FreedomVoice Celebrates National Women's Small Business Month
Did you know, October is National Women's Small Business Month? According to the National Women's Business Council (NWBC), there are now 10 million women business owners in America! In celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month, the NWBC has launched a campaign called "10 Million Strong" to honor and highlight the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs and inspire a call to action for continued support.
As the voice of small business™, FreedomVoice would like to do our part to support women small business owners. So we are kicking off National Women’s Small Business month with some tips for women looking to start their own businesses.
1. Research Your Industry
First and foremost, once you have a business idea it’s important to determine who you are serving and who you are competing against. Who would be best served by your products or services? What need are you fulfilling? How competitive is your market? How many other businesses are there that sell what you want to sell? Once you’ve thoroughly done your industry research, you can move on to the next step.
2. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a summary that quickly and simply defines your business plan. It needs to be short enough to tell someone in the span of 30 seconds to two minutes – or about the length of an elevator ride. You’re going to be selling your vision to a lot of busy people, so it’s important to practice your pitch to a T. Practice it, practice it, and then practice it some more. The more you say it out loud the more believable it will be, and the more you will be able to sell others on your business idea.
3. Get Ready to Work
Start-up businesses don’t come easy. In fact, according to Kabbage, a small business loan provider, “52% of small business owners work over 60 hours per week, and 30% expect to work even more hours.” (source) Additionally, a majority of small business owners reported making sacrifices to support their businesses, such as postponing vacations, using personal savings, and cutting personal expenses.
That being said, that hard work is not all for naught – 95% of the businesses surveyed expected revenue growth in 2015, and you really can’t beat being your own boss!
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
You can do anything, but not everything. So don’t be afraid to reach out to others who might be better at certain things than you are. For instance, financials aren’t always the most fun, but investors WILL want to know the capital needs of your business. If you’re not sure, instead of spending hours upon hours, get help from someone financially minded before going into a pitch meeting.
Always be sure to weigh the pros and cons of doing things yourself. While you may be able to build your own website, might your time be better spent on other things while you pay someone else to design your site?
5. Network, Network, and Network Some More
Going hand in hand with #4 – you’d be surprised how many people you already know who can help you with your business venture. Use LinkedIn and your other networks, to find people and involve them to your advantage – whether it be for investment funds or just some simple business advice. Of course, you will want to help them out in some way in return (if you can). It’s always in your best interest to use your business contacts.
6. Just Go for It!
This list of tips is meant to help guide you not scare you. The more you think about what’s involved in starting your own business, the more you may re-think your decisions. Remember - if you got this far, you obviously have a desire to create a business, so just go for it! If you love your business, you will never regret your decision.
A few more interesting facts from the National Women's Business Council to motivate you:
- In 2007, there were 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the United States.
- In 2012, this number grew to 9.9 million women-owned businesses - a 27.5% increase.
- As of 2012, women-owned businesses represent 36.2% of all nonfarm businesses and generate $1.6 trillion in total receipts.
- 10.6 % of women-owned businesses employ 8.9 million people.