Considering being a woman entrepreneur?
The world is catching up with the changing tide of women entrepreneurship. Be it small-scale organisations or large conglomerates, across verticals, women leaders have been proving that their their strategies, insights and investments can bring equal and more business to the kitty, as compared to their male counterparts. Developing countries like India are also welcoming this tide with various subsidies, financial benefits and socio-economic provisions designed for the modern woman leader, both in urban and rural areas. If you are an aspiring woman entrepreneur and are ready to tackle the challenges of starting your own business head on, then here are some tips which will help you begin this journey one step at a time.
1) Select a business that you love and know something about. Being passionate about your business will help you overcome the challenges that all entrepreneurs face.
2) Research the product or service. Go talk to people who are in the business you are going into. If you feel uncomfortable asking questions as a potential competitor, then pretend you are a client. You can also do research at the library. Look in the business section and trade publications.
3) Assess the market. Is there a need for your product/service? What type of customer base do you need to stay in business? You should decide on the location. (A side street with no walk-in traffic may not be the best location for your retail shop.) Also consider what will make you unique from everyone else in the pool.
4) Consult with professionals. Find some individuals who either know something specific about your business, specialise in small businesses, or deal with women-owned businesses. Also talk to accountants, attorneys, insurance consultants, and bankers about your future.
5) Define the legal entity. Will your business be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation? Once you research the differences in liability, legal, tax, and financing tell the county clerk’s office what you decide.
6) Protect yourself and your business. Different forms of insurance are necessary depending on the business. Consult professionals.
7) Assess your finances. It’s a good idea to have some money put aside that will carry you through the beginning phases. You can often borrow from friends/family or get loans to get started.
8) Write a business plan. This includes a description of the business, financial projections, and clearly defines the product or service, discusses the legal entity, market, location, competition, management and personnel. There are many “How to write a business plan” guides out there for you to use.
9) Network. Join professional organisations, attend industry related conferences and meetings, and go to other meetings that are of interest to you. You will be surprised where you meet clients!
10) Be positive, patient, and flexible. It takes a good amount of time to build a business. Continue to have a positive outlook and don’t stop believing in yourself. There has never been a successful business owner that hasn’t run into some challenges!