According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there are 9.4 million women-owned businesses, employing nearly 8 million people and generating $1.5 trillion in sales in 2015. Many of these businesses started small, begun by women seeking the exciting and potentially rewarding experience of “being their own boss” while doing something they enjoy. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, you’ll need a sound plan, a little creativity, personal dedication, and probably some form of financial investment. Before you make the commitment to starting your own business, you’ll need to determine whether it’s the right move for you. Here are a few important factors to consider.
Why do you want to start a business? For the most part, you should believe you have a great idea that you are passionate about. Giving your business a chance to be successful will require a personal commitment and probably some sacrifices. Are you prepared to invest the time, money, and personal resources to get your business started? As you might imagine, there’s a lot that goes into starting a business. You’ll have to do some market research to determine the potential size of your market, identify the competition, and set the price of the goods or services you’ll offer. You should develop a written business plan, research the best legal entity to use for your business, and understand what licenses and/or permits you’ll need. You’ll have to figure out how much capital you’ll need to start your business, and where that capital will come from.
Type of business
What kind of business do you want? Do you have a unique idea, or do you want to get involved in a type of business that already exists, like a franchise? What products or services will your business provide? Have you identified your target market? Who is your competition, and what will separate your business from your competition? Depending on the type of business, how long will it take before your products or services are available to your target market? How big and how quickly do you want your business to grow? The type 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 potential demand for the products or services your business will offer. Getting this information will take some time and effort, but 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 down 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 in the future. Not only should your business plan serve as a road map to a successful business venture, but if you’re going to seek financing for your business, you’ll almost certainly be asked for a business plan. There’s generally no set form for use in developing a business plan, but most plans cover these essential elements:
- An executive summary, which briefly describes your business as a whole and touches on your business’s profile and goals
- An in-depth explanation of the history and development of your business
- A summary of the products and/or services you offer
- A customer description, market analysis, and competitor analysis
- A description of your business’s legal entity (e.g., corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship) and management organization
- An explanation of your marketing plan and sales
Content Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2017
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Exp Dec 2018