things like making an extra effort to save, tightening your budget, and how you’ll take advantage of workplace benefits while you have them.
In addition, you should begin to learn about business finances. For instance, just like you have a personal credit score, you’ll have a business credit score as well. Building your business credit is crucial because it will help you get loans and lines of credit easier and keep your interest rates low.
So, pay special attention to your personal finances and learn as much as you can about organizing and maintaining your business finances.
Next, create a business plan.
Create a Business Plan
Although many new business owners start their companies without one, a business plan could be the defining factor in your success. A business plan can help you map out the details of launching, running, and scaling your business.
Without one, you probably won’t be as prepared for challenges that arise in business, nor will you have a clear vision for your company. So, you must create a business plan to lay a solid foundation for your business.
Every business plan is different, but the following sections are typical:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Organization and management
- Service or product line
- Marketing and sales
- Financial projections
Feel free to add or subtract what you need to ensure your business plan is as detailed as possible. It’s also a good idea to get your organization certified as a women-owned business.
Obtain Women-Owned Business Certifications
There are various ways to certify your woman-owned business, and you should pursue at least one of them. Getting certified as a women-owned business opens up additional resources, funding, and support opportunities for your organization that can aid business growth and longevity.
When you become a certified women-owned business owner, you get to be first in line for different government contracts, attract more significant business partnerships, and have mentoring and networking opportunities at your disposal.
The first step is determining whether yours is a small business. Then, decide whether or not you want to self-certify or use a third party to get you through the process. From there, be sure you have the right tools to get through every stage of the certification process seamlessly.
Another consideration to make when starting a woman-owned business is the importance of growing your skill set and developing a business mindset.
Grow Your Skillset and Develop a Business Mindset
According to recent research on women-owned businesses, “female business owners tend to be more educated than the average entrepreneur.” This could be because they want to be more educated, but it could also be because they have to be. Either way, growing your skillset is a must if you’re going to be an effective owner and for your business to be profitable.
You can grow your skill set by pursuing a traditional business education at a university or college. However, you could also go the self-education route by getting a mentor or taking free courses.
Furthermore, it’s essential to start thinking like a business owner. This means learning to look at failures as learning opportunities, focusing on leadership, open-mindedness, and finding purpose and passion in your work.
Lastly, starting your women-owned business will affect your personal life and the people around you.
Consider Your Personal Life
Deciding to start a business doesn’t just affect you. It involves the people around you too. It’s crucial to maintain a work-life balance when building your business. However, building a business takes up most of your time at the start. So, you must prepare your loved ones for the transition.
Be sure to have honest conversations with your partner, children, friends, and extended family members about your plans to start your women-owned business. Relay details of your business plan to them and be transparent about how your relationships and time with them will change.
Also, you must consider how the rest of your personal life will change once you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. For example, you may have to adjust your exercise routine. Or your Saturday nights may go from girls’ nights out to business conferences and events.
Ultimately, it’s best to ensure your loved ones are on board with you opening your women-owned business and that you’re prepared for the transformation that will take place in your personal life.
These five considerations for starting your women-owned business are critical if you want to create a lasting company. Women-owned companies are launching left and right. Hopefully, with the help of this article, yours will be the next one.
This guest post was authored by Ainsley Lawrence
Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book.