In the last 20 years there has been an astonishing rise in the number of women-owned businesses in the US – figures show a114% increase in the past two decades. If you see yourself as the next Joy Mangano, Sheryl Sandberg or Janice Bryant Howroyd, it’s first worth looking at your current circumstances to work out how business-ready you are.
3 Areas to Focus on for Business Readiness
Before you invest time and money into a business venture, it’s valuable to reflect on how prepared you are. By doing some research and thinking about your current situation, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to do to turn that dream into a reality.
The following 3 focus areas will help you understand your strengths and areas you could enhance.
Launching a business typically comes with a variety of upfront financial commitments. You’ll need to calculate how much your business is going to cost to run and how long it will be before you start turning a profit. It’s then a question of saving money (or seeking investment) until you’re in the right place to comfortably launch your firm.
Typical financial considerations when starting a business include:
- Your Own Salary – you’ll need to set aside enough money to support yourself until the business begins making a profit
- Business Premises – if you need to rent retail space, an office or some kind of workshop, you will need money for rent, including your deposit
- Employing Staff – if your business will be employing people, you’ll need to have money set aside to pay them
- Marketing – you’ll likely want to spend money on some form of advertising to get the word out
- Insurance – getting covered will give you peace of mind, and in certain industries it’s mandatory
- Equipment and Stock – whether you’re launching a store, running a diner or opening a workshop, you’ll need capital to buy equipment and products
There are various places you can access this capital. Perhaps most ideal is to use your own savings. If that’s not possible, borrowing from family could be an option, while banks and even crowdfunding could also be suitable.
Small business admin isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s essential if you want to stay on the right side of the IRS! If you’re looking to launch a company, make sure you understand your legal obligations around business admin:
- Business Structure – decide if you’re going for Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, a Limited Liability Corporation or a C-Corp.
- Register with the IRS – you can let the tax authorities know about your new business here
- Register with Your State’s Agencies – especially if you plan to employ others
- Receipts – collect all receipts for expenses you plan to claim
- Organize Your Invoices, Taxes and Expenses – either by using a spreadsheet or some kind of cloud software
- Consider Outsourcingto a Professional Accountant – especially if you are not fully confident with the paperwork
The entrepreneurial mindset is just as important as your finances or administrative know-how. Takesome time to think about what launching a business would mean for you:
- Do you have a clear vision of what you want the business to achieve?
- Do you know your target customers and what they want and need?
- Do you know the value of your time, skills or product?
- How would running a business affect your other commitments – and what sacrifices might you need to make?
- How is your support network – do you have people who you can turn to if you need help?
You’ve Got This
With ever more women launching businesses, there’s no doubt you can do so too. By taking the time to assess your own business-readiness, you can see what steps you need to take to turn the dream into reality.