Evaluate the Money – Entrepreneurs Building Success into Your Business
In the past, women may have once been characterized and encouraged into certain professions, but no longer are they simply expected to do gender-specific jobs. The sky is the limit to what women can do today. I love seeing professional women taking control of their careers and future in a way that works best for them. This includes when and how they pursue their dreams and start their own businesses.
Every woman has the ability to start a business that’s significant to them. We are no longer regulated to old mindsets and traditional roles. What women are passionate about has become more important. Women need to be encouraged and supported to tap into what they’re good at and what makes them feel strong and POWERFUL! And, making money at it and little fulfillment doesn’t hurt! It is important to find resources that will help you get started.
As to what kind of business should you start, it’s up to you. Once you decide to head out on your entrepreneurial journey, you will have many other decisions to make that will require some research.
What are you going to call your business? How do you find out of if there is another other business with your name? What does it take to operate a business like yours? Does your city, county, or state have licensing, certificate requirements or other regulation’s needed to operate your business? Is there a need for your business or are you creating a need? Who are your ideal customers and how are they going to find your business? Will they pay for your products/services? Questions like these are will have to be answered. You don’t want to be in business for a while and find out you didn’t do everything necessary such as these business startup basics. You will find you created some hurdles for yourself and now may face additional costs.
Real Money Talk
If you have no savings, no money and bad credit, you should not start a business. I suggest saving up 20 to 30 percent per paycheck for a year before begin your business. These funds will be needed for startup costs, such as licenses, certificates, registrations and many other items you have not planned for yet. There are several other options to consider too, like using someone else’s money to get started – a small business loan or angel investor. Make note, all of these options require a strong business plan, not just a passionate idea.
Where to start
Building a business from the ground up is challenging no matter how you look at it. Ultimately, you should love what you do. Start with something you to do well and are passionate about. Then identify details about running your business and general costs. These factors will serve as a driving force in your success. You have to maximize your knowledge and skills about the product or service you can provide. Most important, not letting passion be your only fuel. Knowledge will provide sustainability.
If starting a business from the ground up is not an option. You may want to consider purchasing an existing business, franchise, multi- level marketing or direct sales business. Those business types already have products and systems in place. You just need to learn those systems to be successful. When considering investing into a MLM or direct sales business, make certain it fits your lifestyle and does not have recurring cost(s) that you cannot manage long term.
One factor to consider is how technology has transformed our ability to start a business. No longer is a storefront needed. Depending on your business, your marketplace is online and can be local, national and global. Research costs and functionality of website development your business will need. Yes, there are free options out that you can use to “BUILD YOUR OWN”. They are tempting! Check out all your options first. The costs due vary. I would always encourage you to use other women-owned business or small business owners that can build your website and brand. check out www.localmarketingsuite.com and www.fenixcreatives.com You can even go to sites and request bids from various vendors too www.freelancers.com
Another cost effective way can be to explore your options via social media platforms. Many small business owners promote their business to their networks via on Facebook and Instagram. These options are FREE, but require lots of attention and effort on your part.
This is one of the hardest things you will have to do. The secret to business success is pricing your products right. Price your products and services correctly and it will enhance how much you sell. Most importantly, it is the foundation for a prosperous business. Get your pricing strategy wrong and you may create problems that your business may never be able to overcome Today, far too many times I come across business owners that struggle with pricing their products/services correctly. Being in business to lose money is not your goal.
Consider two quick exercises to help you get started.
- Competitive Analysis – Seek out businesses in your area (competitors) and review what they are charging for your similar products and services. Plus, what makes them unique.
- Costs Analysis – Determined your breakeven costs. Review those costs to produce the product or service for increases. Estimate your earnings.
Meet Sara – She loves to bake. She has decided to start a specialty cake business from home. She is not certain what she should charge. She purchases all her supplies from the local stores
Sara’s Specialty Cake Expenses
- Cost of supplies per cake $6
- Electric/Gas $3
- Time to produce 90 minutes x Hourly rate $10 (Your time has value.)
- $23 is your break even costs for one specialty cake
Based on her breakeven cost, Sara will have to charge more than $23 per cake to recover her expenses. Please note, she has not made a profit yet. Retail pricing principles recommend that you double or triple your cost. This means Sara should charge $46 or $69 per cake or reduce her cost to get started. Sara’s cake better be more than delicious at that price.
Manage Costs Upfront
Minimize spending on your supplies. Figure out where and how to buy direct from suppliers, purchase items wholesale or in bulk. Your job will be to SAVE money not just make money.
Customer Payment Behaviors
You have to have a clear understanding on how your customer pays. Most people today do not carry cash on hand. Learning about POS for small businesses or online payment solutions is important. PayPal or Square are just a few options. Remember these services providers have fees attached to them. Factor those costs as part of the costs of doing business.
Find a TRUSTED Adviser
These are people who will help you succeed, that you trust to support or lend a hand to get the business started. You will not have all the answers, the more receptive you are to learning from others, the more you and your business will grow! Especially when it comes to following the money. I know for me this was hard. I have always been challenged with trusting others and managing money. Allowing others to step into my business really at times was very emotional for me. My reality check came when I had to tell myself I am not good at everything and I had to get help. I had to let a trusted advisor in to help me be successful. Getting a trusted advisor such as an accountant helped me monitor expenses, pay taxes and stay on top of all those accounting functions that are critical to your business. You have to follow the money!
If you are currently in business, I am hopeful the information provided can serve as a quick reminder of what you should be doing. Especially when it comes to pricing and check in on the competition. For the aspiring entrepreneur, it is time to JUMP and take that leap of faith – Believe in yourself and your purpose. Most importantly, learn to be financial competent when it comes to your money. You future business depends on it.
Ivette Mayo, is an award winning entrepreneur, business strategist, leadership expert and author. Visit website www.ivettemayo.com
Ivette is always ready to encourage, empower and support women to be POWERFUL. Follow Ivette Mayo on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.