Entrepreneurs are risk takers. A business certificate should also serve as a declaration stating “I'm crazy enough to think I can do this on my own.” I've placed my trust and the investment of my time (my whole business) on the rise of female entrepreneurs. This hunch grew into a passion, and is now my boldest mission (by way of supporting more than 20,000 women launch and establish their businesses by 2020).
Research studies continue to confirm what I suspected long ago: women are contributing to the global economy with such a rapid pace and force that banks, governments, and leaders are starting to take notice. While owning a business is tumultuous, challenging, and as I previously mentioned, slightly crazy, there's nothing that sets you apart from the other 9.1 million women who believed they were courageous enough to do it, too. Let these numbers serve as an encouragement that now is the perfect time to start a business. That's true whether you're dreaming of a scalable empire or starting a bakery out of your kitchen. Now is the perfect time. Entrepreneur Magazine published an article entitled Will You Join the Phenomenal Growth of Women-Owned Businesses? outlining the process of starting a business. For those of you dreaming about it, please enjoy these 5 steps that will help the risk taker in you finally take action.
1. Start with a business plan.
It's time to take the leap. Much as we'd like our business to appear in front of us, completely prepared, work needs to be done to determine feasibility and opportunity. However, there are definitely options for this phase. If the traditional business plan model is not a good fit, try something else, such as the Lean StartUp model or a strong, well-developed strategic plan.
2. Figure out your expenses and find your capital.
Women are making their businesses happen with exceptionally less capital than men. According to PR Newswire, “Among the most successful firms, men start their businesses with six times as much capital as women do.” It is essential to be scrupulous in your financial planning and investment capital so that your business begins generating revenue as quickly as possible.
3. Determine your licensing needs.
There are a multitude of great tools available to help you with identifying how you would like to structure your business. I recommend the Small Business Association's (SBA) easy-to-use business licensing and permit tool, which provides guidance on how best to comply with all government regulations.
4. Decide on an optimal legal structure for your business, based on your business needs and goals.
Again, resources aplenty with determining what is best for your business needs and goals, but I have found that the Business Structure section of the IRS.gov website is a great place to start. They do a great job of laying out of your options with regard to liability and forms needed to file for a particular structure.
5. Develop your identity and spread the word.
You've nailed the structure down, you've got funding…now it's time to market yourself and establish your brand. The creation of your business certainly won't happen over night but because you've laid a strong foundation, it will happen.
So, do you have what it takes? Absolutely! We all do. You just need to parcel it out and take it step by step. With a solid support system in place, you need to start where you are and do what you can to make it happen, joining the ranks of the millions of gutsy women who've done it already.
Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven. Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and community for female entrepreneurs who need a productive, professional place to work on a flexible basis. She has three locations in San Diego County and is expanding nationally via a franchise model.
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