You might have often skimmed through magazines reading success stories of women in business but kept your own aspirations at bay. It’s time you realised your own potential and let yourself take the plunge!
Entrepreneurs cannot be differentiated on gender but being a woman has its own advantages when it comes to business.
Whether it is hard work, grit, multitasking, learning anew or working as a team, woman in general are an adept bunch! And if you are one of the many women who has dreamed of owning and running an enterprise, then here are a few basic tips on how to get started with your business.
There is a multitude of businesses that you can get into, spend some thought on what will work best for you before you set sail on your entrepreneur ship! Business idea: For the best business ideas, study market needs, there may be niche areas where you could provide unique solutions or hop in the bandwagon of businesses where market demand exceeds supply.
While you are deciding which business to pick, it’s also important to think about whether you are looking at a second income, a full-time occupation or business that allows you to wind your schedule around family. Having this clarity will help you consider the effort required vis a vis the time that you can invest in the business.
Select a business that interests you, rather than the one that doesn’t fire up your passion. Analyse your interests, skills, strengths and weaknesses. If it’s not obvious to you then talk to people who know you well and could guide you.
If you are a working woman and have honed skills in a particular field, you can explore doing business in the same field. You can also look at converting a hobby or a skill into a business. If there are other businesses that interest you, but you have no knowledge, it’s never too late to learn!
Finding someone who can guide you in the business is beneficial. This could be people with experience in your chosen field or with a business experience. Taking suggestions or learning from other’s mistakes is not a bad idea at all!
Talking to your target customers helps in understanding their needs and tailoring your products or service to meet their requirements. This gives a peek into market gaps if there are any.
It also serves as marketing tools as you let people know about your business venture. You can also use virtual platforms to connect owners and mentors.
This isn’t difficult either! It’s just putting down all the things required for the business to get functional. Creating a business plan gives you clarity and is also required if you need funding. A business plan required you to provide details of the business, management, finance, potential clients, sales strategy, location, market analysis, competition and business forecast.
While you might end up investing all you’re saving into your business venture, it is vital that you also keep your personal finances separate. This would require you to maintain a separate bank account for business purposes. Returns from the business might not be immediate; it would be wise to set aside funds for personal expenses for a year or two. Pay yourself a salary; calculate your monthly expenses and debit that to your personal bank account.
Starting a business doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be the whole and sole funding entity. Explore the various funding support options for start-ups from banks and non-profit organisations. There are many schemes specifically for supporting women entrepreneurs.
Accounting and Taxes:
Although this would come as a later operational step in the business, it would be wise to be well versed with the rules, regulations and taxes applicable to the business. This would help alleviate any taxation issues that might come if rules are not complied with.
The above steps will help you get started with the basic course of action to get things together for the business that you aspire to do. Nonetheless, a lot of research is essential before you start off. Know for sure that this might not be a cakewalk and you may not be able to get a monthly pay cheque for quite some time! Keep realistic expectations for the business and prepare yourself to put in a lot of effort to make the business successful. But let these hurdles not dissuade you; you are on your way to create wealth, create jobs and convert your dream to reality!