America is celebrating women business owners this week. Although the number of women-owned businesses is on the rise, they still face some financial challenges. The Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, shows that while women own 36% of businesses in the U.S., only 11.3% of the sales revenue generated went to female-owned businesses. Businesses owned by men took in 79% of sales.
One factor that might be contributing to this inequality is the occupational differences between men and women. Another is a lack of investment in women-owned businesses.
Whether you’re asking for a loan or an investment, a good business plan is essential. Start with an executive summary, which briefly explains your company as a whole and touches on your business's profile and goals. The next section should be an in-depth explanation of the history and development of the company.
Include a summary of the items and/or services you provide, along with a customer description, market analysis, and competitor analysis. Remember to put in the business's legal structure (e.g., corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship) and management organization. A comprehensive section on the marketing plan and sales strategy is also important.
You will need a capitalization plan, including projected revenues, cash flow projections, pro forma financials, and an explanation of how you'll use funds.
Get the Right Support Team
- Find a good lawyer. There are many issues that can arise when you start a business.
A knowledgeable business lawyer who is used to working with entrepreneurs can help you navigate the legal waters.
- Work with a smart accountant. Find someone who has experience with new businesses, so they can guide you through any financial bumps and advise you on issues that could impact your bottom line.
- Talk to a financial advisor who can help you protect your assets. You’ll invest a lot of yourself in a new business. In many cases, the success of a new business depends on your being there. Make sure that you protect yourself and your assets, so that the business is secure no matter what happens.
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