Taking the plunge into the world of business is big. As a new female entrepreneur, there is mounting pressure to succeed and to prove all those naysayers wrong. In a previous blog article, our CEO Rita Kakati-Shah shared one of her favorite quotes: “empowered women empower women”. Part of being an empowered female entrepreneur is knowing what to expect as a new business owner, and being ready for all the possible challenges up ahead. Below we’ll be looking at some points that will help new female entrepreneurs be equipped to take on the challenge of starting your own business.
Market research is key
Market research is often one of the first steps in starting any business. However, many new businesses fail to understand their customer base from the outset. Market research helps you find customers for your business while reducing risks even at an early stage. It also leads to competitive analysis, which is understanding what would work to make your business unique and attractive to your target customers. Start by gathering demographic information to understand your market, such as data on age, wealth, interests, family background, and education. Then focus on behavior that is relevant to your business such as fashion trends, eating habits, and the like.
Don’t stumble on your taxes
Many new businesses overlook the importance of dealing with taxes. Tax mistakes can be costly, especially for entrepreneurs just starting out. Some common tax mistakes that owners make include forgetting to file or misfiling paperwork, poor record keeping, overlooking tax breaks, and choosing the wrong business structure. Some business structures lead to double taxation since owners are being taxed both at a business-level and at a personal-level. One easy way to solve this is by changing the structure. An LLC avoids double taxation because owners don’t have to submit two separate tax payments to the government. Taxes for LLCs are solely paid through individual tax returns and not through corporate taxes.
It’s going to take patience and grit
There’s an idea that having your own business is easier than being an employee because you get to ‘be your own boss’. Once the novelty of that idea runs dry, you realize that it takes a lot of hard work and grit. The independence may feel great at first, but it can also be scary. Starting a business means putting in a lot of work during the initial phase to try to get your idea off the ground. There is immense pressure to succeed. However, every new business owner must remember that entrepreneurship is a marathon. It might take a while before your business thrives and grows, but you should keep at it to be able to reach that point.
You can be creative with funding
Almost half of all small businesses that fail didn’t have the adequate funding. Since it takes a while until you are generating a profit during the start of your business, you must make sure you have backup funding sources available. There are a number of ways you can fund your business, such as through loans, grants, angel investors and crowdfunding. Microloans may be useful too, which are loans for usually less than $50,000 made through non-profit organizations in partnership with banks or credit unions. Also consider reaching out to funding programs lending to women-owned enterprises since you might end up finding a support group in the process.
Post specially written for Uma
by Beverly Joel