October is Women’s Small Business Month and frankly small businesses should be celebrated every month. Women account for more than half of new businesses launched in the U.S.* Many are driven by a desire for flexibility, financial security, and the ability to prioritize their work whenever they want.
Everyone should aspire to be entrepreneurial, whether they own a small business or not. We need to push ourselves to grow, be innovative, and think of new ways to do things. Getting out of your comfort zone means becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. It's not for anyone else, it's for yourself. These are your greatest growth moments.
I like wearing high heels and they look good. My mother said that she trips when she puts on new shoes for the first time. The more you wear it, the more it stretches and becomes more comfortable. Being an entrepreneur can feel the same way.
As an employee, I broke all the rules. As an entrepreneur, I rewrote the rules that never worked for me. Do your research and find out the why and purpose of the business you want to start. why are you doing this? What hole in the market do you want to fill?
I reached out to several entrepreneurs with startup expertise in the FQ network to share tips, including red flags to look out for and how to protect yourself from liability.
As we well know, women-owned businesses have historically received less funding than their male founders, which limits their opportunities for scale and growth. Only 2% of all VC funding goes to women.
In addition to facing challenges in accessing capital, women often lack business development resources. “Legal matters are one of the most important things that often gets put on the back burner,” says her Nuzayra Haque-Shah, founder of NH Legal. “This highlights the importance of networking, seeking women-focused funding sources, and considering alternative funding options such as introductory 0% APR credit cards, grants, debt financing, angel investors, and crowdfunding. It highlights it.”
Women often feel uncomfortable talking about their finances, especially business. “You don't have to be an expert in finance or accounting, but you should strive to be an expert in your business,” said Leyanis Diaz, founder and CEO of Major. .
Imposter syndrome, lack of confidence, and self-doubt can also creep in. Men generally ignore this and women amplify it. Turn off the power and tune to another channel. Save the positive emails you've received over the years from colleagues, partners, and contacts in your email folder, and read that reminder whenever you feel anxious. Imposter syndrome is made up and not real.
“You absolutely need to believe in yourself and fight against feelings of self-doubt and negative opinions and warnings from others. Only you can do this and you must first and foremost believe in your vision ” said Jennifer Justice, CEO and Founder of Justice Dept.
Red flags to avoid
Partners should be thoroughly vetted. “This is a marriage, so you should know everything about the person. The other thing is to understand your mission and your vision. Build your own deck. Why are you doing this? Answer the questions: Who are you serving and how are you solving a market need? It sounds easy, but if you can't answer it easily, that's a red flag,” the judge said. Told.
As you hire and build your team, be wary of people who over-promise or under-deliver. “They say 'hire slow, fire fast,' and it starts with a clearly defined job description that clearly outlines the responsibilities and expectations of the role,” Diaz said. “Also, consider offering new hires a trial period of about 90 days, so you can evaluate their performance and whether they can contribute effectively to your team and company.”
protect yourself from liability
Establish a professional support network. This includes finding a reliable accountant and legal advisor. Even if you don't need our services on a regular basis, we want you to be able to contact us whenever you have questions.
Don't put off investing in insurance, even in the early stages of your business. “There are affordable insurance options that can provide essential protection against liability and protect you from financial hardship due to unforeseen events or legal claims,” said Haq Shah. .
You may be doing business with people in your network, friends, acquaintances, or vendors you've known for years and feel comfortable with verbal discussions and agreements. However, we strongly recommend that all agreements be documented in writing. This provides a clear reference point and protects your interests in the event of a change of circumstances or dispute. If you don't, she said, he said, she said…and then you end up hurting relationships and putting the health of your new business at risk.
Reduce initial costs
Justice advises hiring a consultant from the beginning. That way, you can get a feel for people before hiring them full-time. “You don't have to pay benefits and avoid liability issues if the partnership ultimately doesn't work out.”
If you have the funds, bootstrapping (launching and growing a business without outside help or funding) is a great option. Initially, consider self-funding or using the revenue from your business to fund growth rather than seeking outside investment.
“A virtual office is a great way to establish a professional presence without the costs associated with a physical location,” says Haque-Shah. “Also, consider outsourcing non-core functions such as bookkeeping, marketing, and IT support to reduce expenses.”
While it may be tempting to launch with all the bells and whistles, avoid unnecessary spending and focus on what you need. Eliminate waste and prioritize spending on things that directly contribute to the growth and success of your business. It may not be a fancy leather ergonomic office chair, at least not yet.
And most importantly, consult a lawyer early in the process to ensure your business is structured efficiently and in compliance with the law,” said Haq Shah. “This can prevent costly legal issues down the line.”
Think about the women entrepreneurs around you and work together to mutually promote and share the values and unique strengths of each business. If you need advice on small business matters (accounting, tax, legal), check out this FQ list of women experts in our network who not only have the knowledge, but have also been on the entrepreneurial journey themselves Please consider.
you are never alone. Real growth happens when we work together. This is the power of groups. Pay generously and throw impostor syndrome in the trash. Walk out your front door with confidence – we’ve got your back!
*According to Gusto