Congratulations, you want to start your own business! Maybe it is because you are tired of working for someone else or want to invest in your passion. You may even have a unique business idea or see a need not available in the current market. Whatever your reason, starting a business is no easy task and may come with many hurdles along the way.
History of Women in Business
It was not until the 1960s that many women started to leave home and enter the workforce. Before that, many people thought a woman’s place was in the house, taking care of her children and husband. Women were not even allowed to have their own bank account or own property. While being a stay-at-home mother and wife had memorable moments and was fulfilling, some women wanted more. These women wanted to shift the gender dynamics and become financially independent. Another reason why so many women started to work was that husbands and fathers had to leave home during World War II, forcing women to become breadwinners.
Today, there are more women becoming entrepreneurs or running companies than ever before. In the United States of America, women lead approximately thirteen million (13M) businesses and earn ten percent (10%) more revenue than their male counterparts. Women are still underrepresented in
certain fields but dominate in some industries because they are more effective at communication and possess attributes such as self-awareness and conflict management. More women are also going to school to gain the necessary knowledge and expertise to start their businesses.
Starting a Business. Before you start a business, here are ten factors that a woman should consider:
1. Nature of Business
The first step to starting a business is identifying whether you want to provide a good or service. Next, list the pros and cons and ask yourself if this idea is unique and will satisfy a need. After identifying the nature of your business, the next step is developing a business plan. A business plan will help you to determine if your idea will be a success.
2. Business Structure
During the development of your business idea, this is where you will identify the make of your business. Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability, and corporation are the four main business structures in the United States of America.
3. Identify your Target Audience
Your business will not be successful if customers will not purchase it. There are many ways to identify if there is a demand or market for your product or service. Conduct surveys or polls online or in your community to determine if customers are willing to buy what you are selling.
4. Start-up Costs
Opening a business requires a lot of money and may require getting a loan from a bank or sourcing investors. Another way to raise funds for your business is using your assets. These can be in the form of savings, credit cards, or taking out a second mortgage on your own.
The start-up cost is not the only financial aspect you need to think about when beginning a business. This factor may require hiring a financial consultant if you are not knowledgeable in this field. A financial consultant will help you to develop a plan that outlines your operating expenses and income.
6. Marketing your Brand
Marketing is an essential factor when starting your business. It is how potential customers will learn about your product or services. A good marketing plan will determine if your business succeeds or fails.
If your product or service is unique, then you will not have to worry about competition. However, it is more than likely that you will be providing a product or service already on the market. Therefore, identify your competition to determine how you will penetrate the market and position your business.
8. Goals and Objectives
Set realistic goals and objectives that you want to achieve for your business. Many businesses fail because their goals and objectives are not relevant and unattainable.
Your assets can be equipment, furniture, vehicles, or even staff. First, identify what you may need to run your business, how much is required, and the cost to acquire and keep these assets.
10. Legal Requirements
You may be required to register your business as specific industries require special licenses before operation. In addition, once you begin to operate, you will be required to comply with government regulations such as filing and paying taxes.
The workforce has become so diversified that women find it easier to start their own businesses. Many are leaving their current jobs because beginning a business has many benefits for themselves and potential customers. It may be overwhelming at first, and there may be challenges, but once your business is on track, it can be empowering and turn out to be successful.