Women and Small Business
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), women-owned companies are growing much faster than every other segment of new business in our economy. Many of these companies started small by females seeking the potentially fulfilling experience of "being their own boss" while doing something they enjoy.
If you're considering starting your own business, you'll need a sound plan, a little imagination, personal dedication, and probably some form of financial investment and/or advice.
Here are a few crucial factors to consider before you start a business of your own:
Giving your passion a chance to be prosperous will call for a personal dedication and probably some sacrifices.
As you might imagine, there's a lot that goes into starting a business. You'll have to do some market analysis to determine the potential size of your market, identify the competition, and set the price of the goods or services y
You should develop a written business strategy, research the best legal form to use for your business, and understand what licenses and/or permits you'll need. And you'll have to figure out how much capital you'll need to start your company and where that capital will come from.
Type of business
The kind of business you choose should not only match your talents, abilities, and interests, but it also should have a viable place in the market based on your competition and the prospective demand for the products or services your business will offer.
Many businesses fail simply because they're in the wrong market or the competition is too strong.
The business plan
It's one thing to have a great idea for a business, but it becomes much more real when you put it on paper. A business plan is essentially the story of your business -- the name of your business, what your business does, how you came up with the idea for your business, what markets you serve, what differentiates your business from the competition, where your business is now, and where you see it down the road.
Not only should your business plan serve as a plan for a successful business venture, but if you're going to seek financing for your business, you'll probably be asked for one.
The Small Business Administration has a website devoted to women-owned businesses at www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-businesses. There you can find resources to help you start and finance your business.
Also, your local chamber of commerce may have the ability to refer you to state and local agencies that provide financial assistance to new businesses located within your geographic area.
There are plenty of other things to consider, including taxes, licenses, fees, and permits. You'll need to think about where to locate your business and how you'll market it. Will you have employees? Will you add a retirement plan? If so, you'll have regulatory requirements and tax obligations, as well as possible workers' compensation to consider.
But you don't have to go it alone. There are experts available to serve as mentors or counselors. Check the Women's Business Resources section of the Small Business Administration website at www.sba.gov for information on locating a mentor.
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