Five tips for women starting their own business

Planning to start a business? Here are five tips to help you.

For women who love to take control and want to take charge of their professional lives, there has never been a better time to start your own business.

Starting a business is always difficult, no matter who you are. However, with the following five tips, you can be sure that yours will be off to the best start possible.

1) Research your target market

Every business needs to have a solid business plan before it gets anywhere near to actually launching. We will talk in more detail about exactly what your business plan should entail, but one of the things you will definitely need is an awareness of your target market.

If you don’t know who you are going to be trying to sell your products and services to, you’re going to be starting off with one hand tied behind your back.

A well-defined target audience is essential for making many of your most important early decisions. The people that you are trying to reach will determine how you go about your lunch and how you prioritise that all-important early spending.

Being aware of your target market doesn’t just mean that you understand the audience that comprises it. You also need to know who your biggest competitors are going to be.

2) Identify your skills and needs

Many small businesses begin life as individual operations, consisting purely of the business owner and founder. In many cases, a business can be run by just one person in its earliest days. However, if you plan on doing any serious growth at all then you are going to have to make peace with letting someone else in on your turf. 

Not everyone has all the skills necessary to run a successful business on their own. Equally, lots of business owners can bring more to the table than just their management abilities. It is important that you understand exactly what your individual strengths and weakness are, and whether you will need to bring extra help on board to plug in the gaps.

3) Build a website

Your business website is the first encounter that many of your customers will have with you. It is, therefore, very important that your website creates the best first impression possible and entices visitors to become paying customers.

The tools and knowledge that you need to build your own website are now widely and freely available to anyone who wants them. 

However, while it is possible to use templates to create a professional-looking and feeling website, it will ultimately be using stock parts that are available to other people. If you want to create a truly unique website, then you need to design it professionally from scrap.

4) Establish your costs

Having a clear and accurate picture of your business finances is absolutely essential. You need to know exactly how much money you have available before you can make any detailed launch plans, and you need to keep up with monitoring this figure as your business grows.

A common mistake that new business owners will make is that they will factor in their most obvious costs, things like the rent for their office space and the cost of any staff wages, but they will neglect less obvious costs.

For example, something that is often overlooked is the cost of business utilities. Once you have business premises sorted, you will then need to connect electricity, phone lines, and maybe even gas to the premises.

The good news is that it is easy to work out how much this is going to cost you. You can use the price comparison tool from Utility Bidder to compare business utility rates.

5) Write a business plan

A business plan is not just a statement of intent. You shouldn’t just use a business plan to define what you want your business to do and then forget about it. Nor should you see your business plan as a static target, either to be met or to be failed.

Instead, your business plan should lay out exactly what your business wants to achieve, how it will achieve it, and the timeline over which it will be achieved. A solid business plan will make those all-important early days of your business much less stressful. 

As you come to learn whether you are able to meet the target you set yourself, you can adjust your business plan accordingly so that it always represents the best course of action.

Starting a new business is always going to be a challenge. However, by following the tips above you can at least sure that you make the right opening moves and give yourself the best chance of surviving that perilous first year.

Photo by Brooke Cagle