Women owned businesses are one of the fastest growing segments in the entrepreneurial landscape, but they continue to face many of the same challenges that all business owners must deal with. In particular, women are often highly creative but perhaps not as savvy as their male counterparts, especially in regards to funding. Despite common misconceptions, women do not need to have a full-on funding plan in place before they open their doors. Many women own a small business from the bottom up, using a combination of personal savings, investors, and various credit cards to fuel the start-up costs while they build it into a large business that will carry them into the future.
A critical first step is determining what kind of business you want to run. You can start small, with a part-time or an as-needed basis. Some women owned business choose to take an existing trade or skill, such as teaching or pet care, and turn it into a successful home-based business. Other women decide to start from square one and create a revolutionary product, launching it through revolutionary marketing and branding strategies. Still others choose to open smaller shops in specialty markets, where they can gain a foothold on a niche without having to invest significant amounts of time and money upfront.
Once you know what type of women owned business you want to create, you can begin to gather some necessary financial resources. It’s important to realize that a women-owned business doesn’t need any start-up money to get started, but there may be unexpected costs that you won’t see until you’re closer to success. This includes general liability insurance, professional fees for legal assistance, payroll, rent and other business expenses. Once you have a clear picture of your projected expenses, you’ll be better prepared to approach women-owned business funding sources.
There are many different ways to approach women owned business funding. If you don’t already have investors lined up, there are plenty of opportunities on the internet to find them. Many angel investors and private lenders work with new businesses by providing loans backed by their own personal capital. In order to qualify for this type of financing, you must demonstrate to these funders that your business has the potential to turn a profit. It is necessary to carefully outline your business’s earnings and profits as well as your credit ratings in order to show them that you are a reliable, legitimate company.
Another option for obtaining women owned business funding is to seek a loan from the Small Business Association or other local women-oriented organizations. The SBA has special programs for women-owned businesses, such as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Corp. The corporation provides capital grants to qualifying businesses in return for a portion of their business equity. In exchange, SBA guarantees that the company will use the funds for the purposes outlined in the contract. If you don’t have a business license yet, you may still qualify for a loan from these organizations.
To apply for women owned business funding, you will need to prepare a detailed business plan that presents projected earnings and expenses. You will also be required to provide financial statements and an annual budget. To apply for SBA loans, you will need to apply online. Make sure that your applications are complete and accurate before sending them out for review. It may also be necessary to send a copy of your business plan and financial statements to the lender as a means of proving that your company meets all of the requirements.