Entrepreneurship among women is on the rise. In this economy it may seem like an uphill battle, but it can be done. Many women and men fail in business for a number of reasons but mainly for lack of planning and capital, but studying the market and gathering the resources you need can aid you in being successful. The scripture "My people perish (or fail) for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6) rings out when mentioning this. Research can go a long way when considering whether or not you should start your own business. So where do you begin and how do you get started?
1. Pray and think long and hard about your gifts, talents, and passions? Figure out if those things can fill a void that is missing in today's world. Many life coaches or self-help sites offer free personality assessments to help you sort through and identify what you really love. This is the key to making sure you have identified the right area to stake your claim.
2. Try to find a mentor in your area of business. Score.org is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. They help you write business plans, create marketing strategies, and identify funding options. They even have online and local training sessions you can attend to strengthen your skills as a business owner. No one is born knowing how to run a business, it takes years of education and training to keep up with the ever changing economic climate.
3. Think of creative ways to fund your start up costs. Crowd-funding is a really popular way to accomplish this and has recently gained lots of steam among start up businesses. Kickstarter, Microventures, and Indiegogo are great places to start. You have to make sure your goals are clearly defined and that you can show investors definite direction and purpose for the funds they are contributing.
4. Network, Network, Network! Business is built on relationships. It does not matter how big or how small. People buy and sell based on their relationship with a product, brand, or company. All of us like to feel like we are a part of something. With that being said, let me make it clear that you can not build a business on friends and family. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I thought that I would announce I had a business and everyone I knew would just jump on board. NOT TRUE!! What I had to learn was that if I wanted to build a successful business, I had to seriously identify who my market was and target them. Not that is doesn't help to have the support of my friends and family, but it did mean that I spent less time trying to recruit them to get behind my business. Invest your time going to local networking events and seeking out your market online. Find ways to connect with them and spread your brand message. You can join sites like EventBrite to identify local networking events in your area.
5. Start cheap! Find affordable ways to market and advertise your business. Attach your business to every social media outlet that your market is using. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ are all free ways to market your business. Use blogging platforms to create an inexpensive website such as Blogger, Joomla, and Wordpress. Once you come up with a name, secure it as a domain name through sites such as GoDaddy or Register.com. Use sites like VistaPrint to create business cards or logos. All things are subject to change but you have to start somewhere.
After doing all of these things you will need to remain passionately committed to your business endeavor. It will take time and a lot of long hard work. DO NOT get discouraged if things don't blossom right away. Rome wasn't built in a day and your business will take time. Even the best built businesses go through ups and downs, but if it is something you believe in, then it will be worth it. Join our mailing list below and I will forward you more information on free E-tools you can use to get started in entrepreneurship. We are praying for those who have dreams of entrepreneurship or those that have started and gotten frustrated. This is for every woman young & old, married or single who has a goal, baby steps are better than no steps at all. You can do it! "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" Galations 6:9. (Original Post and to subscribe)