Women entrepreneurs are becoming an economic force to be reckoned with and the growth rates are more than double than that of their male counterparts. Namely, they now represent 40% of all new entrepreneurs in countries like the US. However, some steep barriers are still present and any aspiring business owner will stumble upon a few obstacles, regardless of their gender.
So, one has to tread carefully and cover all the aspects. Here is a checklist that should help you have a head start in the business world and advance by leaps and bounds towards your goals.
Creating a plan
Being an entrepreneur may seem glamorous, but the business world is quite unforgiving. Once the initial excitement fades away and big dreams clash with market realities, things can become difficult. However, with a business plan in place, it is much easier to navigate the treacherous waters of the early-stage startup.
This document typically contains an executive summary, company description, market analysis, strategy and implementation, financial plan and projections, etc. They are all vital pieces of the puzzle, but I would focus on two parts: market analysis and financial number crunching.
Getting operations off the ground is a daunting task, as female-owned businesses not only start smaller but also grow slower. So, to validate your ideas, you need to carry out thorough market research and run the numbers. In other words, make sure there are people prepared to pay for your product and services and able to fuel your operations.
To make it happen, it is best to evaluate total costs of running a business. These include things like paying for a web designer, renting an office space, hiring accountants, lining up suppliers, and purchasing computers, printers, and specialized equipment such as Dymo LW 450 Labeler. Do not overlook a single detail.
Next, it is of the utmost impotence to figure out the best legal structure for your startup and incorporate it. This allows you to protect your personal assets and optimize all crucial aspects of running a business. Various structures, such as corporation, LLC, and sole proprietorship, have their distinctive pros and cons you have to weigh.
Taking into account the complexity of the required paperwork, it might be a good idea to go through ins and outs together with your lawyer and accountant. Once you reach an informed decision, apply for EIN, get necessary licenses, file for trademark and patents, and open a bank account.
Sorting out financing
Tapping into funding sources is the bedrock of business success. Financial options are expanding and include more and more alternative sources of financing. Still, a lack of access to the capital poses number one roadblock, the top killer of startups worldwide.
What is more, it is still quite challenging for female entrepreneurs to raise the money in the predominantly male world of venture capital and the rest of investment community. So, you may have to fight an uphill battle sometimes, but do not let that weigh you down. Be a smart and shrewd negotiator and demonstrate why your startup is worth every penny of investment.
Online stepping stones
To achieve greater market visibility, establish a strong online presence. Register a domain name that is relatively short, business-related, and brandable. Get your corporate website up and running as soon as possible. Set up social media profiles and use them as customer service, marketing, and content distribution tools.
In addition, start blogging and try to attain the reputation of a go-to expert. Make the most of all digital platforms to jumpstart both personal and company branding process. Finally, learn the basics of SEO to get ahead of the pack in the digital realm to drive huge traffic your way.
In the driver’s seat
In many countries, the gender gap is slowly closing and more and more women decide to take matters into their own hands and peruse their professional dreams. Not everything in the garden is rosy, though. Gut instinct and ballpark figures do not cut it in the competitive business arena.
Therefore, come up with a business plan as sound as a dollar. Plow through funding obstacles and smash entrenched stereotypes. Refine your strategy and leave no stone unturned. Get family behind you, fine-tune your business machinery, and go full steam ahead. More power to you.