Here, Elsa Caleb, a business advisor from the Start Up Loans Company, talks about what aspiring female entrepreneurs need in order to make their business ideas take off.
A recent survey carried out on behalf of the Start Up Loans Company suggested that lack of confidence and fear of failure do play a big part when setting up a business.
As well as having a great idea, the need for a handle on figures, some great contacts and complete dedication is also important for female entrepreneurs.
Believing in your business idea is the bedrock of a startup. If you don’t believe in your product or service, why should anyone else?
You also need to believe that you have it within yourself to make it work. This belief builds determination and confidence to succeed – even in the most adverse conditions. Knowing how amazing your product is helps you develop the thick skin needed on your business journey.
Know your industry inside out
It’s essential to know all aspects of your industry or chosen field; you’ve got to be an expert. A great idea is important, but you’ve got to have that industry knowledge to back it up.
It’s best to do your research before setting up your company by reading books, blogs and watching talks with key industry figures.
Social media is another excellent research tool. For instance, you may choose to follow your favourite fashion designers on Twitter, or connect with other business owners on LinkedIn.
It’s vital to know your competitors, what products or services they offer and how yours will be different.
Why should consumers choose your products over your competitors’ ones?
How will you stand out and what is your unique selling proposition?
Preparation and planning are key to success
When it comes to business, planning is essential. As a business owner, you’ve got to be able to think ahead and look at the bigger picture.
Careful planning should feature in everything you do, whether it’s planning your meetings or writing your business plan.
You need to make sure you set yourself achievable objectives right from the beginning. However, it’s not only about planning your objectives, but knowing how you reach them, and preferably when. Your business plan should be an evolving document.
Get the business basics
If you’re going into business, it helps to know the basics on finance. There are lots of free starter courses available where you can learn how to create a profit and loss sheet, understand taxation and manage cashflow.
Startup funding – what is out there?
There are several types of finance available out there. The key is to pick the right one that will suit you and your business.
For example, options range from bank loans to funding from a government-backed plan. You can also seek an investor or use accessible savings.
Running a business is hugely empowering and rewarding, but it’s important to have someone who you can talk to and share your concerns or worries. Offloading any insecurities goes a long way in resolving a situation.
Join business forums and support networks or don’t hesitate to contact fellow business buddies – female entrepreneurs who have gone through the process are invaluable help. Having someone who understands how to run a business and its essentials is priceless.
Thinking of starting your own business? Get your domain name locked down first.
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