Resources When Starting a Business

6 Tips for Female Entrepreneurs Part 2

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Women are often put off of starting their own business. Why? Some of the most common obstacles are personal commitments and, oddly, nervousness about the legal aspects. These 6 tips will help set the female entrepreneur on the right path for start up.

Obviously dealing with the legal aspects is only the beginning, there's far more to initiating a successful business than adhering to bureaucratic requirements. In the beginning, you need that sound business idea we mentioned above.

6 Tips for Female Entrepreneurs Part 2

In addition you need good management skills, or at least the ability to develop them, in order to ensure your success. Your mental energy is best channeled in this direction rather than giving yourself headaches about the legal things.

3. If your business is one with moderate - significant overheads, it's crucial to set up the company with sufficient financing. Starting up a business with too little money is foolhardy. You need to make sure you have enough to keep the business buoyant in the early days. Undercapitalization is perilous to new businesses, especially those with high outgoings. Businesses with overheads like rental for premises, employees' salaries, utility billing, inventory, work equipment, insurances, or any other fixed and regular costs really need to plan methodically and accurately. This gives a clear picture of the sort of funding needed to support the business in its infancy.

While it's important to start the business with ample capital that does not mean that each business requires a fortune to get launched. There are many very successful businesses that worked up from the ground. Very often the biggest overhead savings can be made by not renting premises but working out of your home at first. If you think that doesn't lead to a professional and thriving business, think again.

Did you know that Apple first set up shop in a garage, or that Hewlett-Packard was initially run out of the Packard family's dining room?

In general a business that looks for creative, innovative and frugal ways to function in the infant days stands a better chance of survival than one which is run on a spend, spend, spend basis.

4. If or when you require finance for starting up or expansion look at sources other than the traditional business bank manager. A lot of female entrepreneurs cite difficulties with raising capital as one of their major hurdles.

This is hardly surprising: traditional banks aren't known for their propensity to lend money for new ventures. They like to feel safe and see a success track record and a history of a business's creditworthiness before the issue the money. So, rather than target conventional large chain banks, try to get funding for your start-up from a local community bank, a credit union, or other financial institution that has an interest in the local economy. Frequently, the application processes and/or criteria with these lenders tend to be more amenable than those of the larger banks.

A couple of really valuable resources that women in business should consider are:

  • Women's Business Centers (WBCs)
  • Community Development Financial Institutions. (CDFIs)

There are WBCs nationwide. Their focus is on offering support to women entrepreneurs via business training and business counseling. They also help with access to business credit and start up funds/capital.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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